Archive for March, 2017

Have a question about a Vermont hiking vacation then give us a call at 1-888-855-8655

March 25, 2017


Happy Saint Patrick’s day!

March 17, 2017

What do you get when you cross poison ivy with a four-leaf clover?  A rash of good luck.happy stpatricksday


Happy Birthday GMC!

March 12, 2017

Today, March 11th, is the Green Mountain Club’s 107th birthday!  Back in 1909, while taking in the view from Stratton Mountain, James P. Taylor first envisioned a “long” trail connecting the entire length of the Green Mountains.  The following year, he, along with 22 other Vermonters, formed the Green Mountain Club.  The Long Trail took them the next twenty years to construct.

Today, at 107 years old, we have grown to about 9,500 members and more than a thousand volunteers.  The GMC continues to protect and maintain the Long Trail, along with the Appalachian Trail in Vermont and Northeast Kingdom Trails.  Thank you for being part of the community and helping us continue to flourish into our second century!



March’s Newsletter

March 8, 2017


ATA’s 2017 season runs May 26th through October 15th

We are currently taking reservations for the 2017 season, please call 1-888-855-8655 or email John for more information

This season is ATA’s 10-year anniversary providing personalized hiking vacation and excellence

Appalachian Trail Adventures (ATA) offers a distinctive adventure vacation with guided daily hiking, kayaking, and caving in the Green Mountains of Vermont that targets families and individuals who are adventurers, families, and those seeking an active vacation, including hikers who do not feel comfortable hitting the trails alone. ATA provides an affordable all-inclusive hiking or fitness vacation giving a real Vermont outdoor adventure. That’s why it has the best hiking vacation at the lowest possible prices, starting at $242.00 per night, per person, including taxes and gratuities.

Unlike most spas, ATA’s owner John Keough is engaged daily with the guests, encouraging them on the trail and kayaking. ATA offers a variety of options to help customize one’s vacation. The most common is the Hiking Vacation that consists of an air-conditioned room with three daily spa meals, snacks, a guided novice, intermediate or advanced hike and an afternoon of kayaking, an excursion or caving. Massages, yoga classes and tennis lessons are available a la carte.

2017 Hiking Vacation Rates

Nightly rates are per person, including taxes and gratuity. The Hiking Vacation consists of an air conditioned room at the Summit Lodge with three daily meals; snacks; guided novice, intermediate or advanced hike; and an afternoon of kayaking, caving or an excursion. Massages ($75.00+), yoga classes ($30.00), tennis lessons ($70.00) are available a la carte.





1-2 NIGHTS $285.00 $255.00
3-6 NIGHTS $280.00 $251.00
7+ NIGHTS $274.00 $242.00

Aeolus Update

Vermont ended up having the 2nd-warmest Meteorological Winter (December, January, and February) on record.  The warmest one was just last year. So, with the warm temperatures Aeolus has been getting very excited perhaps thinking hiking season is around the corner.

This month, we celebrated ATA’s mascot Aeolus’ adoption birthday; it’s our sixth year with each other. His real birthday is approximately in August or September of 2010. There was no big party, just another stuffed animal to destroy and as a special gift, a deer antler. They are great chew toys for dogs and last forever.

Aeolus is named after a cave where myself and a friend dug open a blocked passage discovering the largest cave in New England back in 2000. The cave is located just north of Manchester, VT and named after the mountain, Mount Aeolus.

Aeolus or Eolus (Greek: Aiolos [jjolos]), was the Custodian of the winds in Greek mythology. A minor deity, he is the son of a king called Hippotes, and lived on one of the rocky Lipara islands, close to Sicily. In the caves on this island were imprisoned the winds, and Aeolus, directed by the higher gods, let out these winds as soft breezes, gales, or whatever the higher gods wished. Being visited by the Greek hero Odysseus, Aeolus received him favorably, and on the hero’s departure presented Odysseus with a bag containing all the adverse winds, so that his friend might reach Ithaca with a fair wind. Odysseus did as Aeolus bid, but in sight of his homeland, having been untroubled by foul weather, he fell asleep and his men, curious, opened the bag, thus releasing all the fierce winds, which blew their ship far off course (Odyssey X, 2; Vigil I, 52).  ate IT DepartmentCorporate IT Depa


The Summit Lodge

Long considered Killington’s classic four-season resort hotel, the Summit Lodge is an ideal destination for your Vermont vacation that is why ATA has chosen it for their home base. Located in the heart of Killington, the lodge is situated high on a private knoll with magnificent views of Vermont’s second highest mountain and the surrounding Green Mountains. With eleven acres and forty-five comfortable rooms, the facilities and grounds are extensive including an outdoor heated pool, Jacuzzi whirlpool, saunas, two tennis courts, massage therapy, two restaurants and bars, duck pond, game room, a bocci court, horseshoes and shuffleboard. A sit-down breakfast and a bag lunch are supplied by the Summit’s chef, while dinner is hikers choice to dine at either the Foundry Restaurant or the Summit Lodge.

