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10 Must Try Winter Activities in the Champlain Islands

Looking for something to do during the cold winter months? From extreme winter sports to tranquil lower impact exercises, the Champlain Islands have an abundance of recreational activities waiting for us to try. 

Ice Fishing at Sandbar Causeway

1. Ice Fishing

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just out fishing for fun, this winter activity is enjoyed by all ages!

Image source: Burlington Free Press

Kitewing on Skis at Sandbar Causeway

2. Kitewing on Skis

The ice conditions near the causeway make for the perfect spot to try out this new extreme winter sport.

Image source: Fred Palatino

lake hockey on frozen lake near sandbar causeway

3. Lake Hockey

The ice at the sandbar sets up like glass perfect for skating, taking pond hockey to the next level!

Image Source: Josh Kenyon 

Cross country skiing in North hero village

4. Make your own Trail

Try snowshoeing or cross country skiing to carve out your own path on Lake Champlain. 

Image source: Annie Gardiner

5. Sled the Sandbar in Style

Get your adrenaline pumping and sled Lake Champlain on your snow machine of choice.

aerial photo of colchester causeway

6. Walk the Island Line Trail

Bundle up and head to the Colchester Causeway Bike Path for a beautiful and serene winter stroll.

Image Source: Ryan Cornell Photography 

Kitesurfers on the Sandbar causeway south hero

7. Snowkiting on the Frozen Lake

Weather permitting, snowkiting is an epic winter sport with opportunity for major air!

Image source: Abagael/VPR 

Knight Island State Park sign

8. Trek out to Knight Island

Looking to get your steps in? Knight Island is just a 40 minute walk from the North Hero Village! Also, consider bringing your skates and check out the rink set up by Great Ice Vermont! This is located right on the frozen shore across from Hero's Welcome.

Image Source: Annie Gardiner

9. Warm up with a Sunset Bonfire

Grab your buddies and some local brews for an evening by the fire pit. We recommend trying out Kraemer and Kin or the newest addition to town, Two Heroes Brewery.

Sunset bonfire with friends in south hero

Image Source: Gina LeClair

Chairlift at Bolton Valley Ski Resort

10. Hit the Slopes

While this last activity is not located in the Islands, Bolton Valley Ski Resort, is only a 45 minute drive from South Hero. Plus, they even have night skiing and riding!

Image source: Alex Rosenberger

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Hidden Home: Savage Point, North Hero, VT

 

March's hidden home went on the market in mid-February, just 8 days later it was under contract! Perched on 11 acres of mixed hardwood trees this Custom designed Contemporary Hillside Chalet is secluded on North Hero's Savage Point. The incredible Island home is located both covertly and conveniently, as it's only a five minute walk to reach Lake Champlain and the North Hero Village!

The property includes lovely seasonal views of Lake Champlain, a Beaver Pond, and deeded lake access in North Hero, Vermont. The energy-efficient 4000+ sq ft home features 3 large bedrooms plus a bonus room & 2.5 baths.You will love the open layout of the great room with western red cedar cathedral ceilings, Brazilian cherry floors, and rustic stone faced wood burning fireplace. The spacious well appointed kitchen includes new quartz countertops, island, stainless Kitchen Aid appliances, cherry cabinets, and walk-in pantry. Enjoy an inside look at this hidden Champlain Islands home. 

 

Island Insights: 6 Actions you can Take to Help your Champlain Island Neighbors

Newsletter graphic of frozen lake

At Coldwell Banker Islands Realty we feel very grateful to be a part of such a close knit community filled with individuals and organizations that go above and beyond for one another. As we know, the pandemic has brought a number of unforeseen challenges and many families in Grand Isle County have been impacted in some way.

We are proud to support organizations such as the Champlain Islands Empty Bowls and CIDER who are working to eradicate food insecurity in Grand Isle County. We urge you to join the fight and lend a helping hand to your fellow Island neighbors in whatever way possible. Listed below is a guide of local food organizations that currently are asking for donations or have volunteer opportunities.

Champlain Islands Empty Bowls Logo

1. Virtually Support Champlain Islands Empty Bowls 
While we surely missed the annual raffle, dinner, and handmade bowls, you can still help to decrease food insecurity in Grand Isle County. The Empty Bowls fundraising efforts have gone virtual this year however, the need is still great! During the month of February they were collecting funds for food organizations such as, CIDER, Food for Thought, and Grand Isle Food Shelf. That being said, there is no deadline to donate, just make your checks out to the Congregational Church of South Hero with "Empty Bowls'" on the notation line. You can send the check to Margaret Nowak, the Congregational Church of South Hero or drop the check or cash off at CIDER.

