Secret Valley Services Part 2
Valley Secrets Part II – Arts, Eats and Hiking Treats
There are many treasures buried just beneath the surface of the Deerfield Valley,
some so obvious that the locals won’t even think to mention because they’re part of
the everyday DNA of the place. It seems that talent comes out of the woodwork
personal practices and different ways of representing their interest in the natural
world. Ellie Roden or Nicki Steele will send you home with a little piece of Vermont
in flower or photo form, framed or in a card to chronicle your vacation. If you’ve not
yet come across Lorraine and Skip Morrow, their weekly set at The Roadhouse is
well worth it and Peter Miles (with or without his band) is a great backyard party
Quaigh designs is worth the wait—Lilias Hart’s well curated collection of gifts and
art is open by appointment or chance (but for sure during the Marlboro Music
Festival—check out their concerts during the season). Hop on the opportunity for
the “seconds sale” at the Vermont Bowl Company on summer holiday weekends.
Further down the line on Route 9, the good folks at Austin’s Antiquarian Books can
instruct in the art of fly fishing from their enormous collection (best browsed in
person, though also available online). They’ve got a few secret fishing spots up their
sleeves, too, if you can demonstrate you’re a serious angler.
Oh and Farms and Food! If you find the Wheeler syrup shack on Rt. 100 you just
might get a taste-test to help you figure out if you’re a “Fancy” or “Grade D” kind of
gal. Then head straight for the maple flavor at the Creemee Stand. Continuing up
that stretch, www.boydfamilyfarm.com has you covered with a choose-your-own CSA which you
can apply to summer blueberries, holiday wreaths, or just about anything that
comes out of the ground. Adams Family Farm (in addition to paintball and a petting
zoo) does a meat CSA with everything from chicken to Emu. They’ll also process
livestock, which I learned from Jack Snow whilst he was wood-roasting a pig in his
converted oil-tank oven. This makes for a great summer barbeque, wedding or
There’s a CSA pickup from Full Plate Farm on Friday afternoons in Marlboro and
Wilmington throughout the summer. Make the full circuit on Friday and hit up the
Jacksonville Farmer’s Market for some wood fired pizza, lemonade and vendors of
all stripes. For daily needs, you can find just about anything from nature’s bounty at
Blue Mountain Produce. The River Valley Market has a great selection of English
sweets if you’re hankering for a Hob Knob (trust us). Other offerings that only
come around so often include the full-scale monthly Vegetarian Buffet at the
more seasonal and special offers, this local rag has been covering the valley for
decades and is one of the last local newspapers standing.
We’ve been totally delighted by Spoonwood Cabin Creamery and their jewelbox
storefront stocked with a diverse wine selection and totally scrumptious cheeses.
You can get them at many local spots, one of our favorites is The Room at the
Nutmeg—open only two nights a week, you don’t want to miss these tapas-style
plates that pack a big punch. The e-news from the Fromagerie is a fun way to learn
about what they’re cultivating down in Jacksonville, and it is always tempting in the
summertime to grab a sandwich and a bottle for an impromptu sunset picnic on
Lake Whitingham. Easy parking at Ward’s Cove abounds as the boaters are coming
in for the evening and the sun slides over the horizon.
Speaking of scenery, we like the view from White’s Road just about any time of day,
along with the spring fields of lupine that grow up on that hill. If you’re really lucky,
you’ll find your way up Haystack in the company of Jake White, who climbs faster
and more frequently than those half his age, earning him the title “Mr. Haystack”.
The Chamber hear is happy to point you in the right direction if you’ve got an
inkling of your hiking level. Step out the door onto the Hoot Toot and Whistle Trail,
named for the railway that came through town this 4 mile roundtrip makes for a
great easy walk along the water’s edge with picnic tables and swimming at the
turnaround point. Beginner outings to uphill climbs abound on the Valley Trail, be
prepared to take the scenic route and expect that the detour is part of the adventure.
Posted By: Anonymous Author from Wilmington, Vermont
Blog Series funded by the Bi-Town Marketing Committee through grants from the Town of Dover & Wilmington 1% Funds