Tis the Season for Leaf Peeping!

As foliage peaks throughout New England, fall is one of the nicest times to hike during the year. The bright colors of fall leaves offset and highlight many of New England’s bird variety’s plumage, and it makes them easier to spot. Plus they make lovely photographs, the vibrant color of gold finches backset by deep crimson maple leaves is truly both a birdwatchers, and a photographers perfect setting for example. Fall also offers cooler weather for hikes with many of the insect pests that torment hikers during the spring and summer dying off or going into hibernation.

If you are staying at the inn and looking to explore some new areas for some fall hikes, whether to leaf peep or simply to get out and enjoy the outdoors, check out some of these local spots.

Sharon Audubon Center (About 10 minutes from the Inn)
325 Cornwall Bridge Road, Sharon, CT 06069

The Sharon Audubon Center covers 1,147 acres of primarily forest. It includes 11 miles of trails and two ponds. Visitors are welcome to walk the Pond Loop Trail at the Audubon Sharon Miles Wildlife Sanctuary which is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Hikers can observe a wide variety of birds and wildlife including many migratory birds. The two ponds also offer an additional habitat in which beavers and river otters can be found.

The main Visitor Center houses a small natural history museum, a nature store, and the Children’s Adventure Center. The surrounding grounds include Raptor Aviaries, an Herb Garden, the Eleanor Loft Bird & Butterfly Garden, and a working sugarhouse which was formerly an ice house.

Buttercup Farm Audubon Sanctuary
6862 NY-82, Stanfordville, NY 12581 (About 18 minutes from the inn)

This 641 acres sanctuary offers a diverse habit including old farm fields, open grasslands, wooded lots with mature and second growth tree stands and marshy woodlands. Old rail beds on the west side follow Wappinger Creek where hikers can view raptors, song birds and many wetlands birds like Wood Ducks and Great Blue Herons.

A scenic overlook offers hikers a breathtaking view of Stissing Mountain and the lands below in the valley. There are six miles of trails and interpretive trail signs and brochures are available along the hike for more information about the sanctuary.

Macricostas Preserve (About ½ an hour from the Inn)
121 Christian St, New Preston, CT 06777

This 238-acre parcel is also commonly known as “Meeker Swamp.” The land, a mix of meadow, wooded space, farmland and wetlands. This area of unspoiled land sits adjacent to four other parcels of land, and includes a pinnacle overlook above Lake Waramaug. With the adjacent land which was donated previously to the preserve, the total hiking area available covers over 368 acres. The 98 acres of wetlands, includes the start of Bee Brook, which is a major tributary of the Shepaug River.

In 2006 the Washington Garden Club completed an interpretive trail along a portion of the trail. Signposts mark spots of unique ecosystems along the trail, each of which is described in a printed trail guide, a viewing platform was also built at the edge of the open water of Meeker Swamp, down a short trail off the northeast corner of preserve.

Rheinstrom Hill Audubon Sanctuary & Center (About ½ an hour from the Inn)
225 Cambridge Rd Hillsdale, NY 12529

Rheinstrom Hill is a 1,037 acre sanctuary located in the southeastern corner of Columbia County. There are approximately 4 miles of trails for birders and other nature enthusiasts to enjoy daily from dawn to dusk. The Sanctuary is a wonderful place to go birding, it provides a habitat for many climate-threatened bird species like the Scarlet Tanager and Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and others whose natural habitats are at risk. You may also encounter white tailed deer and the sanctuary shelters coyotes, bobcats and black bears, but those species are shy of hikers and are rarely encountered.


​The Orvis Game Fair and Sporting Weekend

The Orvis Game Fair and Sporting Weekend is coming up this weekend in local Millbrook at the Sandanona Shooting Grounds. The events runs Saturday and Sunday, September 16 & 17, 2017 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Sandanona brings back an era where the hunt and field are traditions that stirs deference to time long past. The grounds are the oldest shooting reserve in the country and the main lodge was built in the era of Thomas Jefferson.

