Bridgewater, Vermont, 8 miles to the West of Woodstock; that much closer to Killington Resort, has a year-round population of about 1,000 people most of whom you will never see due to the community’s rural character. It comprises 45 square miles of land with old 18th-century tracks, roads and stone fencing still evident throughout its woods and pastures.
The population means more land available, more unobstructed views, more horse trails and more chances to breathe the fresh air, fly high and spread your wings. That's exactly what a number of entrepreneurs have done who have chosen to live -- and create - in Bridgewater.
Once a bustling hub of the sheep and woolen industry along the Ottauquechee River, Bridgewater, Vermont now continues its history with its use of the restored woolen mill. The mill is home to a number of remarkable craftsmen and businesspeople, including internationally renowned furniture maker Charles Shackleton, Miranda Thomas Pottery along with smaller micro-craftspeople such as Fiona Blunden and her Gold Gilding Studio. The Mill Building also offers Ramunto’s pizza and beer, popular with locals heading home from work or visitors heading home from the slopes.
Just down the road, at Bridgewater Corners, Long Trail brewery, which started in the mill building and is now a vital local employer, hosts thousands of skiers, bikers, tourists who stop by to sample beer, grab a bite to eat and enjoy the Ottauquechee River as it burbles its way East to the Connecticut River.
Long Trail Ale is the top-selling beer in Vermont. And its new Limbo IPA is winning awards even in 2014. Long Trail is one of the original microbrewers in the State, named after the Long Trail, a North-South trail through the Green Mountain National Forest. The Long Trail connects to the Appalachian Trail, the famous outdoor thruway, which happens to go through Bridgewater the surrounding Chateauguay Wilderness and on into Woodstock.
Bridgewater, Vermont also includes one of the most scenic roads in America, often featured in magazine and TV reports, Route 100 /100A offers great bicycle touring and top-down roadster fun. The road less-travelled just happens to be the most beautiful, particularly in fall when the hillsides are ablaze with leaves turning red, orange and gold.
The October Country Inn in Bridgewater serves as perennial host B&B for those passing through whether by antique car or road bike. Nearby places to stay are also available in Woodstock, including the newer 506 On the River, the latest entry into the local hospitality business.
If you choose to live in Bridgewater, Vermont and own property you can enjoy the convenience of stopping in for last-minute groceries, gas and supplies at the Bridgewater Corners General Store or make your way into Woodstock for movies, performances, library, tennis and golf at the Woodstock Country Club. Heading in the other direction on Route 4 from Bridgewater, Green Mountain National Golf Course is less than a half hour away.
Exceptional properties, horse farms, working farms are available in Bridgewater and many "famous names" have chosen to quietly buy retirement or second-homes here in which they can entertain, quietly create or plan their next venture from a big old style front porch, rocking in a chair with a lemonade, a beer or a more sophisticated cocktail.
And, while not technically in Bridgewater, living here puts you close to those who have made a difference, including one famous name: President Calvin Coolidge, whose birthplace- now a historic site - is just a few minutes away in Plymouth Notch. The traditional values he espoused were much related to the place in which he grew up. It was and is a bucolic place just up and over from Bridgewater, Vermont.