Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Highlights

  • Cycling through the lower Champlain Valley, a rolling terrain of open farmland with Adirondack Mountain backdrops
  • Exploring picturesque villages such as Brandon, nick-named the “Art & Soul” of Vermont, known in the 19th century as the “drawing room of New England”
  • Staying in unique properties, a 200 year old inn, a former governor’s mansion and an 1860’s National Registry historic home
  • Bustling, cosmopolitan Middlebury, site of the famed liberal arts college where the American poet, Robert Frost, lectured
  • Comfortable and classic accommodations

A mecca for cyclists, this captivating area of Vermont is a rolling terrain of picturesque and lush farmland, enchanting New England villages, apple orchards and covered bridges. Daily optional rides offer flexibility and give the opportunity to either relax or allow additional discovery.

Revel in the comfortable, cosy and often historic classic inns where you will be hosted. From the Shoreham Inn in a sleepy hamlet, to the Swift House located in bustling Middlebury, you are certain to receive a very warm welcome. One of the inns is located on what many say is the prettiest street in Vermont while another’s hallmark is its typical New England style.

This unique cycling tour begins in the village of Brandon, nicknamed the “Art & Soul” of Vermont due to its plethora of artists’ studios and galleries. The inn here is a Victorian gem and where, after breakfast, your bike will be delivered. An orientation and arrival briefing gives you all the introduction and information you need for the next few days and not before long you will be cycling along the beautiful back-roads of this region. For much of the ride today the Adirondack Mountains will appear as a backdrop and there is an option is to take a small cable ferry across to see Fort Ticonderoga in New York State, a large fort built by the French in the 18th century.

After spending the evening in Shoreham and perhaps sharing stories with other cyclists in the Shoreham Inn gastro-pub, your next day’s cycling will be concentrated in and around the Otter Creek area, which is one of the largest rivers in the State of Vermont. After riding over some rolling hills and through a quiet landscape of green pastures, you arrive into the bustling town of Middlebury, home to the famed liberal arts college where Robert Frost, the well-known poet was in residence.

On your final day of glorious cycling make your way slowly back to your beginning point, the pretty village of Brandon. Today cycle around the shore of Lake Dunmore, with its pristine and clear waters, perhaps stopping off in the village of Cornwall, founded in 1761.

Your self-guided cycling tour in Vermont includes 4 nights in classic country inns, 4 breakfasts, an orientation and welcome meeting on the morning of Day 2, baggage transfers, comprehensive information pack, maps and detailed cycling route descriptions.

Subscribers to the Times (UK Newspaper) can read about this relaxing cycle (perfect for foodies) in their article on the cycle trail through New England.

DAY 1: Arrive Brandon


There are various ways of getting to Brandon,  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 Brandon, Vermont. It is also possible to take the option of paying for transfers from Rutland or Burlington, if you do not wish to drive.



Brandon is where your cycling adventure begins and ends. It has broad tree-lined streets with large well-kept houses displaying a wide variety of American architectural styles. The centre of the village is vibrant with artists’ studios, galleries and shops.  



After settling into your inn perhaps you would like to eat dinner at Café Provence, a restaurant that provides a varied menu of scrumptious food. Try the seafood stew or a juicy burger, both are delicious!


Overnight: The Inn on Park Street, Brandon



This Victorian gem is located on the prettiest street in Vermont and it is possible to sip a lemonade on the deep front porch and people-watch. The rooms are spacious and comfortable  and come equipped with wireless, high-speed internet access. A Vermont full country breakfast with fresh baked goods is provided by this former pastry chef innkeeper.



DAY 2: Brandon to Shoreham—18 or 30 miles


This morning enjoy a personalized orientation talk and arrival briefing with the rental bikes  delivered after breakfast. Your first door to door cycle is a favourite of many and you will head out towards the west through apple orchards and dairy farms with a backdrop of the Adirondack Mountains for much of the way.



On this beloved ride, each section and turn of a corner brings an even prettier view than the last. It is possible to extend your cycle today to 30 miles with an optional extension to a railroad covered bridge, or to take a cable ferry (which has been in operation for more than 200 years and which is payable locally) for a seven minute journey across Lake Champlain to Fort Ticonderoga, which is on the New York State side.



