North Shire Lodge

Having a Great Summer of 2014!

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Manchester, Vermont is really just a great place to visit.    Quintessential Vermont villages, the Green Mountains, the famous Battenkill.    If you’re coming to see Vermont, quite frankly why not stay at the North Shire Lodge  where you actually see the most amazing view of Vermont right from your room.    We’re a low key, laid back kind of place where we take pride in letting folks relax and enjoy what they came to Vermont for.

Stop by  Hildene, the Lincoln Family Home where President Lincoln’s son lived.   We have discount tickets available.   Enjoy one of the many restaurants Manchester has to offer, or just relax on our deck with one of the best mountain views around.

If it is hiking in the area you like, talk to Timothy, one of the innkeepers.    His passion is Mt. Equinox but he can also point you in the direction of other quick day hikes near by.

At the North Shire Lodge, the outdoors become part of you indoors with our uniquely built rooms with 8 foot wide sliding glass doors.    Stop in for a couple of nights, relax, and enjoy.

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Hiking Mt. Eqiunox

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Since my last posting, I’ve completed several more hikes to the summit of Mt. Equinox.   157 trips to the summit since July 3, 2012.  Tomorrow will be number 158.    It is some really serious exercise.   Some trips to the summit have been as fast as 62 minutes, others as long as 3 hours (in cold, wind driven snow with snow shoes).   If you want to really see Vermont take a drive or a hike to the summit of Mt. Equinox.  You’ll be glad you did.    I’ll  always be happy to give you directions and advice for your day as well as talk about the history of this special mountain.
-Timothy

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New Years Ever Dinner Menu – December 31, 2013

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New Years Eve Dinner Menu
Please pre-order by morning of December 31st.
$15.00 minimum charge per person
limited availability

Appetizers

Red Mountain Deluxe Nachos   An impressive plate of tortilla chips piled high with refried beans, seasoned hamburger, melted cheese,  green onions, olives, jalapenos,  with sour cream & salsa.   Can be made vegetarian upon request.
12.00

Mountain View Salad    Mixed greens, olives, shredded carrots, onion, cucumber, topped with mozzarella.  Dressings:  ranch, balsamic vinaigrette, french, blue cheese, italian, thousand island
6.00

Vermont Cheese Plate   A  generous sampling of three hard to find Vermont artisan cheeses, served with an assortment of crackers.   A great way to support local farms and cheese makers of Vermont.
11.00

Stuffed Mushrooms  Our specialty, four large mushrooms stuffed high with an aromatic blend of sautéed  chopped mushrooms and Kerry’s own recipe of herbs, onions, with a little cream cheese and topped with a sprinkling of grated parmesan cheese.
9.00

Vermont “Egg” Rolls  The freshest tasting, healthiest egg rolls you’ll ever have.   They’re actually vegetarian and vegan, contains no dairy or egg at all.   Made with certified organic vegetables including cabbage, carrots, celery with a hint of ginger.  Served with our special asian dipping sauce.   Another great product of Vermont.
8.50

Southwestern  Egg  Rolls   black beans,  corn, chicken & spices rolled in a tortilla, baked and served hot  with sour cream and salsa.   Made from scratch here at the lodge!
8.50

Vegetarian Chili   bowl of homemade vegetarian chili made right here, available this Winter weekends and holiday  periods.  Topped with sour cream and cheddar cheese.
7.00

Shrimp Cocktail   eight ice cold jumbo shrimp with our own cocktail sauce.
8.50

Hummus  Dip  homemade hummus dip served with veggies, tortilla chips and crackers.
8.50

Entrees

Orange  Balsamic Chicken   Vermont raised Misty Knoll Farms free range chicken breast in a tasty orange balsamic & mushroom sauce.   Includes salad and for dessert, your choice of either homemade Coconut Almond Chocolate Chip Cheesecake or Ice Cream   21.95

Salmon  prepared with a light tomato glaze and grilled onion.  Served with salad, baked potato and vegetable.  For dessert, your choice of either homemade Coconut Almond Chocolate Chip Cheesecake or Ice Cream   21.95

No Vacancy Burger   Our newest and perhaps best burger  made with a half pound of angus beef, basted with maple BBQ sauce, topped with Taylor Farms Maple Smoked Gouda, maple smoked bacon, chipotle mayo, grilled onion, lettuce, tomato, all on a special bun used just for  this burger.   Tastes as amazing as it looks.   Served with baked steak fries.   Includes ice cream for dessert.
15.00

The Pub Burger   Made with a half pound of angus beef topped with sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, cheddar cheese, mayo, with lettuce and tomato on the side.   Served with potato chips.   You can substitute baked steak fries for $2.00. Includes ice cream for dessert.
10.00