Visiting in mid-autumn is the perfect time, combining the beautiful weather of the end of summer season and crispness of fall. The event itself hosts over 70 craftsman and artists, with vendor booths, activities for the kids and will also include dog training and birds and prey exhibitions and seminars and fly fishing demos. Come try your hand at fly fishing or shooting, instructors will be on hand to help.

The sporting clays shooting ground at Orvis Sandanona is one of the finest in the country and gives visitors an opportunity to practice their marksmanship in a safe environment. Sandanona was bought by Orvis several years ago and has improved both the facilities and the grounds.

For more information about the upcoming event check out http://www.orvis.com/s/orvis-game-fair-sandanona/8953

If you are coming for the weekend and need some supplies, check out these two local shops:

British Sporting Arms (13 minutes from the Inn)
3684 US-44,
Millbrook, NY 12545

Safari Outfitters Ltd (20 minutes from the Inn)
Washington Hollow Plaza
2517 US-44, Salt Point, NY 12578

A check out this Video of Sandanona!


The Secret Lives of Potters

potter at wheel

While you are visiting the Inn you might be of a mind to explore some back country roads, poke around in some shops and antique stores, and perhaps do a bit of shopping in advance for the Christmas season. Or you may merely wish to bring home some useful additions to your kitchen and dining room.

The area has some wonderful pottery shops and studios, offering a large selection of lovingly handmade creative and unique pottery items, as well as offering some pottery classes and workshops for those who would like to feel the warm clay between their fingers and experience creating something unique.

Cornwall Bridge Pottery Store/Pottery Ltd (less than 20 minutes from the Inn)
415 Sharon-Goshen Turnpike, West Cornwall, CT and 69 Kent Rd S, Cornwall Bridge, CT
(860) 672-6545
The Cornwall Bridge Pottery Store offers a 5000 square foot store with a huge selection of handmade pottery for every occasion. They have been producing woodfired pots, lamps, dining ware and more for more than 45 years. While you visit the store you can watch their potters at work on their pottery wheels as they create new pottery pieces for sale.

Milkhouse Pottery (less than 20 minutes from the Inn)
30 River Rd, Cornwall Bridge, CT
(860) 672-6369
Milkhouse Pottery is created with white or brown clay in functional pieces suitable for all occasions. The artist makes her own glazes, and often experiments with different combinations and layers. The potteyware is decorate in nature, but also fully functional for daily use and quite durable. The studio is also home to small year-round classes of 4 people, where the small group setting offers one on one experiences so each attendee can work at their own skill level and comfort.

Montgomery Pottery (about 25 minutes from the Inn)
17 Dog Tail Corners Rd, Wingdale, NY 12594
(845) 832-2001
A pottery studio offering functional and decorative ceramics, pottery classes as well as workshops.
Classes are ongoing and session groupings of 5, 10 or 20 classes are available. There are also weekly classes at all levels. Workshops are generally intermediate or advanced skill levels. Class topics include wheel throwing and hand building techniques, decorating and glazing.

Guy Wolff Pottery (about 30 minutes from the Inn)
1249 Bantam Rd, Bantam, CT 06750
(860) 567-5577
A quote from his website put his art into perspective: The architecture of the piece is my passion and is why I can look at 18th and 19th century English flowerpots and centuries old Asian vases with the same eye and ask the same question: What makes this antique pot so wonderful? The answer always comes back to the architectural integrity of the pot and the potter’s reverance and knowledge of the materials he is using. The potter knew where he was going in the making of that particular pot. This is where traditional craftsmanship is born: The knowledge of a particular material and its attributes after years of working with it and respecting the true potential of that material. Guy Wolff specializes in historical and antique inspired crockery with a lovely selection of styles and types ranking from crockery to flower pots. Stop in and visit as they throw pots almost daily.