The new owner of the Summit Lodge, Emmett O’Dwyer is making significant improvements after his recent purchase during the spring of 2017. He has spent a lot of time and money improving the business, changing the way the staff view management and the way the guests feel in the lodge. The staff feel secure in their jobs and a sense of pride with changes and updates.

It’s really refreshing to have someone show energy in their business venture and is willing to commit to improvements and enhancements to the Lodge. It is nice to see an owner who is present and isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. It’s really enjoyable for the staff to feel respected and have an employer and manager who listen and care. The Summit’s executive Chef is just loving all his “new toys” with the entire kitchen being upgraded from the walk-in refrigerator all the way down to the toaster.

O’Dwyer has already invested a lot of time into the lodge itself. With the bones of the building up-to-date they have moved onto making improvements to the cosmetics inside and out by painting, adding new carpet, new furniture and updating guest’s rooms. Emmett has also implemented new procedures and has added new administrative software. Employees say working at the Summit Lodge is a home-like atmosphere. Having worked at other businesses in the industry before, they say there is no place like the Summit Lodge. We treat our guests like family.

Modifications from 2016 to 2017


  • A lot of the improvements are behind the scenes, such as the kitchen remodeling and upgraded wireless internet system
  • Some of the more major projects for 2017 will be converting the pools and whirlpool to saltwater.
  • O’Dwyer’s Poolside bar will be open 7 days a week and serving the full restaurant menu
  • O’Dwyer’s Public House Pub had a total make over with additions of a dart board and pool table
  • updating the restrooms and common areas
  • 24-7 Front Desk coverage
  • Live entertainment and food/drink specials will be available throughout the summer
  • More outdoor events such as the Pig roast will be planned
  • The beds and mattresses have all been changed
  • Bathrobes are now supplied to all rooms
  • Photo booth installed
  • Improving the driveway and entranceway
  • New POS ordering system in place to make breakfast quicker and more precise
  • New credit card system taking pin cards to ensure security
  • By the summer, we will have new duvet’s in the rooms
  • High speed internet due to the installation of fiber optic link and the installation of a new data suite
  • New Flooring, furniture and a general tidy up in the large family room
  • New Poolside furniture
  • Remolding the massage room area
  • Repairs are being made to all of the slate around the pool and steps in order to make it safer

Some of the other projects which are on the card for 2017 but will be subject to time and budget at this time. More and more upgrades as the year goes on making sure the Summit Lodge will become one of the best places to stay in Vermont.

Emmett O’Dwyer, Summit Lodge Owner


The Foundry Restaurant

The Foundry Restaurant’s Executive Chef Sean Miller has created a delicious menu for ATA hikers who are seeking healthier meals. Located on the banks of the Summit Pond, The Foundry offers a distinct year-round dining experience. In addition to the ATA hikers’ menu, The Foundry offers two menu options: an American Bistro-Style menu in its formal dining room, as well as a more casual Tavern menu in the bar. Their impeccable chef-driven cuisine provides guests the finest cuts of prime meats, fresh seafood, homemade pastas and much more. They use the freshest ingredients to create mouthwatering appetizers, flavorful side dishes and irresistible desserts, designed to engage all of your senses. The Foundry experience focuses on providing un-paralleled hospitality in a warm and relaxing setting. In addition to its dining options, The Foundry offers live entertainment regularly and is host to many of the area’s events.

Hiking Tip:  

Tips and tricks for hiking hydration, water bladders, keeping feet happy, avoiding aches and pains as well as how to get out on the trail quickly.



How much should I drink to stay hydrated? Everyone is different, and is also depends on the temperature and level of exertion… but a general guideline is 4 to 6 ounces every 20 minutes or so. Better to sip a little frequently than a lot every few hours (this is where a hydration bladder comes in handy). Headaches, dizziness, or difficulty concentrating can signal dehydration while anxiety, a weak or rapid pulse, and clammy or hot, dry skin point to serious dehydration.


