Bicycling Vermont's Fall Foliage (TourzPlus)

  • Itinerary Summary

    Colorful fall foliage season is a favorite for our award-winning Vermont tours! The pristine Vermont air takes on an especially crisp feel on sunshine-filled fall days. This unique trip begins with three days of riding through the small towns and covered bridges of the Lake Champlain Valley's gently rolling terrain. Here, charming country inns make you feel like family and serve hearty country breakfasts each morning. Join us for this special experience at The Inn at Shelburne Farms, a magnificent lakeside estate and working farm. Visit the Old Round Church, sample cider and donuts at a local orchard, and enjoy a taste of IPA from a small craft brewery. As you make your way east to the storybook village of Stowe, Vermont's Green Mountains rise from valley floors. Ride the narrow switchbacks through the cliffs of Smuggler's Notch, named for the smuggling of alcohol from Canada during Prohibition. Visit a family-run woolen mill that has been outfitting Vermonters for over a century. Be pampered in Stowe at Topnotch Resort and Spa, a luxurious and peaceful oasis nestled on a hillside overlooking Vermont's tallest mountain. The resort features an outdoor heated pool, full spa, and highly rated restaurant. Experience the fall colors of Vermont in fine style!
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    1. Day 1: Burlington

      Highlights: Maple Farm Views

      Meet your tour leaders at Burlington's new Hotel Vermont, for the twenty-minute transfer your tour start. Following a bike fitting and route review, ride south along a lightly traveled route to Vergennes where you can view the waterfalls and enjoy a delicious picnic lunch on the town green. Continue through rolling farmland offering beautiful views extending to the Adirondack Mountains in New York. Pass through one of only six remaining, two-lane covered bridges in the entire USA as you enter the town of Middlebury. Visit Danforth Pewter where you can observe a fourth generation pewtersmith as he crafts stunning handmade items. Continue east to the Waybury Inn, a 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 visit the Inn's pub for a hot mulled cider. 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.

      Distance: 16 and 36 miles

    2. Day 2: Loop ride options

      Highlights: Lake Dunmore and the Falls of Lana

      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 as you make your way to 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 this small Vermont 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 Lake Dunmore. Those up for a serious challenge can tackle the epic ride up Middlebury Gap before returning to the Waybury Inn. Dinner this evening is in the Inn's dining room.

      Distance: 30, 36 or 53 miles. Hiking option: 1 to 3 miles round-trip.

    3. Day 3: Shelbourne, VT

      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's first breed of horse. 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 Otter Creek, Vermont's longest river, and continue past orchards and beautiful farms. Visit the kitchen of a fabulous local chocolatier and sample their creative and delicious gourmet chocolates. An optional loop along Kingsland Bay crosses an estuary of Lake Champlain where you might see osprey and heron. Continue through Charlotte for a visit to Shelburne Orchards where you can sample owner Nick Cowles' famous Ginger Jack and cider donuts! The day concludes at Shelburne Farms, a one of a kind, 1400-acre property designed by Frederick Law Olmstead as the private agricultural estate of William Seward and Lila Vanderbilt Webb during the late 19th century. This majestic property has been maintained and restored to its original splendor through the descendants' creation of a non-profit educational foundation. Enjoy a private tour of the property and relax in the gardens overlooking the lake before dinner on the terrace or in the Inn's private dining room. The Inn's restaurant features fresh products harvested from the Farm and other nearby specialty farms. The sunsets from the Inn can rival any location worldwide.