The Lodge Burger   Made with a half pound of angus beef topped with melted cheddar cheese,  3 strips of bacon, mayo, mustard, ketchup, pickles,  with lettuce, tomato, onions on the side.   Served with potato chips.   You can substitute baked steak fries for $2.00. Includes ice cream for dessert.
10.00

Black Bean Burger  this gluten free patty is made by a great little Vermont company called Vermont Bean Crafters which uses all organic, locally grown ingredients including black beans, carrots, onion, buckwheat flour, kale, red pepper and spices.  Served with melted cheddar and  all the usual toppings.  Gluten Free Bun available upon request ($1.00 additional)    Served with potato chips.   You can substitute baked steak fries for $2.00.  Includes ice cream for dessert.
10.00

Veggie Burger   a delicious vegan burger made from all natural, wholesome ingredients  including eco-farmed brown and wild rice,  organic vegetable broth, whole grain oat flour.   Served with melted cheddar and  all the usual toppings.   Served with potato chips.   You can substitute baked steak fries for $2.00.    Includes ice cream for dessert.
10.00

 

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SKI PACKAGES AVAILABLE FOR STRATTON AND BROMLEY MOUNTAINS

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Our Ski Packages Include:

Our competitively priced Ski Packages are a great value.   With so many options, we strive to build you a great package with incredible value on quality lodging, lift tickets and breakfast. Once you have decided on your dates, please give us a call for a quick rate quote.

888-339-2336 toll free

 

Maple Tree at the North Shire Lodge

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Golf Privileges at Private Manchester Country Club

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As a guest of the North Shire Lodge, you have golf privileges at the private Manchester Country Club.    This is a beautiful and challenging course where you can also reserve time on the tennis courts and have lunch daily.

This is a Geoffrey Cornish designed course which recently had the back nine renovated by renowned golf course architect Steve Durkee, making the layout recognized as one of the finest in New England.  Take a look a look at the web site of Manchester Country Club.

Reservations can be made up to 7 days in advance by calling Manchester Country Club directly at 802-362-2233.    When you arrive at the North Shire Lodge, we’ll have a voucher ready for you to present to Manchester County Club.   You pay the Country Club directly.

Cost:
April 20 – June 30         18 holes with cart, $75.   9 holes with cart, $40
July 1 – Sept  2             18 holes with cart, $100.  9 holes with cart, $60
Sept 3 – Oct. 31            18 holes with car, $75.       9 holes with cart, $40

Tennis may be reserved at $10/court hour.  Tennis time is reserved in 1.5 hour blocks. Court or lesson reservations may be made up to 7 days in advance by calling the Pro Shop at 362-2233

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Current Specials

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Weekdays In May  $99 per Night
Book Soon – This Limited Time Offer May Disappear at any Time!   Valid May 1, 2, 5 – 9, 20-23, 27-30
Room with 2 double beds or a king bed
Includes full breakfast each morning as always!
Click Here To Book Online, Enter Promo Code: MaySave

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Visit Mt. Equinox – Amazing New Visitors Center with Viewing Decks Opening May 2013!

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Mt. Equinox

Visitors Center and Viewing area at the summit of Mt. Equinox, Manchester, Vermont

Whether you hike or drive, if you haven’t been to the top of Mt. Equinox since the opening last September of the new visitors center and viewing area, you really need to go again!    The new visitors center at the summit of Mt. Equinox is devoted to the history of the mountain itself as well as the Carthusian Monks who have a monestery on the mountain.   The views from the decks of the viewing center are amazing, and there are interpretive signs to let you know exactly what you are looking at.   I’m told that there will soon be picnic benches up there making this an ideal spot for a picnic!

To drive up Mt. Equinox, the toll road is just 1/2 mile south of the North Shire Lodge in Manchester.   The toll is $15.00 for car and driver, plus $5.00 for a passenger.   This is well worth the cost, so don’t be put off by having to pay to go up.   This is how the road and visitors center is maintained for our enjoyment.    To hike up the mountain, it is a short 5 minute drive to the trail head from the North Shire Lodge.   Directions and trail maps are available from the innkeeper.

See my other posts in this blog about hiking Mt. Equinox and Snowshoeing Mt. Equinox.    Those who know me know that in the past year I’ve been trying to hike up there at least a couple of times a week.   Today being my 37th hike up the mountain in the last 10 months.
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27th Annual Manchester Antique & Classic Car Show June 8 & 9, 2013

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Welcome all car enthusiasts! The premier Antique and Classic Car Show in Manchester & the Mountains, Vermont celebrates 27 years of the best antique and classic cars, food vendors and flea market in the northeast! 2013 Marques are Land Rover and Ford.  We welcome all car enthusiasts to enter their antique or classic car in the show or come as a visitor and drool over the cars, have a bite to eat and stroll through the huge flea market!

