“So… now is not a good time to come here,” the Vermont native told me, trying to break the news gently.
“What are you talking about?” I retorted. “I love Vermont! I’m sure any time of year is lovely.”
“See, the thing is…” the gal tried again, “April here is not like our beautiful Winter, Fall, or Summer. It’s just kind of… brown.”
“Pshaw!” I scoffed. With that, Colin and I piled our suitcases into the car for one of our famous New England Getaways. “Brattleboro, Vermont, here we come!” I hollered as we sped down the highway out of Boston.
We checked into a cute Brattleboro Bed and Breakfast (click that affiliate link to see where we stayed) and bounded right out to hike around the lake created by West River. The B&B owner had told us of a lovely path right along the water, and we eagerly trudged down to it.
“Yipes,” whispered Colin as we became engulfed in a tortured frizzle of bony brown trees, “This is kind of like Mordor. It’s like one of those wastelands after Sauron zaps it. Can’t you just see some old man hobbling out, grunting, ‘This used to be a lush green village, I tell you, until the Dark One’s power began to take over!’?”
I giggled and snapped a dead gray twig.
“Yeah…” I sighed, “I guess I see what that Vermont woman was trying to tell us.”
Suddenly, Colin cried out: “Is that a cheese factory?!”
“YES!” I hollered. “Let’s sample the heck out of it! Er, I mean, tour it!”
We ate our way through the cheese factory for a good hour, finally purchasing some 5-year aged cheddar and a spicy mustard that I now slather on everything possible. A friendly cheese fellow popped out of his station to talk us through the various stages of fancy cheese preparation, including my personal favorite: shoveling the cheese nuggets into silver squares, then squiiiishing it all down with the fists!
Back on the trail, we walked into town and scarfed a Brookie: a cookie baked inside a brownie!!!
“Vermont may be brown this time of year,” I said through mouthfuls, “but it sure is fun. And delicious!”
Next, we headed to scale Mt. Wantastiquet, an activity which had been recommended by a friend. It was there that we realized the other problem with visiting Vermont in April. I’ll give you a hint: SPLASH!
You see, in Vermont in April, the snow (and much snow there was) has all melted, but the ground has not had the chance to absorb the liquid. Meanwhile, no grass or leaves have grown. The result of these ingredients is soup: a stew of mud, dead old leaves, and dirty water. Don’t wear your best shoes hiking in Vermont in April! Our tootsies got quite the bath.
The top of the mountain was nice! It was sunny and breezy and a comforting gray-brown, like a fuzzy rabbit.
Walking back down the mountain, we were so sick of hopping stones to avoid the puddles that we began cutting through the trees instead, praying all the while to avoid poison oak (not that either of us knew what it looked like). Due to this improvised shortcut, we made it down in half the time it took to hike up.
So here’s the bottom line:
Is Vermont in April brown, muddy, and a little strange? Yes.
Did we still have a really awesome mini-vacation there, despite getting a little wet in the toes? YES!
People have their reasons to tell you not to visit places during certain times of year, but in general, you can find your fun whenever and wherever you desire.
So what about YOU? Which destinations do you think are worth visiting, even during “bad times of year” for them? Which ones are not?
Tips for a Great Vermont Trip:
- Check out reviews of the best hotels and B&Bs in Vermont here.
- Consider renting a house or condo with Vrbo, a site I love.
- To avoid mud, explore indoor activities like Vermont wineries!
Affiliates links here provide a small commission upon purchase at no extra cost to you. Thanks, and happy travels!
The author, Lillie Marshall, is 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 3.7 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!