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The Shire Woodstock

Area Activities

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THE VILLAGE OF WOODSTOCK

Named the “#1 small town in America” by Conde Nast Traveler, Woodstock Village is pure New England with its natural beauty, parkland and trails, historical buildings, and plenty of shops, galleries and eateries to make a walk through the village worth hours of enjoyment.

Billings Farm & Museum

One of the finest dairy farms in America and an award-winning museum of Vermont’s rural past, Billings Farm & Museum houses its famous Jersey cows, sheep, draft horses, oxen, and chickens. Daily programs include afternoon milking, hands-on activities, and events. Engaging farm life exhibits, 1890 Farm House, and the Academy Award®-nominee film A Place in the Land showcase this model farm, sustained by the Billings and Rockefeller families since 1871. www.billingsfarm.org

Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park

Home to pioneer conservationist George Perkins Marsh, the park includes a model forest developed by Frederick Billings and continued by granddaughter, Mary French Rockefeller and her husband, Laurance S. Rockefeller. The park focuses on conservation themes and the stewardship of working landscapes and agricultural countryside. www.nps.gov/mabi

Woodstock Farmers’ Market

Woodstock’s premier whole foods market—produce, breads, meats, seafood, groceries, amazing sandwiches, hot and cold entrees, coffee, wine, microbrews, and baked goods.
http://www.woodstockfarmersmarket.com/

Middle Bridge

Known as Covered Bridge, this structure was built in 1969. It is the newest all-peg-constructed covered bridge in the State and was pulled into place by a team of oxen. Tragically, it was burned by vandals in 1974, however, restored through the generosity of the community. It spans the Ottauquechee River and welcomes visitors on a walk around River Street and Mountain Avenue, past some of Woodstock’s most beautiful homes.

Taftsville Covered Bridge

Built in 1836 and overlooking the hydroelectric dam on the Ottauquechee River, this bridge is the second longest and third oldest bridge in Vermont. Three-mile River Road is a dirt road that parallels the river to the bridge, ideal for cycling and walking.

Vermont Institute of Natural Science

The VINS Nature Center includes state-of-the-art raptor exhibits, a system of nature trails, the VINS Nature Shop and a raptor rehabilitation facility. Live bird of prey demonstrations are offered year round. Check website or call for program details.. www.vinsweb.org

Simon Pearce

Internationally recognized Simon Pearce glass and pottery, carpets and tapestries woven by Irish weavers are all available here, along with a superb restaurant overlooking the falls of the Ottauquechee River. Glass blowing, pottery and weaving demonstrations. www.simonpearce.com

King Arthur Flour

Bakery, store and school with cooking demonstrations and classes held frequently. www.kingarthurflour.com

Montshire Museum of Science

An amazing museum for families, featuring hands-on, and interactive activities. www.montshire.org

Quechee Gorge State Park

Quechee Gorge, the chasm for which the river is named by the Abenaki Nation (Ottauquechee means “waters of the chasm”), is a 165-foot gorge formed 13,000 years ago. Enjoy a mile and a half hike to the rocky bottom to look back at the former train trestle bridge, which holds Rte. 4 today. www.vtstateparks.com

Killington Gondola

For sightseeing in the summer, typically open May 1st through October 8th. Visitors should call ahead for specifics. www.killington.com

SPORTS & OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

Flyfishing

Casting on some of Central Vermont’s most picturesque streams and lakes makes flyfishing here some of the best in the nation. Anglers will certainly enjoy the many streams, rivers and lakes available in this central section of the state. In the springtime, fishermen explore the riffles and pools of Ottauquechee River. Hatches generally begin in mid-May with rainbow trout comprising the great majority of the catch.

Alpine Skiing

Located in the adjacent Town of Pomfret, The New York Times said the Suicide Six Ski Area offers the joys of big-mountain skiing with few of the headaches. The area offers 23 alpine trails, including a new double black diamond glade trail and a snowboarding halfpipe. At the Killington Ski Area, six peaks await. Given its 4,241-foot elevation and 3,000-foot of vertical drop, Killington boasts exceptional views and ample opportunities for outdoor adventure with the longest on-snow season in the East. It opened in the winter of 1946. The Pico ski area in Mendon, Vermont offers 48 trails and nearly 2,000 vertical feet of terrain.