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Wanderlust Festival, Stratton Mountain, Vermont June 20-23, 2013

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Wanderlust Festival Stratton Mountain, VermontWanderlust is a one-of-a-kind festival bringing together the world’s leading yoga teachers, top musical acts and DJs, renowned speakers, top chefs and winemakers, and much, much more — all in a setting of breathtaking natural beauty.  We’re talking about fun in the sun and dancing under the stars. Hiking on peaceful trails and gettin’ your down dog on at the top of the mountain. Sipping poolside cocktails with your friends, and then enjoying a tasty farm-to-table dinner with views of the surrounding mountain peaks. Early morning meditations and all-night chakra spinning musical performances – it’s an all-out ecstatic celebration in the most awe-inspiring locations in the world.

For more information, go to http://stratton.wanderlustfestival.com/

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Vermont Summer Festival Horse Show, July 2 – August 11, 2013 – Manchester Vermont

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Vermont Summer Festival Horse Show

 The Vermont Summer Festival is celebrating 20 years of bringing top hunter/jumper competition to the Manchester, Vermont, region.  The six-week equestrian competition will return to Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset, just north of Manchester, from July 2 through August 11, 2013.Offering more than $750,000 in prize money, the Vermont Summer Festival is the richest sporting event based on purse in the state of Vermont.  The competition routinely attracts Olympic athletes, and the picturesque setting amid the Green Mountain range of southern Vermont truly makes the event unique.  Exhibitors can expect to be warmly welcomed at any of the area’s numerous local businesses, which include a large range of lodging options, restaurants, outdoor activities and plenty of shopping.

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Seeds Shovels Buckets & Boots, May 17th & 18th, 2013 Manchester Vermont

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Seeds Shovels Buckets & Boots, Manchester Vermont

Seeds Shovels Buckets & Boots, Manchester Vermont

“Seeds, Shovels, Buckets & Boots” a farm, field and food event in Southern Vermont

“Seeds, Shovels, Buckets and Boots” … will begin with a mix and mingle gathering (yes, there will be food!) and interactive session keynoted by nationally recognized Master Gardener , TV personality and author Charlie Nardozzi to be held at The Barrows House in Dorset on Friday, May 17th.  Saturday morning, May 18th begins with a Continental Breakfast at Hildene and a tour of the gardens with Hildene’s Garden Horticulturist, Andrea Luchini and then moves to JK Adams in Dorset. Exhibits and demonstrations will be open from 10:00AM – 4:00PM. Demonstrations throughout the day will include talks by noted author and garden expert Ellen Ecker Odgen, Alan Benoit on Beneficials in the Garden, orchid and rose experts, composting in the home garden and much more. Master Gardeners ~Landscape Designers ~ Lawn Experts ~ Organic food producers ~Seed producers ~ Garden Sculptures ~ Water Feature Experts ~ Honey Products ~ Vermont Maple Syrup ~ Organic Jewelry ~ Greenhouses ~ Bird houses ~ Garden Sculptures ~ Stonewall Building ~ Wooden Garden Signs and much more!

 

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Hildene in Manchester Vermont, The Lincoln Family Home, It’s Well Worth a Visit!

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Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home

Hildene, the Lincoln Family Home in Manchester, Vermont

Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home is right up the road from the North Shire Lodge.    We highly recommend a visit to the estate built by Robert Todd Lincoln, son of President Abraham Lincoln.   Many weddings are also held at Hildene throughout the year.   Guests of the North Shire Lodge can also receive discounted admission tickets to Hildene.

Robert Todd Lincoln built Hildene as a summer home at the turn of the 20th century.  He was the only child of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln to survive to maturity.  Robert first visited Manchester as a young man in the summer of 1864 when he came to the Equinox Hotel with his mother and his brother Tad. He was so taken by the beauty of Vermont that some forty years later he returned to purchase 500 acres of land to build what he would call his ancestral home. At the time, Robert was president of the Pullman Company, the largest manufacturing corporation in the country.

