Vermont Bike Tours – Explore Vermont’s Beautiful Landscapes While Biking!
If you have never heard of Vermont, this is a very nice little state that is big on natural beauty. With a native population of around 600,000, there are literally more trees than people, but that’s even more reason to come and visit. Vermont is well known for its small villages, towns and farms that are kind of a throwback to a more peaceful era of American living. If you need a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of life – this is it. Although, many tourists come to Vermont during the winter season to enjoy skiing on pristine mountains, from June to October, Vermont bike tours are a big hit in the region.
Why Vermont Bike Tours?
What better way to travel through beautiful and scenic Vermont than on one of the many Vermont bike tours. Tourists choose Vermont bike tours because it’s simply one of the most beautiful landscapes to view while biking and probably one of the best organized tours in the world. There are many things you will notice about those who take these tours, the first is the large cross section of ages, so no matter how old you are you will not be left out. You will also notice how fit, healthy and happy the participants are. Many come from neighboring Massachusetts where they work every day and take one of the Vermont bike tours at the weekend for some exercise, and to get away from the rat race. It’s rare you’ll find someone on their first bike tour – many come back often and form strong friendships within the groups.
In these Vermont bike tours, you’ll enjoy going through winding country roads and rolling hills as you pass through quaint villages with their old-fashioned homes and buildings. There are fruit orchards, weeping willow trees, mountain views and various local shops and galleries to enjoy on your trip. Depending on the tour you choose, you may even go kayaking on Lake Champlain, or simply enjoy having a picnic lunch.
Vermont bike tours have been going on for years, so when you arrive, you’ll be welcomed with a warm greeting and have a chance to get oriented to your surroundings. Most likely your tour will begin at one of the lovely bed and breakfast inns. The group you’ll be biking with will be there too and you’ll have a chance to get acquainted as you enjoy a typical homemade Vermont style breakfast before heading out. Will that breakfast include their famous maple syrup? You can count on it.
From there, you can travel round Vermont’s ski villages (hopefully without the snow), enjoy Vermont bike tours breathtaking changing foliage colors in the fall, and stop off at unusual off the beaten track places where you can swim and relax for a while. At the end of the day.
Another great thing about Vermont bike tours is the fact that at heart, Vermont is an agricultural state, something that you’ll get to see first hand as you bike through areas with dairy and other types of farms. Besides maple syrup, the state produces a lot of milk and cheese that is exported to neighboring states like New York. So, be sure to have a taste of both while there. If you also like to hike, you can chose a tour that makes a stop at Branbury State Park and lets you walk the nature trails. In the evening, you’ll rest at another inn and enjoy a peaceful dinner, then rest and rejuvenate for the next day.
If you love to go biking and wish to explore another area in the U.S. that has a very unique character and charm, there are several excellent Vermont bike tours that will provide you with a wonderfully memorable experience.
Vermont Bike Tours – Where To Go
Most diehard cyclists do tend to favor those Vermont bike tours which take you through quaint villages and on back roads, many with English names such as Plymouth, Ludlow and Stowe. You will pass through land covered in apple and cherry orchards, cycle through historic covered bridges and watch the cows out at pasture (as they watch you!) This trip is not for the faint hearted though. These Vermont bike tours cover 200 miles in two days; you will probably pass a few shorter bike tours along the other way.
Vermont Bike Tours – The Rugged Way
If touring bikes are not your cup of tea, and you prefer something a little more strenuous and challenging, there are Vermont bike tours specifically for mountain bikers.
Many of the tours will offer you the choice of having one “base camp”, that will be a comfortable inn, or you can choose to move across this lovely state and stay in a different inn or hotel each night. The tour organizers will deal with all your gear; there won’t be any struggling after a long day of cycling, except perhaps with the dessert after a delicious gourmet meal!
If you think you might like to bike Vermont, decide how long you want it to last. If it’s your first bike tour of any length, probably a two day tour will be enough to start with. Some tours last up to a week. All the good tour operators will ask if you are a beginner or expert and accommodate you accordingly. Don’t say you’re experienced if you’re not – you may regret it, and it really isn’t fair to hold back the others in your group.
