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Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Highlights

  • Relaxing in unique and classic Vermont country inns, such as the iconic Blueberry Hill Inn, known for its innovative cuisine
  • Walking through the heart of the Moosalamoo National Recreation Area, one of Vermont’s best-kept secrets
  • Discovering views from hilltops of the Champlain Valley and the Appalachian Mountain Chain
  • Soaking up your surroundings of pristine lakes, ponds and rivers, serene forests, woods, hills and mountains
  • Wandering along trails through the country of Robert Frost, famed American poet

Wind your way by car into the foothills of Vermont’s Green Mountains and stay in classic and unique country inns. Discover the pristine and serene landscapes, rolling hills, quiet woods, clap-board clad houses and huge red barns that are quintessentially New England.

Explore Vermont’s best-kept secret, the Moosalamoo National Recreation Area, recognised by U.S. Congress as an area of outstanding natural beauty. Encompassing more than 70 miles of well-maintained walking trails you will simply fall in love with this landscape. Also included in your itinerary are walks along “roads less travelled”, for you will be in the heart of countryside that inspired famed American poet, Robert Frost. On a clear night be sure to inspect the intensely clear and exquisite starry skies of this region.

Begin your tour in the small town of Chittenden and at a traditional country inn which has a long and gracious history. Here you will take trails through the Green Mountain National Forest and through sacred territory of the Abenaki Native American tribe. Follow the renowned Appalachian Trail for a short stretch and walk up to a ridge that has great views over the Coolidge Range and the Sherburne Pass.

Make your way to the Silver Lake area and Goshen, where your next charming accommodation awaits, the iconic Blueberry Hill Inn. Long before European settlers arrived, Native Americans fished and hunted in Silver Lake and fashioned tools from the hard quartzite that they found nearby. At an elevation of 1250 feet, this lake is nestled between mountain ridges and according to local legend the land was obtained for a “barrel of liquor” by a local resident!

This tour is completed with a stay in the small town of Ripton where you will find a typical New England country store, which is beautifully preserved. Included here are walks uncovering the absolute highlights of the region and that take you along parts of the Long Trail, a 272 mile long-distance footpath that stretches from the border of Massachusetts in the south to the Canadian border in the north.

Your self-guided walking tour in Vermont includes 6 nights in classic country inns, 6 breakfasts, inn-keeper assisted shuttling service to get to and from the trailheads, comprehensive information pack, maps and detailed walking trail descriptions.

DAY 1: Arrive Chittenden


There are various ways of getting to Chittenden, but the major airports are either Boston Logan Airport, Rutland Airport, or Burlington Airport. From all of these locations it is possible to pick up a rental car and drive to Chittenden, Vermont.  You will wind your way up into the foothills of the Green Mountains to Chittenden, where your first inn, the Fox Creek is located. At every inn and each morning the innkeeper will conduct a “trail talk” which discusses the walking options on that day and at that time they will also distribute local maps and directions.



Settle into your inn and either enjoy dinner here (it is best to book in advance through us for all the dinners at the inns) or find a restaurant in the nearby town of Chittenden.


Dinner & Overnight: Fox Creek Inn, Chittenden



The Fox Creek Inn is nestled in a private valley and surrounded by the Green Mountain National Forest. Its location ensures a stay of peace and tranquillity, plus it is extremely comfortable and welcoming. They offer 8 spacious guest rooms and highly personalised hospitality.



DAY 2: Deer Leap Trail Loop—3.1 miles


After breakfast made from the freshest local ingredients you take a short drive to the Deer Leap Trailhead within the Green Mountain National Forest to begin your first walk of the tour. Some of the areas you will be walking through today are sacred to the local Abenaki people, so it is asked that you do not divert off the trail. Leaving the parking area you will join the Appalachian Trail (did anyone read Bill Bryson’s book, a “Walk in the Woods”?) for a short stretch, after which you walk up to a ridge with great views over the Coolidge Range and the Sherburne Pass.  As there is 182 metres of elevation gain on this trail it will take about two hours to complete. Why not enjoy a picnic lunch at the lookout?