The non-profit Friends of Hildene raised the money to purchase the estate in 1978 and began the long process of restoring the home and gardens.  The formal gardens, designed as a birthday gift by Jesse Lincoln for her mother Mary, include many of the original plantings from 1907 and produce thousands of peony blooms each June.   For more information, visit hildene.org

Hildene, the Lincoln Family Home

Scenic Views of the Green Mountains from the Hildene gardens make the perfect location for your Vermont wedding.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Fully Restored Pullman Car Arrives in Manchester, Vermont on a flat bed truck on It’s Way to Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home. You can tour the inside of this railroad car which was built during the time that Robert Todd Lincoln was President of the Pullman Car Company.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Snowshoeing to the Summit of Mt Equinox, Manchester, Vermont March 23, 2013

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Just a short drive from the North Shire Lodge to the trail head in Manchester Village, the Blue Trail to the summit of Mt. Equinox provides a challenging yet rewarding day of snowshoeing.
Snowshoeing Mt. EquinoxSnowshoeing Mt. EquinoxSnowshoeing Mt. EquinoxSnowshoeing Mt. EquinoxSnowshoeing Mt. EquinoxSnowshoeing Mt. EquinoxSnowshoeing Mt. Equinox

 

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The Scene at Dorset Playhouse, Dorset, Vermont June 19-July 7, 2013

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THE SCENE

June 19 – July 7

Acclamed Actor Tim Daly of Private Practice will star; additional casting to be announced soon.

The best of Broadway is once again presented by DTF with this hit play written by Theresa Rebeck, one of Broadway’s top playwrights. The Scene is a provocative comedy about the pitfalls and shallowness of the entertainment industry, an industry where who you know and what party you attend is most important.

“Ms. Rebeck’s dark-hued morality tale contains enough fresh insights into the cultural landscape to freshen what is essentially a classic boy-meets-bad-girl story.” -New York Times

Rebeck’s wickedly scathing observations about the sort of self-obsessed New Yorkers who pursue their interests at the cost of their morality and loyalty”- New York Post

For More information and to order tickets, visit http://www.dorsettheatrefestival.org/

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The Whipping Man at Dorset Playhouse – “Haunting, striking and powerful” July 11-20, 2013

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THE WHIPPING MAN

July 11 – July 20

Tied by Faith.  Bound by Secrets.  Passover 1865.  The Civil War has just ended and the annual celebration of freedom from bondage is being observed in Jewish homes across the country.  Three men are at a crossroads—a Jewish Confederate soldier who has returned from battle and two former slaves, who were raised as Jews in his household.  As the three men reunite to celebrate Passover, they uncover a tangle of secrets that might cost each man his freedom.

Haunting, striking and powerful…” Charles Isherwood, The New York Times

 

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Clybourne Park at Dorset Playhouse August 15-31, 2013

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Clybourne Park at Dorset PlayhouseCLYBOURNE PARK

August 15 – August 31

Winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize and London’s Olivier Award for Best Play, Clybourne Park is a wickedly funny and fiercely provocative new play about the volatile combination of race and real estate. Act One opens in 1959, as a white couple sells their home to a black family (the Younger family in A Raisin In the Sun), causing an uproar in their middle-class neighborhood; Act Two finds the same house, in 2009,changing hands again. While the stakes have changed over the years, the debate remains strikingly similar as neighbors wage a hilarious and horrifying pitched battle over territory and legacy that reveals just how far our ideas about race and gentrification have evolved—or, have they?

Critic’s Pick: A spiky and damningly insightful new comedy”- Ben Brantley, The New York Times

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Barefoot in the Park at Dorset Playhouse July 25 – Aug. 10, 2013

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Barefoot in the Park at Dorset Playhouse

Barefoot in the Park at Dorset Playhouse

BAREFOOT IN THE PARK

July 25 – August 10

When newlyweds Paul and Corie set up house in a tiny fifth-floor apartment in Greenwich Village, they have to find room for leaking skylights, nosy neighbors, interfering in-laws, and, oh yes, love. The inspiration for many modern romantic comedies, Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park brims with zippy one-liners and snappy comebacks. It’s the perfect Summer Fling for any and all true romantics.Directed by DTF favorite Jenn Thompson who brought you Noises Off and Boeing-Boeing.

“A bubbling, rib-tickling comedy.” – The New York Times

  • Director: Jenn Thompson
  • Scenery: Kevin Judge
  • Costumes:Teresa Snider-Stein
  • Lighting: Michael Giannitti
  • Sound: Stephen Kunken
  • Production Stage Manager: Melissa Daroff
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To Kill a Mockingbird August 29 – Sept. 11, 2013

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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
MainStage in performance at the Weston Playhouse

August 29 – September 11 Adapted by Christopher Sergel Based on the novel by Harper Lee The beloved American masterpiece

In this American masterpiece based on Harper Lee’s landmark novel, Atticus Finch dares to defend a black man in the 1930s Deep South. Seen through the eyes of Atticus’ tomboy daughter, Scout, the story is loved by millions not only for its focus on social injustice, but also for its genuine warmth and humor. To Kill a Mockingbirdwill be performed for our summer audiences for the very first time and for Vermont students as part of our celebrated School Matinee program.

