“Mush!” “Hike!” “Haw!” “Gee!” “Easy!” Learn these commands and maybe you can go MUSHING (dog sled riding) or Skijoring (cross country skiing by a dog team). Or, just go along for the ride while the Mushers drive their dogs. Snowmobile rides are also available – quick trips up the lake (donation suggested) or 30-minute trail rides for $30 (helmets provided). Reservations are recommended for these trips and can be made by telephone to Chamber office with credit cards. But that is not all…this is a winter carnival with horse drawn carriage rides, ice skating, snow shoeing, ice fishing, public breakfasts, lunches, and suppers and a whole host of activities for old and young.
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Select dates, see website for details. The perfect event for conservationists, nature enthusiasts, and families looking to fight the impending cabin fever this winter; hop onto the Eagle Flyer at Essex Station in February! Pulled by our vintage diesel locomotive, passengers will delight in the 2.5-hour eco-excursion throughout the Connecticut River Valley, providing crystal clear views of the landscape and its wildlife from the heated comfort of our Coaches ($25 adult, $15 child) or First Class ($40 all ages) train cars. Master Wildlife Conservationists from CT’s DEEP will be onboard to discuss and share expert information about the wildlife indigenous to the Connecticut River Valley. Bring binoculars so you don’t miss a thing!
A perfect family winter event in a picturesque Vermont setting – chili tasting, ice carving, street performers, face painting and a tractor parade! Nestled between Bromley, Magic, Stratton, and Okemo Mountain, Chester, Vermont is the southern gateway to the Okemo Valley. This event will include dogsled rides, skating outdoors and broom hockey that warm one’s heart and evoke laughter on the coldest winter days! Free admission.
The Stowe Derby is one of the oldest and most unique ski races in North America and draws crowds each year. It started in 1945 when the challenge was the same as it is today – a race from the top of Mt. Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak, to the historic village of Stowe. Today, the race attracts more than 800 competitors, ranging from NCAA champions to recreational skiers looking for a thrill. Over the course, participants ski through 10 miles of challenging terrain before reaching the finish in the village. The course has a total vertical drop of almost 3,000 feet. There is also a short course designed for children ages 6 to 13 or those who prefer to avoid the rigors of the main event. The race is approximately 6km. The town of Stowe offers many shops, restaurants and other outdoor recreation – perfect for a winter weekend getaway!
Old Sturbridge Village, the largest outdoor history museum in the Northeast, is a journey through time to a rural New England town of the 1830s. Visitors are invited into more than 40 original buildings, each carefully researched, restored, and brought to the museum site from towns throughout New England. These include homes, meetinghouses, a district school, country store, bank, law office, printing office, carding mill, sawmill, gristmill, and pottery shop – plus blacksmith, shoe and cooper shops. Come on this special day to experience a genuine New England Sleigh Rally in the fields of the Freeman Farm. See horse-drawn sleighs in action, including cutters and bobsleighs, as their drivers compete for awards.
(Weekends only) Visitors to Old Sturbridge Village will be greeted by the sweet smell of wood smoke mixed with maple syrup as historians demonstrate maple sugar making at the Village’s own working “Sugar Camp.” On weekend days in March, see maple sugaring as it was done in early 19th-century rural New England and learn why the final product historically was sugar, not syrup. See demonstrations of the traditional Native American methods, early 19th-century New England, 20th century metal buckets and contemporary tubing. Old Sturbridge Village is the largest outdoor history museum in the northeast and portrays life in a New England village in the 1830s.