Home to four unchartered villages which are so named Hartford, White River Junction, Wilder, West Hartford and Quechee, Hartford, Vermont has a population of just under 10,000 people. Hartford is in Windsor, County and is located in the heart of the Upper Valley, just across the river from the New Hampshire towns of Hanover and Lebanon. Two major interstates run through the region, I-89 and I-91, this makes commuting to and from the area quick and easy for residents and visitors.
The Town of Hartford, Vermont
The place where the railroad station once played a vital roll in the community and the two rivers joined together, the White River and the Connecticut River, is known as White River Junction. Many people think this, and the other three villages are separate towns – but they are officially unincorporated villages of the town of Hartford, Vermont. Nevertheless, these villages all have something special to contribute to the town and the way of life in the Upper Valley.
Villages of Hartford, VT
White River Junction
Being the largest community within Hartford, White River Junction (WRJ) is home to more than 2,600 residents. Well known for its historic district containing of 29 buildings such as the Coolidge Hotel, US Post Office building, the WRJ Fire House and the First National Bank building. These architectural buildings are from the 19th and 20th centuries and are examples of Colonial architecture, Greek Revival architecture and more.
Home to what was once the most important railroad junction in the State of Vermont, many people came to White River Junction via the passenger trains. There was an 8 track railroad crossing that catered to more than 50 passenger trains full of riders each day. Now the site of Coolidge Hotel, the first hotel in WRJ was the Junction Hotel, a building that was moved from Enfield, New Hampshire to the banks of the Connecticut River by a farmer named Samuel Nutt.
White River Junction’s downtown district is home to many locally owned shops, restaurants and businesses. You’ll find everything from a place to grab a cocktail or a bite to eat, to dance studios, theater houses and everything in between. WRJ is a lovely arts district with plenty of things to see, places to browse and activities to participate in.
White River Junction is still a popular hub for travel, playing host to both a bus station and an Amtrak Station, travel to and from White River Junction is made easy. Whether you’re taking the bus or Amtrak for a short distance to reach an airport, or going across country, you can easily do so right out of White River Junction.
If you’re looking for an interesting way to spend your afternoon, check out The Main Street Museum – it’s a museum of curiosities and artifacts, things you wouldn’t normally think to be in a museum. It’s interesting and entertaining.
The village of West Hartford was originally called White River Village. Early in its day, Hartford was the original hub of activity which included being home to several industries such as a chair factory, a woolen mill and a grain mill. This of course was only survived until the village of White River Junction moved into the limelight, featuring its extensive railroad system. Hartford’s industry faded and it became the quiet village it is today.
Showing its rich history, Hartford, VT is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, boasting 80 contributing buildings that make up the historic district, including many 19th century homes.
Filled with more farmland, meadows and forest area than residential areas, West Hartford is the most rural of all the villages in Hartford. Also an unincorporated village in Hartford, VT, the West Hartford village is resting peacefully on the banks of the White River.
There are few amenities in the village, but you will find a country store and post office among other things. The town park located on the White River is a popular fishing destination. The white river offers a great place to fly fish. If you decide to drop a line in and have some good luck, you’ll likely catch a brook or rainbow trout, as the river is well populated with those species of fish.
Home to the Wilder Dam and Salmon Ladder, located in the Connecticut River, Wilder is a village of Hartford, Vermont. Across from the Wilder dam on Route 10, the New Hampshire side of the Connecticut River, there is a parking area and hiking trails which lead to the Boston Lot Lake. It’s a moderate hike and the trail system around the lake is unique and worth exploring.
Having a population of about 1,600 residents, Wilder is a quiet area of town located to the south of Norwich, VT and a wonderful place to live. The village of Wilder is a historic district and holds a spot on the National Register.
A popular tourist destination, Quechee, Vermont offers tourists and residents adventure year round. Especially during the summer months, Quechee Gorge, VINS Nature Center, Quechee State Park and the Quechee Gorge Village all attract tourists from every corner of the globe.
The Gorge is a natural wonder that is 165 feet deep. People are encouraged to take in the view from the bridge that spans over Quechee Gorge on Route 4. There are also hiking trails that run along side the gorge that double as a nice easy snowshoe hike in the winter. The trails are fairly level and one side (near the gift shop) is smooth enough to for use of a baby stroller, provided it has sturdy wheels.
The Quechee Gorge Village is a place to stop and shop for Vermont made gifts and other goods made by local artists. You’ll be able to find everything from Vermont made cheese and wines to crafts like pewter works, toys, artwork, pottery and more. There is usually a craft show in mid-October as well that features wonderful local crafts from all over the Upper Valley.
Another big event in the Upper Valley is the Quechee Hot Air Balloon Festival! Every year people flock to Quechee to watch and ride hot air balloons. The balloon festival takes place every year on Father’s Day Weekend and is one of the best annual family events in the region!
The festival isn’t just launching a bunch of hot air balloons, there are a lot of vendors and it makes for a weekend of fun. There is a food court and vendor area, entertainment for children, and you can schedule to ride in a hot air balloon by visiting the link above. There are also tethered balloon rides available during the festival as well.
Living in Hartford
The town of Hartford, Vermont offers a wide variety of living options. The region offers many different styles of homes, you can find single family homes, multi-family homes, condos, town homes, large estates and of course plenty of land ready for your dream home to be built.
The village of Wilder offers several modern neighborhoods with beautiful homes. Some of the neighborhoods include amenities such as pools, landscaping and other offerings that make life easy and enjoyable.
The White River Junction village area offers earlier constructed neighborhoods, mult-family living and of course some single family homes on acreage.
Moving over to the village of West Hartford, there are several farms and farmland, single family homes and plenty of space to stretch your arms when you walk out the front door. The area of West Hartford is mostly undeveloped, land is available and ready for your new home.
While the village of White River Junction is the most populate area, Quechee offers the most amenities within the Quechee Lakes community. Homes, condos and town homes in the Quechee Lakes development are reasonably prices and offer amenities that you won’t find elsewhere in the Upper Valley.
The Quechee Lakes community is only comparable to Eastman when speaking of amenities. If you have a golfer in the family, you’ll want to take notice – Quechee offers two courses, one of which has been rated as a top 10 course in Vermont by Golf Digest. There are a lot of programs through the Quechee Club. Activities and programs available to both children and adults include things like summer camps, sports clinics, fitness training, swim lessons and a whole lot more.
Aside from all the living withing the Quechee Lakes community, there are also plenty of options outside the community as well. There is plenty of undeveloped land awaiting your design, single family homes, beautiful farms and estates scattered throughout town. You’ll find exactly what you’re looking for in Quechee.
The median home value in Hartford is about $220,000. Although this is a modest median price, there are farms and estates the make appearances on the market from time to time, so be on the lookout if that’s what you’re in the market for.
Although there are many higher valued properties, even the most modest budget will find something perfect in Hartford, whether it be a lake side or mountain view home, Hartford has the real estate you’re looking for.