An historic four star hotel in a beautiful setting of mountains and forests with sweeping lake views. A vast amount of activities are available onsite: from walking/cycling on 40 miles of marked trails through to watersports, horse riding and many more. Ideal for nature lovers, the setting is peaceful and quiet. In autumn the foliage is spectacular.
There is an on-site riding centre with a range of horses offering trail rides in the surrounding woods, along tracks and paths and around the lake. There are also lessons available on-site (July-September only), either Western or English style in one of 2 arenas or on the cross-country course.
This is the perfect holiday for groups with non-riders or riders of mixed abilities as all levels are catered for and children from age 6 onwards can ride. This is also a great place to work on improving some riding goals or to simply admire the nature all around. The peak foliage season is 15 September to 15 October although this can vary from year to year depending on the weather.
This holiday can easily be combined with a city break in Boston or New York and arrival by either rental car or train is simple and easy.
Please Note: The opinions expressed in these reviews are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Unicorn Trails Ltd. These reviews are "directly from the horses mouth" and unedited. Unicorn Trails may make additional comments for clarification clearly identified in red.
Review received from RM of Oak Park on 20/09/2018
About the Hotel
This is an historic hotel which was renovated after a fire in the 1970's. The hotel has 30 rooms, all but 8 have either mountain or lake views, some both. The hotel is ideal for families in holiday times. Outside of school holiday times the hotel is usually quite child free.
There is a vast list of activities available and this is an ideal location for groups with non-riders.
July and August fill up very early and booking by December the year before is advised. Reliable baby sitting services can be arranged on-site. Vermont is famous for spectacular foliage colours in the fall, the peak foliage season varies from year to year but 15 September to 15 October is usually best.
Activities available on-site and included:
Activities available onsite for an extra cost:
Activities available off-site for an extra cost:
Riding is by arrangement at the riding centre and a set amount of units are included in your riding package. One riding unit can be used for one trail ride - these usually last 2 hours - or one lesson of one hour (July-September only). Additional riding can be arranged on-site if wished.
Trail rides are taken in all different directions from the riding centre. Some are up into the surrounding mountains, others are down to the waters edge, on those the terrain is more suitable for faster riding and you can enjoy trots/canters. There is one ride which circumvents the entire lake, taking approximately 3 hours. Riding abilities are separated and usually there are 4 or less riders in an experienced/faster group although there can be up to 6. The slower rides are up to 6 and beginners usually walk until more skills are acquired.
Lessons are available in English or Western style (July-September only), also jumping and cross-country in one of 2 arenas or on the cross-country course. Lessons are again grouped by ability and lesson type so are usually individual unless requested otherwise, as it rarely happens someone else of exactly the same ability and interest is taking a lesson at the same time.
The hotel is also open in winter with a range of winter activities including cross-country skiing, sleigh rides, tobogganing, ice skating etc. There is no riding in winter, please contact us should you wish visit between November and May, prices are lower than in the summer.
Driving up to Vermont from Boston, Massachusetts or New York is quite simple. Head north on the interstate system until you cross the border into New Hampshire. New Hampshire is famous politically as it is one of the first states to hold primaries in election years and the result are closely followed. The state slogan is "Live Free or Die". Stop at a roadside diner for an All American breakfast experience.
After crossing the state line into Vermont you are surrounded by State Parks and forests, many of these are maple forests. Maple syrup is a big deal here and in season (Feb to April) you can view the tapping, concentration by boiling and tasting in one of many small, family-run maple farms. The other rural enterprise in Vermont is dairy farming, so look out for cream and ice-cream from the region.
Continue up in I89 and take a break at the Vermont Green Rest Area. Visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial which is situated here as the summer scenery closely resembles Highway One in central Vietnam. Stop at the beautiful Quechee Gorge State Park & village and visit the mill, glass blowers and various craft stores.
New England has strong equestrian traditions. The Green Mountain Horse Association, founded in 1926, has 1900 members and boasts holding the first horse trials which helped the US become the force it is today in 3 day eventing. It is also the site of the oldest long distance riding competition. Don't forget to visit the Vermont Horse and Country Store and Equine Gallery, a haven of western & English tack, clothing and even equestrian real estate.
For a leisurely trip, Woodstock in Vermont is an ideal overnight stop at about the halfway mark from Boston. With its classical New England architecture, green parks, graceful trees and gardens, art galleries, antiquarian book stores, historic covered bridges and Paul Revere bells it is worth a visit. Be sure to try the homemade Maple and Pecan ice-cream at the creamery tea rooms. And no, the famous rock festival of the 60's was held in Woodstock, New York, about 250 miles west of Woodstock, Vermont!
Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.
At any one time there are between 25 and 40 riding horses at the riding centre depending on the time of year. The horses are Quarter Horse and cross, WarmbloodX, ArabX and a few ClydesdaleX. They are all reliable and quiet but quite responsive, some are specialised in lessons or jumping, others prefer and are usually out on the trails.
Riding is available (weather dependent) from the second half of May to the end of October. Western or English tack is available as wished or depending on the type of riding. One riding unit is either one trail ride (usually 2-3hrs out on the trail) or a one hour lesson as wished. Riding on trails is in groups from one onwards with one guide for experienced riders (usually not more than 4 in a group but can be up to 6) or 2 guides for beginner riders on trails.
Basic level lessons are available for beginners, both in English and Western style riding, between July and September. Lessons can be arranged in one of 2 arenas or on the cross country course with jumps up to 2ft 6". Lessons are usually individual unless otherwise requested or a very close overlap of abilities happens. There is a schedule of specialist clinics at the riding centre, and also an adult horsemanship programme available, please contact us for details.
All riding abilities are catered for, from complete beginner to those wishing to improve their jumping skills. Lessons are available in the arena for beginners or across a cross country course for more advanced riders if wished. Please note that lessons are only available June-August.
Riding is available for children from 6 years onwards for lessons, from 8 years onwards for trail rides.
There is some flexibility with the maximum weight based on height and riding experience.
Riders are not allowed to saddle their own horses except when participating in an adult horsemanship programme.
Riding helmets are compulsory and a range is available to borrow onsite.
The weight limit for this ride is 250 lb/114 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.
The historic hotel is a 4 star resort with a high standard of rooms which are all en-suite. Standard rooms, luxury rooms and suites are available. There are also nearby rental homes available (walking distance from riding centre and hotel) which can be booked with a meal plan in the hotel or without if you wish to self cater. This works out well for groups of 4 or more. Most rooms have beautiful mountain and/or lake views.
The setting is very peaceful and quiet. Free wifi is available in the communal areas. Meals can be taken in the dining room or Tavern or on the terrace weather permitting. A one course menu is available. Reception is staffed 7am to 11pm except Fri/Sat/Sun when it is staffed 24hrs. Please note the entire resort is non-smoking. Check out time is 11am. Pet care services are available.
Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.
Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip. If Visa’s are required the requirements can change from year to year depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country. Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate on request.
All travellers are required to provide details online 72 hours prior to travel. For more information, and to apply online please visit the following website at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov. Electronic travel authorities once obtained will be valid for a period of two years, or the validity of the travellers passport (whichever is shorter). There is a $14 charge for this service (2015). Travellers who have not registered before their trip are likely to be detained and sent home.
On 5 January 2004, the US Authorities introduced the US-VISIT Programme. This means that all those aged between 14 and 79 travelling to the US are now finger-scanned and digitally photographed on arrival at passport control.
There are British consulates at many locations in the US, please check with the Foreign Office website for your closest one. In the UK the British Foreign Office gives travel advice on 020 7008 0232/0233 or see www.fco.gov.uk
Warm summers and cold, snowy winters are the norm in Vermont. Riding is available mid May to end October, weather permitting. There can still be snow on some trails in May or sometimes the first snow arrives in October although it does not usually lie on the ground. The foliage season peak is generally in the last 2 weeks of September and first 2 weeks of October and the colours are truly spectacular.
No specific health precautions are required for visits to the USA.
Medical treatment can be very expensive; there are no special arrangements for British visitors. The British Embassy and Consulates-General cannot assist with medical expenses.
Comprehensive travel and medical insurance is essential; at least $1,000,000 cover, which includes hospital treatment and medical evacuation to the UK, would be wise. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake including horse riding.
For up to date information on specific health concerns please contact the Medical Advisors For Travellers Abroad. Their website can be found at www.masta.org
There are no specific health hazards in Vermont although the tick borne Lyme disease is present as in many wooded areas throughout the world.
The voltage is 110V in the USA and you will need a flat blade plug and possibly an adaptor depending on the appliance. Check the voltage input required for mobile phone and digital/video cameras before leaving.
Complimentary wifi is available in communal areas of the hotel.
