Having lingered in Maine longer than planned, we needed to pick up the pace a bit if we want to hit all of the places on our very rough planning list. We didn’t make up any time in New Hampshire what with our five day stay, so we chose to keep Vermont down to a couple of days, three max. Unlike in New Hampshire, where all the recommendations pointed us to the White Mountains, we had received no specific or consistent “must see” areas for Vermont. So we made reservations at a full service park and Passport-America participant that had solid reviews in the usual places.
Groton Forest Road RV met our criteria, providing a power and water site for less than $20 a night. Nestled on nine acres, the rectangular lay out is bordered on three sides by a tree line or horse pasture. Located about 20 minutes from Montpelier, it is owned by a couple of apparently very handy men that do their own maintenance and repairs, resulting in an unusually high standard. It is pretty common to go to RV parks, even higher end resorts, and find plenty of shaky issues, be it old plumbing, poor ventilation, slipshod carpentry, etc. At Groton Forest Road we found very little if any of that. The facilities were in excellent shape; everything looked new and clean.
The park seems to have settled into a three zone method of assigning sites. The full season people are at the top of the rolling hill, the horse campers and their trailers are in the middle, and us short termers at the bottom. We had a wide open site in a well manicured grass area with one big tree providing a little cover. We enjoyed the relaxation, immaculate pool, and luxury of having power and water after our five days of drycamping in New Hampshire.
The only down side is the lack of connectivity. We had no connection to the vaunted Verizon network at all, and though the park has free WiFi, I found it pretty unusable, even by RV park standards. I had trouble connecting to the server, and only occasionally was able to use it for basic functions. Our neighbor reported the same situation, but to be fair Rosemarie had much better luck on her Macbook.
The location, however, turned out to be excellent. We had the relaxation inducing country location, but within easy striking distance of Montpelier and surrounding areas. We spent one of our days making a run to several of Vermont’s well known industries, starting with Green Mountain Coffee’s visitor center, sampling some of their latest flavors and options. Then we headed up the road to the Cabot Cheese Center, where they had free samples of someting like thirty of their cheeses and spreads. We stepped next door to Lake Champlain Chocolates before heading up the road to Ben & Jerry’s factory. We chose not to do the half hour tour due to the one hour wait, but did enjoy seeing the facility and taking a few pictures. We capped off the day by swinging into the Cold Hollow Cider Mill for a very refreshing sample of their fresh pressed best.
We ended up only staying two days in Vermont, but would gladly return to explore more of this beautiful state. Alas, we were now up to one week without any connectivity, and chose to move on and catch up. Next time we are in New England we hope to give The Green Mountain State more of our time.