Family Recreational Areas
Mt. Ascutney State Park (Entrance Office) 674-2060 road to top Route 44A off Route 5 in Ascutney.
Description - Ascutney State Park offers 2,506 acres located in the Windsor and Weathersfield areas. The park offers picnicking, camping, hot showers, mountain hiking trails, fishing and hunting for large game and water fowl. An array of activities for the outdoor enthusiast include hang gliding, camping and hiking. Mt. Ascutney stands at 3,150 elevation. It is considered one of the premier hang gliding sites in New England. The summit road climbs a steep path through mixed hardwoods to a parking lot at an elevation of 2,800 feet in a saddle between the south peak and summit. A short hiking trail takes you the additional 344' rise to the summit.
The park includes a 3.8-mile toll road to the top of the mountain and a 3.8-mile hiking trail. In addition to picnic areas, the park includes a campground, which has a bathhouse and showers, but no electric hookups.
Wilgus State Park (Office) 674-5422 Route 5, Ascutney
Located on the Connecticut River, Wilgus State Park is a very popular park for canoeists. The park provides day use access to the Connecticut River and the Pinnacle Trail hike provides a scenic vista of the Connecticut River Valley. There are 19 tent sites and 6 lean-to sites which are located along the Connecticut River bank. There is one rest room with running water and hot showers ($). There are a play area, picnic area, and 3 lean-tos in the group area. Canoe, kayak, and row boat rentals are available. A trailer sanitary station is located by the ranger's quarters.
Stoughton Pond (swimming & picnics) 885-2775 Stoughton Pond Road, Perkinsville
The 65-acre Stoughton Pond is stocked with rainbow trout and has a boat ramp and a five-mile-per-hour speed limit. Trout and smallmouth bass are available in the rivers. Stoughton Pond Recreation Area features a swimming area and picnic sites. Restrooms, a change house, picnic tables, grills, and drinking water are available in the area. A picnic shelter can be reserved for a small fee. Hunting, fishing, trapping, and snowmobiling are permitted with applicable licenses and permits and in accordance with state and federal regulations. For those who want to explore the beauties of nature on dry land, there is Branch Brook nature trail at Stoughton Pond Recreation Area, plus ranger conducted programs. (see also Wildernet)
Nature and Hiking Areas
Weathersfield Trail (hiking)886-2215 Rick White, Dept. of Forest, Parks, and Recreation Cascade Falls Road
Of four hiking trails that go to the summit of Mt. Ascutney, the Weathersfield Trail is probably the most scenic. Highlights of this trail include Little Cascade Falls (.04 miles), Crystal Cascade Falls (an 84 foot high waterfall at 1.1 miles), Gus's Lookout and the West Peak Vista where in the summer months, hang gliders launch from. There is also a great observation platform on the summit for hikers.
Lower Village Nature Trail Off Maple Street, Perkinsville 885-2775
Created when the North Springfield Flood Control project relocated or removed the Lower Village of Perkinsville to provide a flood area for the Black River, the Army Corps of Engineers developed a nature area with walking trails and historical markers. For more information and trail maps, call the project office at 885-2775.
Branch Brook Trail Stoughton Pond or Branch Brook Road, Amsden 885-2775
Branch Brook trail parallels a portion of the former Branch Brook road that was removed during the construction of the North Springfield Flood Control Dam, following the shoreline of Stoughton Pond for nearly 1 1/4 miles. It connects with Branch Brook Road in Amsden and can be accessed from either end. The trail also follows a portion of the former Crown Point Road (more info), including a one of the original mile markers. That part of the trail is marked in yellow paint. In addition to hiking, there is fishing, swimming, and picnicking available at Stoughton Pond. For more info and trail maps, call 886-2775.
Eleanor Ellis Springweather Nature Area (walking trails) 263-5321 Helen MacKenzie Reservoir Basin Road
Springweather Nature Area overlooks North Springfield Lake on the border of Springfield and Weathersfield, VT. Trails meander through 70 acres of fields and forests, and provide many opportunities to enjoy the natural world.
Herrick's Cove Ascutney Mountain Audubon Society's (AMAS) protected Great Blue Heron rookery, located in a pond in Weathersfield, Vermont. In 1985, there were four active nests. In 1990 nine nests were counted, increasing to a high of twelve in 1992.
Crown Point Road In 1759 after the British defeated the French at Fort Crown Point a link to and from Fort #4 on the banks of the Connecticut River at what is now Charlestown NH was needed. The Crown Point Military Road, 20 feet wide and 77 1/2 miles long, was carved out of the wilderness in 1759 by 200 rangers under the command of Captain Stark. Originally known as the â€œIndian Roadâ€, it begins at the Fort at Number Four on the Connecticut River and continues to Lake Champlain. The southeastern part of this route, which passes through Plymouth, Ludlow, Cavendish, Weathersfield and Springfield is well marked and is frequently used as a hiking trail. In Weathersfield the trail is marked in yellow paint from the Crown Point Golf Course, through the Plain Cemetery and re-located Grout Cemetery, near the Crown Point Campground, through the North Springfield Flood Control Project up to the Old Branch Brook Road in Amsden.
North Springfield Bog The 10,000 year old Springfield Bog is a regional treasure that supports one of the largest concentration of insect eating pitcher plants in the state.
North Springfield Lake Reservoir Road, North Springfield 886-2775
With 1,372 acres of land ranging from forests and fields to wetlands and two lakes, North Springfield Lake has recreational opportunities for everyone. In summer months, visitors can swim, sunbathe, and picnic. Anglers can try their luck in our lake, pond, or rivers. Two boat ramps are available, and this is a popular location for canoeists to explore the beauties of North Springfield Lake. Winter sports such as snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing are also popular activities at North Springfield Lake. A new display of historical photos of the dam area is being put together for visitors.
Canoeing and Kayaking on the Connecticut River, North Star Canoe Rentals, Cornish, NH
Museums and Historical Attractions
The Rev. Dan Foster House, Weathersfield Center Road
Home to the Weathersfield Historical Society, this museum and library boasts a blacksmith's shop, a kitchen with fireplace, a children's room, and even a genealogy section. The museum is open May - October, Thursday through Monday from 2-5 p.m.
Across the street from the Foster House, the Old Brick Meeting House holds Congregational services each Sunday at 10 a.m.
Upper Falls Road off Rt. 131, Downers
Henry Gould Road off Rt. 131
Off Rt. 106 Perkinsville
Nearby Attractions (all in Vermont unless noted)
American Precision Museum, Windsor
Billings Farm & Museum, Woodstock
Crown Point Country Club Golf Course, Center Road
Old Constitution House State Historic Site and Covered Bridge, Windsor
Harpoon Brewery, Windsor
Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H.
Montshire Museum of Science (especially good for children), Norwich
Mount Ascutney and Okemo Mountain (Ludlow) Ski Areas
Quechee Gorge, Quechee
Simon Pearce Glassblowing and Pottery, Windsor and Quechee
St. Gaudens National Historic Site, Cornish, N.H.
Vermont Craft Center, Windsor
VINS (Vermont Institute of Natural Science), Quechee
Eureka Schoolhouse State Historic Site, Springfield
Fort at No. 4, Charlestown, NH
Hartness House Museum and Observatory , Springfield
Springfield Historical Society and Miller Art Center, Springfield
Gallery at the VAULT, Springfield