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From The Blog Local activities & events that give spring new life

We love these local adventures that take us out into nature, into the fresh air, and out of our comfort zone in the most exhilarating way... we think you will too. Read on.

Explore Woodstock’s beautiful backyard

There’s no better escape than traipsing about the trails of Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park – one of two national parks in Vermont! From peaceful, sun-dappled forests to jaw-dropping vistas and historic vantage points, the park offers a wide range of scenery via its network of 20+ miles of trails easily accessible from the center of town.

While the ground is still cloaked in white, visitors can grab passes from the Woodstock Nordic Center for use of groomed trails perfect for skis or snowshoes. As temperatures rise and the thaw begins, trails are once again open for regular use by you and your furry (leashed) companions! The visitor centers and mansion are open Memorial Day weekend through October. For a trail-map of the park, click here.

Want more space to explore? Branch out to Bridgewater, Pomfret, Barnard, Reading, or gorge-ous Quechee via their extensive trail system and the stunning grounds of the Vermont Institute of Natural Science!

The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size.

— Gertrude S. Wister
CVCMF at the Pogue
Bridgewater Raft Race 1
The Bridgewater Raft Race Facebook page
Competitors at the Bridgewater Raft Race

Special Events & Dates:

  • Recurring Saturdays: On your mark, get set, parkrun! Sprint, jog, or walk through the gorgeous grounds of our national historical park during this free, friendly 5k!
  • March 21, 2020: CANCELED - At the iNaturalist Tutorial - Working Woodlands Workshop, attendees will learn about this useful tool for plant identification – and apply their newfound knowledge out in the MBR park!
  • April 18-19, 2020: Who doesn't love our feathered friend the owl? Meet owls from across the world, partake in face painting, and sample delicious food all at the Owl Festival at VINS in Quechee!
  • May 9, 2020: Commandeer your own sea-worthy vessel and take to the Ottauquechee for the 46th Annual Bridgewater Raft Race!
  • May 16, 2020: On your mark, get set, go – to the Road to the Pogue Race, a 6.1 mile challenging yet scenic course through the MBR park.
  • June 6, 2020: Celebrate the MBR park, local food, and fun during Trek to Taste: A National Trails Day Festival!

    Celebrate the season of sap

    Maple syrup’s not just for pancakes anymore. Coffee? Check. Popcorn? Check. Ice cream, cocktails, salads? Check, check, check! And early spring is the best season to enjoy it in Vermont.

    Here, maple sugaring season means sap is flowing from trees tapped and bedecked with buckets, ready for boiling – and that it’s time to celebrate the fruits of locals’ labors! You can find a wide variety of Vermont maple syrups in Woodstock’s downtown shops – but we recommend you take it a step further with the events below. Because you can’t do Vermont – the maple syrup capitol of the US – without getting a taste.

      Sap Bucket Hill

      Special Events & Dates:

      • March 20-22, 2020: CANCELED - It's Maple Open House Weekend and you're invited inside sugar shacks and through the wintery woods to see the beginnings of Vermont's favorite treat, maple syrup! Don't miss all the fun at Woodstock locations like Sugarbush Farm, King Farm (open Sunday), and more!
      • March 21, 2020: CANCELED - It doesn't get any sweeter than a Sugar Maple Celebration! The First Congregational Church and the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce invite you to shake off the winter doldrums with boiling demonstrations, crafts, maple-recipe making and sampling, tours, and so much more - and best of all, it's free for everyone.
      • March 22, 2020: RESCHEDULED TO JULY 26, 2020 - Maple and mud come together during a scenic bicycle ride you don't want to miss: the 25-mile Vermont Overland Maple Adventure Ride starting in West Windsor.

      Wine, Dine, & have a great time... or Take a brewery tour that raises the bar

      You're here for the right riesling! Woodstock and its neighbors are serving up a glass of the good stuff with a side of cheese, conversation, and (murder) mystery!

