Vermont is home to some of the best cycling in the country - meandering country roads, rolling hills, pristine lakes, lush green mountains, quaint villages, country stores - all so beautifully preserved and harkening back to a simpler way of life. Over the past few years, something has been brewing in those Vermont hills - a diverse collection of microbreweries - in fact, more per capita than any state in the US! Vermonters pride themselves on their entrepreneurship and independence, and Vermont is now home to nearly two dozen microbreweries featuring fine hand-crafted beer. In 2006, MSNBC named Burlington as the fourth best city in the world for beer lovers - behind only Amsterdam, Brugge, and Berlin! We are thrilled to collaborate with some of Vermont's finest to kick-off a new partnership between cycling and craft breweries.
Day 1: Champlain Valley & Otter Creek Brewery
Highlights: Otter Creek Brewery tour, special dinner featuring local farm products paired with Otter Creek brewsMeet your tour leaders at the Courtyard Burlington Harbor in Burlington, Vermont at 9:00 AM for a 20-minute transfer to do our bike fitting and route review. We'll begin with a ride south along a lightly traveled route through the Champlain Valley. Stop to view the waterfalls and enjoy an amazing picnic on the town green in Vergennes. Continue through rolling farmland featuring beautiful views of New York's Adirondack Mountains to the west and Vermont's Green Mountains to the east. Pass through Vermont's only two-lane covered bridge - one of only six remaining in the entire US and arrive at Otter Creek Brewery. Learn their brewing process first hand with a tour, followed by a tasting of what's on tap - a handcrafted copper ale, IPA, or perhaps special seasonal brew. After quenching your thirst, settle into the Swift House Inn,, a former governor's mansion in the heart of Middlebury. Tonight, the Inn's chef is creating a special beer pairing dinner to kick off your week, featuring creations that marry the best of Vermont's local farms with none other than ? Otter Creek's brews. Cycling Distance: 32 miles.
Day 2: Montpelier
Highlights: Middlebury Gap & Three Penny Tap RoomToday's ride crosses the spine of the Green Mountains! Pass by the historic buildings of Middlebury College's stunning Breadloaf Campus, where Robert Frost spent many years writing and teaching poetry. With his inspiration in mind, continue the 1300' climb up the Middlebury Gap, known by area cyclists as the more gentle of the four local gaps. Soak in the views to the west before the winding descent into the Mad River Valley. Spin through a seven-mile span of unblemished wilderness and pass by beautiful Moss Glen Falls. If luck is on your side, you might even spot a moose. The Warren Store, an authentic Vermont country store, is a favorite stop. Savor your lunch on the deck overlooking the babbling brook and swimming hole, which beckons cyclists on a hot summer day. Follow the Mad River to the Winooski River and on into the nation's smallest capital city, Montpelier. The Inn at Montpelier is a beautifully restored, historic inn dating to the mid-19th century. Tonight, you will have many fine or casual dining options in the home city of NECI (New England Culinary Institute). The Three Penny Tap room, a "Craft Beer Mecca" as defined by the Boston Globe, features over 24 beers on tap and serves as the meeting place for many of Vermont's brewers. Cycling Distance: 60 miles
Day 3: East Burke
Highlights: The Capitol to the Northeast Kingdom and Trout River BreweryFollowing another savory Vermont country breakfast, spin out of Montpelier en route to Vermont's renowned Northeast Kingdom. "The Kingdom" epitomizes Vermont and its agricultural heritage. Country roads lined with picturesque farms stretch for miles in every direction. Ride past the sparkling waters of several ponds where you might stop to cool off along the gradual climb east. A cold beer awaits at Trout River Brewing Company which prides itself on premium ales and lagers made with pure Vermont water. Your lodging this evening is set on a peaceful country road surrounded by farms fields that are framed by a backdrop of mountain ridgelines. Vermont's signature sugar maples are abundant in The Kingdom and provide welcome shade on a warm summer's day. The Inn at Mountain View Farm lives up to its name and you can soak in the views from this 440-acre estate farm before settling in for a relaxing evening and scrumptious dinner. On a clear summer evening, the stargazing from the lawn of the inn is amazing. Cycling Distance: 55 miles
Day 4: Stowe
Highlights: East Burke to Stowe, a Double Brew DayToday your stamina for "bike and brew" will be tested! If you're a very early riser, you may be lucky enough to catch one of the most beautiful sunrises of the state. Fresh, clean Vermont air will greet you this morning as you head west on a quintessential lightly traveled, rolling route. After twenty-five miles, turn off the paved road to make the two mile climb up Hill Road to Hill Farmstead Brewery. Brewmaster Shaun Hill will explain how he got his start and discuss his knack for experimentation and ingenuity. Oak barrels and hops characterize Hill Farmstead's beer and the Boston Globe calls Shaun "the brewing world's whiz kid." The towns of Greensboro, and neighboring Hardwick, are at the core of a regional community that prides itself on sustainability and entrepreneurial spirit entwined with a deep connection to the land. Sojourn leaders will fuel you with a gourmet picnic lunch for your journey out of "The Kingdom" to Stowe. Pass through picturesque Craftsbury before arriving at Rock Art Brewery where you will learn about the "Mash Tun and Kettle," key elements of Rock Art's brewing process, as you sip a Midnight Madness or Stumpjumper. Had enough after sixty miles and two breweries? Hop in the van for the last few miles to Trapp Family Lodge. Stalwart souls who have something left in the tank can tackle the climb to Trapp Family Lodge. Embrace life Austrian-style for the next two days on this 2,500 acre mountainside resort created by the von Trapp family made famous by the Sound of Music. Trapp's, as it is known by locals, features stunning views, a swimming pool, spa, hiking and mountain bike trails. Tonight's dinner will prove there is no need to travel oversees for an authentic Austrian meal. Cycling Distance: 59 miles (with shuttle) or 71 mile epic option.