Later this afternoon you will arrive in the sleepy hamlet of Shoreham. At the centre of the village find your home for  the evening, a 1790 inn which is also a popular gastro-pub. Your luggage will be waiting for you upon arrival.


Overnight: The Shoreham Inn, Shoreham



This Shoreham Inn has been welcoming travellers for over 200 years and is a restored tavern and former stagecoach stop. It is also the biking mecca of Vermont and many cycling enthusiasts gather here in the evening to sample the pub fare. There are ten individually decorated rooms which are cosy and comfortable and you will be welcomed warmly by the innkeepers.



DAY 3: Shoreham to Middlebury—18 or 27 or 35 miles


The next section of your cycle begins with a ride over a few green hills and with some zig-zagging through prime and lush farmland of the Otter Creek. En route perhaps you can stop and enjoy a refreshing swim in one of the lakes or swimming holes along the way, or pause while a farmer drives his herd from field to field across your route.  



On completion of today’s cycle (there are also options to extend the riding to 27 or 35 miles) you will cycle over the only double-covered bridge in Vermont and arrive in Middlebury, a bustling little town. At its centre is a cosmopolitan top-tier liberal arts college and here you will also find a pewter maker, a brewery with tours and tastings, and a smattering of museums.  


Overnight: Swift House Inn,  Middlebury



Your accommodation this evening, the Swift House Inn, is a 20-room former Vermont Governor’s restored family mansion. Large, comfortable rooms offer modern amenities with period décor. Relax, sip a glass of wine by the fire, or read a book in the library.



DAY 4: Middlebury to Brandon—22 or 30 miles


Today’s ride takes you through a covered bridge and a hardwood swamp and through the village of Cornwall and back to the village of Brandon and where you began. The longer option of 30 miles circles the beautiful shore of Lake Dunmore in the Green Mountain National Forest. This  thousand-acre lake has warm, calm and crystal clear waters. Perhaps stop here and savour a picnic lunch and have a refreshing swim.


Overnight: Gazebo Inn B&B, Brandon



The Gazebo B&B is the epitome of cosy elegance in true New England style. This 1860’s National Registry historic home is decorated throughout with warm period pieces and original art. The distinctive guest rooms have a distinctive décor and offer luxury linens and your own robe! Your mother-daughter hostesses pay great attention to detail and provide a wonderful and hearty breakfast.



DAY 5: Onward travel


After breakfast you can make your onward journeys. Why not spend an extra night in Boston or NYC? You can book these nights on-line with Macs Adventure or ask our Reservation Specialists for more details.


Accommodation

Your trip includes 4 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.



 

 

 



The Inn on Park Street - Brandon



The Inn on Park Street - Brandon

This Victorian gem is located on the prettiest street in Vermont and it is possible to sip a lemonade on the deep front porch and people-watch. The rooms are spacious and comfortable and come equipped with wireless, high-speed internet access. A Vermont full country breakfast with fresh baked goods is provided by this former pastry chef innkeeper.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Shoreham Inn - Goshen



Shoreham Inn - Vermont

The Shoreham Inn has been welcoming travellers for over 200 years and is a restored tavern and former stagecoach stop. It is also the biking mecca of Vermont and many cycling enthusiasts gather here in the evening to sample the pub fare. There are ten individually decorated rooms which are cosy and comfortable and you will be welcomed warmly by the innkeepers.


 

 

 


 

 

 



The Swift Inn - Middlebury



Swift House Inn - Vermont

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

4 Breakfasts at the inns are included. You can either eat dinner in the inns or at local restaurants. If you know ahead of time that you would like to eat at the inns, please can you reserve this through Macs Adventure or book ahead with our local partners upon arrival, otherwise they may not be able to take your reservation at the last minute. You can ask your lodging to make up a packed lunch for you (payable locally). Most of the walks are in remote areas so it is better to take a packed lunch with you if possible.

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 cycling 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 this time of year.


