A Walk in the Woods While Reading Poems

three people walk on raised walkways in woods

It was the perfect day for a meditative stroll in the woods: Reading poems and enjoying the winter landscape.

My sister, Mirena, and her friend, Shawn, were visiting us for the holidays. We weren’t ready for a full day of skiing and snowmobiling. We had something quieter and more poetic in mind: the Robert Frost Interpretive Area in Ripton, Vermont. It was our preferred antidote to the pandemonium of the holidays.

The Robert Frost Interpretive Trail is a 20-minute drive from Swift House Inn. The trailhead is a part of the Green Mountain National Forest and is maintained by the U.S. Forest Service. There was ample parking in the lot for at least ten cars. We were the first to park. There was a bathroom, but it was closed (and probably very cold!). The bus also stops here, which makes it a great place to visit if you don’t have a car.

Once we entered the area, we were greeted by a brief poem, which Mirena promptly read aloud. We had fun trying out different voices. The poems ranged from the very familiar, such as the old standby “The Road Not Taken” to more unfamiliar verse. We discovered many profound truths amid those carefully chosen words and marveled at how relevant and timely the poems of Frost remain.

We commenced on a very mild and mellow meander through the snowy woods. Icy black brooks burbled gently amid snow-covered banks. The branches of evergreens lay heavy with freshly fallen snow. Every turn in the trail revealed more beautiful and surprising vistas, each view punctuated by a Robert Frost poem encased in a placard and perfectly positioned for reading out loud.

But we needed to use the bathroom, and it was locked, so we decided to pay a visit to the Rikert Nordic Center and check out its rentals department. The charming sister at So-Full trailer served my sister a nice hot cup of coffee.

We had a wonderful time showing our friends around the beautiful places in Ripton, VT, which is so nearby Swift House Inn. There’s lots of things to do around Middlebury!

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