Posts Tagged ‘Nature Walks’

Checking Out Colchester Causeway

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Colchester Causeway provided a great outing for six of our employee/dedicated walkers last week.  Our narrator/walk coordinator, Sharon gives a wonderful recap of their experience.  Read on! 

The causeway juts 2.5 miles out into Lake Champlain, allowing for ample views of the Adirondacks, the Green Mountains, and several islands.  It was hazy yet we could still see the outlines of the many surrounding peaks.  There were fishing boats, sailboats, and canoes that also captured our interest.

Colchester Causeway Trail in Vermont
Colchester Causeway Trail in Vermont

We started at the closest parking lot on the Island Line Rail Trail and reached the causeway proper in just under a half-mile.  I was surprised to see a few trees lining the causeway at the beginning – I had been expecting a barren expanse of stone.  The trees quickly became scarcer and the views were expansive, but the trail was by no means barren.

 Wildflowers lined the gravel footway, as did shrubs and occasional trees.  Big blocks of marble could be seen alongside the causeway.  It was a fairly popular place for a Tuesday evening with walkers, joggers, and bicyclists.  People often climbed down amongst the blocks and vegetation to perches closer to the water and out of sight of the trail.

 The variety of wildflowers was impressive and I learned several species that I hadn’t seen before, including those with such interesting names as umbrellawort (wild four-o-clock) and viper’s bugloss.  There was also bedstraw (tiny, but abundant white four-petaled flowers), daisies, yellow sweet clover, crown vetch, cow vetch, wild roses, and many more.

 

Wildflowers: Crown Vetch
Wildflowers: Crown Vetch

Every step of the way was delightful with perfect temperatures and pleasant breezes.  For those of you that have walked here before and wondered if the causeway ever ends, we can attest, that yes it really does finally end.  Although, even as we approached, it looked like the trail kept going since the water cut was fairly small and the trail picked right up on the other side.  There was a bench at the end, a dock on both sides of the cut for the bike ferry, and a sailboat traveling through the opening.

 The return walk was also enjoyable as the setting sun cast the mountains and sky in pretty colors.  This would be a neat place to walk on a clear night with only starlight illuminating the landscape.

 

View of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks

View of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks

Welcome to the beautiful Shelburne Farms

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

As I talked about a few weeks back, many of the employees at Calyx Flowers’ sister company, The Vermont Teddy Bear Company have been participating in summer trail walks. Last week Sharon provided this recap on the historic Shelburne Farms. Enjoy!

This week we walked along the Shelburne Farm trails and dirt roads for about 2.5 hours. We started out across an open field and soon found ourselves strolling along a smooth dirt road lined with magnificent old trees. The trees tower above the walkers. The furrows in the bark are 3 inches deep! Shelburne Farms offers all sorts of sights, but this was my favorite part. There were views of Camel’s Hump and the other Green Mountains from this allee.

Majestic trees line the pathway at Shelburne Farms.
Majestic trees line the pathway at Shelburne Farms.

A tractor laden with hay bales drove by us as we dipped into a brief area of woods and when we emerged, the castle-like Farm Barn came into view through the haze and almost appeared to be a mirage. Seeing some farm animals en route, we walked right past the “barn” and then headed uphill into the woods. There was an eerie gathering of totems near the trail. We followed the wide, smooth path farther upwards and soon reached a brick patio/bench/wall structure overlooking the lake, although the views there were mostly obscured by trees.

View approaching the Shelburne Farms BarnEnjoying their dinner & a nice summer evening at Shelburne Farms

View approaching the Shelburne Farms Barn & then some hungry pigs along we saw along the way.
Just beyond that we reached the “summit” of Lone Tree Hill with expansive views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks. Looking behind us, we could also see a slice of the Green Mountains. After enjoying the vista, we headed down the other side of the hill and made a wide circle through the property alternately going through woods and on dirt roads along fields with more views of the lake and the Adirondacks. We explored the Market Garden area which had both flowers and vegetables growing over a wide area. Whew, lots of hard work went into all those plantings. There was a neat shelter that looked like an inviting, shaded break area for the gardeners.

After that, we soon circled back to the parking lot, completing our loop, and bringing to an end another pleasant evening ramble.

A view of the garden area & shelter

A view of the garden area & shelter