Hike in Quechee Gorge: A Story in Photos

I’ll tell you what: Getting 10,000 steps every day is really fun in Vermont!

It’s exciting to be in a new environment, and the possibilities for leisurely strolls and vigorous hikes in our new home are mind-boggling. So far, it looks like the Northern Rail Trail, starting in Lebanon near our gym, will be the go-to for weekday, “I gotta get outside right now” walks. But we’ve only just started exploring.

Last week, Dave and I went on a weekday hike in Quechee Gorge, followed by lunch at the King Arthur Flour Café with our awesome new neighbor Rosie (Hi, Rosie!), and a shopping spree at the Killdeer Farm Stand (hello, blueberries!). Here’s photographic evidence.

Once upon a time…

Dave and I headed out to Quechee Gorge for an adventure. The bridge over the gorge — 165 feet deep, 1 mile long — gave me a little bit of vertigo!


But the walking trail is lovely and leafy.


There were wildflowers along the way. (I also spotted a teeny-tiny frog, but he was camera shy.)


At the end, we found a comfy bench with a soothing view. Dave pretended to be a gnome.


After our hike, we met Rosie at the King Arthur Flour Café, where I enjoyed a pretty kickass Southwestern Chicken Salad. There are no photos of this part of the day because it seemed rude to take pictures of our food at our first lunch date with our new friend. Rest assured: the food was delicious and Rosie is super cute.

After lunch, we stopped by the Killdeer Farm Stand to load up on ridiculously fresh and beautiful produce.

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I came home with fennel, green beans, Japanese eggplant, zucchini, scallions with green tops as long as my arm, sweet frying peppers (to sauté, Italian style), a jar of local date-and-chili chutney, and Dave’s favorite: blueberries. (Or, as we call ’em in our house, bloobes.)

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The end.

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  • Looks amazing!! Hiking is the best!

  • jennyquack says:

    Mel-would love a recipe using fennel if you’re up for it! I’m interested and afraid of it.

    • I have a fennel salad recipe on my blog, but I didn’t love it!

      Here’s my favorite way to use fennel: Slice it very thinly. Heat some cooking fat in a non-stick skillet over low heat. Add crushed garlic and cook until it’s soft and golden — about 10 minutes. Add the fennel, toss to coat with the fat and garlic. Stir-fry over medium heat until it’s tender. Add cooked, sliced chicken thigh or steak. Toss to combine and cook until heated through. Season with salt and pepper along the way.

      That’s not really a recipe, but it’s delicious.

  • Rosie says:

    Howdy neighbor! Never worry about being rude and taking food photos around me – my phone is full of them!

    If y’all enjoyed the Quechee Gorge, we should go walk the Gile Mountain trail in Norwich. It’s a very chill trail with a fire tower at the top that has some amazing views from the top.

  • Roni says:

    So beautiful.. it’s been a long time since I’ve visited Vermont. I’d love to, in the fall! But wow.. it’s gorgeous in the summer too!

  • Mel says:

    I. Love. Quechee. We go there every other summer for a big family reunion. Our dream is to have a little place up there, near the river, and spend part of hath year there. Such beauty.

  • Lisa says:

    Just moved from Vermont to Italy not quite a year ago. Though beautiful and wonderful, I couldn’t hang with the winters. I do miss the heck out of the hikes and farmer’s markets though!

  • LJ says:

    I grew up on a farm in Vermont–it is absolutely the most beautiful place in the summer! And TONS of hiking! Enjoy! Before the overwhelming winter arrives … which BTW is soon lol 🙂

  • Gwen says:

    For those of us still in Austin, that photo involving a sweatshirt and long pants was a little cruel. 🙂

  • mary anne says:

    Please take the same pictures in a few months when it is covered with snow!! By the way–i love Lunchbots. Just bought a new supply for the new school year.

  • Looks like a lovely hike!

    I was just up for an extended weekend trip to your general neck of Vermont, It was awesome! I’d so totally live there! Sometime I’ll have to take that hike.

  • I do love Vermont. Beautiful in the summer. So green. So hilly. Glad you have already found a great hike!

  • Susan says:

    Sorry, but your “wildflowers” are actually a noxious weed called purple loosestrife. http://www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/waterq/wetlands/htm/wl_purpleloosestrife.htm

  • Susan says:

    Hi Melissa!
    I am a Brownsville transplant in Arizona for a while. I am enjoying your posts with a pang of homesickness. Don’t let the nay sayers put you off Vermont winter, it is simply magical. I have photos of glittering snowbows in February. My husband and I will be returning to VT in the Spring and I am hoping to meet you. I am a health coach and recommend your book to every single client of mine. You are an inspiration with your creative ideas and liberal use of seasonings. Keep the pictures coming!

    • You’re so nice… thank you for the support! We are LOVING Vermont, and no matter what anyone says, I remain excited about the winter. I love cold weather and snow, and yes, Vermont might test my resolve, but I kind of love that, too. Please send me email when you’re coming here — melissa@theclothesmakethegirl.com — it would be so much fun to meet you! Thanks for sharing the Well Fed love with your clients!

  • JennF says:

    Glad you enjoyed your hike! We go up to Queechee in the fall and the colors are amazing (although so is the traffic – at least on the weekends). We eat at the Farmer’s Diner when we go and the food there is great! They source their food locally and serve pastured eggs, etc. You might want to give them a try next time you go.

  • lori_vt says:

    You’re here! NH and VT!! Welcome! This is my favorite time of year – cool nights, comfortable days. Just wait til the leaves start changing – the mountains will be alive with color. I would love to meet you in person sometime, or if you have any future group activity plans, I’d make the trip down from Burlington, VT. My dad has a summer house on Mascoma Lake, so I frequently visit the Upper Valley. It’s very cool to have such a celeb in the area 🙂