Jeans or jodhpurs - jeans for Western riding or jodpurs for English style
Riding boots/ boots or shoes with a heel
Long sleeved shirts
Casual dinner wear
Short sleeved shirts
Rain gear (no ponchos)
Trainers or soft shoes
We offer a 5d/4n programme with 7 riding units and additional nights can be booked with one riding unit per 24hrs. Riding is available from 15 May to end October weather permitting. The hotel is open all year round with a range of winter activities November to May. No riding in winter, the only horse activities available are sleigh rides.
2019: Any day departure between 15 May and 31 October
|Riding days||Product item description||£|
|2019 5d/4n||5d/4n||4||Rider standard room, per person sharing||1,055|
|2019 5d/4n||5d/4n||4||Upgrade to luxury room, per person||115|
|2019 5d/4n||5d/4n||4||Upgrade to suite pp, per person||169|
|2019 5d/4n||5d/4n||4||2 bedroom home, per person full board (min 4)||919|
|2019 5d/4n||5d/4n||4||3 bedroom home, per person full board (min 6)||875|
|2019 5d/4n||5d/4n||4||Extra riding units/unit||64|
|2019 5d/4n||5d/4n||4||Non rider, per person sharing with rider||339|
|2019 5d/4n||5d/4n||4||single supplement for 4 nights||169|
|Riding days||Product item description||€|
|2019 5d/4n||5d/4n||4||Rider standard room, per person sharing||1,179|
|2019 5d/4n||5d/4n||4||Upgrade to luxury room, per person||125|
|2019 5d/4n||5d/4n||4||Upgrade to suite pp, per person||189|
|2019 5d/4n||5d/4n||4||2 bedroom home, per person full board (min 4)||1,025|
|2019 5d/4n||5d/4n||4||3 bedroom home, per person full board (min 6)||979|
|2019 5d/4n||5d/4n||4||Extra riding units/unit||72|
|2019 5d/4n||5d/4n||4||Non rider, per person sharing with rider||379|
|2019 5d/4n||5d/4n||4||single supplement for 4 nights||189|
|Riding days||Product item description||$|
|2019 5d/4n||5d/4n||4||Rider standard room, per person sharing||1,315|
|2019 5d/4n||5d/4n||4||Upgrade to luxury room, per person||139|
|2019 5d/4n||5d/4n||4||Upgrade to suite pp, per person||209|
|2019 5d/4n||5d/4n||4||2 bedroom home, per person full board (min 4)||1,145|
|2019 5d/4n||5d/4n||4||3 bedroom home, per person full board (min 6)||1,089|
|2019 5d/4n||5d/4n||4||Extra riding units/unit||80|
|2019 5d/4n||5d/4n||4||Non rider, per person sharing with rider||425|
|2019 5d/4n||5d/4n||4||single supplement for 4 nights||215|
|Riding days||Product item description||SEK|
|2019 5d/4n||5d/4n||4||Rider standard room, per person sharing||12,549|
|2019 5d/4n||5d/4n||4||Upgrade to luxury room, per person||1,339|
|2019 5d/4n||5d/4n||4||Upgrade to suite pp, per person||1,999|
|2019 5d/4n||5d/4n||4||2 bedroom home, per person full board (min 4)||10,929|
|2019 5d/4n||5d/4n||4||3 bedroom home, per person full board (min 6)||10,425|
|2019 5d/4n||5d/4n||4||Extra riding units/unit||759|
|2019 5d/4n||5d/4n||4||Non rider, per person sharing with rider||4,049|
|2019 5d/4n||5d/4n||4||single supplement for 4 nights||2,025|
There are many types of deer in the woods as well as some moose although generally only the first rides will see them. Vermont is on a migration route and many bird species pass through in May and June.
The USA has 4 main times zones - Eastern Standard Time (EST), Central Standard Time (CST), Mountain Standard Time (MST) and Pacific Standard Time (PST).
Vermont is on EST, Arizona, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah are all on MST, California is on PST.
Weights and measures are imperial although weight is always expressed in pounds, not stone. The US gallon is 3.8 litres in contrast to an imperial gallon which is 4.2 litres.
Mobile telephone: In 2015 3G is widely available throughout the US in cities, towns, villages and along main highways with AT&T having the best overall coverage and T-mobile offering better speeds in cities. 4G is beginning to be available in cities. There are still a few rural areas which have no GSM reception but do have the older CDMA telephone networks. To be able to call from these areas we recommend buying a cheap Verizon phone from eg Walmart (from $13) and topping up with credit. Almost all hotels and airports offer free wifi connection.