Fall Scenic Drives Near Woodstock Inn
Guests of the Woodstock Inn & Resort who are visiting New England this fall are in for a special treat. The scenic Mt. Ascutney Loop offers a beautiful rural route through some of the most spectacular fall scenery in the area. Enjoy a leisurely two-hour drive along this 62 mile loop, or create your own half day or full day trip with stops or leisurely hikes at some of the suggested highlights you will find along the way.
Highlights and suggested stops:
The 53 foot Salmond Covered Bridge brings Henry Gould Road across the Black River in Weathersfield, Vermont. Stop alongside this scenic site for picture-taking, or enjoy a leisurely picnic with lovely views. Built in 1875, the bridge was moved in 1986 to its current location to remove it from flood control areas.
Delightful vistas can be found at the top of the Mt. Ascutney’s lookout tower. For those interested in hiking, a number of scenic view points can also be found along any of four full base to summit hiking trails. For a shorter hike, drive to the upper parking area on the Mountain Road where a half mile trail will take you to the summit.
Explore the two-span, 460 foot long Windsor-Cornish Bridge, the longest covered bridge still standing in the United States until 2008. It carries Bridge Street in Windsor, Vermont and the Cornish Toll Road in Cornish, New Hampshire across the Connecticut River. Parking is available on both sides of bridge, with the larger site on the New Hampshire side.
Explore the home, gardens and studios of Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848–1907), one of America's foremost sculptors. The center of the Cornish Art Colony, this historic site showcases over 100 pieces of art throughout the galleries and grounds, including the gold coins that shaped the look of American change. The site also features two short hiking trails.
Harpoon Brewery, founded in Boston in 1986, opened a site in Windsor, Vermont in 2000 in order to keep up with the growing demand for their brews. Stop by the Harpoon Riverbend Taps and Beer Garden for lunch, a snack or a beverage, with a full selection of beers straight from the source. On weekends, a guided tour of the brewery is also available.
Visit the Simon Pearce Factory in Windsor, Vermont and watch master glassblowers and potters at work from a prime view on the catwalk during weekdays, and then shop for lovely finished products. The store is also open on weekends and offers an extensive assortment of discounted second-quality glass and pottery, as well as first-quality merchandise for sale.
Head South from the Inn on Route 106/South Street. Go 17.8 miles to a blinker at Route 131 in Downers Corners
Turn Left on ROute 131. After 2.7 miles you will see Henry Gould Road on your left
A 500 Ft. jaunt down this road provides you with a perfect picnic spot at the Salmond Covered Bridge
- Head back to Route 131 and press on for another 4/6 miles to Route 5
- Turn left on Route 5 and head back north for 1 mile
- Take a left onto Route 44A/Back Mountain Rd. Go 1 mile
- Take your first left into the Mount Ascutney State Park (toll road)
Climb up Mt. Ascutney Pkwy to an elevation of 2800ft. Stretch your legs at the top with a .7 mile hike to the summit and lookout tower
- After staring out into the distance return back down to Route 44A
- Upon exiting the park, turn left onto Route 44A and go 1 mile to Cole Hill road
- Turn right onto Cole Hill rd
- A short .4 miles brings you to a stop sign at Route 44. Turn right here and follow Route 44 into Windsor
- In 2.6 miles you will arrive at a stop light. On the return you will be heading north (left) onto Route 5. However, the worthwhile detour is to continue straight onto Bridge St. to traverse the Connecticut river ont eh Cornish-Windsor Bridge
- Once across the bridge on the New Hampshire side, turn left onto Route 12A heading north
- After 1.5 miles of cruising the shoreline you will turn right onto Saint-Gaudens Road
Saint-Gaudens was America's premier sculptor in the early 20th Century. Take a visit through the home, studio and grounds (Memorial Day- late October)
- Return to Vermont the way you came by taking a left onto Route 12A and then taking a right onto Bridge St to go back across the Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge
- Back at the stoplight turn right onto Route 5. You will be taking a left onto Route 12 after 5.1 miles
Just on the other side of Windsor you will see the Harpoon Brewery and the Simon Pearce Glassblowing factory on your right. Bother are open year around
- After taking your left onto Route 12 meander along for 7.6 miles to reach the 'T' intersection of Route 4
- Return 'home' to Woodstock by taking a left and minding your speed for 4 miles