Billings Farm And Museum, Woodstock VT: Exit And Explore Off I-89
Now, here’s a break. Wind your way to Woodstock VT, and get up close and personal with a barnyard at Billings Farm and Museum.
You’re driving on 1-89 or I-91 in VT: rolling hills dotted with cows, red barns and grey barns, woods and meadows, tractors baling hay…Maybe you’d like to see a cow eye to eye? At milking time? Or perhaps a cart horse catches your eye. How big exactly are the hoofs? Is that a goat or a sheep zooming past? Aahhh…Here’s your chance.
Where exactly? Look it up
Google Maps, GPS, or Vermont’s exceptionally-designed free paper map (available at rest areas) will be a great asset for fixing the precise location on the map. That’s because you can approach Woodstock VT (home of self-said Billings Farm and Museum) from several directions, interstates, dirt roads, snaky byways, pot-holed wonders, “main” thoroughfares with oh, so many on-the-way distractions…
Settle in to the parking lot with your trusty veehickle.
In case you’re wondering
This post coordinates with the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park VT article.
The two facilities are adjacent and mutually supportive. Their missions of are so complementary (and reflect the idealism of the Billings family) that a Park Ranger is on duty at the Billings Farm Visitor Center, which is NOT a Park enterprise.
The parking areas serve both sites.
In some order or other work your way around Billings Farm and Museum…
Go say hi to the “Mr. Ed” of Billings Farm. He sorta looks like the TV horse, huh? Anyway, you can stroke this one, flatter him, make googoo eyes, and inquire what he does on his days off.
Put your head in the cow barn
Woah, those cows are clean! There’s sweet hay aplenty, fluffed up and tasty, nary an unattractive cow plop, and freshly-painted walls. This place is a veritable cattle palace. But hey, these cows work hard at looking good.
If your timing is right, you’ll get there at milking time, calf-rascally time, a moo fest.
More? Tune in: the real Vermont accent will add “local color” to your outing.
Creamy ice cream and farmhouse
Jersey cows produce creamy milk, and creamy milk, duh, makes great ice cream. Billings Farm and Museum scoops it up from a nearby farm. Natch, they’ll offer you Vermont flavoring, yes, the golden liquid tapped from maple trees.
You’ll get your fix around the back of the Visitor Center.
Lick it up or sip a soda
Under the profusionary trees.
While you’re back there
Or pronto if the tour is starting, you’ll want to make a beeline to that farmhouse porch. No, you can’t rock the while away. Instead, you’ll cluster up for the guided tour inside.
This home has been restored to its former—Victorian—glory and refurbished with period furnishings. There’s a parlor, a pantry, a kitchen, warm wood panelling, and 2 of the most frou frou wood stoves you’ll ever lay eyes on.
Look in on the sheep and chickens
Billings Farm and Museum’s not free, but won’t trim a thin wallet by very much. Plus, by the time you’ve done a recce around Woodstock VT, scampered up to the Pogue, fitted in a tour of the Marsh House at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Site right across the road from Billings Farm, camped an overnight or two at the nearest State Park, gawked at Quechee Gorge, tasted every morsel of free cheese at the Cabot Outlet.….
Get the deal? You’re not spending very much for a barnload of extra fun.
And if you really don’t want to spend the $$$$? Humor Muddy Boots and fill your camera with free snapshots of meadow-feasting Jerseys and cart horses, visit the museum, documentary, and gift shop, chat up the all-knowing NPS Park Ranger at the reception desk…
And make up for the stinge-binge with an extra round of exercise on the free trails across the road.
Photo credits. Featured image and top…Jersey cow: Public Domain. Cabot cheese outlet, screen shot. Kids eating ice cream, Vermont ice cream: CC BY-SA 2.0 by Nicki Dugan Pogue via Flickr. All other photos in this post: ©DustyCarMuddyBoots.com, All Rights Reserved.