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. Entrepreneurs are converting old family dairy farms into organic cheese making operations, breweries, and community supported agriculture that connects small farmers directly to local people. Our "Taste of Vermont" bicycling tour features an introduction to a select group of Vermont's finest producers of organic milk, cider, cheese, wine, beer, and maple syrup. As you traverse the winding roads of the Green Mountain State, you will meet the visionary folks who have taken Vermont to the forefront of the sustainable, locally made product movement. Around every bend and over every hill you will find gastronomic treasures. You might even stumble upon a country store where you can pick-up a signature "Vermont Ain't Flat!" t-shirt.
Day 1: Champlain Valley to Middlebury
Highlights: Welcome to VermontMeet your tour leaders at the Hotel Vermont at 9:00AM, for a twenty-minute transfer to Charlotte where we'll fit bikes and review the route, ride south along a lightly traveled route through the Champlain Valley. Admire the herd at a picturesque organic dairy farm. View the waterfalls and enjoy a 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. Learn more about the country's preeminent hard cider maker during a tour and tasting at Woodchuck Hard Cider. After quenching your thirst, settle into the Swift House Inn, a former governor's mansion in the heart of Middlebury. This evening, the owner and winemaker of nearby Lincoln Peak Vineyards will share the history of the vineyard with you over dinner which will feature ingredients from area farms and a menu specially crafted to complement a selection of Lincoln Peak's finest wines. Cycling Distance: 38 miles.
Lodging: The Swift House
Day 2: Montpelier
Highlights: Middlebury Gap & Three Penny Tap RoomToday's ride crosses the spine of the Green Mountains. Pass 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 Middlebury Gap, known by area cyclists as the least difficult of the four local gaps. Soak in the views to the west before the winding descent into the Mad River Valley. You may be fortunate enough to spot a moose while spinning through a span of pristine wilderness near beautiful Moss Glen Falls. Visit an authentic Vermont country store where you can enjoy a relaxing lunch on their perfectly situated deck overlooking the swimming hole that beckons cyclists on hot summer days. Continue to Three Shepard's Farm for a tour and tasting of their farm and their artisanal cheese making facility where you will come to better understand the marriage of art and science that's behind the creation of Ricotta, Feta, Trappist, and Gouda cheeses. Follow the river to Montpelier, the nation's smallest capital city, and the Inn at Montpelier which is a beautifully restored, historic inn dating to the mid-19th century. This evening choose from a variety of fine and casual dining options in the home city of the New England Culinary Institute. Beer enthusiasts may appreciate the Three Penny Tap room, recently coined a "Craft Beer Mecca" by the Boston Globe. Distance: 61 miles.
Lodging: The Inn at Montpelier
Day 3: East Burke
Highlights: The Capitol to the Northeast KingdomFollowing another savory Vermont country breakfast, spin out of Montpelier to Vermont's iconic Northeast Kingdom. "The Kingdom" epitomizes Vermont and its rural agricultural heritage. Country roads wind through sprawling green fields of picturesque farmland. Ride past the sparkling waters of several ponds where you might stop to cool off along the gradual climb east to The Kingdom. Vermont's signature sugar maples are abundant along country roads and provide welcome shade on a warm summer's day. Visit a maple farm and sugarhouse run by eighth generation of family who still use traditional sap buckets and wood fires to make maple syrup. Your lodging this evening is in a stunning ridge top setting on a peaceful country road surrounded by farm fields. The aptly named Inn at Mountain View Farm features expansive views both to the east and the west, and on clear summer evenings stargazing is a favorite pastime around the fire pit. Dinner this evening features a specially created menu of the freshest ingredients from the Inns gardens and area farms. Cycling Distance: 50 miles.
Lodging: Inn at Mountain View Farm
Day 4: Stowe
Highlights: StoweEarly risers may be fortunate enough to catch one of Vermont's most beautiful sunrises. Fresh Vermont air is sure to invigorate you as you ride west on a lightly traveled route this morning en route to esteemed Hill Farmstead Brewery. The Boston Globe calls Brewmaster, Shaun Hill "the brewing world's whiz kid." Oak barrels and hops characterize the selection of craft beers which are named after generations of Hill farmsteaders. A special guest from nearby Jasper Hill Farms will join the group for a gourmet picnic lunch that includes an array of artisanal cheeses. Learn the story of Jasper Hill while you savor their rich Baily Hazen Blue, smooth Constant Bliss, or coveted Harbison. Visit Willey's Store, one of Vermont's classic general stores. Those who have something left in their tank can tackle the final climb to Trapp Family Lodge where you can luxuriate in country life Austrian-style for the next two days. This 2,500 acre mountainside resort was created by the von Trapp family whose history was depicted in The Sound of Music. Trapp's, as it is known by locals, features stunning views, a swimming pool and spa, as well as hiking and mountain bike trails. Cycling Distance: 58 or 70 miles.
Lodging: Trapp Family Lodge
Day 5: Stowe
Highlights: Smuggler's Notch, StoweToday's ride is an area classic featuring a 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 1500' of narrow switchbacks and into The Notch which is carved between rock boulders and towering cliffs. An almost continuous seven-mile descent into the town of Jeffersonville provides a just reward for your efforts. Visit Smuggler's Notch Distillery which utilizes water from a nearby spring to make 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 before looping back to Stowe. Those who want a 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. Others may prefer to walk the trails or relax by the pool at Trapp's, or indulge in a massage. This evening, Sam von Trapp, grandson of Maria and the Baron von Trapp, will join the group for a reception and tasting on the terrace of Trapp's own brewery. Your final dinner together features a selection of signature dishes created by the Lodge's chef. Cycling Options: 42 or 55 miles.
Lodging: Trapp Family Lodge
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 on country roads around Stowe. En route to Waterbury, stop so you can visit classic regional venues such as Cold Hollow Cider Mill, The Alchemist Brewery (famed for their Heady Topper), and Peter Miller's Studio featuring stunning photography of Vermont's people and lands. Enjoy a final lunch at a popular café featuring regional products. You will be transported to the airport in Burlington or to Hotel Vermont (if you made reservation for the post-tour hotel) at the conclusion of the trip. We'll be back in Burlington by 3:30PM. Easy to intermediate mountain bike trails or a 14 or 27-mile road bike option.
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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