Almost a year ago, my parents moved from Central Vermont (near Montpelier) to Castleton, VT, about two hours south and over the mountain. Castleton is only a half an hour from Rutland, the second biggest “city” (I mean, it’s technically a city, but cities in Vermont are quite small) in Vermont, and half an hour (in the other direction) from Middlebury, VT, home to the college by the same name. Despite that, it seems way more “out in the boonies” than where I grew up, which was on a farm, yes, but was also only 10 minutes from the capital city of Montpelier.
My point is though, despite being in the middle of nowhere, I have grown to love the area. And especially in the summer, there are plenty of things to keep you entertained.
This is the largest lake that is completely within the borders of the state of Vermont. Although I can’t say I actually went swimming in the lake while I was home (parents’ house has a pool), it was fun to walk by and see the fishermen, the duck families, sailboats and people out enjoying the water. The beach is free for Castleton residents and I think only costs $3-4 for non-residents.
One of the year-long residents that lives near the lake set out a croquet set and course with a sign that read “Please play a game!” So the night my aunt and uncle came to stay, we headed out to play. My Uncle was the rules expert and obviously won. I came in last place (apparently high school field hockey skills don’t help with croquet), but it was still a blast.
You might not believe that there is a rodeo in Vermont, but Castleton is home to the only professional rodeo in the state. It’s held at Pond Hill Ranch, which is actually where I bought Nutmeg, my horse. Anyway, the rodeo was pretty sweet. I mean, very Vermont, but it was very entertaining, and definitely a happening place on a Saturday night. What I liked about it (well, besides the HORSES) was that it was very family friendly. I’m sure it doesn’t compare to rodeos out west, but it was a really good time.
This wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but for a History buff like myself, it was right up my alley. The Battle of Hubbardton took place on July 7th, 1777, and although it wasn’t a super important battle, it helped prevent the British from dividing and conquering the colonies, which was their strategy later-on in the war. My dad is also really into reading historical war fiction, so he knew all about the different generals and helped put the site in context. It’s also at a ridiculously gorgeous spot up in the hills near Castleton.
So yes, Castleton may be in the middle of nowhere, but it’s a beautiful spot, and the perfect place to relax and have fun a midst the craziness of preparing for my sister’s wedding.