Waterfalls, Books and Pie!
So far September has been a pretty warm month. This past weekend a friend suggested we visit some waterfalls in Ludlow Vermont, figuring being near the water in ninety- degree weather might be inviting. We were not disappointed.
Leaving White River Junction and driving south on 91 we got off the Ascutney exit and took Route 131 to Ludlow. This is a beautiful road and with foliage starting to turn, a nice meandering drive to begin our trip. We were so excited about downtown Ludlow, that we drove around the neighborhoods before heading to our destination, Buttermilk Falls. We parked along the road, behind other cars, and walked in to look at the trail map. For those less steady on their feet, hiking poles will help you negotiate the rocky path. Within a few hundred feet, we arrived at the river, and spotted our first falls through the trees. We were there late morning, and though there were people and dogs, it was not at all crowded. This is a very nice place to take children and dogs who like the water. Just be careful if you head down towards the falls, we ran into several people who unintentionally got wet, slipping on the rocks.
Many people choose to drive to the end of the road, and hike down, starting at the Upper Falls, then making their way to the middle and lower falls. We chose to walk up the road to see the 3rd falls,and were treated to an antique automobile parked up top. Pay attention, there is a well-worn cross country ski path that we walked down, before realizing we had missed the falls to our right. Now that I am aware of how close this lovely spot is, I plan to visit regularly, especially knowing that after our mini-hike I can visit a bakery, or two, and a bookstore as well.
Big Eyes Bakery is tucked just off Main street in Ludlow. What I first noticed when I walked in were the large numbers of police patches, and a black and white photo of two NYPD police. After speaking to the man behind the counter (who even gave us a free sample) I quickly realized he was the young man in the picture, and his wife who was in the back room was wearing the other uniform. There is also a fair amount of sports memorabilia to look at. As you can see by their sign, this is a marriage of Italian and Irish heritage, and their baked goods reflect it. Pignoli cookies and Irish potato shaped cookies were both featured, along with pies and another cookie that was 3 layers of cake in the colors of the Italian flag, topped with chocolate. They also make pie, and I highly recommend their peach/raspberry. I am fond of family businesses, and this bakery would be very dangerous if I lived in town.
Our next stop was also on Main Street. The Book Nook is a cozy bookstore with a well curated collection for its size. In addition to books, it has a lovely section of journals, and new and used records. The best part of my visit, was finding a book I had been looking for, and also getting a discount for correctly guessing the literary quote that was written on a board at the register.
True confession, although my friend and I are both competent bakers, we could not resist stopping at a second bakery, completely devoted to pie. The Southern Pie Company did not disappoint. We purchased a maple cream pie, and decided that we would split our two pies so we could bring a variety home with us.
The next time you need a mini-road trip, consider Ludlow. Between the lovely drive, the waterfalls, and the baked goods, not to mention new reading material, you are bound to have a good time.