Champlain Valley & Middlebury Tour
5-Day / 5-Night Tour - NEW ITINERARY!
Our NEW Champlain Valley & Middlebury Tour is designed to honor a stand-out cycling vacation for visitors who come from around the globe. We have combined our favorite Champlain Valley Inns with Vermont’s exceptional back road pedaling terrain. There are mileage options for all abilities and Farm to Table Cuisine to show off our seasonal dishes and local brews. This is a NEW itinerary designed for all abilities.
Lake Champlain, a glacially formed lake and the 6th largest fresh water lake in the U.S., is situated between Vermont’s Green Mountains to the east and the Adirondack Mountains of New York to the west. The valley that surrounds the lake is nature’s magnificent painting. To watch a sunset from the seat of a bicycle along the Vermont shores of Lake Champlain with the Adirondack Mountains as a backdrop, has to be one of the top ten bike rides ever. Our tour will visit both shores.
We begin our journey at The Shoreham Inn in Shoreham, Vermont. Originally built in 1790 as a stagecoach stop, this inn has been a haven for cyclists exploring the southern areas of the Champlain Valley for decades. A simple, country style inn, it has been renovated by our friendly innkeepers, Dominic and Molly Francis, and features a cozy common area with Gastropub and the irresistible aroma of fabulous home-cooking. Each guestroom has a different theme.
Monday is a day of old and new. We head directly to the Ticonderoga Cable Ferry and take the short boat ride across Lake Champlain to New York where ferry service began in 1759. Service was established to connect Fort Ticonderoga and other Forts in the area with those on the Connecticut River. This crossing has a rich history and is the oldest Cable Ferry in the United States (Nathaniel Hawthorn was once a passenger). Upon arrival in New York, you may tour Fort Ticonderoga and learn about its historical role in the formation of the United States. After a scenic pedal north along Lake Champlain, we visit Crown Point Historic Site. Here, ruins are on display, once held by the French, the British as well as the Colonialists. We then cross Lake Champlain back to Vermont by bike on the brand new Champlain Bridge offering spectacular panoramic views of the lake and mountains. An easy ride south gets us back to the comforts of The Shoreham Inn.
Tuesday we depart Shoreham and cycle through the heart of “the land of milk and honey" — Vermont’s most fertile farmland. Apple orchards, sheep and Holsteins grazing, and small family farms with the Adirondacks as the backdrop, are the vistas of the day. We hug the shore of Lake Champlain all the way to The Basin Harbor Club.
The Basin Harbor Club is an extraordinary 700 acre property that dates back to 1886. The original farmhouse has been preserved, and over the years, extensive flower gardens, a large swimming pool, an 18- hole golf course and landing strip have all been added to this rambling lakeside resort. Watching the sun set across the lake and over the Adirondack Mountains to the west will surely leave you breathless. A special feature of the Club is the waterfront where you may relax lakeside, swim, boat and generally restore. During summer tour dates, we will have a “North Dock Lobster Bake".
On Wednesday we head to our northern terminus after passing through the small towns of Ferrisburgh, Charlotte and Shelburne. Cycling into Kingsland Bay State Park is an opportunity for a cool down swim and picnic lunch before looping back to the Basin Harbor Club for another night of hearty dining and soaking up the Basin Harbor experience.
Thursday we say goodbye to Basin Harbor and hello to Vergennes, Middlebury and our inland exploration. After an easy morning ride, we arrive in Vergennes, the smallest city in the US. Vergennes is home to an impressive opera house, a lush Town Green, several restaurants and the sinfully delightful Daily Chocolate Shop. Next up is Hallock Road with stunning views across the Champlain Valley from Snake Mountain to The Adirondacks. We pedal along the Otter Creek, Vermont’s longest river, which naturally leads to Vermont’s oldest covered bridge, the Pulp Mill Bridge (1820), a two- lane 195’ span over the Otter Creek. The bridge serves as our gateway to Middlebury, a picturesque New England college town (the Dali Lama spoke at the college during a recent US visit) and home to several galleries featuring artwork by Vermont’s most respected artisans. Grab lunch at the Middlebury Coop, a member owned food market and café.
Our day concludes with an easy ride to East Middlebury and our home for the night. The historic Waybury Inn (1810) was used as the setting for the opening scenes of the iconic Bob Newhart TV show. The inn has a modern country flavor and welcoming hospitality. It may be the cozy pub, the hammock swinging between the maple trees or the timeless rocking chairs on the expansive front porch that you remember most. Looking for more? Tackle the bonus mile option up the challenging Middlebury Gap hill climb. Along the way you will pass the Robert Frost Interpretive Trail and The Breadloaf Campus of Middlbury College, home to their intensive summer language school. Everyone should take a refreshing dip in the swimming hole, a short walk from the inn.
Friday is our shortest cycling day, but no less exhilarating as we pedal south toward Lake Dunmore and on to Brandon, a small but bustling town very much on the rise. Visit Foley Brother’s Brewery to sample some of Vermont’s finest and hardest to find micro beer. You won’t be disappointed! The last stunning miles have us pedaling west through the tiny farm villages of Salisbury, Leicester and Whiting on our way back to the Shoreham Inn.
Summer / $1875
June 25 - June 30, 2017
July 2 - 7, 2017
July 16 - 21, 2017
August 27 - September 1, 2017
September 10 - 15, 2017
Rental Bike: $100 (more rental info)
Single Supplement: $500
Level of Difficulty:
Easy to Moderate, with Difficult Options
42, 52 mile options
32, 40 & 54 mile options
26, 49 & 57 mile options
30, 40 & 60 mile options
31 & 46 mile options
BED & BREAKFASTS ON THIS TOUR
Shoreham Inn, Shoreham, VT
Waybury Inn, East Middlebury, VT
Basin Harbor Club, Vergennes, VT