Clear Lake Lodge and Retreat, situated on 25 acres, the property is family owned and operated by 3 generations of the Hohmeyers. Their brand of personalized attention infused with German culture and family values is hard to find. Cathy, a healthy chef, creates all the meals, offers cooking classes, operates an organic food outlet, manages the new gift store and manages the day-to-day operations along with Ernest. Ernest manages and markets the property and manages a non-profit called Adirondack Spirit. He built the lodge’s wine cellar, curates wine and beer tastings and is he industrious! He hand made 100 Adirondack-inspired chairs for the conference center. Clear Lake Lodge offers hiking, canoeing, Adirondack history, sleigh rides in the winter and a bevy of other recreational activities.
It was nearly a 5 hour drive to Killington so this weary traveler was all too happy to find Trailside Inn to be warm, contemporary with clean lines, no clutter and an eco vibe. Ann and Josh Eckler are new innkeepers, who recently transplanted themselves from the frantic pace of Maryland to the quieter environs in Vermont. Ann and Josh are avid hikers and have many great ideas for exploring the region and its many outdoors offerings. They are happy to take you (or direct you, if preferred) to some of the gems in the Killington region. They also work very closely with a nearby organic farm that’s has goats and cheese making.
Vermont is home to artisanal cheese makers, maple syrup, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and so many wonderful farms – an important aspect to Vermont’s economy and identity. There are working farms, farmer’s markets and farm vacations. Vermont offers many choices and it’s wide open spaces are perfect for running, biking, hiking, skiing and camping and so much more.
There’s a slice of Americana history that I found cool and inspiring, specifically the Coolidge Homestead that spotlights what life was like for Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the United States nearly 100 years ago. The historic village includes Coolidge’s boyhood home, the one room schoolhouse Coolidge attended as a child, the community church and Plymouth Artisan cheese which is one of the oldest in the country, and started by Coolidge’s father in 1890. I was fortunate to have a private tour of the permanent exhibit of Coolidge Museum and Education by Bill Jenney, Regional Site Administrator, and Vermont Division for Historic Preservation who is a walking encyclopedia of knowledge. Coolidge became President in 1923 and was known to be a minimalist when it came to speaking but was respected for decisive action and relating to the concerns and hopes of the middle class. Coolidge admired characteristics of honesty, thrift, hard work and self-reliance. What does history have to do with wellness? My personal opinion is it give a sense of place, a sense of identify, and a much fuller and richer understanding of the area.
My last stop on the trip itinerary was Saratoga Springs – the name is reflective of the mineral waters and is a long- favored vacation destination that combines historic charm, natural beauty and healing. Mohawk and Iroquois Native American tribes were indigenous to this area and were said to have recognized the health benefits of Saratoga’s mineral water, later during the French and Indian War; soldiers troops were brought to Saratoga to recover from wounds. My No. 1 favorite attraction is Saratoga State Park. A National Historic Landmark, featuring incredibly beautiful classic architecture as well as offering diverse cultural and recreational activities. The park is home to the nationally-known Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Spa Little Theater, National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame, the Saratoga Automobile Museum, Roosevelt Mineral Baths and Spa, and the Gideon Putnam Resort & Spa. The entrance to the park is spectacular from Route 9 with a tree canopy and views of walking trails and the golf course. The Gideon Putnam is surrounded by 2.200 of lush landscape and guests are welcome to fully enjoy all that the park has to offer: picnic tables and pavilions, a pool, a playground, recreation programs, a nature trail, hiking and biking, fishing, tennis, golf, cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing in addition to the cultural offerings mentioned previously. There are microbreweries and dining options galore. On this quick trip, I was able to unwind with the natural mineral water bath at the Roosevelt bath. I love that the treatment rooms are pretty much the same as they were 50 years ago. Step into a deep tub and sink into a relaxing experience and feel the worries and stresses float away.
My only regret is this entire trip was entirely too short and a bit rushed !) in an attempt to combine business with pleasure (3,000 air miles and 1,500 car miles over 5 days! Oh my!)
Many thanks to: Clear Lake Lodge, Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing, Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, Trailside Inn and the Gideon Putnam.