Staycation, For the Win

How to make the most of summer? Sneak out for a midweek staycation.

June is when I usually realize that I never made plans to do all the things I said I was going to do this summer. For instance, I am not going biking in Europe. I probably won’t get to Colorado to hike. And that mountain bike trip in northern California? Well, let’s just say that airfares just went way up.

The good news: there are plenty of things left to do here in Vermont and plenty of ideas in this issue.

Heading back to Kingdom Trails is high on my list and reading about Zeke Neubauer and Ali Kaukas’ inaugural trip in “Finding Flow,”   p. 21 reminded me why I love the place. And this summer there are new places to eat, drink, sleep and even co-work in the Burke area. 

I’ve also been gradually ticking off my Vermont century ride bucket list, working north to south. But this year there are a few new rides, such as the Tour de Slate and Ted and Laura King’s Rooted Vermont: Return to Gravel that I’m adding.

And then there’s camping. Vermont has 38 state parks and while it may be hard to get a weekend reservation at Burton Island State Park in the Champlain Islands on an August weekend, if you can sneak out during the week, you can often have some of these places to yourself.

During the month of June, we’re also hosting a contest with Vermont State Parks and Big Agnes and giving away a sweet summer camping prize worth more than $1,000: You can win free camping at Vermont State Parks campsites and cabins, a Tiger Wall UL2 tent from Big Agnes, camping meals from Mountain House and other prizes. To sign up, visit

One of the best things about living in Vermont is that there are plenty of campsites that are close enough that you can even sneak out for a midweek stay, particularly if you are fastpacker.

In her story “Go Faster and Farther,” Abagael Giles writes about the growing trend in going light and fast —a combination of trail running and hiking—with light and minimal gear so you can get to your destination sooner.

I love the idea of a weeknight fastpack up to Butler Lodge on Mt. Mansfield or a run along Chandler Ridge in Brandon followed by a campout at Branbury State Park on Lake Dunmore.

Pro tip? If you arrive at a Vermont State Park by bike, e-bike, foot or boat, you don’t need to make the usual two-night reservation.

Sometimes, the best vacations are close to home. 

Featured Photo Caption: If you sneak out during the week, you can often get campsites to yourself. Photo courtesy Vermont State Parks. 

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