Our Picks For New Year’s Eve

Start the New Year on the right foot with the largest arts festival in Vermont, torch light parades at your local mountain and “First Day” hikes in various Vermont state parks. 

31 | First Night, Burlington

Vermonters will gather at the state’s largest single-day arts festival, held in Burlington. With parades on Church Street to fireworks and showings of Circus Smirkus, this event has something for everyone in the family. firstnightburlington.com

31 | Torch Light Parade

Watch a festive string of lights cascade down the slopes of your favorite mountain.  Mount Snow’s annual New Year’s celebration offers free s’mores and a bonfire before the parade begins. Enjoy the live entertainment at Stowe before watching patrollers ski down Mt. Mansfield. Sugarbush invites the public to their fireworks show and torch parade, followed by an afterparty at Castlerock Pub. (For a full list, click here.)

1 | First Day Hikes

If you’ve pledged to be more active in 2017, here’s a good way to start. Guides will bring hikers into the back woods of Vermont state parks for “First Day Hikes.” See the list below for the hike nearest to you, or visit vtstateparks.com.

 

Ascutney State Park | Guide: Scott Davison (The Woodstock Naturalist) Meet: 10:00 am at the ranger station Hike: 1+ hour, easy terrain. NOTE: Not a summit hike. 

Bomoseen State Park | Guide: Caitlin Gates (Vermont State Park Interpreter) Meet: 1:00 pm at park entrance station. Hike: 1+ hour, easy terrain

Button Bay State Park | Guide: Ron Payne from Otter Creek Audubon Society Meet: 9:00 am at park entrance Hike: 3 hours, easy terrain

Groton Nature Center, Big Deer State Park | Guide: Dave Spencer (local expert) Meet: 1:00 pm at Groton State Forest Nature Center parking area on Boulder Beach Road, 1.6 miles from Route 232. Hike: 1+ hour loop, easy terrain.

Hunger Mountain | Guide: Caitlin Miller from the Green Mountain Club Meet: 9:00 am at Hunger Mountain Trailhead (Waterbury) Hike: 3.5 miles, 5 hours, moderate to difficult terrain. Hike to the summit if weather permits.

Jamaica State Park | Guide: Lowell Lake Park Ranger Scott Renker Meet: 10:00 am by the park office at the entrance Hike: 1+ hour, 1-mile, easy terrain. Participants will have the option of a longer hike along the same trail.

Niquette Bay State Park | Guide: Jessica Savage from Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation Meet: Noon at trailhead in Niquette Bay State Park. Hike: 1.5 miles, 2 hours, moderate terrain.

Taconic Mountain Ramble State Park | Guide: Alyssa Bennett, Bat Biologist Meet: Noon at the Hubbardton Battlefield parking lot on Monument Hill Road Hike: 2-3 hours, easy to moderate terrain, followed by fresh baked cookies!

Underhill State Park | Guide: John Connell, Greenmont Farms Meet: 1:00 pm at gate just below Underhill State Park on Mountain Road in Underhill Center. Hike: 3 hours, easy to moderate terrain. Bring a snack and warm beverage to share!

Emma Cotton

Emma moved to the Green Mountain State a year ago, but has felt at home here for 20. Find her exploring the mountains when she's not posted up with a good book.