Image Source: Champlain Islands Empty Bowls

Little free pantry in Vermont
2. Drop off items at Food for Thought
The Congregational Church of South Hero's Food for Thought has a Little Free Pantry set up outside the church on South Street for people to take what they need and leave what they can but are asking that you omit items that are in glass containers and canned goods during the cold months. Get Directions

Image source: Kaight Althoff

3. Volunteer at CIDER  
CIDER is in need of drivers! They are looking for help to deliver their "Neighborhood Meals" specifically with a demand for drivers north of the drawbridge. They also are relying on direct mail fundraisers since their typical personal fundraising can’t take place this year. Donate Today

Image Source: Annie Gardiner
 

Seedlings in Hands

4. Join the Grow for a Neighbor Campaign
The South Hero Land Trust has launched the Grow for a Neighbor campaign! You can get involved by volunteering as a gardener or donating to buy seedlings. The produce yielded will be donated to a local food shelf and the seedlings are bought from local farms and will be used for the volunteer gardeners and to create potted plant packets for families at risk. Volunteer or Donate Today

Image source: South Hero Land Trust

 

northwest VT healthy roots collaborative logo


5. Volunteer at Healthy Roots Collaborative
If monetary donations aren't in the cards for you, consider volunteering at Healthy Roots. This collaborative works to strengthen the local food system in Northwest Vermont and serves Grand Isle County. They are seeking volunteers to harvest in the fields and deliver produce to the food shelves. Volunteer Today 

Image Source: Healthy Roots Collaborative 

6. Drop off goods at a Food Shelf in Grand Isle County
CIDER has compiled a great resource with a list of the local food shelves throughout the Champlain Islands. If you are in need of food or are dropping off items we recommend contacting the pantry ahead of time to coordinate and gain insight on any COVID-19 restriction they may have. Find a food shelf near you 

Image Source: Alex Rosenberger

Please consider getting involved by donating or volunteering to assist these food organizations that are providing relief to so many members of our community!

Vermont Market Update: January 2021

See the latest Northwestern Vermont real estate market report presented by NVBR below.

January started off strong for the housing market, with healthy buyer demand and strong market fundamentals. A robust increase in housing starts in December points to an active year for new construction, but higher material costs, especially lumber, and a limited supply of buildable lots will temper the number of new units.

New Listings decreased 14.6 percent for single-family homes and 41.3 percent for townhouse-condo properties. Pending Sales increased 8.0 percent for single-family homes but decreased 18.6 percent for townhouse-condo properties. Inventory decreased 56.7 percent for single-family homes and 65.4 percent for townhouse-condo properties.

The Median Sales Price was up 6.9 percent to $339,000 for single-family homes but decreased 9.4 percent to $234,750 for townhouse-condo properties. Days on Market decreased 44.3 percent for single-family homes and 27.8 percent for townhouse-condo properties. Months Supply of Inventory decreased 57.1 percent for single-family homes and 65.0 percent for townhouse-condo properties.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s January research estimates approximately 2.7 million homeowners with mortgages are currently in forbearance plans. Some of these homes may eventually come to market, but given the strong appreciation in most market segments in recent years, these eventual home sales are likely to be mostly traditional sellers. However, a modest increase in short sales and foreclosures at some point this year would not be surprising.

Real Estate Market Report for Northwest Vermont January 2021

Hidden Home: Fowler Lane, Isle La Motte, VT

 

February's hidden home sold this past July and it is an adorable abode nestled among the cedars, maples, and pines that offers privacy and seclusion. This lakefront retreat is sited on an amazing 2.3 acre peninsula with 670 ft of direct shoreline down a ½ mile private drive! Complementing this hidden home is a detached two-car car heated garage/shop with covered boat storage and a 2 bedroom apartment with full kitchen and a massive 2nd story deck overlooking the water. 

There is frontage with moorings on protected Holcomb Bay with awe inspiring views over the broad lake, Mount Mansfield, and the Green Mountains. It even has footpaths to secret swimming spots and a lakefront deck along with easy waterfront access and a semi-private boat ramp. The property owners through careful stewardship and preservation of the natural shoreline were awarded the Lake-wise Designation by the State of Vermont! 

The interior of the main house oozes with warmth and rustic charm and includes the living room overlooking the water with fieldstone hearth,Vermont Hearthstone stove, and cherry and walnut hardwood floors. The eat in kitchen has custom-built cabinets, fieldstone fireplace, and an island.The backsplash is composed of polished slabs of Isle La Motte limestone with embedded fossils. The 20x16 three season porch feels like a treehouse with vaulted ceilings, custom cabinets, and cedar floors. 

We hope you enjoyed this exclusive look inside this covert home located in Isle La Motte! 

(Note: This home is NOT for sale) 

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