Originally built as a dormitory for the Orleans County Grammar School, the Old Stone House Museum is a historical granite block building known for its massive structure—and it’s lucky to be around. In the early 20th century, a building company targeted the Grammar School dormitory for its granite to use as blocks for railroad bridges. Its builder has a prominent place in history as well: Alexander Twilight, headmaster of the school, was the first African-American to graduate from college in America and to be elected to public office.
Any bookworms and art aficionados, history buffs and collectors will find a welcoming atmosphere at the scholarly hub and local public library known as the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum. The Athenaeum is a combined art gallery and library housed in an architecturally and historically phenomenal building designed in the Victorian style and full of the flavors of the 19th century, inside and out.
Not too far north of the Highland Lodge sits the looming peak of Mount Pisgah, one of Vermont’s most iconic mountains best known for its location along the crystal clear water of Lake Willoughby. With a half-mile high summit and a breathtaking view of the lake below, Mount Pisgah is a serene escape into the natural side of the world that offers hiking opportunities on its three trails and three outlooks. When you see Mount Pisgah, you can imagine the hike isn’t all that easy.
So what if your Highland Lodge getaway was supposed to be all about rest and relaxation? You can still escape the stress and bustle of everyday life while remaining active with a visit to the Craftsbury Outdoor Center in Vermont’s tranquil and picturesque “Northeast Kingdom.” The Craftsbury Outdoor Center is a great headquarters for the region’s athletes, nature-lovers, and outdoor-enthusiasts, and also provides visitors with unique recreation options.
Inspired by the panoramic views from atop the Barr Hill Nature Preserve, Caledonia Spirits makes Barr Hill craft gin and vodka using raw local and regional ingredients. The distillery’s mission is to support working landscapes and local agriculture from its vista views on Greensboro’s highest point, all while carefully crafting some of the world’s best gin. Its signature ingredient? Raw honey. And the Vermont-only process from fermentation to distillation makes sure these spirits have been born and bred in the beautiful Vermont highlands, down to the barrel.
Continue the tradition of craft beer at the nearby Hill Farmstead Brewery, a local craft brewery. The Tap Room is open Wednesday through Saturday 12PM to 5PM and features craft brews such as Mary, Marie, Edward, and George, as well as the ominous Birth of Tragedy, the oak barrel-aged version of Hill Farmstead’s annual winter porter called Twilight of the Idols. Available for onsite consumption are other brews like Barrel Aged Dorothy and Farmer Wave.
Looking for that postcard-worthy view that has made Vermont famous? If you missed Barr Hill last month or are seeking something a little more spectacular, take the time to make the short drive down to Owls Head Mountain in the northern edges of Groton State Forest. Besides the world-class Owls Head vista, Groton State Forest also has a year-round network of hiking trails and one of the state’s largest bogs, full of interesting and unusual wildlife.
For over 65 years, Caspian Lake has been one of Vermont’s most popular vacation destinations and we’re just feet away from it. We have a great view of the lake, too, so we understand why so many people want to vacation here. Besides being famous for its quiet serenity and solitude in northern Vermont, the lake is also great for outdoor activities like water skiing, sailing, kayaking, fishing, and even listening to music.
The popular idiom—take a hike—takes on a whole new meaning with our proximity to Barr Hill Natural Area. Lace up your hiking boots and head straight from the Lodge or your private cabin up through the trail into the woods to the celebrated nature conservancy.