Worcester offers the best of north central Vermont, with a bounty of year-round outdoor recreation, arts and culture.
Hampshire Hill and the surrounding area is loaded with tucked-away swimming holes, including a stunning series of fern-draped basins and falls on Hancock Brook, and waterfalls just a short hike from the property in Putnam Forest. The nearby Curtis Pond in Calais is a popular local spot for swimming and boating, and the lovely Lake Elmore is just 15 minutes up the road from Worcester Village. On the way to Elmore, the recently completed North Branch Cascades Trail dazzles with seven cascading waterfalls, stone staircases leading to deep swimming holes, access to boating, and a wheelchair accessible trail for birdwatching, botanizing, fishing and picnicking. And down the road in Barre, the Millstone Trails provide a glimpse of history — not to mention an 18-hole disc golf course — along paths connecting the town’s celebrated granite quarries. More rigorous hiking, as well as mountain biking through Putnam State Forest, will be virtually at your doorstep via the Skyline Trail, which connects Mount Hunger, Stowe Pinnacle and Mount Worcester.
These and other nearby trails transform into a winter wonderland backdrop for cross-country and backcountry skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. And of course, Vermont’s famed ski resorts are a stone’s throw away, including Stowe Mountain, Sugarbush, Smuggler’s Notch, Mad River Glen, Bolton Valley, Burke Mountain and Jay Peak. For snowmobilers, the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers (VAST) curates miles of trails through public and private land, some of the finest accessible from Worcester Village at the bottom of Hampshire Hill. Neighbors also gather in winter at Curtis Pond for ice skating and ice hockey, and at The Rink at State Street, a public, outdoor ice skating rink on the statehouse lawn in nearby Montpelier.
Arts, Culture & Cuisine
Along with ample access to nature, Hampshire Hill is situated within a landscape rich with artistic and cultural pursuits and opportunities.
Vermont artisans and craftspeople routinely open their studios and workshops for shows — whether as part of the quarterly Art Walk in Montpelier or the annual statewide Open Studios Weekend, or through local initiatives like Art at the Kent in nearby Kent’s Corner, which also features regular poetry readings. The public Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier, as well as locally owned bookstores in the surrounding area, also host readings by authors from near and far. The Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier also fuels the area’s creative economy, anchored by independent bookstores, galleries, boutiques and antique shops.
Worcester residents enjoy the benefits of proximity to the state capital Montpelier (just nine gorgeous miles away), which generates many more cultural opportunities than most cities its size. Additionally, nearby Stowe is a thriving magnet for artists, galleries, boutiques, jewelers and charming restaurants. The area also offers hidden delights — like the community-owned store Maple Corner Community Store & Whammy Bar on the edge of Curtis Pond, where locals enjoy live music and great food in an intimate setting; or the Maple Corner Community Center, which offers yoga classes, community theater, variety shows and a room for hosting private events. At Camp Meade in Middlesex, “quirky Vermont taste” is on display through their Concert on the Green series and other performances and events. And annual traditions like RockFire at the Millstone Trails in Barre, the Black Fly Festival in Adamant, or the Ice On Fire Winter Festival at North Branch Nature Center make living in north central Vermont a joyous experience.
Numerous bars and restaurants embody the region’s value for Farm to Table cuisine, as do many small-scale farms nearby that comprise the state’s iconic, pastoral views. Farm stands and community-supported agriculture (CSA) shares are available from a multitude of local, organic and sustainable operations, providing fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, breads, cheeses and more. And while Hampshire Hill affords secluded privacy in a lush and verdant mountain forest, it’s also just a short drive to a major grocery store chain and the amazing Hunger Mountain Co-op, and Caledonia Spirits distillery and bar — all in nearby Montpelier.
For even more night-life and recreation than the surprising variety available in the immediate area, Burlington and Lake Champlain are easily accessible, and the cultural mecca of Montreal is just over two hours away. Many residents avail themselves of international flights to and from Montréal-Trudeau International Airport, but the quaint and convenient Burlington International Airport also connects the area to major hubs, and even offers many nonstop flights to major destinations in the U.S. For aviators, the Morrisville-Stowe State Airport just over the ridge from Hampshire Hill is even more convenient, with hangar space, rental cars, gourmet catering and concierge services available.