To Kill A Mockingbird at Weston Playhouse

To Kill A Mockingbird at Weston Playhouse

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.westonplayhouse.org

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42nd Street at the Weston Playhouse August 1 – 24, 2013

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42nd Street at the Weston Playhouse

42nd Street at the Weston Playhouse

42nd STREET MainStage in performance at the Weston Playhouse

August 1 – August 24 Music by Harry Warren, Lyrics by Al Dubin Book by Michael Stewart & Mark Bramble Based on the novel by Bradford Ropes “Come and meet those dancing feet!”

This Tony-winning musical extravaganza follows Peggy Sawyer, an aspiring chorus girl, as she realizes her dream of opening in a big Broadway musical, only to find herself thrust into the spotlight. With nostalgic favorites like “We’re in the Money” and “Lullaby of Broadway,” 42nd Street will lift your spirits and bring back fond memories of Broadway’s Golden Age.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.westonplayhouse.org

 

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Next to Normal at the Weston Playhouse, July 11-27, 2013

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Next to Normal at the Weston Playhouse

Next to Normal at the Weston Playouse

NEXT TO NORMAL
MainStage in performance at the Weston Playhouse

July 11 – July 27 Music by Tom Kitt, Book & Lyrics by Brian Yorkey
The Pulitzer and Tony-winning rock musical

Soaring and diving on a Tony-winning rock score, Next to Normal peels back the facade of a suburban family dealing with mental illness and other contemporary American struggles. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, this emotional story reveals the risks and rewards of being truly alive.
Two acts. 2 hours, 20 minutes. Appropriate for ages 14+.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.westonplayhouse.org

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Educating Rita at the Weston Playhouse June 25 – July 6, 2013

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Educating Rita

Educating Rita at the Weston Playhouse

EDUCATING RITA

MainStage in performance at the Weston Playhouse

June 25 – July 6 by Willy Russell
An comic tale of self-discovery

An endearing working class woman chooses university enrollment over making babies, much to her husband’s chagrin. Rita’s sheer determination and simple wisdom charm her academically jaded tutor. Educating Rita won Britain’s prestigious Olivier Award for Best Comedy and demonstrates with warmth and wit how perseverance pays and how even the best teachers have a thing or two to learn.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.westonplayhouse.org

 

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Tour of the Dragons Bicycle Race May 4 – 5, 2013

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The 2013 Tour of the Dragons is part of the Stan’s Notubes Great American Cycling Series presented by Anthem Sports.

Your riding venue for the Tour of the Dragons is nestled between the Taconic and Green Mountains in the Shires of Vermont, a collective of 15 quintessential Vermont towns and villages and a popular four-season destination for those seeking the authentic Vermont experience.

But the scenic mountain terrain is also home to medieval Dragons that lurk in the Shires. Beware as you race through these beguiling hills…Will you slay the Dragons? Or just survive them?

The Most Challenging Racing in New England!

For more information, visit www.tourofthedragons.com

 

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Shires of Vermont Marathon May 19, 2013

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Shires of Vermont Marathon

Shires of Vermont Marathon

Welcome to the 2013 Shires of Vermont Marathon, a scenic point-to point USATF-certified course connecting the Shire Towns of Bennington and Manchester on May 19, 2013 – the only full marathon held in southern Vermont. The North Shire Lodge is a supporter of this events and welcomes participants to enjoy lodging with us over the race weekend! For more details, go to www.shiresofvermontmarathon.com

 

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Breakfast at the North Shire Lodge

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Complimentary Full Breakfast Served in the Pub Daily

Your stay at the North Shire Lodge includes a full B & B style Breakfast, served to you in our Pub each morning.   Each morning there is a selection of breakfast entrees that you can choose from – perhaps a delicious Frittata, or various made from scratch pancakes as well as other entrees that we offer from time to time.  Our entrees are always prepared from scratch, served fresh and provide you with a meal you cannot find anywhere else in the area.

We start at 7:30, with a light continental breakfast for those needing an early start.  It features our homemade & healthy maple toasted muesli cereal.   Then from 8:00 to 9:00 we serve our hot breakfast to you in our Pub.  Our breakfasts require a significant amount of preparation time and often baking time as well, so be sure to sign up for the hot breakfast the night before, so we’ll know to expect you, and get your day started right with good food, great mountain views and friendly Vermont hospitality.

Special dietary needs?   With proper advance notice, we try to accommodate special dietary needs.    We realize the importance of those needing a vegetarian, gluten free or dietetic option in their breakfast and we will strive to accommodate you if at all possible.   Please let us know your needs by phone or email at the time you make your lodging reservation so that we can prepare in advance of your arrival.