There are central Vermont bike tours that will take you through breathtaking countryside and sleepy villages. You can stop off and enjoy hand made chocolates and ice cream as you cycle through the Mad River Valley, pass quiet dairy farms and historic churches. Be aware that Central Vermont is hilly, so only do these Vermont bike tours if you know you have that level of skill.
Sample Itineraries Of Vermont Bike Tours
Discovery Bicycle Tours
This is a family-owned company that pride itself in providing tourists with thoughtfully designed and authentic bicycle touring experiences. The following is one of their Vermont bike tours’ itineraries:
6-Day / 5 – Night Middlebury, Vermont Bike Tour, Vermont Discovery
This is one of the classic Vermont bike tours that combines beautiful easier cycling with plenty of time to slow down and enjoy all the things that make Vermont special. Monday you will ride through quiet farmland to the pretty village of Orwell, stop at Norton’s Gallery (with his world famous whimsical wood carvings) and then bike down to the shores of Lake Champlain. At this point, you will all cross Lake Champlain on a short scenic ferry ride over to Fort Ticonderoga where all bikers are treated to a guided tour and picnic so you will get a full experience of this historic military fort that was the site of several crucial battles during the American Revolution.
Tuesday you will enjoy spectacular vistas and rural scenery as the tour takes you along the shores of beautiful Lake Dunmore and then to cycle to Brandon, a village of tree-shaded streets and a marvelous mix of Federal, Greek Revival and Victorian homes. In the afternoon you might also opt for a further adventure by riding up to the panoramic views on Brandon Gap. Wednesday’s ride takes you to Middlebury, this is the home for all tourists for the last two nights.
Plan to arrive early enough to enjoy a leisurely stroll exploring this handsome town and the campus of Middlebury College and to join us at the Otter Creek Brewery where we enjoy appetizers while tasting several of their wonderful craft brews. On Thursday you will cross the Pulp Mill Covered Bridge, pass the Morgan Horse Farm, and follow the Otter Creek to the “city” of Vergennes, and to beautiful Button Bay on Lake Champlain. At this spot, bikers get to enjoy spectacular views across the lake to the majestic Adirondack mountains and have an included tour of the fascinating Lake Champlain Maritime Museum.
Finally on the last day, the ride will take all cyclists through the Middlebury College campus into lush rolling farmland where you get to pass some of Vermont’s finest apple orchards before arriving back in Shoreham.
POMG (Peace of Mind Guaranteed) Bike Tours of Vermont
This business is locally owned from its beginnings in 1995, provides cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts of all abilities with bike adventure vacation packages that run from late May to the end of October and stretch from one end of the state to the other. The Northeast Kingdom, Lake Champlain Valley, Mad River Valley and Southern Vermont are just a few of the areas POMG explores. At the center of each tour are fresh air, unspoiled beauty, and peace of mind.
Here is one of their many Vermont bike tours itineraries provided by POMG:
Cycle Vermont – 6-Day / 5-Night Tour
This tour is designed for those who want to experience a big piece of small Vermont, riding the most scenic and diverse routes. Cycle Vermont has it all.
You’ll enjoy Burlington, one of the most active and livable small cities in the country, then pedal north through the Lake Champlain Islands on our way to the Northeast Kingdom, tackle an optional century ride as well as a couple of mountain gap rides. Of course food and accommodations are central to your comfort and we’ll be staying at five inns which will not disappoint.
The tour begins Sunday morning with an immediate indication of what’s to come: spectacular views of Lake Champlain, the Green Mountains to the east and New York’s Adirondack Mountains to the west. We’ll pedal into and out of Burlington on a world class lakeside bike path. Burlington (pop. 40,000) is Vermont’s largest city, cultural center and home to the University of Vermont. Here you will find white steeple churches, not high rise buildings, dominating the skyline. The tour continues north on the bike path, heading to the mostly flat Champlain Islands which will be your home for the night.