Nordic Skiing

Nordic skiers and snowshoers will find an invigorating hike at Tubbs Snowshoes & Fischer Nordic Adventure Center. Here more than 30km of groomed winter trails can be found throughout Mount Peg and Mount Tom, along with countless un-groomed area. Cross-country ski and snowshoe rentals, winter clothing, accessories, and trail passes are all available.

Biking

Woodstock offers the cyclist myriad options from challenging mountain biking trails to great stretches of road for cycling. From the casual rider to the seasoned cyclist seeking a workout, Vermont is home to both great terrain and terrific bike shops and rental options.

Swimming

Woodstock and the surrounding Upper Valley is paradise in the summer for fresh water swimmers. Two of Woodstock’s three bridges offer access to swimming in the Ottauquechee River. The bridge at the end of Elm Street is one, and the other at the bridge next to the woolen mill, adjacent to the Woodstock Recreation area. Silver Lake State Park in Barnard is open every day in the summer and a favorite place for swimming, rent a paddleboat or bringing your own canoe, kayak or flotation device.

Green Mountain Horse Association

GMHA’s 65-acre facility in South Woodstock hosts competitive, educational and recreational equestrian events of all ages. The organization has also been instrumental in developing and maintaining a network of miles of open trails for both horseback riding and cross-country skiing. gmhainc.org

Woodstock Country Club

Designed by legendary golf course architect Robert Trent Jones, Sr., the 18-hole Woodstock Country Club is the oldest golf course in Vermont. Surrounded by views of the Kedron Valley, the full-service golf club features a pro shop, practice range and putting green. www.woodstockinn.com

Balloons Over New England

Experience the magic of an uncharted adventure – where the destination is irrelevant, the trip everything. Each flight is a unique and magical voyage – a must on your list of life experiences. www.balloonsovernewengland.com

Union Arena Community Center

This multi-purpose, four-season community cultural and athletic facility hosts skating and hockey, as well a theatre festivals, art and antique shows, craft fairs, concerts, pet and agriculture shows. In additional to hockey, field hockey, soccer, baseball and lacrosse, Union Arena offers times for open public skating. unionarena.org

Woodstock Llama Treks

Llama trekking offers hikers of all ages the opportunity to see beautiful Vermont backcountry wilderness. Bred as beasts of burden in South America for 6,000 years, llamas are not only sure-footed, they are extremely friendly. A two-hour to half-day session with Woodstock Llama Treks includes lots of interaction with these loveable creatures, plus a short hike. www.vtliving.com

ARTS & MUSEUMS

Woodstock Historical Society / Woodstock History Center

The 1807 Dana House Museum is open seasonally from mid-June to mid-October displaying 19th Century furnishings, art, toys, furniture, tools, china, textiles, and clothing. The History Center, featuring an extensive research library and archive, is open year-round and offers a variety of monthly programs and events. www.woodstockhistorical.org

Norman Williams Public library

Built in 1883 by Dr. Edward Williams in loving memory of his parents, Norman and Mary, Woodstock’s beautiful red stone library occupies a central spot on the Green. www.normanwilliams.org

Paul Revere Church Bells

Woodstock is the only American town with five of the bells manufactured at the Massachusetts foundry once owned by Paul Revere. The earliest, dating to 1818 and purchased for $351, is on the porch of the Congregational Church. Another rests in the garden of The Woodstock Inn & Resort. Three others still ring at the Masonic Temple (formerly the Christian Church), St. James Episcopal Church, and the North Universalist Chapel Society.

President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site

The birthplace of the 30th President of the United States, these homes remain as they were at the beginning of the century. The complex features a new museum and Education Center; state-of-the-art interpretive exhibits .. The site includes fine perennial gardens and the National Historic Landmark Plymouth Cheese Factory, making cheese regularly for the public to view. www.historicvermont.org

Pentangle Arts Council

The Historic Town Hall Theatre and Pentangle features first-run movies on the biggest screen in the Upper Valley in state-of-the-art Dolby digital sound – all in an old-fashioned setting. Full concessions include maple popcorn. www.PentangleArts.org

Purple Crayon Productions

This community space offers the opportunity to have joyful, meaningful and satisfying experiences through visual arts and music. Their mission is to provide families in the Woodstock area and surrounding communities with an arts-based, creative environment. www.purplecrayonproductions.com

New England Transportation Museum

A museum celebrating the area’s rail, river, and road history. Exhibits illustrate over 400 years of transportation history. Activities, educational resources, family events.