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The Vermont Romp. January 26, 2013

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The Vermont Romp
consists of a 3k or 5k snowshoe walk that leads snowshoers through pleasant, wooded trails, this Romp to Stomp is not to be missed.
www.stratton.com

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New Years Eve Dinner in the Mountain View Pub December 31, 2012

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Dinners include Appetizer, Salad, Entrée and Dessert.   $30 per person
Reservation and entrée pre-orders by December 30th.
Limited to 14 guests.

 

Appetizer, your choice of:

Stuffed Mushrooms  Our specialty, two large mushrooms stuffed high with an aromatic blend of sautéed  chopped mushrooms and Kerry’s own recipe of herbs, onions, with a little cream cheese and topped with a sprinkling of grated parmesan cheese.

Cranberry Walnut Arancini  made with cranberries, walnuts, a touch of maple and mozzarella cheese.  Lightly breaded, brushed with olive oil and baked – not fried.  Served hot with a cranberry aioli sauce.

Hummus and Veggie Plate   Fresh homemade hummus with fresh veggies and crackers. 

Salad

Mountain View Salad    Mixed greens, olives, shredded carrots, onion, cucumber, topped with mozzarella.  Dressings:  ranch, balsamic vinaigrette, french, blue cheese, italian, thousand island.

Entrée 

Vermont Maple Pork Chop walnut encrusted boneless center cut pork chop in a Vermont maple glaze.    Our own special recipe features a great maple flavor that blends perfectly with pork.   Served with baked potato and vegetable.

Salmon and  Shrimp Skewer   salmon filet marinated in a teriyaki sauce and served with large shrimp on a skewer.   Served with baked potato and vegetable.

Vegetarians Delight  A hearty meal consisting of a Portobello mushroom covered with a cannellini bean and potato puree then topped off with a heaping portion lentils with red onion and mushrooms in a delicious  red wine sauce.   High protein, high fiber and plate licking good.

Orange Balsamic Chicken  Vermont raised Misty Knoll Farms free range chicken breast in a tasty orange balsamic & mushroom sauce.   Served with baked potato and vegetable.

Dessert

Kerry’s Special 3 layer Tiramisu Cake
or
Wilox Ice Cream, Vermont’s Oldest Ice Cream Maker
Choose from Maple Walnut, Vanilla, Chocolate or Black Raspberry 

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Hiking Mt. Equinox, Manchester Vermont

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23.  That’s the number of times I’ve hiked to the summit of Mt. Equinox this year (2012).   It’s not yet 25, which is my goal – yet it’s better than last year’s number which was zero. Time is running out as number 23 was getting to be a bit difficult since the top half of the trail was covered in snow, and Thanksgiving is just 2 days away.   It’s a challenging hike sure to get your heart pumping.   Number 1 took me a few days to recover with sore muscles and all.  Number 19 was in the rain.   If there’s a number 25 this year it’s going to be a cold one.

From the trail head to the summit and back, it generally takes me 2 hours 25 minutes.   That’s not taking any time to enjoy the scenery, or to walk over to Lookout Rock for a breathtaking view, or to walk over and explore the new visitors center and viewing decks that just opened up this year – all of which is highly recommended for the first time hiker.
You had better plan on 4 hours, possibly more if you really want to take it all in.

From the North Shire Lodge, turn left out of our driveway and go north on 7A for 2 1/2 miles, turning left on Prospect Street.   Travel on Prospect Street and turn left on West Union Street, right before Burr & Burton Academy.   At the end of West Union Street you’ll find a parking area, then you can proceed to the trail head.   Pick up a trail map at the trail head and you’re ready to go.  Be sure to take plenty of water and a snack or two.   I’m always amazed at the number of folks I pass in near 90 degree weather who failed to bring water with them.   What were they thinking?   Dress cool in the summer and be careful not to dress too warmly in mild fall temperatures, as you’re going to break a sweat anyway on the way up.  You’ll be on the blue/red trail as you start out, and will want to continue on the Blue trail to get to the summit.

Hiking Mt. Equinox

You’ll pass by some popular walking trails along the way, all highly recommended for a more leasurely walk/hike.   When you get to Maidenhair trail, continue following the Blue Trail.  After Maidenhair, the trail starts to become a challenge.  It is a wide trail and gets rather steep.

Intersection of Maidenhair and Blue Summit Trail, Mt. Equinox

At about the half way point, you’ll come to a sign pointing to Upper Spring Trail and the Summit. Since this photo was taken, a nice new bench was installed. This is a good place to rest for a minute or so. Uppper Spring trail dead ends in just a minute or two, but you can take a look at the natural spring water shooting out of a pipe. Not recommended for drinking.

