2016 Companion Tour

The Companion Tour is being offered on October 27th as an alternative to attending the maple sessions at the hotel. The tour will depart after breakfast from the Hilton Hotel. You will travel on a Premier Coach with a tour guide. Beverages and lunch will be provided, and you will return to the Hilton Hotel by 4:30 PM.

The 2016 Companion Tour will travel through the Lake Champlain Islands. The Islands are a chain of islands 30 miles long by eight miles wide in Lake Champlain, the 6th largest lake in the United States. As you travel north from Burlington through these islands, you will see gorgeous views and explore the cultural heritage and natural history of this area. Stops include:
Allenholm Farm,
Hero’s Welcome General Store,
St Anne’s Shrine,
Isle La Mott Fossil Preserves,
Snow Farm Vineyard.

Allenholm FarmDSC_3201Allenholmstorecropped

Allenholm Farm is Vermont’s oldest working apple orchard. It has been in the Allen family for seven generations, since 1870. The farm currently harvests about 25 acres of apples, as well as raspberries, blueberries, and tart cherries. Allenholm Farm is renowned for their mouth-watering, homemade Papa Ray’s fruit pies, maple creemees and their famous kissing donkey!

At Allenholm Farm, we will have a wagon tour of the orchard, a tour of  the packaging house and sample a piece of apple pie.

Hero’s Welcome General StoreDSC_3208Hero'sWelcomefront

Hero’s Welcome General Store & Marina, Bakery & Café is located on the shore of Lake Champlain in North Hero Village. This will be our 23rd season in our Century-Old General Store. We offer thousands and thousands of items, from Goat Milk Soap to Polyethylene Rope! We greet nearly 200,000 guests each year! Visitors arrive by car, boat, seaplane and Harley. Our website ships goods around the world from our own U.S. Post Office. The store is open 7 days a week and 364 days per year. We serve homemade breakfast and lunch daily.

At Hero’s Welcome General Store you will have time to browse and shop.

St Anne’s ShrineDSC_3224Shrineangle

St Anne’s Shrine is located on Isle La Motte. The Shrine is open for worship and private devotion during the pilgrimage season from May through October. The Shrine is on the site of Fort Saint Anne, Vermont ‘s oldest settlement, constructed in 1666 where the first Mass in the region was celebrated. Though the Fort itself was short lived, the site continued to be a favorite stopping place for Lake Champlain travelers in the succeeding years of war and peace.

At St. Anne’s Shrine, we will have lunch, time to relax and a tour of the shrine.

Isle La Motte Fossil PreservesDSC_3266GoodsellOpen - Copy (2)cropped

Isle La Motte is the northernmost island of Lake Champlain. For 200 years this small island (7 miles by 3 miles) has been a rural community with apple orchards, dairy farms, quarrying and summer tourism providing its economic basis. What puts Isle La Motte on the worldwide map is a conservation treasure, namely the 480 million year old Chazy Fossil Reef, the earliest biologically diverse reef in the history of life on earth. Fossil bearing reef rocks are protected in the 83 acre Goodsell Ridge Preserve. A Visitor Center with exhibits and a short video tell the story of this ancient reef, formed almost half a billion years ago in the Iapetus Ocean (now extinct) at a time when proto-North America lay far to the east where Zimbabwe is located today. Interpretive trails lead to “Discovery Areas where representative fossils may be seen.

At the Preserve, we will go to the visitor center and have a tour.

Snow Farm VineyardDSC_3267SnowFarmwithgrapes

Enjoy the authentic experience at Vermont’s Oldest Commercial Vineyard located in the Heart of the Champlain Islands. It was established in 1997. Everything is done on site – “Grapes to Glass!” Snow Farm Vineyard is part of a third generation farm owned and operated by the Lane Family. The wines produced at Snow Farm are 95% estate wines , meaning that they are made from the grapes grown on the property. The wines are also very unique French Hybrids that grow well in the micro climate of the Champlain Islands. On the 140 acres there is also a sugarhouse where maple syrup is produced from 800 taps and a historic 1820’s Bed and Breakfast.

At Snow Farm Vineyard we will have a tour. You can taste the wines for an additional $7.