The Champlain Islands stretch south from the Canadian border for 30 miles, splitting the northern third of Lake Champlain in two. These narrow islands, four in all, are a cyclist’s dream. There are quiet roads, mountain and lake views, small family-run shops in tiny villages surrounded by apple orchards and hay fields. The North Hero House Inn, stunningly located directly on Lake Champlain, will be your home Sunday night where all tourists will relax, refueling on gourmet cuisine for the journey to come.
Monday tour will continue north on the islands with Canada a stones throw away. You’ll also pass the summer home of the Royal Lippizan Stallions of Austria. Then all tourists will shuttle back to the mainland, turning east and cycle towards the Northeast Kingdom, a cyclist’s paradise. You pass by lush dairy farms heading to Montgomery Center where you’ll ride through a covered bridge and visit an old fashion soda fountain shop. The day finishes with an exhilarating climb over the Jay Pass and on to The Jay Village Inn for a night in the shadow of Jay Peak Ski Resort.
Tuesday, more quiet roads await as you pedal through farmland and the sleepy village of Irasburg. You’ll then climb to the village of Craftsbury where you’ll enjoy stunning views of the valley below and mountains beyond. You then leave your bikes for a stroll on the common, a perfect spot for a mid-day break. You’ll leave our perch for an exhilarating downhill followed by more peaceful riding to Greensboro. Located on the shores of spring-fed Caspian Lake, this sleepy village and cottage-lined lake has been attracting summer visitors for a century. You’ll be the guests of Innkeepers Cathy and Scott Donnelly at the Lakeview Inn. Bikers can relax on the front porch looking out on Caspian Lake. The Inn has been completely restored and maintains a Daylily garden on their grounds with close to 500 varieties.
All bikers depart Greensboro on Wednesday, century day. This is an optional 100 mile journey that will be one to remember as you ride south through Hardwick on your way to Barre, home to the Rock of Ages Granite Quarry. Your first rest stop will come at the Bragg Farm Sugarhouse for some pure Vermont Maple Syrup or a Maple Cremee to fuel your next stretch. Scenic beauty and quiet riding is abundant today, as you stay on Route 110 through rural Orange County. You’ll lunch in Chelsea and pass the grounds of the Tunbridge World’s Fair (135 years and counting!). River valleys surrounded by hills, flanked by dairy farms will melt the miles away. Finally all bikers pedal through Bethel and Barnard (swim in Silver Lake if you’d like) on your way to the special care of Chuck and Edie Janisse at their October Country Inn. Home baked breads, homegrown vegetables and eclectic meals have made the October Country Inn a cyclist’s favorite for years.
Thursday is a gentle and peaceful ride through two different river valleys (the White and the Mad) and through the Granville Gulf Natural Area. You will appreciate this gentler ride after century day. A stop at the Warren Store for fresh-baked goodies or one of their famous sandwiches, enjoyed on the deck, overlooking the river, is just the ticket. Your day winds down in the care of Tom and Linda Gardner at the cozy Featherbed Inn. Each room is decorated with antiques and includes a fluffy featherbed mattress to assure a comfortable sleep. Divine.
Your tour winds down on Friday, with our return to the Champlain Valley. But first, all bikers ascend the Green Mountains, passing through a low point known as the Appalachian Gap. You top out at 2356′ and gaze west to the Champlain Valley and New York’s Adirondack Mountains. It’s a fast descent into Bristol, a classic old New England village famous for it’s outhouse parade on the 4th of July. Finally, tours enables bikers to visit Vergennes, the smallest city in the United States and home to an impressive restored opera house as well as one of POMG’s favorite French eateries, “3 Squares Cafe” formerly “Eat Good Food!” where you will do just that. The home stretch finds all bikers on the shores of Lake Champlain where we began six days ago.
There are a lot of other options in terms of tour companies to book your Vermont bike tours, consider the above as a sneak preview of what can you expect to gain on your Vermont vacation if taking the cycling option. Again, vacation combined with cycling is your idea of a great adventure, then Vermont is the place….covered bridges, green Mountains, wildlife, deep blue glacier-formed lakes and clear cool rivers. Country stores, antique shops and maple syrup. Endless pastures, gardens and vivid wild flowers, and most of all, unparalleled cycling terrain. How much more can you ask?
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