This afternoon you can complete the Leffert’s Pond Loop, which is an optional walk of 2.9 miles, or enjoy local attractions in the area, such as Chittenden Reservoir, where you may swim, kayak or canoe. Alternately you may wish to make your way to Killington Resort where you can take a gondola ride to the top of the peak for fabulous views or head back to your friendly inn and relax with a book in the garden.


Dinner & Overnight: Fox Creek Inn, Chittenden



DAY 3: Leicester Hollow Trail—4.8 miles


Make your way north (approximate 30 minute drive) and to the next section of your tour and to Silver Lake, which is only accessible on foot and these days very quiet and remote. However that wasn’t always the case as one hundred years ago there was a very grand hotel at the north end of the lake at which the focus was temperance revival meetings (during the days of prohibition!).



On completion of the Leicester Hollow Trail walk and after a very short drive, arrive at the Blueberry Hill Inn, once the centre of a thousand-acre farm and near the charming village of Brandon nick-named the “Art and Soul” of Vermont.


Dinner & Overnight: Blueberry Hill Inn, Goshen



This 1813 farmhouse and hilltop retreat is set within the Moosalamoo National Recreation Area and surrounded by thousands of acres of conservation land and miles of hiking trails. This gracious property has a warm and informal atmosphere, a swimming pond, wood-fired sauna, conservatory and, if you choose to stay here for dinner, you will meet other guests around the shared table.



DAY 4: Sugar Hill Reservoir—6 miles


Today head out the back door of the Blueberry Hill Inn next to the swimming pond and deeper into the Moosalamoo Recreation Area for your walk on a loop around Sugar Hill Reservoir which is almost entirely on Blueberry Hill's ski trail. Follow the route uphill to the Sucker Brook Trailhead and onto a trail by Goshen Dam on Sugar Hill Reservoir. Shortly after, you'll head south on the Stewart Trail and back to Blueberry Hill passing the beaver dam. Pause to soak in the complete serenity of this area.



Tonight you can either eat at the inn (reservations necessary) or you could try Café Provence in Brandon which is only a short drive away and serves excellent cuisine (the seafood stew is to die for!).


Dinner & Overnight: Blueberry Hill Inn, Goshen



DAY 5: Chatfield Trail—8 miles


Leave your car at the Chatfield Trailhead (which is a very short drive away) and walk up to a dam. Head north along the Catamount Trail and to a lovely setting near the Widow’s Clearing Trail where there is a good picnic spot. Then pass through the stunning Breadloaf Campus of Middlebury College. This is the college's summer home, where its celebrated writers' conferences are held. Shortly after Breadloaf, an optional hike called the Robert Frost Interpretive Trail (1.2 miles) is available on your left. This easy trail is a loop and is sprinkled with excerpts from the work of Vermont's poet laureate, who summered across the street for 40 years. Head up Frost Road on foot to visit his cabin.  



After a short shuttle you will arrive at the Chipman Inn immediately across the street from the Ripton Country Store, one of the best-preserved in Vermont. Once again if you want to eat at the inn tonight you need to make advance reservations either through us, or our local supplier (more details to be found in your information pack).


Dinner & Overnight: Chipman Inn, Ripton



Mother and son innkeepers Joan and Chris will give you a very warm welcome at this historic country inn which is very traditionally decorated in typical New England style. It is a property famed for its farmhouse cooking and where you can relax with a book by the fire, with a cocktail or with a locally brewed beer in the taproom. There is always good company, great stories and a restful night’s sleep.



DAY 6: Skylight Pond, Long Trail & Burnt Hill Loop—7.5 miles


Today part of your walk takes you along the Long Trail, a hiking route than runs the length of Vermont and if you were to complete the whole trail runs at 272 miles. It starts at the Massachusetts border in the south of Vermont and finishes at the Canadian border to the north. The three trails hook up with each other and the Burnt Hill Loop will be the final stretch. It is here where you can retrieve your car and take your short drive back to the inn.



If there is time why not explore the Ripton Country Store (c.1890)  which is an authentic working country store complete with post office. It has appeared in the New York Times and National Geographic.


Dinner & Overnight: Chipman Inn, Ripton



DAY 7: Onward Travel


After breakfast you can make your onward journeys.  Perhaps you would like to add additional nights in Boston or New York City. If so, just ask our reservation specialists for details, or book them on-line.


