Summer in Vermont Part II: Peonies, Parks and Perspectives

By Alex Ramsey

July 15, 2022

Continuing my tips from a first-time recent trip to Woodstock, Vermont, are the last 5 thoughts. If you’d like to read Part I, here is the link.

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  1. A big part of the sparsely populated state is the natural beauty. Streams and rivers are everywhere, making beautiful rushing-water noises. They peep in and out of sight through the trees as you muster down every highway and byway. Can you say, “Picturesque”? That’s Vermont, at least, where I was. I’ve yet to visit the northern or western parts of the state.
  2. Slightly beyond the midtown Woodstock, across one of the rivers, is Vermont’s only National Historical Park. Like this post, it comes in two parts, a large hill with houses owned by a string of the town’s once most prominent figures including Mary and Laurence Rockefeller and her ancestors. The former residence is connected to the Billings Farm and also once owned by Mary’s grandfather. It’s a working dairy farm and museum. Not to be missed, the whole set up beautifully explores farm life in multiple ways making it a great outing for all generations to enjoy. It also hosts art exhibits and other events.
  3. Conservation is a Vermont priority. At one time, all the beautiful trees I saw so happily growing everywhere didn’t exist. They were cut down to mine potash. Today, the town of Woodstock works together, public and private sectors, to ensure that conservation and people live together in harmony and appreciation. There are 30 miles of breathtaking hiking trails around the town, a town of little more than 3,000. The founder of the farm and estate described above Mr. Marsh wrote a now famous book on conversation in the early 1800s which few paid any attention to at the time. But he passed along the legacy and both her grandfather Billings along with Mary and Laurence Rockefeller picked up the torch.
  4. I enjoyed the vibe at the Woodstock Inn. Guests were having a good time. They were relaxed, happy, and friendly. So were the staff. They acted glad to see everyone. The hotel’s traditional décor is charming, tastefully Colonial in style. We enjoyed every minute of it. For breakfast each morning, there was a line-up of guests who could hardly wait until the dining room opened. Besides an inviting display of various egg dishes, sausages, perfectly cooked bacon and so much more, the large cinnamon rolls draped in a maple-sugar glaze sent me to heaven every morning. Damn the diet! After all, it was only a few days.
  5. One brief history comment: From our Woodstock home base, to reach the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Park, the drive passes through another small town Windsor, Vermont. Historically important, Windsor where the state’s constitution was signed. The town sits next to the Connecticut River. Cars must pass through one of New England’s many covered bridges. The Cornish-Windsor Bridge was first built in 1866. It is one of the longest covered bridges in the world. Vermont was the 14th state to join the USA and the first to abolish adult slavery.

Like a foreign land, Vermont delivered a lush countryside, bits of history I’d forgotten or never knew, and the priorities of conservation, providing food for thought and time for reflection. In between all this jostling about, I even completed a novel oddly congruent with the naturalist nature of the trip, The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert. Batteries restored!

For Part I, click here.

If you would like further information or more domestic travel ideas about New England, New Orleans, Santa Fe or international destinations, please fill out or contact form. You may also reach out to me or one of our other advisors. We would love to provide you with a VIP experience at The Vermont Inn or elsewhere, including restaurant recommendations.

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