      Distance: 37 or 47 miles

    4. Day 4: Shelbourne to Stowe

      Highlights: Stowe, Old Round Church, Ben and Jerry's

      This morning after breakfast, head for Stowe, also known as the Ski Capital of the East. The route is rolling and passes through several small villages including Richmond where you can visit the Old Round Church, a 16-sided round structure built in 1813 and considered to be one of the first community churches in the country. Continue east along a scenic stretch of road that follows the Winooski River - the largest tributary watershed flowing into Lake Champlain. 10,000 years ago the land along the banks of the river was like Arctic tundra and hunters tracked caribou, wooly mammoths and mastodons. Following the Revolutionary War, saw mills built here led to the region becoming the third most important lumber market in the country. As the timber business declined hundreds of sheep farms lined the valley. Hop off your bike in the town of Waterbury to visit Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Ben and Jerry's, or Cold Hollow Cider Mill. A sample of all of these might call an end to your ride and if so, a 20-minute van shuttle will carry you to Topnotch Resort and Spa, one of New England's finest luxury resorts. Massage or spa treatments can be arranged in advance. Relax and enjoy the pool, sauna and beautiful views. Lunch and dinner are on your own today.

      Distance: 21, 46, or 61 miles.

    5. Day 5: Smuggler's Notch Loop

      Highlights: Smuggler's Notch

      Today's ride offers the greatest challenge of the week or you can opt for a more leisurely day at Topnotch where you might enjoy a walk along the river or indulge in world-class spa services. The notch through the Green Mountains was named for smugglers who, more than two centuries ago, used the caves and heavily forested slopes of the notch to hide illicit goods destined for Canada. These same caves were used in the reverse direction during the 1920's Prohibition era. Today there is a narrow winding road that passes through Smuggler's Notch which is passable only between April and November. It's a tough climb but the foliage lining the route is spectacular against the granite cliffs, and the nearly seven-mile downhill run on the opposite side is well worth the effort. In the village of Jeffersonville you can visit award-winning Smuggler's Notch Distillery, and in Johnson purchase woolens at a family run mill operating since 1842. Pop in to Rock Art Brewery for a sample before returning to Stowe, then treat yourself to a relaxing sauna or a soak in the hot tub before dinner. This evening, enjoy a private dinner overlooking the mountains at the Resort's signature restaurant, a local favorite gathering spot.

      Distance: 18, 47 or 53 miles

    6. Day 6: Stowe Loop

      Highlights: Moscow - Glass blower Michael Trimpol

      Follow the bike path along the Little River from Topnotch to the tiny hamlet of Moscow where you can visit a local glass-blowers' studio. Watch as fiery hot molten glass is shaped into uniquely beautiful works of art. Michael Trimpol is an internationally renowned artist who began his career with a focus in stained glass before developing a love for blowing glass. Continue along scenic back roads past one of Vermont's historic covered bridges to the village of Stowe. Choose to peruse the shops in town or continue cycling on a loop north through farmland before returning to the village for lunch. The Vermont Ski Museum, located in the Old Town Hall built in 1818, is full of skis, photographs, and artwork chronicling the evolution of winter sports in Vermont. Old replica ski posters and home décor are available for sale. The Stowe Craft Gallery is just across the road from the Museum and features a wide variety of works from local artists. Wind your way along the bike path that crisscrosses the Little River as you make your way back to Topnotch where showers will be available prior to transfer to Burlington.

      Distance: 17 or 32 miles

    • Highlights

      Fall Colors, Shelbourne Farms, Stowe, VT, Glass Blower - Michael Trimpol, Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream, Old Round Church, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
    • Includes

      Use of a quality hybrid or road bicycle; van support, 2 leaders, 5 nights' accommodation; all breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners.
    • Countries

      USA
    • Begin/End

      Burlington, VT (BTV)
    • Arrive/Depart

      Burlington, VT (BTV)
    • Total Distance

      128 - 247 miles
    • Daily Distance

      Options on most days
    • Rating

      301 35-55 miles/day over rolling terrain (with longer options)
    • Terms

      Terms & Conditions
  • Dates Price Private Room Charge Notes
    Sep 17-22, 2017 USD$2295 USD$695 Book it
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    Sep 24-29, 2017 USD$2295 USD$695 Book it
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    Oct 1-6, 2017 USD$2295 USD$695 Book it
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    * 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 private room charge. This charge will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available it will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.

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