Water Bottles and Bladders:

  • The two most common ways of carrying water on a hike are with water bottles (plastic or metal) or a water bladder inside a backpack.
  • The pack can be dedicated to the bladder with just a little room for day hike gear, or a regular backpack with a pocket to place a reservoir. Water bottles can be carried inside a pack, on outside pockets or in a dedicated waist belt pack.
  • We prefer to use a water bladder inside our packs. The backpacks we use have a sleeve pocket to slip the bladder in and a hole to run the tube out and around to clip into the pack strap. The end of the tube has a “bite valve” that releases water when you bite on it. This is an easy way to drink as you hike.
  • On a longer hike or in really hot weather, we add a water bottles into the mesh pockets on the outside of the backpack. For shorter hikes, we may use just bottles. Water bottles are quicker to fill and clean, but can be more awkward to grab while hiking depending on how they carried.
  • It really comes down to personal preference to which is better. If you are new to hiking, or just giving it a go and not sure if you’ll hike much… a water bottle is a less expensive investment. But for frequent hikers, or those doing longer hikes, we find that a hydration bladder is the only way to go.

Hydration Bladder Tips and Tricks:

  • Camelback makes a CamelBak Cleaning Kit that includes brushes, drying arms and cleaning tablets to keep your water bladder funk-free.
  • Store your clean, dry, water bladder in the freezer to prevent mold and funk. Fold it in half, and keep the cap open. When ready to fill it, let it thaw a few minutes so it becomes flexible again.
  • Fill your water bladder halfway (or more) with ice cubes to keep the water cool. Can fill the night before and chill as well.
  • Try electrolyte tablets like Nuun or Camelbak Elixir as they add a little flavor, vitamins and minerals and getting enough electrolytes can reduce your chance of hyponatremia.

Keep your feet happy:

  • Never underestimate the importance of foot comfort.
  • Channel your inner Mr. Rogers, swap out shoes at the start and end of your hike. Drive to the trail head in something comfy like Merrell’s Mocs or sandals, change into boots, then at the end of the hike change back into the comfy shoes. Put on a fresh pair of socks as well.
  • Rejuvenate your feet by removing boots at a lunch or snack break; let them cool down a bit. A few seconds of foot massage also works wonders.
  • Elevate your feet/legs up when you take a break. Prop on a rock or log, or cross one ankle over the other knee when laying on your back… anything to get the feet/lower leg up a bit.
  • On long hikes, try soaking your feet in a clean stream or lake for a few minutes to reduce heat and swelling.

Avoid aches and pains:

  • Stretch your muscles: do some light stretching after a few minutes of hiking, at your breaks, and when you are done. Improves your hike AND your recovery the next day.
  • Add dried blueberries or tart cherries to your trail mix. They both reduce inflammation, which is a major cause of joint pain. They’re tasty and your knees will thank you.
  • Consider using trekking poles to reduce the impact on your knees.
  • Consider taking an ibuprofen (like Advil) about halfway through a long hike if your knees tend to get cranky. Ibuprofen reduces inflammation.
  • Milk can be a good food for muscle-recovery. In our opinion, this also means that after-hike ice cream is “medicinal”! Once home we might make an ice-coffee with milk and a packet of Starbucks Via, or whip up a banana smoothie: blend a ripe frozen banana with milk, a generous dollop of peanut butter and squirt of Hershey’s syrup… yum

ATA’s DVD Recommendation:  Wild

Adapted from Cheryl Strayed’s best-selling memoir of the same name, director Jean-Marc Vallée’s Wild stars Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon as a self-destructive divorcée who seeks to conquer her demons by hiking 1100 miles across the Pacific Crest Trail. Cheryl was just 22 years old when her mother Bobbi (Laura Dern) died of cancer in 1991. As children, Cheryl and her brother watched their mother endure intense suffering at the hands of their mentally and physically abusive father, and Bobbi was just getting her life together when she fell gravely ill. The loss was too much for Cheryl to take, and before long she sank so deeply into heroin addiction that it destroyed her marriage. Four years later, Cheryl has hit rock bottom. She knows that unless she makes a change, the future she had once hoped for will slip permanently out of reach. Later, as Cheryl begins her arduous journey through the wilderness, those painful memories come flooding back as she encounters numerous dangers and disheartening setbacks. However, the kindness of strangers helps her summon the courage and endurance she’ll need to stay the path. 2014 · 1hr 55min · Drama


