Amazing Things To See & Do In Rutland, Vermont

Boats docked in morning mist,Lake Groton, Stillwater Park, Vermont, USA
Boats docked in morning mist,Lake Groton, Stillwater Park, Vermont, USA | © Winston Fraser / Alamy Stock Photo
Catrina Pang

As Vermont’s second largest city, rich in natural beauty, with a healthy economy and wonderful history, Rutland is hailed as an eclectic mix of the old and the new. Whether you’re itching to be out in nature, passionate about art and history, looking to treat yourself to some pampering, seeking an adventure, or hoping to immerse yourself in culture, you won’t want to miss out on these incredible things to see and do in Rutland, Vermont.

Explore the trails of Pine Hill Park

Offering 16 miles of single-track trail spread over 325 acres of terrain, Pine Hill Park provides its visitors with some of the very best mountain biking, trail running, hiking, walking, snowshoeing, and geocaching in the central Vermont region. Pine Hill Park is owned by the City of Rutland, Vermont, and it is stewarded by the Pine Hill Partnership, which is a non-profit volunteer organization formed to maintain the park for the enjoyment of all who love the outdoors. Trail construction and maintenance is conducted entirely by volunteers who have donated tens of thousands of strenuous man-hours. All of the dirt digging, shoveling, bridge building, and signage was done by volunteers coordinated through the Pine Hill Partnership. The park is home to seven unique wooden bridges, including a Chinese-timber arch bridge, a centrifuge berm, another based on the Fibonacci sequence, and even a full suspension bridge. All of the bridges are built with trex decking material that holds its grip even when it’s wet so that the bridges are always safe for visitors. Pine Hill’s suggested trails, all of which feature stunning views of natural Vermont scenery, include both running and mountain biking loops at all levels of difficulty, in addition to the popular Carriage Trail marked with royal blue blazes.

View the historic collections of the Norman Rockwell Museum

Established in 1976, the Norman Rockwell Museum of Vermont features a nationally recognized collection of Norman Rockwell’s art, commemorating his years in Vermont and the entire span and diversity of his career from 1911 to 1978. Americans first knew and loved Norman Rockwell’s art and style as it appeared on and between the covers of America’s most popular magazines, and these magazine covers, advertisements, and illustrations are at the heart of the museum’s collection. The Saturday Evening Post covers, with which most people are familiar, represent a just a fraction of Rockwell’s art. He also painted covers for such forgotten magazines as Judge, Leslie’s, The Literary Digest, The Country Gentleman, and a host of others. The museum showcases a chronological display of more than 2,500 Norman Rockwell magazine covers, advertisements, paintings, facts, and other published works, showing Rockwell’s development as an illustrator and linking his work to the political, economic, and cultural history of the United States. From prints and figurines to collector plates and Boy Scout art to books and Norman Rockwell-themed gifts, the Norman Rockwell Museum of Vermont has it all.

Get lost in the Hathaway Farm Corn Maze

Inside a third generation Vermont farm at the foot of the Green Mountains, the Hathaway Farm Corn Maze delights guests of all ages as the largest corn maze in the state. With 12 acres of corn and miles of paths, solving the maze is certainly a challenging task. Luckily, there is an Early Exit available so that visitors can ‘escape’ if they really need to. The maze has a different theme every year (the 2015 theme was Under the Sea), and there are always clues scattered throughout to help guests along the way. In addition, the maze famously features eight hole punches of all different shapes that people can try to find in order to fill up a punch card while solving the maze. Those who are able to find all of the punches will be eligible for a raffle drawing at the end of the year. There are four bridges that visitors might encounter along their journey, one of them being a four-way bridge that could even be happened upon more than once. There’s also a grassy knoll, a little field inside the maze where people can sit and relax in the Adirondack chairs while taking in the beautiful mountain views or roll down the hill with all the kids, and two huge tractor tires somewhere in there that double as a great spot to sit down and ponder where to go next. This year, Hathaway Farm started a series of smartphone games for the maze, allowing guests to access a site with trivia, digital checkpoints, and a map of the maze with a GPS function to that lets people see exactly where they are.

Relax at A Signature Day Spa

Promising that its focus will always be on you, A Signature Day Spa offers a peaceful, zen, and beautiful environment, a place to exhale deeply, breathe freely, and to release stress and tension. Established in 2005, the spa’s reputation has grown more and more each year, now attracting clients from Killington, Ludlow, Stratton, and throughout Vermont. A Signature Day Spa has been voted Best of the Best Day Spa, Massage, Skincare and Waxing. With a goal of making a difference in the lives that they touch, the folks at A Signature Day Spa promotes a healthier lifestyle in mind, body, and spirit. Thanks to the highly trained friendly staff, guests can relax and rest assured that the skilled and knowledgeable spa professionals are there to take care of their needs on many different levels. The spa sets out to bring each visitor an environment where the highest levels of skin and body care are provided to nurture the well-being of mind, body, and spirit. Infusing Western modalities with knowledge of Easter healing and well-being, A Signature Day Spa is able to tailor each treatment to anyone’s needs. In addition to massage and body treatments, skin care services, manicures and pedicures, and waxing services, the spa even offers life coaching programs as well as workshops on massage and makeup application techniques.

Catch a show at the Paramount Theatre

Presenting world-class live entertainment in historic downtown Rutland, Paramount Theatre has assumed its role as an arts, cultural, and educational leader, and as a significant and valuable community resource. Originally built in 1912 and 1913 by George T. Chaffee, the theater opened on January 16, 1914 with classical style exterior architecture that reflected the ‘City Beautiful’ movement of the time, while the interior took on the look of a Victorian opera house. Du Barry rose tapestry covered the side walls, and velour hangings of the same shade adorned the boxes. The ceilings were beautifully decorated with gold leaf, and a large oval painting representing music, lyric art, and the dramas was shown among the 150 softly glowing incandescent ceiling lights. The floors of the auditorium, aisles, boxes, and lobby were carpeted in green with wilton. In the 1970s, however, like many small theaters across the country, the Paramount Theatre, then known as The Movies, paralleled the decline of the film industry and closed its doors in 1975. In 1985, Paramount Center, Inc. took over and set about restoring the building to its original glory. The successful restoration of the Paramount Theatre was completed in February of 2000, and today it hosts a variety of impressive and reasonably priced shows including ballets, old films, stand-up comedy, and musical performances.

Immerse yourself in culture at the Chaffee Art Center and Chaffee Downtown

Showcasing a diverse array of unique art exhibits in beautiful buildings that are themselves historic landmarks, the Chaffee Art Center and Chaffee Downtown are two art galleries owned by the Rutland Area Arts Association, a nonprofit enterprise financed by donations, memberships, exhibit sponsors, and commissions on artwork sales. Founded in 1961, the Rutland Area Arts Association was created to promote the arts within the Rutland community, and the organization’s physical incarnation first found a home in the gorgeous Queen Anne Victorian mansion built and originally owned by prominent businessman George T. Chaffee back in the 1890s. The home, which now houses the appropriately named Chaffee Art Center, features a variety of European and Middle Eastern architectural styles popular at the time amongst wealthy Americans. Its distinctive features include the Syrian arch front entrance, a first floor of machine-cut marble blocks, a three-story corner tower with gothic windows, and an elegant porte-cochere. The gallery features exhibits that highlight the work of the center’s juried artists, regional New England artists, and even international artists. On New Year’s Eve of 2013, the Chaffee Art Center opened Chaffee Downtown on Merchants Row, kicking off the new year with a new space to provide yet another venue for area artists to exhibit and community art offerings to take place.

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