Favorite Hikes with Toby the Golden Retriever
Jamaica State Park
Pet friendly Four Columns Inn is the home of Toby, our robust, lovable and energetic Golden. If not taking a snooze Toby likes nothing more than escaping with his masters through the hills of Vermont, or touring to other places where he always seems to get attention and lots of pats.
One of Toby’s favorite Vermont hikes is beautiful Jamaica State Park, just up the road from The Four Columns. An old railroad bed from the 1800s manicured for hiking parallels the West River and makes a wonderful 2 ½ mile tour to the crest of the Bald Mountain Dam The trail is generally flat, and wide, perfect for a quiet stroll and conversation.
Less than a mile into the hide a picnic table is situated on a platform overlooking the river. This is one of many great spots for a picnic. Before you take off for your hike you can grab a sandwich just across the street from The Four Columns at The Newfane General Store, or The Newfane Creamery.
A bit further is the Overlook loop trail. A little climb and worth the effort for the birds’ eye view of the surrounding hillsides. Another option on up the main trail is the Hamilton Falls trail. This is about a mile climb to see this beautiful waterfall and pool tucked into a deep crevasse in a beautiful wooded area.
Continuing on the trail next to the river brings you to a beaver pond at the base of Bald Mountain Dam. Here Toby likes to take a swim before we climb the switch-back trail to the top. Once you reach the top of the dam, views of Stratton Mountain can be enjoyed. Fresh stiff breezes always make this an exciting vista. Twice a year the gates of the dam open wide to the delight of whitewater kayakers from around New England. The trip to the dam and back is roughly 3 hours or more depending upon your pace. This is a hike we find rewarding in all seasons. Don’t forget your snowshoes or cross country skis in the winter!