Visiting Vermont: Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home

The Hildene House is nestled in mountains and looking pine trees
The Hildene House is nestled in mountains and looking pine trees | Source

Vermont History

Since I grew up in Vermont, a trip to Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home was not uncommon during the summer. Sitting nestled in a quiet wooded area, the historical house overlooks the surrounding mountains and is home to walking trails, amazing gardens and even an observatory. The Georgian Revival Style home is famous because the16th US President, Abraham Lincoln’s only son (that lived to adulthood) owned the estate. Robert Todd Lincoln fell in love with Manchester, Vermont and decided to build his home on the amazing property, that was eventually passed down through the Lincoln family.

Historic Summer Home in Vermont
Historic Summer Home in Vermont | Source
Hildene is considered a historic landmark in southeastern Vermont
Hildene is considered a historic landmark in southeastern Vermont | Source

The property is pretty amazing too

The home is breathtaking, and such an important part of Vermont history, which is the main reason I am not using any interior photos in this article. It’s something that you need to experience yourself without just seeing images online. The estate is open year-round and you can choose to do a guided tour or a self-guided tour. The self-guided tour is included in your general admission and does not cost any extra.

In the Gardens

A Vermonter being a Vermont Tourist

Since the property is much more than just the house; Hildene also features cutting and kitchen gardens, walking trails, meadows and fields, a carriage barn and a formal flower garden; a tractor drawn wagon ride is offered to visitors at an additional fee. And even if you visit in snow season, you will be offered the opportunity to cross-country ski or snowshoe on the premises. Pretty awesome, right?

Marked Hiking Trails

Hildene offers several marked hiking and walking trails
Hildene offers several marked hiking and walking trails | Source

Amazing Fog

Since moving to the Midwest, I have learned to appreciate the things I was so accustomed to when living in New England. Although Hildene was a household name and I drove by it every day on my way to work, I never thought to just pop in by myself. A few weeks ago we returned home for an extended visit and I was able to check out a few ‘tourist’ things that I would have overlooked when I still live there. I took a day to be a “tourist’ in my own home state and decided to visit places that made Vermont what it is today. I was driving back from my Skyline Drive to the top of Equinox Mountain when I drove past Hildene. It took me about 30 seconds to decide to turn around and drive the windy dirt road to the massive homestead.

The house is comfortably nestled in tall pine trees and mountains and there are several hiking paths that have been marked for visitors. As a photographer, I find myself saying that it was a perfect day and having people look funny at me. Yes, an overcast day is a great day; and an overcast day with dense fog is perfect! The fog was just rolling in around the mansion giving a nice quiet and peaceful environment while I was walking around the property.

Hildene Mountains

The homestead is protected by majestic mountains
The homestead is protected by majestic mountains | Source

You Will Find Great Detail Throughout the Property

The fence that opens up to the field
The fence that opens up to the field | Source

Wood Pile

Wood burning stoves and fireplaces are common in Vermont. I have stacked a TON of wood in my day.
Wood burning stoves and fireplaces are common in Vermont. I have stacked a TON of wood in my day. | Source

What else is in Manchester, Vermont?

If you plan on traveling to Vermont, be sure to check out Manchester and everything it offers. You will find such a variety of restaurants; you may have a hard time choosing where to eat! Several restaurants use local ingredients and really embrace the New England cuisine, which is dictated by our 5 seasons. 5 seasons? You can’t forget mud season! The town is packed with artisans and several shops feature products that are locally handmade. When it starts to get dark, you will see a community embrace the local bands and each restaurant / bar will have great music playing. If you want to really experience New England and historic Vermont; visit Manchester and be sure to check out Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home.

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4 comments

Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer Twin Fan 2 years ago

I had to come read this. We were up there last summer. It's absolutely beautiful and we enjoyed our tour immensely. My husband really loved the Pullman train car too. The flowers were in bloom in late July and they were stunning. Thanks for this trip down memory lane. Beautiful photos!


dappledesigns profile image

dappledesigns 2 years ago from In Limbo between New England and the Midwest Author

Thanks! It's such a great place, I'm so glad you were able to visit. The views are pretty amazing too!


ThelmaC profile image

ThelmaC 2 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

I love your state of Vermont. I have visited there a few times but never to Hildene. Will add that to my places to visit list, especially since I am a Lincoln fan and one of my most popular hubs has been about Mary Todd Lincoln.


dappledesigns profile image

dappledesigns 2 years ago from In Limbo between New England and the Midwest Author

There is a TON of history there and it's such a beautiful place to visit. The view of the mountains from the grounds are breathtaking. I hope you get a chance to visit!

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