ExperiencePlus! - Bicycle Tours since 1972

Vermont & New York's Lake Champlain Bicycling Tour (TourzPlus™)

  • Itinerary Summary

    Nestled between two beautiful mountain ranges, the variety of terrain, scenic beauty, and storied history of Lake Champlain region offers something for everyone. Cross Lake Champlain by ferry to visit the lovely town on Essex, NY, one of the most intact ensembles of pre-Civil War architecture in the country. This is a true inn-to-inn bike tour. There are no vehicle transfers other than to return you to the airport at the conclusion of your vacation.

    Learn more about our TourzPlus™ partner tours and how they differ from regular ExperiencePlus! bicycle tours.

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    1. Day 1: Burlington to East Middlebury

      Highlights: Bike fit, and welcome dinner

      Meet your tour leaders at the Courtyard Burlington Harbor in Burlington at 10:00AM. Following the bike fitting and route review, ride south along a lightly traveled route. Stop to view the waterfalls in the small village of Vergennes before continuing through rolling farmland offering beautiful views extending to the Adirondack Mountains in New York. Pass through Vermont's only, and one only six remaining, two-lane covered bridges in the entire US as you enter the town of Middlebury. Visit Danforth Pewter to watch Fred Danforth creating beautiful pewter crafts as his family has done since 1755. Continue through town to the Waybury Inn, a truly classic Vermont country inn, located in a lovely setting surrounded by huge maple trees that exude vibrant color each fall. Relax on the patio, among the gardens, or take a dip in the clear waters of the Middlebury River. The Waybury holds the distinction of being featured for years in the opening scene of the Bob Newhart Show. Enjoy dinner this evening in the Inn's dining room and then visit their cozy pub for a nightcap. Cycling Options: 20, 31 and 39 miles.

    2. Day 2: East Middlebury

      Highlights: Brandon, Lake Dunmore, optional ride up Middlebury Gap

      This morning's ride leads through rural valley farmland to Station Covered Bridge, built in 1865 to provide a vital east-west link to the railroad shipping station in Salisbury. Continue on lightly traveled roads offering stunning views of the Green Mountains to the town of Brandon. History buffs will enjoy a visit to the Brandon Museum located in the house where Stephen A. Douglas was born. Learn more about this 19th century statesman and how the Civil War affected the town. Your tour leaders will host a delicious picnic lunch on the shores of Lake Dunmore situated at the edge of the Green Mountains. The "Greens" as they are known locally, are part of the northern section of the Appalachian Mountains and the icons that Vermont - the Green Mountain state - are named after. Following lunch, join your leaders for the short walk to the Falls of Lana or continue on the climb to Silver Lake for expansive views over the area. Those up for a serious challenge can tackle the epic ride up Middlebury Gap before returning to the Waybury where a refreshing local microbrew awaits. Dinner this evening is in the Inn's dining room. Cycling Options: 22, 30, 36 and 51 miles.

    3. Day 3: Middlebury

      Highlights: Quiet roads, Shelburne Farms

      Following a delightful Vermont country breakfast, wind your way north through open farmland to Bristol and its classic town green. Ride a beautiful route through open farmland offering stunning views of the Green Mountains. Bristol retains its small town charm and features a variety of unique shops, including that of a family run beeswax candle maker. Browse the shops in town or follow the New Haven River toward its headwaters the tiny hamlet of Lincoln. Nestled along the river beneath the towering peaks of the Green Mountains, Lincoln's only commercial establishment is their timeless general store. The route provides numerous photo opportunities of the tree-lined river, its waterfalls, and boulder strewn riverbed. For super strong cyclists, a 27-mile option up Appalachian Gap will burn the quads and lungs of the best of them.

      Following lunch on your own at Bristol Bakery, Mountain Greens, or Almost Home Market, follow the New Haven River as it meanders west toward Middlebury. Stop to visit Otter Creek Brewery or Vermont's natural soap producer, Vermont Soapworks. The downtown area is full of interesting shops as well as a variety of eating establishments and is only steps from your lodging at the historic Middlebury Inn. The Inn features a huge covered porch overlooking the town green, a day spa, a tavern, and is a short walk to most everything in town. This evening, dinner is on your own at one of many restaurants in this classic New England college town. Cycling Options: 26, 38 and 53 miles.

    4. Day 4: Vergennes

      Highlights: Justin Morgan Had a Horse

      Begin the day with a ride through the Pulp Mill Covered Bridge to the Vermont Morgan Horse Farm. This architecturally stunning property was created in the late 1800's by Colonel Joseph Battell who began breeding Morgans on this very farm in an effort to preserve the pedigree of America?fs first, and many argue finest, breed of horse. Learn more and meet some of the breed's finest lineage during a private guided tour of the property. There are 60?]80 registered stallions, mares and foals on the farm, providing excellent stock to Morgan breeders worldwide. Cross a lovely section of the Otter Creek - Vermont's longest river - and continue past orchards and beautiful farms before arriving in the village of Vergennes. Visit the kitchen shop of a fabulous local chocolatier and sample their creative and delicious gourmet chocolates. Have lunch in town before continuing west along Otter Creek to the shore of Lake Champlain and the Basin Harbor Club where you can visit the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. Stronger cyclists can opt for an additional route through the countryside before continuing to Basin Harbor. The Basin Harbor Club is a classic summer resort and has hosted generations of vacationers in its peaceful lakeside setting. The Harbor, as it is known locally, features swimming (lake and pool), non-motorized watercraft, tennis, golf, formal dining room, and pub-style restaurant. Evenings on the lakeshore are blissfully peaceful. Cycling Options: 19 and 44 miles.