Northern Stage

Superb talent north of the urban centers brings the best of current and classical theater to the Upper Valley. Call or visit the website for this season’s schedule.
www.northernstage.org

Killington Music Festival

This chamber music program of international stature offers a Saturday concert series featuring world-renowned musicians, a six-week residency program for talented young artists. www.killingtonmusicfestival.org

New England Maple Museum

The most complete collection of sugaring artifacts in existence, over 200 years of maple history, giant murals, antiques, demonstrations, tours, tastings, slide show, and gift shop. www.maplemuseum.com

Chaffee Center for the Visual Arts

The Chaffee Art Center represents over 200 artists working in virtually every medium from painting, sculpture, photography, ceramics, printmaking and fine furniture. Curates eight dynamic exhibitions each year, provides a full line of art classes for all ages and abilities. www.chaffeeartcenter.org

From 1848-1898, it was mainly a co-ed secondary, boarding school. This pristine structure and its many artifacts take you back 150 years. www.greenmountainperkinsacademy.org

Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site

Home, perennial gardens, studio of renowned sculptor Augustus Saint Gaudens. Sunday concert series. 150 acres for hiking. www.sgnhs.org

Revels North

Revels North is an Upper Valley non-profit arts organization that welcomes all ages to celebrate the seasons in performance through the power of traditional song, dance, storytelling and ritual. www.revelsnorth.org

Opera North

Every August at the Lebanon Opera House, Opera North performs a two-week season of professional opera with singers from all over the world. Events throughout the year such as “Sherry and Sopranos” and opera in schools are held in Woodstock and surrounding towns. www.operanorth.org

American Precision Museum

The national center for the collection, preservation, and interpretation of the history of precision manufacturing. Exploring the machines and tools that have changed the world-collections and exhibits of machines tools, typewriters, sewing machines, firearms, hand tools, and more. This museum holds the nation’s largest collection of historically significant machine tools. 1846 National Historic Landmark. Events and gift shop. www.americanprecision.org

Cornish Colony museum

The works of artist/illustrator Maxfield Parrish who was part of the famous Cornish Colony of artists in the 1910s and 1920s. thecornishcolonymuseum.blogspot.com

Old Constitution House

The state of Vermont was born in this restored tavern in 1777. The Vermont Constitution was the first to prohibit slavery, not requiring property ownership to vote, and to establish public schools. An exhibit examines the Revolutionary War period, the writing of Vermont’s Constitution, and its significance today. historicsites.vermont.gov

FARMING & AGRICULTURE

Cloudland Farm

Just a few scenic miles from Woodstock Village, Cloudland Farm’s store has natural Angus beef, prepared foods, and Vermont products. Make a reservation at the restaurant for an enchanting farm-to-table dining experience with seasonal menus crafted by their chef. www.cloudlandfarm.com

Kedron Sugar Makers

Six generations of sugar makers at the same location, Kedron Sugar Makers is open daily in season. Maple syrup is available year round at Kedron Valley Stables. www.kedron.com

Mount Tom Farmers’ Market

Featuring locally grown products and local artisans, the Mount Tom Farmers’ Market is located in the Mt. Tom parking lot, Rte. 12, one half mile north of the village.

Plymouth Artisan Cheese

Located at the Coolidge State Historic Site, Plymouth Notch, you’ll find one of the oldest cheese operations in the U.S., producing artisanal raw cow’s milk cheeses with milk received from a single local herd. All milk comes from a farm that engages in the best dairy practices and humane treatment of their livestock.

Sugarbush Farm

A tasty farm attraction with cheese, maple syrup, Vermont foods, free tasting, free admission, maple sugar house tour and nature walk. Also features a wedding chapel, farm animals. Three miles east of Woodstock, turn left and cross the covered bridge. Follow signs for three miles. www.sugarbushfarm.com

Vermont Farmstead Cheese

Makers of farmstead and artisanal old-world cheeses with Vermont quality, authenticity, and style. Visit the website for recipes, videos, and more. www.vermontfarmstead.com

Neighborly Farms of Vermont

On Vermont Cheese Trail, organic cheeses produced here and visitors are welcome. Call ahead for special events and cheese-making schedule. In Randolph Center. Open Monday through Saturday, 10am–4pm. www.neighborlyfarms.com