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Trip # 3

90 - 100 Mile Tour

 
 

TRIP THREE: 90-100 MILES

The Calvin Coolidge Homestead in Plymouth, the Black River Academy in Ludlow, the Crowley Cheese Factory in Healdville, the New England Maple Museum in Pittsford, and the Pico and Killington Ski areas are all on this circuit.

Driving west on Rt. 4 out of Woodstock you will pass the Lincoln Covered Bridge, built in 1877, on the left. In the village of Bridgewater, the old woolen mill is beautifully restored. The restored Southgate House, built in 1779, serves as the town's library and municipal building. Two miles beyond Bridgewater, at Bridgewater Corners, turn left on Rt. 100A. The Coolidge State Forest soon comes into view, and a few miles later you will arrive at the tiny village of Plymouth, birthplace and ancestral home of Calvin Coolidge, and now a National Historic District.

President Harding died in San Francisco at 7:30 pm on August 2,1923. There being no phone in the Coolidge Homestead, where the Vice President was vacationing, the news was carried to Plymouth by the husband of the telephone operator in Bridgewater. There just across the street from the house where he was born, the oath of office was administered by his father to the 30th President of the United States in the early hours of August 3rd.

The Coolidge Homestead, furnished, as it was then, Coolidge's birthplace across the road, the Church and the Farmer's Museum are all open to the public. Meals are served at the Wilder House. The Plymouth Cheese Company is open for business and offers tours and demonstrations of cheese making. President Coolidge is buried in the village cemetery. Back on Rt. l00A, continue on down the hill to Plymouth Union where the road meets Rt. 100. Turns left and go eight miles through country dotted with farms, sugarhouses and inns, with a lovely string of lakes on the left along the road. Upon reaching Rt. 103 you may turn left into Ludlow and seek out the Black River Academy Historical Society building, where young 53 Calvin Coolidge attended school. Returning back up Rt. 103 you will see lovely vistas, as this is one of the highest roads in this part of the state.

Some four miles from Ludlow, just past the Crowley Cheese Store, a dirt road leads to the Cheese Factory at Healdville, in continuous operation since 1824. Returning to Rt. 103, continue through the village of East Wallingford to Cuttingsville, which boasts an unusual mausoleum in the cemetery. Consider a side trip to the much-photographed Shrewsbury Community Church in Cuttingsville.

Proceed to Rutland via Rt. 103 and Rt. 7, continuing on to Proctor via Rt. 7 and Rt. 3. Here is the Vermont Marble Company and the site of the largest marble display in the world. The exhibit includes a hall of Presidents and a marble replica of daVinci's "Last Supper." Also in this area are the New England Maple Museum, which details the history and methods of making ample syrup and other maple products, and Wilson Castle, an authentic 19th century architectural masterpiece.

Return to Rutland and pick up Rt. 4 East. You will find yourself climbing steadily. Just before reaching Sherburne Pass at 2200 feet, you will see the Pico Ski Area on your right, with skiing in the winter and an Alpine Slide in the summer. There is a 2.5-mile hiking trail from the pass to the summit of Pico, with its rewarding view.

Over the Pass Rt. 4 drops down to the intersection of Rt. 100 and Rt4. An access road to the right takes you to the Killington Ski area, where summer activities include running races, golf, horse shows, Summer Theater, and chairlift rides to the summit. Back on Rt. 4 turn right towards Woodstock. After just a few miles, the Killington Gondola offers during foliage a 3.5-mile trip to the summit of the mountain where there is a restaurant and spectacular views. Vermont was named by an awed early climber on the summit of Killington, and he, of course, didn't have the benefit of a gondola to get there.

Back on Rt. 4, the trip continues along the Ottauquechee River Valley to Bridgewater and on to Woodstock.