March 06, 2019 • Jessi Kerner

A Spring Tailgate Picnic in Dorset, Vermont

March 06, 2019 Jessi Kerner

Since the sun actually came out this past weekend, we decided to take a ride over to Dorset - one of our very favorite Vermont towns (no surprise there if you’ve been following along for a while!). We have our favorite stops when we’re in town (we’re looking at you, JK Adams!), and we were also itching to see something new this trip. That’s when I remembered a recommendation I’d heard a few years back - Merck Forest and Farmland Center. And folks, I think we have our new favorite Dorset area day trip itinerary. Read on for some favorites, in partnership with JK Adams!

A Spring Tailgate Picnic in Dorset, Vermont

The Kitchen Store at JK Adams | We can’t pass through Dorset without stopping at JK Adams. You might remember me singing their praises on our apple picking trip last fall, but we were excited to stop in this trip with a different shopping list - picnic supplies! As you might’ve read in my Earth Day Instagram post, we’re trying to cut back significantly on single use products, so paper plates and plastic cups were definitely out. Thankfully, JK Adams had the perfect products to fit the bill, and bonus - we’ll be using them for a long time to come (in fact, maybe we should just keep most of them in a picnic basket in the Wagoneer for next trip!).

And, not only did they have the wares for our picnic, we couldn’t resist grabbing a bag-full of foodstuff here as well - from Shelburne Farms cheeses to artisan crackers and the most delicious dipping sauces and jams - they pretty much have it all!

Dorset Union Store | We couldn’t not stop at another of our favorites, Dorset Union Store, for the last few picnic essentials. Namely, their Ginger Molasses cookies. Four to be exact - and we may or may not have been down to three when we arrived at Merck Forest. We also picked up a couple of their sandwiches - the best - and hurried out of the store before we could be tempted by any more baked goods. Next time, we’re getting that cinnamon roll. And the berry pie. And the blueberry muffins. You get the idea.

Merck Merck Forest and Farmland Center

Merck Forest and Farmland Center
 | The view as we drove up the hill on the approach to the Visitor’s Center was worth the trip alone, and we couldn’t believe what was waiting for us inside. A quick walk down Old Town Road revealed the gorgeous farm, and of course more of that amazing view. We immediately grabbed a picnic table overlooking Harwood Barn and the sheep and chickens below, and had a little snack before we set out on our walk. The Mini Maple Bar Board and Opinel No.8 Pocket Knife from JK Adams were the perfect size to carry in my tote, and made slicing up our apples an easy task. Pretty sure we’ll be taking this little cutting board on all of our hikes from now on, too, since Tom always makes me nervous trying to cut up our apples while he’s holding them in his hand - yikes!

As per usual, I couldn’t tear myself away from the animals (sweet little lambs!) so we didn’t get very far. We mainly strolled Old Town Road and down to Page Pond (and quick note: many trails are closed until Memorial Day due to mud season, so check the map here). We were thrilled to find out that they also have rustic cabins you can reserve as well as camping, and we can’t wait to come back again to explore the rest of the property. Also, we hear Meet the Lambs Day is coming up on May 18, and we may just need to go back for that!

Lambs in Dorset, VT

 | After a couple hours on the farm, our snacks beckoned us back to the Wagoneer. We found a little spot to pull over, pop down the tailgate, set up our old rickety chairs, and partake in a picnic with a view. We are not fancy food people by any means, so we typically just grab whatever looks good, and pile it onto our serving boards. Here’s what was on the menu (and the perfect pieces from JK Adams to serve it on or in!):

  • Veggies and hummus, brought from home stored in Kilner jars
  • Crackers, cheese, fruit and dip, served on the Large Artisan Board (which, by the way, you can personalize - and they have so many great options!)
  • Egg Salad Sandwiches from Dorset Union Store, served on the prettiest enamelware plates from JK Adams
  • Ginger Molasses Cookies, served on the Round Artisan Board from JK Adams
  • Bee’s Wrap for the leftovers, a great eco-friendly swap for plastic wrap!
  • Water, which stayed cold in this Wagoneer inspired Corkcicle Canteen.
  • Gingham Tablecloth, which doubled as a blanket on this windy day!
  • And a little light reading - we had to pick up this adorable book The Picnic at JK Adams - so much inspiration for our next picnic!

Our Vermont picnic

I have to say, using the JK Adams serving boards and plates definitely made our picnic feel a little more put together, and even made our simple picnic fare feel just a bit fancy. The setting and this beautiful view didn’t hurt either, and we’re happy to be doing our small part for this pretty planet with our reusable picnic wares in place of single use products.

Dorset VT picnic. 

Until next time, Vermont!

Shop the post and other JK Adams favorites here

This post was in partnership with our friends at JK Adams, a brand whose products we regularly use and love. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Words & photos by Briana Lyons, The Yellow Note. This story is re-published here by permission from The Yellow Note. Visit The Yellow Note to see the original post and many more exquisite travel & lifestyle stories, and follow @theyellownote on Instagram.