Healthful Living Tips: 10 Healthy Living Tips 

  1. Stretch! Morning is best for an energizing yoga-based workout that includes forward bends, reaching for the ceiling and push-ups.
  2. Take 10,000 steps. Walking elevates your mood, challenges your heart (the best way to keep it fit) and can even help reduce food cravings. Wear a pedometer and strive to take at least 10,000 steps a day, including one brisk 30-minute walk or three 10-minute walks.
  3. Floss. Taking care of your teeth and gums is not only good for your mouth: Unloved gums can spread bacteria to the bloodstream and lead to inflammation and heart disease. We also recommend a sonic toothbrush they do make a difference.
  4. Not a fish fan? Get omega-3s from plants. The fatty acids found in cold-water fish like salmon, mackerel and herring help maintain optimal levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, and lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. But if you’re not a fish eater, pop an algae-based omega-3 supplement that contains the same omegas as fish oil.
  5. Drink filtered tap water. Many people get thirst and hunger confused, causing them to snack when they’re thirsty. The solution: Drink cold water it quenches thirst, helps you feel full and keeps your body operating at full capacity.
  6. Break your multivitamin in half. To get a steady supply of vitamins and minerals all day, take one-half of a multivitamin with breakfast and the other with dinner. Don’t take them right before bed the B vitamins can disrupt your sleep. If your multivitamin has less than 1,000 IU of vitamin D, take a D supplement as well and read the label carefully to make sure it’s D3, the most easily absorbed form.
  7. Kick the sugar habit. White sugar and high-fructose corn syrup have almost no nutritional value, and over-consuming them increases your risk of obesity, heart disease and even depression. Carry apples, carrots and nuts with you so you’re prepared when snack cravings strike. Skip energy bars and drinks they don’t provide the same sustained energy that fresh whole foods do.
  8. Make television work for you. If you’re going to flip on the TV, you should exercise while you watch. Folks like to walk on a treadmill while enjoying a TV show, but working out with light (three-pound) dumbbells or even walking in place is better than simply sitting.
  9. Take a nap. Getting less than seven hours’ sleep at night triggers higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can lead to weight gain and depression. On busy days, shut your office door and grab a 20-minute nap. No time for that? You can get to sleep more easily at night by turning off the TV and computer at least an hour before bedtime their bright lights can fool your body into staying awake.
  10. Do Good! “One of the best ways to fight stress in your life is to do something good for someone else an act of love or generosity.”

Healthful Living Recipe: Over-Fried Chiken 

Great news! Crunchy, flavorful fried chicken can be healthy with this oven-fried chicken recipe. We marinate skinless chicken in buttermilk to keep it juicy. A light coating of flour, sesame seeds and spices, misted with olive oil, forms an appealing crust during baking. And with only 7 grams of fat per serving in this oven-fried chicken recipe rather than the 20 in typical fried chicken that is good news.

½ cup nonfat buttermilk, (see Tip)

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon hot sauce

2½-3 pounds whole chicken legs, skin removed, trimmed and cut into thighs and drumsticks

½ cup whole-wheat flour

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1½ teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon baking powder

? teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Olive oil cooking spray

Preparation: Active 20 m / Ready In 1 h 35 m

Whisk buttermilk, mustard, garlic and hot sauce in a shallow glass dish until well blended. Add chicken and turn to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or for up to 8 hours.

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Set a wire rack on the baking sheet and coat it with cooking spray.

Whisk flour, sesame seeds, paprika, thyme, baking powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Place the flour mixture in a paper bag or large sealable plastic bag. Shaking off excess marinade, place one or two pieces of chicken at a time in the bag and shake to coat. Shake off excess flour and place the chicken on the prepared rack. (Discard any leftover flour mixture and marinade.) Spray the chicken pieces with cooking spray.

Bake the chicken until golden brown and no longer pink in the center, 40 to 50 minutes.

Make Ahead Tip:

Marinate the chicken for up to 8 hours.

No buttermilk? You can use buttermilk powder prepared according to package directions. Or make “sour milk”: mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup milk.

Nutrition information: Per serving: 284 calories; 14 g fat(3 g sat); 1 g fiber; 6 g carbohydrates; 32 g protein; 10 mcg folate; 163 mg cholesterol; 1 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 127 IU vitamin A; 0 mg vitamin C; 55 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 226 mg sodium; 372 mg potassium. Carbohydrate Servings: ½ Exchanges: 4 lean meat