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Trip # 2

75-85 Mile Tour

 
  TRIP TWO: 75-85 MILES

This trip covers Pomfret, the Joseph Smith Memorial, the Justin Morrill Homestead, Dartmouth College at Hanover, New Hampshire and the Quechee Gorge.

From the center of Woodstock proceed north on Rt. 12, crossing the Ottauquechee River on the Elm Street Bridge and passing the Billings Farm & Museum on the right and the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park on your left. A mile past the Museum leave Rt. 12, bearing right at the fork. At the next fork, in South Pomfret, bear right again. The Suicide Six Ski Area will be visible on the left. Continue past the farms and orchards of Pomfret and North Pomfret, crossing the White River at West Hartford, some 13 miles from Woodstock. On the other side of the river turn left on Rt. 14 and proceed to Sharon. About four miles past Sharon a steep uphill road on the right leads two miles to the Joseph Smith Memorial, and a library and museum at the Mormon Prophet's birthplace.

Returning to Sharon, turn left on Rt. 132 to South Strafford. A left there takes you to Strafford, home of Olympic equestrian champions, the fine old Universalist Meeting House, and the Justin Morrill Homestead, home of the Vermont Senator who in the 1860s authored the Land Grant College Act. The Homestead is a National Historic Landmark. Return to South Strafford and take Rt. 132 to Union Village and to Pompanoosuc, where you turn right on Rt. 5. Proceed to Norwich and across the Connecticut River to Hanover, New Hampshire.

Dartmouth College, in Hanover, was founded in 1769 for the "education and religious training of Indians, English youth, and other." Dartmouth Row, a group of stately white buildings, reflects the campus as it appeared prior to 1845. Baker Library houses the famous Orozco frescos in its basement, the artist's interpretation of the history of the Americas.

The Hopkins Center for the Performing and Creative Arts provides training in music, drama, art and cinema, as well as providing the college and the region with a year-round program of outstanding cultural and entertainment events. The Hood Museum features changing exhibitions of art year-round. The Dartmouth Winter Carnival, held in February is well known for its elaborate ice sculptures and winter sports events. Traveling south from Hanover on Rt.10 you will pass the Wilder dam, an important element in flood control on the Connecticut River. Crossing back into Vermont at West Lebanon, you pass White River Junction, once an important railroad hub in New England. Taking Rt. 4 back towards Woodstock, you soon come to Quechee Gorge formed over thousands of years by the flow of the Ottauquechee River, now 165 feet down. Be sure to stop at the Ottauquechee Valley Winery tasting room while at the gorge. The present highway bridge is at the site of a trestle constructed for the Woodstock Railway, which served Woodstock from White River Junction from 1875 to 1933.

A few hundred feet off Rt. 4 is the village of Quechee, whose old mill has been restored by the Irish glassblower Simon Pearce. The mill's turbines have been rebuilt and now supply power to the building, which houses a restaurant, shop, and glassblowing studio. Quechee boasts a large second home community with golf courses, ski area, club, pool, tennis, and riding stables. Other activities in Quechee include the annual Balloon Festival over Father's Day weekend and the annual Scottish Festival in August. Pass through the modem covered bridge next to the Mill to return to Rt. 4 and Woodstock.