Twice a day the balloons rise from the Village Green near Quechee's Simon Pierce Glass Works and float off towards the Ottauquechee River and the chasm called the Quechee Gorge.
The pilots use the winds to ascend and descend and catch the air currents that guide them through the valley.
Moving silently, the balloon follows the river and soars over the treetops to settle down between vermilion hillsides and into the Quechee Gorge.
The balloon lifts again and glides high above the farms of Woodstock and then into a field rimmed by sugar maples turned red by the fall season to meet the chase team as it arrives for the traditional Champaign toast.
Fall brings the changing of the leaves to Woodstock.
From the Village Green beside the river, Balloons fly passengers all season down the river and into the Quechee Gorge. The fall flights give passengers a great look at the changing trees.
Morning flights usually follow the river southeast then fly up over route 4 and descend into the mile-long water-cut canyon billed locally as Vermont's Grand Canyon.
Morning flights fly above the Gorge giving passengers a great view.
Afternoon flights will often follow the river through farm country and over the ski mountain to the northwest.
- Afternoon Balloon Flights
The Billings Farm Museum built in 1878 still operates as a dairy while celebrating the farm life once so integral to Vermont life.
The Raptor Center of the Vermont Institute of Natural Science rescues and rehabilitates birds, particularly hawks and eagles. They have two Bald Eagles, two Golden Eagles and many hawks and owls that came to them too damaged for release to the wild.
In Quechee Gorge Village an old diner is one of only three of its type left in the country and shares space with the Vermont Toy and Train Museum displaying toys, dolls, and lunch boxes dating from the 40s
The Simon Pierce Glassworks gives you a close-up look at the skills of glass artisans and potters creating artworks for sale in the showrooms. The building was once a water-powered mill with an electric generator within a sluice channel which architects saved for viewing when they remodeled the old building in the 70s. While dining at the Glassworks you overlook a waterfall and a covered bridge and might just see a balloon lift off from the green and glide by as it follows the river.
- The Simon Pierce Glassworks
The rolling hills and cleared fields make for such great hot air balloon country that Woodstock hosts the annual Quechee Balloon Festival in mid June bringing live music to the green, craft shows and a host of micro-brews strutting their wares. Vermont farm country presents few wires, no tall buildings, and lots of room to land. Morning flights are the best but during the summer the riders will have to be ready by 6 am.
Although the changing of the leaves is as fickle as the winds that push balloons through the valley, usually the foliage season ends by the fourth week in October. Balloons fly year-round but the rush of visitors tapers in November as Vermont settles in for a long snowy winter.
Woodstock Vermont Balloons
can bring excitement to an old theme. You can sail over Woodstock Vermont's crimson hills and covered bridges and make your autumn in Vermont something special.
Woodstock Vermont Balloons photo Jeannne McKenna
Woodstock Vermont Balloon Rides
Applebutter Inn, one of the Benchmark Inns of the Woodstock area. Link to Applebutter Inn
Pilot Darrek Daoust secures the balloon after a flight
Woodstock Vermont Hot Air Balloons in Woodstock
Morning flights bring little wind
Quechee Gorge Village, Toy Train Museum
Morning Flight from the village green
Getting to Woodstock: Traveling by air, the nearest international airport is Boston's Logan Airport (BOS) where you can rent a car for the trip north. Follow Route 93 North as it goes through the city of Boston towards Manchester, NH. North of Manchester pick up Route 89 north to Lebanon NH and White River Junction Vermont. Then take Rout 4 to Woodstock, VT
|Annual Hot air Balloon
Festival and Crafts Fair,
Hot Air Balloons
Colonial Woodstock with a population of 3,500 spends fall decked out in harvest time splendor with pumpkins and chrysanthemums lining the sidewalks in a village center that anchors farm country of rolling hills. Still supplying milk, cheese, and Maple syrup to nearby cities, the region will as often host crafts artists, equine eventing, fox hunts, and elegant shops.
- Woodstock Vermont Sightseeing
Antique covered bridges and postcard-like farms attract artists and photographers, others come for the golf, tennis, and museums
- Covered Bridges In Woodstock
Equestrian events attract horse owners to Woodstock. May and July see the Green Mountain Horse Association's Hunter Jumper shows in South Woodstock and weekends bring equestrian events.
- Equestrian Events In Woodstock
The end of August brings the Annual Scottish Festival with bagpipe music, Scottish fiddles, Celtic harp, and Scottish dancing along with sheep herding dogs and a road race that requires kilts.
The villagers have preserved the old houses and three covered bridges two date to the mid 1800s.