Accommodation


Your trip includes 6 nights in classic and very comfortable Vermont country inns. If you wish to book during the foliage season it is best to book as much in advance as possible.




 

 


 




<br />
Fox Creek Inn - Chittenden



Fox Creek Inn - Chittenden

The Fox Creek Inn is nestled in a private valley and surrounded by the Green Mountain National Forest. Its location ensures a stay of peace and tranquility, plus it is extremely comfortable and welcoming. They offer 8 spacious guest rooms and highly personalised hospitality.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Blueberry Hill Inn - Goshen



Blueberry Hill Inn - Goshen

This 1813 farmhouse and hilltop retreat is set within the Moosalamoo National Recreation Area and surrounded by thousands of acres of conservation land and miles of hiking trails. This gracious property has a warm and informal atmosphere, a swimming pond, wood-fired sauna, conservatory and, if you choose to stay here for dinner, you will meet other guests around the shared table.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Chipman Inn - Ripton



Chipman Inn

Mother and son innkeepers Joan and Chris will give you a very warm welcome at this historic country inn which is very traditionally decorated in typical New England style. It is a property famed for its farmhouse cooking and where you can relax with a book by the fire, with a cocktail or with a locally brewed beer in the taproom. There is always good company, great stories and a restful night’s sleep.


Alternate Accommodation

During the high season (foliage) you might be booked into alternative accommodations which are not listed in the description. However they will be of the same or better standard that those listed.


Solo Walkers and Single Rooms

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable. This holiday is available for solo walkers and a supplement applies.


Meals

6 Breakfasts and 6 Evening meals at the inns are included. Your inns will also make up packed lunches for you.


Time of Year

Due to the extreme loveliness of Fall in Vermont, this trip is now fully booked during the weekends of October 2-3 and October 9-10. If you were planning to travel around these dates, then give our specialists a call and they will see what alternatives we can seek out.


The weather is generally nice for walking from May through to October in Vermont. From Late March through to early June, the snow starts to melt and spring arrives and the budding leaves make this a nice time to visit. Summer is quite short but pleasant and the hottest months are in July and August. Fall Foliage begins around Labor Day (first Monday in September) and ends around Columbus Day (second Monday of October). Columbus Day tends to be the peak foliage time so it is best to book well in advance for then.


Grade & Terrain

This trip is graded easy to moderate and is suitable for most people that are in good physical condition. The majority of the walking will be on forest tracks, country lanes and trails. At times the terrain is uneven with rocks and stones and perhaps tree roots. Often a trail will begin with a walk through woods or a forest and then the trail opens out onto a ridge for great views. There are some elevation gains and losses, but nothing too significant. It is nice here to take your time and absorb the serenity and calm as the areas you walk in are quite remote. You should be a regular walker and have a good level of walking fitness in order to enjoy this trip to the maximum.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

You will be provided with hiking trail descriptions that will help you find your way. Detailed local maps are distributed by the innkeepers before each day’s walking and different options presented. In this itinerary there is mostly just one walking option listed on each day, but in this area there are various walking routes on offer. Additionally an innkeeper’s “trail talk” (orientation to local conditions) each morning will be conducted. The trails themselves are generally well-marked.


Baggage Transfer

As you will probably have your own car the bags will be transferred from inn to inn by yourself.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for exampe, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.


Getting to Chittenden

By Air - The closest airport to Chittenden is Rutland Southern Vermont Regional Airport, which is about a 30 minute drive away. Upon arrival it is possible to rent a car. There are 3 daily flights from Boston on Cape Air.  There is also Burlington International Airport which has connecting flights from many major hubs. It is possible to rent a car in Burlington and it takes about one and a half to two hours. Or if you prefer you can fly into Boston Logan Airport which has direct flights from the UK, Europe and other major hubs in the USA and Canada. Again, you can pick up a rental car at the airport and the drive from here to Chittenden takes around three and a half hours. We can arrange car hire for you but unfortunately only from Burlington Airport. If you would like to pick up a rental car from Rutland you will need to arrange this independently.