    5. Day 5: Vergennes

      Highlights: Kayak with local naturalist. Farms and Fields of the Lake Champlain Basin

      Enjoy a morning off your bike to explore by canoe or kayak with a local naturalist. Visit quiet tributaries and learn about the natural resources of this unusual region that plays host to so many migratory birds and resident wildlife. Later, choose from several cycling options, a visit to the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, or simply relax at the resort. This relaxing lakeside oasis is just perfect for unwinding in comfortable Adirondack chairs on the lawn overlooking Lake Champlain and Adirondack Mountains to the west. Those who choose to cycle will pedal lightly traveled roads winding through farms, apple orchards and open fields. Take the bridge or the ferry across the lake to New York for a visit to the Crown Point Historic Site to learn more about this 18th century fortress of French, and then British, power on Lake Champlain. There is also an impressive and unusual stone lighthouse that was constructed to honor French explorer, Samuel de Champlain in 1912. Views along much of the gently rolling and lightly traveled route extend east to the Green Mountains and west across Lake Champlain to the Adirondack Mountains of New York. Lunch is on your own today either at the Basin Harbor Club or along the route. This evening enjoy a delicious meal in the dining room overlooking Lake Champlain. Cycling Options: 15, 31 and 46 miles.

    6. Day 6: Tour ends with a ride and transfer to the Burlington Airport

      Highlights: Cruise on Lake Champlain & Visit Historic Essex

      Begin the day with a private cruise from the Basin Harbor Club across Lake Champlain to Westport, New York. Lightly traveled routes wind through rural sections of New York?fs Adirondack Park Preserve and rolling country roads lead to picturesque farmland in a spectacular setting high above Lake Champlain. Views over the Lake extend to the peaks of the Green Mountains to the east in Vermont. Descend into the charming town of Essex, the entire town of which is listed on the National Historic Register as the most intact ensemble of pre?]Civil War architecture in the country. Follow the informative self?]guided walking tour before your leaders host a delicious picnic lunch in a beautiful lakeside setting. Board the Lake Champlain Ferry, operating since the 19th century, to return to Vermont for a scenic ride through Charlotte to Shelburne where you can visit the Shelburne Country Store. Showers will be available for you before you depart. Sojourn will transport you to the airport in Burlington or the Courtyard Burlington Harbor at the conclusion of your trip. We advise that you not make flight reservations prior to 6:00PM. Cycling Options: 14, 28 and 38 miles.

    • Highlights

      Lake Champlain, Burlington, VT, guided kayak tour, Essex - listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Shelburne Farm, Vergennes
    • Includes

      Use of a quality 24-27 speed bicycle; 5 nights accommodation; all meals except one dinner and one lunch (excluding drinks); guided kayak tour; transfer back to Burlington at tour end
    • Countries

      USA
    • Begin/End

      Burlington, VT
    • Arrive/Depart

      Burlington Int'l Airport (BTV)
    • Total Distance

      97 - 198
    • Daily Distance

      18 - 55 miles
    • Rating

      201 Gently rolling with a few longer hills. Extra mileage available for those who wish.
    • Terms

      Terms & Conditions
  • Dates Price Single Supplement Notes
    Jun 28-Jul 3, 2015 $1995 $495 Book it
    Jul 12-17, 2015 $2195 $595 Book it
    Jul 26-31, 2015 $1995 $495 Book it
    Aug 16-21, 2015 $1995 $495 Book it
    Sep 20-25, 2015 $2095 $595 Book it
    Sep 27-Oct 2, 2015 $2095 $595 Book it
    Oct 4-9, 2015 $2095 $595 Book it
    Oct 11-16, 2015 $2095 $595 Book it

    * We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the single supplement rate. This fee will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available this fee will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.

  • Stories

    • Having never done a bike trip before, the whole thing was great, and I loved seeing all the colors, places and views you would not see any other way. To have had such great guides that encouraged you and cared about you.

      Terry L., Longmont, CO
    • A really fun week with great food, and B& B's.

      Jan K., Longmont, CO
    • Everything was excellent. The tour was well planned, and daily explanations to the tour participants were excellent. The tour guides were wonderful. Every tour we have been on with ExperiencePlus has been excellent. We especially enjoy the cultural activities included with the trips as a way of getting to know the people, local customs, history and culture.

      Jody W., Denver, CO
    • What was my favorite thing? Experiencing the countryside; the pace of the week in general; the food; the other tour participants; Shelburne Farm; Essex. Did I need to pick just one?

      Curt G., Kirkland, WA
    • The ability to take a shower at a nearby athletic club after the tour was the cherry on top of the icing on the cake. We have participated in many tours, and this one is near the top of the list for an "easy" tour. The tour provided lunches were great, the cultural experiences were very interesting, especially the Shelburne Museum and the nature walk. The tour route was no more difficult than I expected which was nice. Frequently, a tour will be much more difficult than its rating.

      Judy W., Denver, CO
    • We never imagined that every place we went would be so beautiful or how much we would enjoy an active vacation. The combination of the beauty of Vermont and the tour leaders, who went above and beyond in every aspect, helped us experience our best vacation ever ? thank you! Nicole and Nicholas Gibboni Philadelphia, PA

      Nicole & Nicholas G.
      Philadelphia, PA

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