Ben Wolff Pottery (about 30 minutes from the Inn)
305 Litchfield Turnpike, New Preston, CT 06777
(860) 480-7765
Ben is the son of Guy Wolff, and grew up watching his father throw pottery in his shop in Woodville, CT. A potter from the very beginning, Ben was working with clay from a very young age. Ben uses a large selection of clays, glazes and finishes on his work and offers a wide variety of potteryware ranging from flower pots to decorate pieces to durable dining ware In addition to being a potter, Ben is also a musician and plays an array of different instruments and styles of music in bands. For more information on Ben’s music visit his music page https://benwolffpottery.com/pages/music. Ben was also featured on the Martha Stewart Show. “The Pot Show with Jimmy Fallon”, check it out at http://www.marthastewart.com/991033/pottery-ben-and-guy-wolff.

Potter at pottery wheel

Local Upcoming Events:
The Hollister House Garden located in Washington Connecticut is inviting garden and music enthusiasts to celebrate the official beginning of summer with a classical music concert presented by The New Baroque Soloists led by creative director, Douglas Myers. ‘Festive Music for the Summer Solstice’ also known as ‘Music in the Garden’ will be held on the main lawn of the garden on Sunday, June 18th at 5 p.m. All are invited to bring a picnic – rosé wine and sparkling water are provided.

Open Your Eyes Studio Tour organized by the Northwest Arts Council on June 24 and June 25 in the charming towns of Salisbury and Sharon gives you the opportunity to visit artists in these studios and learn about their creative process. This year there are thirty-one studios on the tour and feature artists in many mediums from oil and water color paintings to potters and jewelry makers and much more. The tour is free. Visit the website for tour maps, directions, itineraries and preview party information.


De-Stress the Omega Way!

If you need a vacation, or just time to de-stress or decompress, pair a holiday or vacation away at the Hilltop House B&B and pair it with some classes at the Omega Institute for the perfect solution to reaching the perfect OM!

Founded in 1977, Omega Institute for Holistic Studies has served as a destination for creative individuals who want to explore the arts, as well as enhance and learn leadership skills and explore personal growth.

Located on 200 acres in the heart of the Hudson Valley, the institute offers retreats, workshops and classes in it’s Rhinebeck location, as well as to others in it’s other locations around the world.

A non-profit, Omega has hosted over 23,000 people at their events, and has been at the head of innovations for natural healing and programs that explore and connect people with science to spirituality. Omega attendees come from all over the world to learn more about health, growth, personal change and development. In addition to classes, there are additional event offerings at Omega, including purification lodges, community dances, talent shows, arts and crafts fairs.

The name “Omega” came from the teachings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a renowned 20th-century philosopher, who used the term “Omega Point” to describe the peak of unity and integration toward which all life is evolving.

Staff and Community Members consist of about 75 people who expand to several hundred during the main season between April and October. They help and provide assistance to the thousands of people who attend the workshops, trainings and retreats that Omega hosts.

Check out just a few of the upcoming workshops at Omega!

Body Mind and Spirit Workshops
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction In Mind-Body Medicine
An Introduction To Yin Yoga
Celebrating Your Second Journey
Introduction To Solarplate Etching
And many more…

Health and Healing Workshops
Become Your Healthiest Self
Stretch Your Lungs With Breatheology
Transformational Cleansing™
Yoga & Mindfulness For Emotional Well-Being
The Happiness Program
And many more…

Creative Expression Workshops:
The Art Of Monoprinting
Warm Water Yoga Teacher Training
Scripting Your Soul’s Purpose
Conquer The Enemy Within
And many more…

Relationships and Family Workshops: 
Mothers & Daughters (Preteens)
Kiss Your Fights Goodbye
Prodigal Fathers, Wayward Sons
Getting The Love You Want
And many more…

Leadership and Work Workshops:
Financial Literacy & Beyond
Tools For Social Change
Centering Leadership In Presence
Micro-Resilience For Women Leaders
And many more…

Sustainable Living Workshops: 
Gifts From The Forest
Ecological Literacy Immersion Program (ELIP)
Grow Food Everywhere
Food Forestry For Your Backyard
And many more…

The Omega Institute (1/2 an hour from Hilltop House B&B)
150 Lake Drive, Rhinebeck, New York