Visitor's Guide to Cavendish, Vermont
Located on route 103, part of the Scenic Highway Route 100 By Pass, Cavendish, Vermont celebrates a unique way of rural New England life. When the Soviet dissident and Nobel Laureate in Literature Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn made Cavendish his home (1976-1994), he said:
"It didn’t happen by chance. I chose this place. I dislike very much large cities with their empty and fussy lives. I like very much the simple way of life and the population here, the simplicity and the human relationship. I like the countryside, and I like the climate with the long winter and the snow, which reminds me of Russia."
Today, Cavendish remains a thriving community. Small home-based businesses have benefited from the online world, there is a growing artist community, and a return to small farming. Yet, the town is much as Solzhenitsyn found it over 35 years ago; it is a place to be in nature.
Boasting a number of different places to stay, in various price ranges, you can literally walk out the door and be surrounded by state forest, beautiful vistas and centuries of history to explore. While you may come for Okemo Mountain, stay in the Valley and enjoy a relaxing way of life, filled with plenty of amenities.
Places to Eat in Cavendish, VT
Brook Farm Vineyard and Tasting Room
Castle Hill Resort and Spa
Crows Bakery & Opera House Cafe
Table 19 Restaurant and Bar
Convenience Stores in Cavendish, VT
Jill's Place | Ph. 554-0087 |1990 Main St. Cavendish
Singleton’s General Store
Churches in Cavendish, VT
Ph. 802-226-7607 | 60 Assembly of God Dr., Proctorsville.
Cavendish Baptist Church
Ph. 802-226-7131 | 2258 Main St., Cavendish.
Ph. 802-226-7967 | 89 Depot St., Proctorsville.
Holy Name of Mary Catholic
Ph. 802-228-3451 | Main St., Proctorsville.
St. James United Methodist
Ph. 802-226-7819 | 570 Main St., Proctorsville.
Recreational Activities in Cavendish, VT
Whether you want to fish, take a hike, kayak, canoe, snow shoe, cross country ski or snow mobile, Cavendish offers a variety of out door fun and activities. You can take a walk on any of the town’s backgrounds or on the sidewalks in the villages.
Along Route 131 in Cavendish, the Black River offers some of the best trout fishing in the state. The area is designated as a Trophy Trout Stream and restricted to artificial lures of flies only. The lure preferred by Vermont trout are nymphs, specifically dark olive or brown soft hackles. There are a number of pull offs for parking. Learn how to purchase a fishing license, including a non-resident 1, 3, or 7-day license on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife site.
A walking path approximately one mile in length, plus a portage point for canoes and kayaks for the Black River, is located at Greven Field in Proctorsville.. Plenty of parking and porta potties are on site. The walking path follows the Black River, and is on the outskirts of a baseball field. It winds through the woods and is flat for easy walking. There are places along the path to sit and relax, read or rest. Directions: Heading West on Route 103, the entrance to Greven Field is on the right hand side of the road, just after Depot Street and just before the intersection of 103 and 131.
Knapp Pond Wildlife Management Area
A 1,272 acre parcel of land, Knapp Brook contains a unique variety of wildlife habitats including vernal pools, seeps, beaver flowages, a large wetland area and two ponds created bythe Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department in the late 1950’s. (Knapp Pond #1 has a handicap accessible fishing facility.) The ponds are stocked with rainbow and brook trout, and Knapp Brook contains wild brook trout. Kayaks and canoes are allowed on the ponds and many ice skate here in the winter. Directions: From the village of Cavendish, head east on route 131. Take Tarbell Hill Road, and go approximately 3 miles, Knapp Pond Rd will be on the left. Take 0.7 miles to reach the first Pond.
Proctor Piper State Forest
Over 1,500 acres of State Forest land are located in the Cavendish area. The Forest is mostly undeveloped offering hiking, picnicking and seasonal hunting. Located in the southern midsection of Vermont, covered bridges, fishing ponds, historic sites and more are just a few miles within each other including the Hawk Mountain Wildlife Management Area, which offers an opportunity to view black bear and white-tailed deer. Directions: In the Village of Proctorsville, take Depot Street off of either Route 131 or 103. Turn onto Pratt Hill Road. This road will take you onto Forestry Road and into the State Forest.
There are a number of VAST (Vermont Association of Snow Travelers) Trails in Cavendish, as well as an active snowmobile Club, Cavendish SnowFleas. For more information about the Club call 802-226-7476. Snowmobile rentals are also available from Snow Country Snow Mobile (802-226-7529).
Things To Do in Cavendish, Vermont
Crown Point Road
Built in 1759-60, during the French and Indian War, the Crown Point Road was of great importance in the early history of Vermont. Its purpose was to connect the great stone fortress at Crown Point, then being built, with Fort No. 4, now Charlestown, New Hampshire. Parts of the road go through Cavendish and walking tours are often given by the Crown Point Road Association. Call 802-773-6819 or 802-459-2837.
Cavendish Historical Society
The Cavendish Historical Society is open on Sundays from 2-4 pm from the first Sunday in June until the Sunday of Columbus Day weekend. Events are scheduled throughout the year either at the Museum or in other parts of the community. Private tours can be arranged by calling 802-226-7807 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Cavendish Historical Society has three self-guided tours: Phineas Gage Walking Tour; Historic Proctorsville Walking Tour and Early Settlers Tour. Directions are available on-line. Copies are available at the Museum and at the town office.
Singleton’s General Store
Singleton's General Store is a unique market that’s part museum, part curio shop, a sportsman’s paradise and a meat lover’s heaven. As one customer said, “If Singleton’s doesn’t have it, you don’t need it.” Located on route 131 in Proctorsville, the store offers food, alcohol, clothes, and a variety of household items. There is an old fashion smokehouse behind the store. Open seven days a week. Sunday-Thursday 8 am-7 pm; Friday and Saturday 8 am-9 pm. | Ph. 802-226-7666
Spa and Salons
The Castle Hill Spa & Resort | Ph. 802-226-7419
Village Clipper | Ph. 802-226-7233
Special Events in Cavendish, VT
Black and White Film Series
Showing old movies on the big screen at the Gethsemane Parish Hall in Proctorsville on Friday evenings. Starts in January and runs through the beginning of March. This is a free event but donations are welcome.
Sugar on Snow
In March, The Cavendish Baptist Church holds its annual Sugar-on-Snow dinner featuring ham, baked peas and many other homemade treats.
Raise the Roof Concert Series
Offering a variety of concerts at Gethsemane Episcopal Church on Depot Street in Proctorsville, starting in the fall and running through the spring.
Town Wide Tag Sale
The last Saturday in July. All along route 131, both of the village greens and many of the back roads are alive with a wide variety of items for sale. Look for location maps at the village greens.
Summer Music Series
Starting in July and running through August, various musical groups entertain on Wednesdays at 6:30 pm on the Proctorsville Green. Bring a picnic and a blanket or chair and enjoy this free event.
The Saturday after Thanksgiving, community organizations and the churches have a holiday fair at the Cavendish Town Elementary School located on Route 131 in the village of Proctorsville.