Cycle tour small-town Vermont, with the quintessential New England scenery of red barns, forested mountains, rustic farmland and river valleys all around.
The small state of Vermont, nestled inland in the heart of New England, should not be missed and should definitely be on your biking bucket list. This diminutive state holds an array of charms for the outdoor enthusiast and its independent spirit and traditional soul paint a gloriously colorful picture of exceptional terrain to explore.
The name Vermont – a comfortable marriage of the French words ‘verd’ (green) and ‘mont’ (mountain) - reveals the unmistakable hue and origins of the state and are some of the resounding reasons to head here for your next biking vacation. More than 75% of the land in Vermont is forested, with plenty more used for agriculture, and of course those Green Mountains, running north to south through the centre of the state, lie underneath much of the woodland. Here, in the northeast of the US, you’ll find a timeless rural state with plenty of proud heritage and modern vibrancy to keep you occupied.
Aside from the renowned fall splendour, which is an attraction all of its own, Vermont has distinct seasons with all, except perhaps that of the snowy winters, offering a delightful time to visit on a bicycle tour. Ride the gentle hills and quaint landscapes of the state and enjoy discovering local artisans, crafts and homemade fare. Farmers' markets are very much a staple here, and with the most craft breweries per capita of any state, so is the beer. An active break in Vermont could also include a thorough delve into the excellent vineyards and specialty distillers who call these fertile valleys home, with an ever-growing selection of farm-to-plate restaurants and artisan producers to sample ‘when in Rome’. Homemade cider stands and delicious donuts offer fuel on a leisurely biking tour, and some souvenir maple syrup will definitely need to be procured before departure.
Vermont's heritage is often reflected in the architecture, historic sites, museums, and culture of the state. Bike tours of Vermont regularly take advantage of these characterful buildings, by lodging at inns that were once stagecoach stops or perhaps even formerly a Governor's mansion. Traditional crafts, homes and quaint towns may be in abundance here, however, Vermont is also forward-thinking, diverse, vibrant and innovative. The state was one of the first to abolish slavery, being part of the Underground Railroad for escaped slaves heading north to Canada – incidentally a historic site you can still visit today. Vermont borders the Canadian province of Quebec with the epic Lake Champlain tipping over the divide and the cosmopolitan walkable city of Burlington sitting pretty on the east side of the water. Lake Champlain, one of the largest freshwater lakes in the US, acts as the border between Vermont and New York state to the west for the most part, offering some scenic cycling around its pretty shores.
Heading east, make sure you head to Stowe, a must-see mountain resort town, famous for their fall foliage, natural splendour and snow sports in season. Stowe is also home to the Trapp Family Lodge, once a sanctuary to the Austrian-born von Trapp family of The Sound of Music fame, and their now-popular craft brewery. Throughout the state you'll find friendly locals, a healthy dose of quirk, and some iconic scenery, such as the 19th Century covered wooden bridges, reputedly numbering over 100, that dot the landscape. Head to Vermont to bike tour some of the oldest routes in the US and to experience a naturally stunning state, full of the joys of life.