ReLocavore: Redefining "local"

Back to Wisconsin, my cheesehead friends


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The Falls of Lana, Salisbury, VT

 

5-Falls of Lana

Of all of the falls we saw, the Falls of Lana were the most beautiful, the most relaxing, and the falls that I am most looking forward to returning to visit again. Here’s the rundown:

Effort: Reasonable. There is a nice walk up to the falls and the paths are very well cared for. The path down to the viewpoint for the main body of the falls was difficult, even for the dogs at some points. It’s mostly an A shaped hike, but the path down to the viewing point is downhill.

Reward: Even though there were 15 cars in the parking lot, I wasn’t bothered by the other people at the falls, unlike the day before in Stowe. Who cares about the people? The falls are so absolutely, wonderfully beautiful that the reward is far outweighed by the remote possibility of being bothered by other people.

Fun: The upper part of the falls has many places where you can find pools of water for swimming. The water is cool and refreshing, with a bit of rusty tint. We had a very nice lunch watching fly fishermen and listening to the water cascading over the rocks.

Pidi and Daisy’s Evaluation: Super fun! There were lots of places to run around and nice dogs to play with. We liked running through the water. We didn’t mind too much when mom asked us to laze about for a bit while she had lunch.

 

 


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Bingham (Bartlett) Falls, Stowe, VT

3-Bingham Falls

Effort: Minimal. This is a super-touristy area where people took their elderly relatives to see something lovely. There are a few wet rocks, but you don’t have to climb on them to see the best part of the falls. It’s a V shaped hike.

Reward: So-so. The falls were beautiful, but the number of places to view them were minimal. We spent more time looking for a pretty place to see the falls, then actually looking at the falls themselves.

Fun: Absolutely none allowed. The water was tightly roped off and swimming was restricted.Bingham Falls is just past the entrance to the Stowe Ski Resort and very popular. There were probably 20 cars in the parking lot. With the number of tourists, it was uncomfortably tight.

Pidi and Daisy’s Evaluation: Booooor-ing. We were on the leash half the time! The other half of the time, mom kept calling us out of the roped-off areas. We were thirsty because there was nowhere we could get to the water and have a sip.


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Bolton Potholes, Bolton, VT

4-Bolton Potholes

Effort: There was basically no hike to get to the falls, so the effort was minimal. However, the neighbors were making every attempt to limit access to parking around the falls. We got a parking spot, but I think that was because we were there after dinner.

Reward: The falls are lovely. The water was clear, but ultimately kind of boring. I think this was because the water levels in northern Vermont were very low, so the water was not rushing around.

Fun: TOP NOTCH! This isn’t so much a “natural area” as a local hangout. We were there with 20 or more high school/college students who were sunning and drinking cold beers and talking and watching the sun set. The pools are deep enough for legit swimming. There is plenty of places to spread out a towel and dry off in the sunshine.

Pidi and Daisy’s Evaluation: Everybody loved us and petted us and gave us treats. We totally loved this place.

As a sidebar, going to Bolton Potholes made me consider the value of these natural places. Waterfalls are unique, remarkable and should be available to the public. The land around the Bolton Potholes has been bought by private individuals, who put up signs to limit parking on the street, and roped off access pathways to the falls. They made it pretty clear that they did not want people to visit the falls.

While I am offended by the self-interest of allowing private ownership of natural areas like these, I am also concerned that the community did little to nothing to help support the community access to the natural area. The community’s response in the 2000s was to put up guard rails along the roadway to block parking on the shoulder of the road. The answer is not to close off access to the Bolton Potholes, but instead for the community to support building a parking lot and public access paths.


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Moss Glen Falls in Stowe, VT

2-Moss Glen Falls Stowe

There are two waterfalls in Vermont named “Moss Glen.” This is the one in Stowe. It’s better than the one in Granville.

Effort: Minimal. There is one steep embankment to go to the top of the falls, but numerous ways to enjoy the falls without climbing up. The hike is pretty flat, but overall, you have to climb up to see the falls-A shaped.

Reward: Meh. The falls were lovely, but there were a lot of other people there. Finding parking was difficult. Plus, it’s the touristy area of Stowe, VT and we were there on a weekend. Maybe it is nicer on a weekday with fewer tourists. Note that I didn’t count us as tourists because we’re from neighboring New Hampshire. We have a bistate agreement between Vermont and New Hampshire not to call each other “Tourists.” Since the water levels were low, many pools had standing water resulting in pesky mosquitos.

Fun: Meh. The pools were never deep enough for an adult to swim, and with the volume of foot traffic, there were muddy spots on the trails and few places to sit and enjoy the falls in peace.

Pidi and Daisy’s Evaluation: There were a TON of other dogs, but they were all on leashes, so we seemed to be naughty dogs running loose. We just tried to have some fun, but their owners wouldn’t let them play with us. There were also lots of small kids that didn’t like dogs either.