      Or is it hops that makes you happy? All’s well that ends with ale – especially on a brewery tour as scenic as this one! Hop, skip, and jump your way from the Brewery at Norwich Inn, Harpoon Brewery in Hartland, River Roost in WRJ, and Long Trail Brewing in Bridgewater to Killington Beer Co. (or the other way around!) – rising and falling with scenic mountainsides, following the serpentine path of the Ottauquechee River as it tumbles over rocks and fallen trees.

      Special Events & Dates:

      Two wine glasses

      Embrace the warm and fuzzies: Meet baby animals at Billings Farm & Museum

      Nothing cures a case of the work-week blues like cuddling fluffy farm animals. At Billings Farm & Museum (open daily April through October), you’ll find sheep as soft as clouds, friendly cows, majestic horses, chickens, pigs – and more, living their best lives in the rolling green pastures of bucolic Woodstock, Vermont.

      Adults and children alike are invited to go behind the scenes at this fully-operational farm to watch milkings, feedings, demonstrations, and even step inside the historic 1890s farmhouse.

        Visitors with the sheep at Billings Farm
        Billings Farm staff photo
        Meeting a sheep at Billings Farm
        Cows at Billings Farm
        Skye Reno

        Special Events & Dates:

        • April 10-11, 2020: POSTPONED - Meet the newest additions to the Billings family during the Baby Farm Animal Celebration.
        • April 13, 2020: POSTPONED - Be there or be square at Billings Farm & Museum’s opening day of their 38th season!
        • May 10, 2020: The muscle behind Billings takes center stage as part of Draft Animal Day, featuring demos from oxen, working steers, and draft horses – along with free admission for moms in honor of Mother’s Day!
        • May 23-24, 2020: Watch as Southdown ewes shed their heavy winter fleece at the Sheep Shearing & Herding event – complete with Border Collies at their best, shearing demonstrations, hands-on wool activities, and other treats for the senses.

        Grab the season by the reins in horse country

        Whether you’re a seasoned equestrian or saddling up for the first time, Woodstock’s picturesque open spaces and nearly 400 miles of private and municipal land offer a spectacular setting for horseback riding into the sunset.

        With resources like the Green Mountain Horse Association and Kedron Valley Stables of South Woodstock, your needs for training, stabling, events, and more are well covered. Giddy up!

        Special Events & Dates:

        Horseback Riding

        Go where age meets beauty with a covered bridges tour

        Many of America’s most idyllic covered bridges are in Vermont. Step on the worn wooden plans of Middle Covered Bridge, just in view of Woodstock’s town green, and you’ll be transported back to a simpler time. The rush of water over stone, peek-a-boo views of the serpentine path of the Ottauquechee River, and the quiet protection of the roof above are something out of a daydream – and this is just one of the Woodstock area’s four breathtaking wooden structures.

        Check out our guide here to learn more about the location and history of these historic bridges and how you can capture some of their magic for yourself.

          Cover Bridge in Woodstock Vermont

          Special Events & Dates:

            Take spring to new heights with hot air balloon rides

            With a whoosh of fire and a rush of butterflies in your belly, you’ll be made lighter than air in the basket of a hot air balloon. Spring is the perfect time to take off from the Quechee Village Green and drift above the trees of the Upper Valley, observing the fresh burst of life in rivers, mountains, and farmland from above.

            This is your chance for a 360-degree view of Vermont – from Killington all the way to the White Mountains of New Hampshire on a clear day – that’s truly astounding. 

              Hot Air Balloons

              Special Events & Dates:

              • June 19-21, 2020: The Quechee Balloon Festival is an unforgettable event when the horizon is dotted with up to 20 vibrant hot air balloons. But you’ll find more than a great view on the ground: continuous music and entertainment, over 60 craft artisans, local food and drinks, a euro bungee, rock climbing wall, and a bounce house can be found during the festivities.

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