Day 5: Stowe
Highlights: Smuggler's Notch, Stowe and Trapp Family BreweryToday's ride is the classic loop through Smuggler's Notch - a historic passageway through which alcohol was smuggled south from Canada during Prohibition. Catch a lift to the top or grind your way up the 1500' switch-backing climb to the top of the narrow pass, sandwiched between rock boulders and towering cliffs. An almost continuous seven-mile descent into the town of Jeffersonville provides a just reward. Take a side trip to visit Boyden Farm Winery or stop in at Smuggler's Notch Distillery which utilizes water from a nearby spring in their vodka. Follow a beautiful route along the Lamoille River into the college town of Johnson where you can visit family owned and operated Johnson Woolen Mills. Ride through the village of Stowe and back to Trapp's or catch a lift in the van in order to browse the shops in town. Those who want to take the day off from strenuous riding can follow the bike path into the village of Stowe to explore the artisan shops and galleries, or to visit the Vermont Ski & Snowboard Museum. Of course, you may just feel like relaxing at the pool at Trapp's or having a massage. At the end of the day, rejoin the group at Trapp Family Lodge's own brewery to meet Sam von Trapp, grandson of Maria and the Baron von Trapp. Sam's father, Johannes, endeavored to craft a lager similar to what he enjoyed back home in Austria, and in 2010 established Trapp Family Brewery. Your final dinner of the week features a selection of signature Austrian dishes created by the Lodge's chef, with perhaps a Linzertorte or Apple Strudel to top it off! Cycling Options: 57 miles; shorter options with shuttles of 40, 33, or 22 miles.
Day 6: Mountain or paved cycling options before transfer back to Burlington
Highlights: The Last HoorahGive the road bike and slick tires a break today and head for the woods on knobbies! Trapp's has been developing a fantastic network of mountain bike trails throughout the property. Take to the dirt on twenty miles of trails ranging from easy-going terrain to advanced single track. For those preferring to stick to the road, enjoy a loop through Stowe or choose from several alternatives including hiking the trails at Trapp's, lounging by the pool, or enjoying a massage at their spa. Reconvene with your leaders and the group for a farewell picnic lunch where you can reminisce and share tales of you week's adventures. Bid "Adieu" to the Austrian-inspired Trapp Family Lodge before a mid-afternoon group transfer to the airport in Burlington. Cycling Options: 10-25 miles off-road or 12 miles on the road
HighlightsOtter Creek Brewery tour and tasting, Middlebury Gap, Hill Farmstead Brewery, Smuggler's Notch, Montpelier, Trout River Brewery, Trapp Family Brewery
IncludesUse of a 27-30 speed bicycle: 5 nights accommodation; 4 dinners, 3 lunches, all breakfasts; tours and tastings listed in itinerary; snacks; group transfer from Stowe to Burlington International Airport at tour end; van support
Total Distance300-238 miles
Daily DistanceAverage daily distance 50-40 miles
What to Expect
The terrain throughout the trip is rolling and features some sections with lengthier and steeper climbs. Tour routes average 55 miles per day except for the final day of the tour. There are no mandatory shuttles (except to the tour start and from the tour end) however there are a couple of days where van assist to the top of significant morning climbs will be offered.
Please call 1-800-685-4565 or e-mail us for the dates for this tour.
Click on the "pins" for details about each day's highlights.
City (on route)
City (not part of route, provided for reference)
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