As you continue up the Blue Trail, it gets a little more difficult in places.   Eventually you’ll come to some signs pointing to the summit, and to Lookout Rock.  I recommend taking the right turn on the Yellow trail for about a 10 minute easy walk to Lookout Rock.   After that, be sure to walk on up to the new visitors center, where there are excellent displays on the history of the mountain, and also the history of the Carthusian Monks, whose monestery sits on one side of the mountain.   They own most of the mountain, and recently built the new visitors center.   Views from the decks of the visitors center are nothing less than amazing.

New Visitors Center and Viewing Decks on Mt. Equinox

A view from the Mt. Equinox visitors center viewing deck.

Learn about the Carthusian Monks, then after your hike join us in the Mountain View Pub where you can have a martini or cocktail made with Chartreuse. May I recommend “The Last Word”?

Learn about the History of Mt. Equinox at the new visitors center. You will not want to miss taking a closer look at this fireplace hearth – great history here.

Hiking up to the visitors center is my preferred way of getting there, but just a short half mile south of the North Shire Lodge you can drive up historic Skyline Drive and get there by car.  Be sure to stop at all of the pull outs along the way, get out of your car and take in the views.   Don’t miss Monestery Overlook, where you can see the Carthusian Monestery on the side of the mountain.   It will be on your left on the way up.   At this writing tolls for driving up are $15.00 for car and driver and $5.00 per passenger.   It is worth it.   Great place to have the most amazing picnic when you are on the summit by the beautiful new visitors center and viewing area.

-Tim

Update June 4, 2013:   Since posting this on my blog a while back apparently quite a few people are finding this post on Google.     Some folks apparently don’t notice that they are on the blog for my business, the North Shire Lodge.   So here’s a shameless advertisement and a challenge.    The North Shire Lodge in Manchester, Vermont is a great place to stay!  If you enjoyed reading this blog and you plan on hiking Mt. Equinox while in Manchester, then why not come stay with us!    You’ll get great mountain views from your room and we’ll even cook you a delicious breakfast in the morning.    If you plan on hiking to the summit, then here is the challenge and your reward:
1.  Stay with us here at the North Shire Lodge for at least 2 nights.
2.  Hike Mt. Equinox.   About half way up you’ll come to a wooden bench (where the Upper Springs Trail and the Blue Trail meet).   Take a picture of yourselves on the bench.   Then continue your hike.   Take another picture of yourselves at Lookout Rock, and another at the new visitors center at the summit.    When you come back to the Lodge, show us your pictures and come into the Mountain View Pub where we’ll buy you a bottle of wine, or a Vermont draft beer, or a free bottle of Putney Valley Vermont Sparkling Cider.   Now who else would do that?

By the way, today was number 43 hiking to the summit of Mt. Equinox for me – but who’s counting?   That’s 43 times since July 3, 2012 in 85 degree weather as well as in sub zero temperatures while on snow shoes.   Enjoy the photos below, and I’ll look forward to chatting about your hike here at the North Shire Lodge!

-Innkeeper Tim

Autumn on the Blue Trail, Mt. Equionx

 

Hiking the Blue Trail on Mt. Equinox, Autumn 2012

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Warm Summer Expected to Produce Spectacular Fall Foliage Colors

Posted on by northshirelodge

By Lisa Rathke
The Associated Press

MONTPELIER, Vt. — An optimistic forecast has inn owners expecting brisk business when leaf peepers visit the Northeast this fall, with some hoping to recoup losses from last year after images of Tropical Storm Irene swallowing up bridges and roads scared visitors away from Vermont and other affected areas.

The Woodstock Inn & Resort had to cancel reservations for all of September last year due to flood damage. After multimillion-dollar renovations, it’s quickly filling up for the five-week season and nearly booked for Columbus Day weekend.

“There’s almost pent-up demand from people that missed out last year and they’re very excited to be here this year,” said Courtney Lowe, the inn’s marketing director.

After Irene tore through Vermont at the end of August 2011, national news showed images of floodwaters carrying away roads and bridges, including several of Vermont’s iconic covered bridges.

Some would-be tourists from Texas and California canceled last fall at the Round Barn Farm in Waitsfield, and the inn was down nearly 25 percent in September.

“When they saw the covered bridge go down the river, and in their world, from Oklahoma to California [to] Texas, every bridge in Vermont” was destroyed, even though only pockets of the state were battered, said Round Barn Farm co-owner Tim Piper.

