Surrounded by the natural beauty of central Vermont, Montpelier features parks, rivers and majestic mountains. Visitors and locals alike can apply for a fishing license and try to catch some trout in Dog River, go canoeing along the nearby Winooski River or enjoy swimming, volleyball and picnicking at Montpelier Recreation Field. Rolling hills and back roads offer challenging mountain bike rides, and the 180 acres of Hubbard Park has an array of activities, including hiking trails, sledding, cross-country skiing, snow shoeing and ice-skating. Located less than 40 minutes from the renowned Stowe and Sugarbush ski resorts, Montpelier, Vermont offers many year-round children's activities.
Young Adventurers Club
The Montpelier Section of the Green Mountain Club created the Young Adventurers Club (YAC) to give children 6 years old and younger organized outdoor programs. The events help kids spend time outdoors hiking and playing as they learn about nature and make new friends. Lead by local parents and families, the activities are around the Montpelier area. Programs and events are open to members and non-members, but parents should confirm participation with the activity leader in advance. Most adventurer programs begin at 10 a.m. and participants bring extra layers of clothing and snacks. YAC holds a variety of events throughout the year, including a scavenger hunt in Hubbard Park, a stroll through Chickering Bog in East Montepelier, a bike trip along the Montpelier bike path, hunting for leaves in the fall and snowshoeing in the winter. The Green Mountain Club is founder, protector and maintainer of the first long-distance hiking trail in the United States, the Long Trail. The Montpelier Section maintains two portions of the Long Trail, Gorham Spring to Jonesville and Smugglers' Notch to Chilcoot Pass as well as maintaining the Sterling Pond Trail.
Young Adventurers Club
Created to teach ancient skills such as tracking, basketry, soap stone carving, creating natural fibers and use of primitive weapons, the Roots School offers day classes, summer camps and yearlong courses for children and teenagers. There are two week-long overnight camps during the summer, with one designed for children aged 8 to 13 and the other is for teenagers between 14 and 17 years old. Camping facilities are rustic and include well or spring water as well as tent and tarp setup locations, outhouses and an outdoor kitchen area with bear boxes. Day courses and camps offer the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge about the local environment, including the forests, streams and mountains. The yearlong Clovis Program begins each fall and teaches children between 11 and 13 years old skills such as tracking, natural awareness, flint knapping (making stone tools), hide-tanning and hearth cooking. Beginning in September, the Jumping Mouse Program offers children from 8 to 10 years old the opportunity to spend one full day per week in Vermont's woodlands to learn basic survival skills.
Roots School, LLC
P.O. Box 932
Montpelier, VT 05601
The 220-acre Pease Farm offers year-round boarding and well-trained horses for animal therapy programs, clinics and riding lessons. Located less than five miles from Montpelier, the farm's owner and head instructor, Sarah Seidman, is a Level 3 Centered Riding instructor. She teaches Centered Riding lessons for all disciplines. Centered Riding uses body awareness, centering and imagery with classical principles of riding and encompassing all seats and styles of riding. The method promotes clear communication between horse, rider and instructor. Adults and children of all ages can sign up for one-hour private, semi-private and group riding lessons.
307 Culver Hill Road
Middlesex, VT 05602
Article Written By Betsy Bender
Betsy Bender is a media consultant with experience in publishing, event management, media relations, digital media and television production. Specializing in entertainment, travel and sports, Bender has worked with high-profile personalities, facilitated publicity campaigns for network television programs and traveled to more than 100 cities in eight countries, including Russia and Australia.