Intro: A quirky gal with a knack for being awkward and telling cheesy one liners but over the years I’ve been told it’s endearing. Mother of an adventure driven toddler and large lapdog. Traveled extensively through the US, camping all along the way.
You arrive and meet with the host, Heidi, by the mid 1800's general store stuck in another century. (In the best ways.) Heidi matched the tranquility of this special place and immediately made us feel most welcome! The camp site is tucked away on this large parcel of land that is being currently used in a variety of ways, one of which is a destination wedding venue. You can see why when you arrive. It's everything you'd hope a Northern Vermont farm to be.
The beautiful barns, a picturesque victorian home and old commerce buildings surrounded by an English garden straight out of a historical fiction scene. The back of the property has a large meadow with a view, a mowed area (they use as over flow parking) and a wooded area that backs up to one of their gardens. The camp site is hidden in that wooded area.
The camping area was perfectly placed and every detail was thought out. You walk through this small clearing of the wooded area into a larger clearing with everything you'd need. A hammock (the most pleasant surprise), a picnic table, a fire pit/cooking grate, firewood (and plenty of it! They even provided kindling!), a croquet set, a nicely mulched squeaky clean tent area and charming globe string lights hung on the trees by the hammock/table. Heidi even provided a dutch oven for us to make our pot roast stew.
The clean restroom was located in the wedding barn, only a short walk through a path lined with a curious but shy flock of free-range chickens. Running water and a flush toilet makes this camping trip extra easy. Convenient camper parking is just a few feet from the site in the empty mowed area they use for overflow parking when they host the weddings.
All in all this spot was great for camping get-away! My three-year-old loved every second, especially exploring the gardens and trying to befriend a cautious chicken or two. My friend joined us and even as an all female crew of three, never once felt in danger! We also didn't even get a single tick while there, which if you camp often is a MAJOR perk.
Sandiwood farm was a wonderful Vermont organic farm experience.
You arrive and see this beautiful home, a farm stand and a series of greenhouses. We were instantly greeted by the welcoming host, Sara, the farmer who has put in a few decades tending this land alongside her husband Bob. She showed us around the property, the community kitchen, the locations of the portapotties (Most clean I've ever experienced) and communal amenities like the stone arch way that leads to large fire pit surrounded by benches. She even let us taste some of her fresh harvest of sugar snap peas, a special treat. We were then shown where we'd be staying that night and left to enjoy our stay in peace and quiet with the open invitation to come and explore the farm and visit the community kitchen whenever.
We stayed in the lovely red tiny house across the field from the main house/greenhouses. The tall grass and wildflower covered field is large enough to help you feel completely private without being too far away from the amenities. It also provides expansive mountain views that will content any one who takes a second to enjoy it.
Those views could also be seen through the tiny house windows. They open, allowing for a nice breeze and have screens to keep the insects out! The cafe table with two chairs is set up in the most picturesque corner. The host included lovely touches like a tablecloth and fresh cut flowers. They provide a jug of water and you have the option to fill it back up at the community kitchen a short beautiful stroll away.
They have a comfortable full sized pull couch that perfectly fit my daughter and I. Bring your own bedding or Sara will provide some for a small fee of $20. Our night was crisp and cool, even following our 80 degree summer day. A light comforter with an extra blanket made it just right! I'd also suggest to bring an extra layer to wear if you're an early riser!
The site is convenient because there is an easy route through the field that will allow you to park next to the tiny house. You can stay busy exploring the greenhouses, produce fields, maple orchards and operational sugar shack. Or if you need any suggestions for what to do in town, Sara has all the information you'll need in this area full of culinary and outdoor-lover goodness.
Sandiwood has a few other tiny homes on the property that you can stay at. Some still in progress, but there is a completed tiny house tucked away in the woods surrounding the field if you prefer that scenery over the mountain views. That site had a pull out couch and a loft bed, a great space for a party of three or four. Tent camping is also an option, with a platform in the fern covered maple orchard in the works.
Oh and side note: You'd be surprised to know, during our stay we didn't pick up a single tick exploring through the fields and woods. What a nice perk!
Words cannot express my appreciation of the sacrifices John & Pat have made to not only conserve this land, but to have made it better than what they received it as.