Navigation

You will be given detailed maps and route notes that will help you find your way. At the first inn, a personalised orientation talk and welcome briefing will be provided. In this itinerary, there are various daily cycling options available and you can take your pick as to which one you would prefer with longer or shorter rides on offer. The cycling is on paved back-roads, so there will be minimal traffic. All routes have been well-vetted and provide you with really great days of cycling.


Grade & Fitness

This trip is graded easy to moderate and is suitable for most people that are in good physical condition. However, Vermont is not called the Green Mountain State without reason! While these areas are certainly not flat, you will be cycling through rolling farmland, so you will be cycling up and down, but there are no significant elevation gains. You should be a regular cyclist and have a good level of cycling fitness in order to enjoy this trip to the maximum.


Baggage Transfers

Your baggage will be transferred daily between the inns. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.


Rental Bikes

Bike hire is available as an optional extra. Good quality hybrid bikes are available and the bike will be delivered to you after breakfast on the morning of Day 2 and picked up from the last inn. It will be either a Raleigh or Jamis branded bike and will come with a helmet, water bottle, a small pack on a rear rack, mini-pump, spare tube, adjustment kit and lock.


Please note that if you do want to rent a bike you need to provide us with your height so that we can make sure that the bike is going to be a good fit.


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 example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard cycling gear such as good cycling shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack.

Getting to and from Brandon, Vermont

By Air -  The closest airport to Brandon, Vermont is Rutland Southern Vermont Regional Airport which is about a 35 minute drive away. Upon arrival it is possible to rent a car through Macs Adventure or by yourself. 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 (through Macs Adventure if you wish) and it takes about 1h15.


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 (or book through us) and the drive from here to Brandon takes around 3h30.


As you will not need a car during the itinerary there is also the option to add extra transfer costs from either Rutland or Burlington Airports or from  a local bus and train station so that you don’t have to rent a car. Here are the details of the local bus and train station where you can also be picked up if you wish:


Rutland Train Station (there is one daily train from NYC Penn Station, which arrives in the late evening and departs in the early morning).


Lebanon New Hampshire Bus Station (there is a Dartmouth Coach from Boston Logan Airport that leaves several times per day)  


Please contact us if you wish to include the transfers.


Included

  • 4 Nights in classic Vermont country inns.
  • 4 Breakfasts
  • An orientation and arrival briefing at the first inn on the morning of Day 2
  • Comprehensive information pack, maps and detailed cycling directions
  • Daily baggage transfers
  • Housekeeping and waitstaff gratuities
  • Emergency roadside service and telephone support from our local partner and the Macs Adventure office

Excluded

  • Travel to and from Brandon, Vermont
  • Dinners, lunches, snacks and drinks
  • Car Rental
  • Bike Rental
  • Travel Insurance

Extras

  • Single or solo Supplement(s) if applicable
  • Car Rental
  • Bike 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. However Vermont is not called the Green Mountain State without reason! While these areas are certainly not flat, you will be cycling through rolling farmland, so you will be cycling up and down, but there are no long significant elevation gains. You should be a regular cyclist and have a good level of cycling fitness in order to enjoy this trip to the maximum.

How do the baggage transfers work?

Your baggage will be transferred daily between the inns. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.

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 cycling gear such as quick-drying layered clothing, a waterproof jacket and confortable biking shorts.

When is the best time of year?

The weather is generally nice for cycling 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.

Epic Cycling in the Autumn

5

The best part of this trip was the flexibility in where you want to cycle each day. You can customize to your cycling abilities and desires. It can be as relaxed or as challenging as you want. It was superb to have the local contact to help you choose. Amazing service. The rental bikes were perfect. Highly recommended in the fall to see the leaves changing. And Vermont drivers are very courteous to cyclists.

Robin

Idaho, USA

true

Beautiful and cozy

5

We absolutely loved our cycling trip to Vermont! The Inns were really nice, great meals and quite hospitable. The bike rentals were of very good quality. In terms of organization, maps, even road side assistance, which we ended up needing it for our daughter everything was fantastic. We highly recommend it!

The Cycling Schwimms

Vermont

true

Vermont Inn to Inn Cycling

5.0 2

100.0

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