Getting from Ripton

All the information in the last section (Getting to Chittenden) still stands for Getting from Ripton. The only differences are the drive times which are as follows:


Ripton to Rutland Airport: 1 hour


Ripton to Burlington Airport: 1 hour and 15 minutes


Ripton to Boston Logan Airport: 3 and a half hours

Getting to Chittenden

By Air -  The closest airport to Chittenden is Rutland Southern Vermont Regional Airport, which is about a 30 minute drive away. Upon arrival it is possible to rent a car. There are 3 daily flights from Boston on Cape Air.  There is also Burlington International Airport which has connecting flights from many major hubs. It is possible to rent a car in Burlington and it takes about one and a half to two hours. Or if you prefer you can fly into Boston Logan Airport which has direct flights from the UK, Europe and other major hubs in the USA and Canada. Again, you can pick up a rental car at the airport and the drive from here to Chittenden takes around three and a half hours.



Getting from Ripton


All the information in the last section (Getting to Chittenden) still stands for Getting from Ripton. The only differences are the drive times which are as follows:



Ripton to Rutland Airport: 1 hour



Ripton to Burlington Airport: 1 hour and 15 minutes



Ripton to Boston Logan Airport: 3 and a half hours


Included

  • 6 Nights in classic Vermont country inns.
  • 6 Breakfasts
  • 6 Dinners & 5 Lunches
  • Innkeeper assisted shuttling service to get to the trailheads
  • Comprehensive information pack, maps and detailed walking trail descriptions
  • Innkeeper “trail talk” every morning before departure
  • Housekeeping & waitstaff gratuities
  • Emergency telephone support from our local partner and the Macs Adventure office

Excluded

  • Travel to Chittenden, Vermont
  • Travel from Ripton, Vermont
  • Snacks and drinks, lunches on Days 1 and 7
  • Car Rental
  • Travel Insurance

Extras

  • Single or solo Supplement(s) if applicable
  • Car Rental
  • Additional Nights

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as the region is extremely popular especially over the foliage season at the start of October. If you are looking to travel then we recommend booking as early as possible.

How fit do I need to be?

This trip is graded easy to moderate and is suitable for most people that are in good physical condition. The majority of the walking will be on forest tracks, country lanes and trails. At times the terrain is uneven with rocks and stones and perhaps tree roots. Often a trail will begin with a walk through woods or a forest and then the trail opens out onto a ridge for great views. There are some elevation gains and losses, but nothing too significant. It is nice here to take your time and absorb the serenity and calm as the areas you walk in are quite remote. You should be a regular walker and have a good level of walking fitness in order to enjoy this trip to the maximum. 

How do the baggage transfers work?

As you will probably have your own car the bags will be transferred from inn to inn by yourself.

What equipment do I need?

Your detailed information pack will be sent to you after you book. This has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack.

When is the best time of year?

The weather is generally nice for walking from May through to October in Vermont. From Late March through to early June, the snow starts to melt and spring arrives and the budding leaves make this a nice time to visit. Summer is quite short but pleasant and the hottest months are in July and August. Fall Foliage begins around Labor Day (first Monday in September) and ends around Columbus Day (second Monday of October). Columbus Day tends to be the peak foliage time so it is best to book well in advance for then.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

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macs adventureThe Heart of Vermont
 
5.0

(based on 1 review)

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Only Way to see and appreciate the beauty of Vermont

By Norm

from California

About Me Hiker, Occasional Traveller

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Fun
  • Great Accommodations
  • Well Organised

Cons

  • None

Best Uses

  • Holiday
  • Relaxation
  • Trying Something New

Comments about macs adventure The Heart of Vermont:

Great people, great food, amazing locations, reliable advice on where to hike each day, and comfortable accommodations to rest your feet / bodies each night. Located five miles down an unpaved country road, whether you are an avid hiker or cross country skier, Blueberry Hill Inn is the star attraction for this trip. Great food, attentive staff, and an amazing location in the center of a national forest, we used the Inn Keepers assistance in helping us hike from Blueberry Hill to Chipman Inn via various hiking trails much like we did when we hiked the Coast to Coast in England. A once in a lifetime adventure that easily can be changed to meet your various desires and needs. We will be coming back again in the future.

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