Tag - Local resources

Reasons to Get Out and About in Our Community
How to Stay Active During the Winter

Reasons to Get Out and About in Our Community

By: Todd Thomas

I’m happy to report that spring has finally sprung. For those of us without winter sports interests, you can now safely step away for your woodstove, put away your touque and mittens, and get back outside. Spring is when many of us return to our gardens, resume our walking and jogging routines, and get active again. For those of you about to be active again, and even those of you that have not been active in a few years, I want to share a couple of great resources that will inspire you to get outside and pound the pavement (and maybe even shed a few of those winter pounds).

Lamoille Valley Walking Routes_Live Well LamoilleFirst, Healthy Lamoille Valley published a handy pocket-sized guide of walking routes, suitable for all abilities, located in both Morrisville and Hyde Park. This little guide book is a must-have for anyone that wants to get active the spring on our local roads and trails. The guidebook, pictured to the side, is available in the Morristown town clerk’s office. The guidebooks are free and are only available in a limited quantity. First come, first served!

Second, for those of you just starting to get active again, or those of us who do not like sharing the road with cars while exercising, there is an alternative. In the coming months, there will be a new walking path in the heart of our community that will celebrate Morrisville’s unique history and architecture. This walk will be suitable for all ages and abilities, as it will be done completely on the downtown sidewalks. This walk will take you to the most exemplary historical, architectural, and artsy sites in the downtown area. From a secret Fenway Park mural behind Riverbend Market, to Governor Hendee’s house on Park Street and to a church bell stolen from New Orleans during the Civil War on Upper Main Street, this walk will be educational and invigorating. For more on the soon to-be Morrisville History & Art Walk, here’s a great article on the Morristown Alliance for Commerce and Culture website:  


I look forward to seeing you all around town being healthy and active!

Todd Thomas has a Master’s Degree in City Planning from Boston University and has worked both in Massachusetts and Vermont as a consultant and as a land use planner for town government. Todd is currently the Planning Director for Morristown, Vermont.

Todd’s recent work includes helping to revitalize downtown Morrisville, making it the fastest growing city and/or historic downtown in the State since the 2010 Census. Todd attributes much of the downtown’s housing and population growth to zoning reform as it relates to minimum parking requirements.

How to Stay Active During the Winter

By: Caleb Magoon

How to stay active in the winter - Live Well Lamoille

Winter in Vermont is a challenging time to get outside and keep up your physical activity. It’s often cold and snowy, yet sometimes it’s neither of those things. It often seems like only thing you can really count on is the weather not cooperating with what you want to do.

It’s still important to stay active and healthy, even when the weather isn’t ideal. Fresh air, vitamin D and a little exercise are all good for the body, mind and soul – especially during the winter. Here are a few activity suggestions and the gear you will need to help you stay active.

Walk and hike– Many new products have come out in recent years to help you keep



your traction on ice and snow. For walking, Yaktrax or Stabilicers can give you traction
on ice or snow. Katoolah makes “Nanospike,” perfect for running or walking, and “Microspikes,” the hot product for hiking and trekking. Katoolah also makes more aggressive crampons for Trekking. All of these products are great options for a snowless or minimal snow winter.

When it snows, snowshoes are very helpful, and plenty of options exist for any price and purpose.

Try Nordic skiing- You can’t beat the bang for your buck when it comes to Nordic, or cross-country, skiing. Once you have the gear, it’s easy to jump on a trail and go. Cross country skiing is low impact, fairly easy and a good mix of cardio and strength exercise. If you’re looking for a bit more of a workout, try Skate skiing. The Stowe Recreation path, the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail, People’s Academy Trails and Cricket Hill Trails next to Lamoille Union High School are all great, free options. Check with your neighbor, too. Many locals groom their own trails. They’re everywhere!

Hop on a bike- You may have seen a bike with large tires floating around your town. These are fat bikes, made for ice or snow. While many of these bikes are higher end and made for enthusiasts, the prices have come down in recent years. There are now several models under $1000 and these bikes are a great way to get on the rail trail or a dirt road safely during the winter to get the legs spinning.

Fat Tire Bike - Live Well Lamoille

Ice skating- I know what you’re thinking: “You won’t catch me on those skinny blades!” Many towns maintain public ice rinks, and places like Smugglers’ Notch and Stowe Mountain Resort also have inexpensive or free skating. Plus, in a low snow year, plenty of ponds and lakes are accessible. (But make sure to be safe!) Skates have gotten much better in their performance and are now considerably warmer and more comfortable. Yes, I said comfortable! Finally, if you are leery about the stability of skating, bring something to help balance you. Use an upside-down trashcan, a walker or something similar to hold onto. Kids often use milk crates. This is a great way to maintain stability while getting your “skate legs.”

How to stay warm outside- It’s hard to have fun if you’re cold all the time. Invest in clothing and layers that are not cotton. Natural fibers like wool work best. Polyester is also better than cotton – these fibers help keep you dry and warm. Windstopper is a technology that can help keep you warmer in windy weather and Gortex helps to keep you dry. Lastly, if your face typically gets cold, buy a set of inexpensive goggles. Make sure they have a clear, not tinted lens. For just a few bucks, they help keep your face warm! You can also consult a ski or winter gear shop – they have lots of secrets on staying warm.

Whatever you do, don’t let winter weather keep you inside. Use it as a reason to get out! Try a few different activities to discover what you like best, and invest in the gear you need to stay warm and keep at it. Your physical and mental health will thank you during our long winters.

Caleb Magoon is a Hyde Park native who grew up hiking, hunting, biking and exploring Vermont’s Green Mountains. His passions for sports and recreation have fueled his career as the owner of Power Play Sports and Waterbury Sports. Caleb encourages outdoor activity and believes it is an essential element to a healthy lifestyle and the Vermont way of life. Caleb serves the Lamoille Valley by volunteering on numerous community boards such as the Lamoille County Planning Commission, The Morrisville Alliance for Commerce and Culture, Mellow Velo, and the state chapter of The Main Street Alliance. He lives, plays and works in Hyde Park with his wife Kerrie.