I pulled up and was greeted by a man and woman on tractors at the gate. Upon the first handshake, I immediately felt like they were my long lost relatives. Authentic Maine hospitality at it's finest. They have so much knowledge to be shared about the land you're stepping foot on and the transformation it's made the past few decades with the help of a restored river ecosystem and a whole lotta hard physical work. My biggest suggestion would be to ask John to share his wisdom about the land's history and his efforts to preserve it's glory. It's a story well worth hearing. They then gave us a map of the trails/areas to explore, tour of the tiny house and it's amenities and rode away. Leaving us for the duration of our stay to enjoy this private yet cozy bird haven.
The tiny house was straight out of the magazines with the most perfect giant window placement and L.L. Bean tin dinnerware I'm not even sure they make anymore. Clean, well designed and modern, but also nostalgic in a subtle way. Two burner propane stove (propane and matches in stock), a large filled water jug over a sink (with a drain), more lanterns than you could ever need and all the essentials without it ever feeling too crowded, you know pots/pans/tinfoil/cooler/silverware/salt n pepper. The bed had crisp beautiful sheets and a perfect layer of both a warm and cool comforter to help with the evening chill found many a Maine summer night.
The view, it was something that will inspire me every time I think back to it. Trying to do it justice through photos, it's hard....You simply have to be there, being cooled by that river breeze and waking up to the sounds of a river paradise. Lots to do outdoors, right there without ever getting back in a car. Hike the trails on John & Pat's land, bird watch from the bed, stroll through the meadows of pollinators or rent out a canoe or bring a kayak for access to the Androscoggin River! If you do plan on spending your entire time outdoors exploring, I highly suggest heavy duty bug prevention. Especially of the tick variety. (Permethrin pre-treated clothing and a heavy duty DEET spray/lotion will do the trick, but even with preventatives keep an eye out for any stragglers on gear/body.)
Only 1.5 hours away from the city you can escape to a fern covered oasis
for the human and animal variety alike. The RV has been beautifully
restored with an attetion to detail, everything you'll need for your
outdoor experience with some comforts of home.
We made this stop in the middle of a road trip. After a long drive with
a toddler and pup, Carlos & Ambika's friendly faces were a breath of
fresh air. Warm and welcoming, any anxiety about staying with strangers
melted away within seconds. They gave us a tour when we first arrived
and they invited us to see where we could refill the fresh jug of spring
water they provided at the RV.
When Ambika asked my daughter if she'd like to see meal time at the
farm, she enthusiastically accepted. Watching the animals all crowd
around Carlos, you could practically see the smiles on pigs faces. They
truly have provided a happy place for these animals to thrive and do as
they were meant to. The rabbits even have a large living area with an
intracate burrow system to keep them safe, active and cool! My daughter
won't stop talking about Lil' Kim the squirrel she feed and the hairy
Besides spending time with the hosts & animals (you could get lost for
hours enjoying their company), there are trails you can explore with
your pup off leash (away from the animals that may prove a temptation).
Waterfalls within minutes of the property. Unique restaurants in town
which Ambika will happily suggest a few to fit your tastes. We ended up
not having to go to the restaurants because the outdoor kitchen was a
DREAM come true. Everything you'd need, just bring your food to prepare
and soak in the sounds of the baby birds that have taken residence on
the kitchen roof. They do have free range organic eggs available for
purchase ($5) and I totally suggest bringing the extra cash because they
As far as sleeping arrangements, there are two large beds. They have the
pretty pillows and light sheets in the photos, but it's more for visual
appeal. Bring your own pillows and blankets! We were here the first day
of summer and really only needed the light blankets on top of a open
sleeping bag. Make sure to open the windows a hour or so before bedtime
so you'll get a fresh breeze of cool mountain air circulating. Makes for
a deep slumber!
The outdoor shower is wonderful and tucked away in a private location.
It is open so if you feel concious about that kind of thing, bring a
swimsuit to wash up in. The restroom is a outdoor compost toilet in a
cute little shed, close to the RV but not too close if you know what I
mean. Definitely bring the bug spray, late evening and early morning
there is an abundance of the insects that come with a healthy ecosystem.