The inn made up some of the business in October, though, Piper said, when visitors from other parts of New England and from New York made the trek, partly to see the foliage, partly out of curiosity, and partly to help the economy. Vermont reaps more than $300 million from the foliage season, and fall tourism brings in an estimated $1 billion in neighboring New Hampshire.

Now, the inn is nearly full for the foliage season.

“This year, our numbers are back on track to where they should be,” he said.

Several couples who were stranded at the Notchland Inn in Hart’s Location in the White Mountains of New Hampshire for two days during last year’s storm are returning this fall.

“We should have a decent foliage season as long as Mother Nature cooperates,” said co-owner Ed Butler.

Weather conditions have helped

Visitors should see the show they’re expecting.

Dry spells this summer aren’t likely to hamper the fall colors in forests and mountains, experts predicted, and could even heighten them in some spots.

Light and the length of days are the chief factors for when trees start revealing the yellows, oranges and reds of fall. The key to the deep reds are cold snaps that stimulate the development of another pigment, said Michael Snyder, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation.

Visitors could see some brown patches where trees growing in thin soils are dry or where trees are under some other stress and have turned early.

But the dryness also could enhance the color in some spots.

“We’ve had a nice dry, hot summer,” said Maine’s foliage spokeswoman, Gale Ross. “We’re setting ourselves up for an ideal foliage season.” She has already fielded numerous inquiries from potential leaf peepers, even one from China.

The bulk of Maine’s trees will turn color within the next few weeks.

The season’s first online foliage report showed leaves still green in the lower two-thirds of Maine. But in the far northern and northwestern parts of the state, 10 to 30 percent of the leaves had changed, marking the start of the season.

Tourism officials in New York’s Adirondacks and Catskills said the storms didn’t deter visitors overall last year, especially after word spread that a key road in the Adirondacks was quickly repaired.

But there were pockets of disruption.

Christman’s Windham House is in an area of the Catskills that was hit hard by Irene.

Owner Brian Christman said there was damage around the 49-room hotel and 27-hole golf course in the Greene County town of Windham, but he was ready to accommodate visitors during the foliage season.

“When they put it on CNN that Windham was devastated, that pretty much stopped business,” he said. “We had people come. It was just a fraction of normal.”

He figures about a quarter of his annual business comes from leaf-peepers and said this year’s reservations are much better.

No matter what Mother Nature produces, it’s still spectacular, particularly to guests who come from far away, said Piper, co-owner of the Round Barn Farm.

“In our worst foliage season that I’ve ever had, they’ve been in total awe of what Mother Nature gave them. We have variations on what is good, but for these people it’s still a remarkable thing of nature,” he said.

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Vermont Summer Festival Horse Show – Six Weeks of Top Equestrian Competition July 4 – Aug 12, 2012

Posted on by northshirelodge

The Vermont Summer Festival Horse Shows are a chance for equestrians to spend July and August where the summer is its most beautiful: Vermont’s Green Mountains. Quaint New England towns of the Manchester area noted for their charm, first class accommodations, world-class dining and excellent show facilities, host the nineteenth annual Vermont Summer Festival.

The Harold Beebe Farm is the perfect site for the six weeks of competition. Its lovely peaceful view of the Green Mountains, just off scenic Route 7 North, offers a well equipped hunter/jumper facility. The show grounds boast FIVE all weather rings, including one of the largest Grand Prix fields in New England, as well as several all weather schooling and riding areas, permanent wash racks, paddocks and extended trails for casual enjoyment.

When the day’s work is over, the nearby towns are full of New England charm: historic homes, quaint country inns and taverns, many comfortable, friendly places to stay and dine. Manchester is known throughout the region as the home of world-class shopping! You’ll find everything from couture clothing to gourmet food to antiques and handmade arts and crafts. You’ll find over two dozen designer outlets in Manchester including top names like Brooks Brothers, Jones of New York, Coach and Ralph Lauren. This mecca of summer recreation runs the gamut from hiking the Appalachian Trail to golf, tennis, canoeing, hunting, fishing, in-line skating and more.

For More information, visit www.vt-summerfestival.com or www.visitmanchestervt.com

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Vermont Symphony Orchestra July 2, 2012 at Hildene Meadows

Posted on by northshirelodge

Be happy! The VSO presents an evening of musical smiles. Bring your picnic and your sense of humor for music that is joyful, witty, wacky, and fun.  Concert concludes with 1812 Overture, fireworks and marches. Hildene Meadowlands, Gate opens for picnicking at 5:00, concert begins at 7:30 pm.

Tickets available at Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Windhall Market in Bondville, Dorset Union Store in Dorset and from Flynn Tix at (802) 87FLYNN or flinntix.org.

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