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Biking Vacation Biking Southern Vermont: A New England Idyll​

Activity Level: Easy / Moderate  |  Daily Mileage: 10 – 37 mi  |  Daily Biking: 2 – 4 hr
Land only
6 days from only
Pre-trip Extension:
Norwich-Hanover · 2 nights $295

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Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Transfer from Hanover, New Hampshire / Warm-up ride in Grafton, Vermont

VBT will include a transfer from Hanover, New Hampshire, to the first inn on our tour, and back to Hanover at the conclusion of the tour. 

Hanover is served by Dartmouth Coach, providing transport from Boston's South Station and Logan Airport. It is also close to the Lebanon Municipal Airport (LEB), which is served by Cape Air from Boston, and to Amtrak's White River Junction station.

Our transfer leaves from in front of Dartmouth Hall on College in Hanover at approximately 1:15 pm. Please allow for traffic delays and look for a representative holding a VBT sign. The shuttle will be coming from our pre-trip hotel with VBT guests. Your shuttle bus will carry “People Movers” titles, and the driver will be holding a VBT sign. Please allow for traffic delays.

If you arrive after this time, you will need to arrange for transportation to The Grafton Inn at your own expense. Travel time from Hanover to Grafton is approximately 75 minutes, depending upon traffic.

If you are driving to the start of the tour, we recommend that you park your car in Hanover, New Hampshire, and join our included shuttle to the start and from the finish of the tour. The Parking Garage at 7 Lebanon Street allows for a stay of multiple days, with a charge of $15 per day. The garage accepts cash, credit cards and checks as payment.

VBT Pre-Trip Extension guests: You have another morning to enjoy Norwich at leisure. At 1:00 pm, the shuttle will meet and transfer you to The Grafton Inn. Your shuttle bus will carry “People Movers” titles, and the driver will be holding a VBT sign. The shuttle will stop in Hanover, New Hampshire, to collect other VBT guests. Travel time from Norwich to Grafton is approximately 90 minutes, depending on traffic.

At The Grafton Inn, settle in and relax until 3:30 pm, when your VBT Trip Leaders will hold a safety and bike-fitting clinic, followed by a short warm-up ride. This evening, enjoy a welcome reception featuring artisanal cheeses from Grafton Village Cheese, followed by dinner at our inn.

Day 2 - Saxton River / Vermont Country Store / Chester Village / Swimming Pond

After a hearty breakfast, we'll begin biking south and then east, crossing our first two covered bridges of the week. You may choose to take a break from biking with a stop into the family-owned Vermont Country Store in Rockingham. Known as the purveyor of practical and hard-to-find items, shopping here can be a bit like visiting Great Aunt Agatha's home. Be sure to save some room in your bike bag for your favorites from the store's great penny candy offerings. Ride past Brockway Mills to see the gorge and the small hydroelectric plant.

Next, you'll have the chance to venture inside a "sugar house," where we'll discover how maple syrup is made; Vermont is the nation's largest producer. Though the sap won't be running during our cycling season, our visit here is sure to be illuminating, and we'll also have the opportunity to purchase a tasty souvenir. Then we arrive in Chester in time for lunch. 
Back in Grafton, there is time for a refreshing dip in the nearby swimming hole before we meet with a friendly, in-the-know local to hear all about cheese production in Vermont and the Windham Foundation, a non-profit established in 1963 to promote the vitality of Grafton and other rural Vermont communities.

For dinner on your own tonight, you can opt for casual dining at the Phelps Barn Pub, or enjoy the candlelit ambiance of the Old Tavern Restaurant.

Day 3 - North Chester's Stone Village / Stoughton Pond / Echo Lake

Today you'll have the opportunity to ride past North Chester's Stone Village. On the National Register of Historic Places, this community of homes built from locally-sourced granite is quintessential Vermont.

Continuing along our route, we'll ride over the Springfield Dam. We'll stop to enjoy a picnic lunch, prepared by our Trip Leaders, at Stoughton Pond, the perfect setting for a mid-day chill-out. Afterwards, continue cycling to our inn, The Inn at Water's Edge. Take a seat in a rocker and enjoy the inn's location overlooking quiet Echo Lake.   

We'll have dinner tonight at our charming inn, run by our infinitely capable—and personable—innkeepers, Tina and Bruce Verdrager. Before retiring for the evening, the inn's English pub may call you for a local microbrew and game of billiards or darts.

Day 4 - Calvin Coolidge Homestead / Long Trail Brewing Company / Woodstock

After breakfast, we'll pedal to the Calvin Coolidge Homestead in Plymouth Notch. On the way, you'll have an opportunity to ride up (and down, if you like) the short (0.3 mile), infamous "Hysteria Hill," making for great bragging rights when you return home. During our visit at the Calvin Coolidge Homestead, we'll hear the story of how Calvin Coolidge was sworn in here—his boyhood home—as America's 30th President, on August 3, 1923. We'll also visit the Plymouth Cheese Factory, which was established by the President's father, John Coolidge, in 1890.
This afternoon, we visit the Long Trail Brewing Company, and enjoy lunch along with a sampling of this fine institution's award-winning craft beers. We then ride along a quiet back road into Woodstock. 

Ladies' Home Journal named Woodstock “The Prettiest Small Town in America”—and we'll discover why it's so special during our two-night stay here, in Laurance Rockefeller's delightful Woodstock Inn.

After a day of biking, you may choose to visit the inn's spa this evening. Later, our Trip Leaders can offer recommendations about which of our inn's three restaurants to try for a delicious dinner on your own.

Day 5 - Quechee Village / Simon Pearce Glassblowing Center / Quechee Gorge / VINS

Today we cycle a quiet road alongside the Ottauquechee River to Taftsville and charming Quechee Village. There is a lot to see today, including the Simon Pearce Glassblowing Studio (which boasts an excellent on-site restaurant); Quechee Gorge, which you'll have the opportunity to explore during an optional hike; and the Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS), admission to which is included in the cost of your trip. We also pass through two more of Vermont's historic covered bridges.

There is a fantastic option for those looking for more mileage in the afternoon—a loop from Woodstock through Pomfret and West Hartford, and rejoins the group in Quechee. This route features some of the most spectacular scenery of the week, but does have some significant hills.

Those looking for a break from their bike may spend additional time in Woodstock, perhaps opting for a walk to the nearby Billings Farm & Museum or Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park. Admission to each site is included in the cost of your trip. 

And don't forget that our resort offers golf, a yoga studio, indoor swimming pool and 12 tennis courts. 

Day 6 - Mount Tom walk / Depart for home

This morning, we'll cross our last covered bridge of the week—on foot, this time, as we embark on a walk from our inn. Our route through the town's Billings Park is up a switchback trail to the summit of Mount Tom, which offers a panoramic view of Woodstock village. What a fitting last glimpse of this spectacular landscape! We continue walking along the carriage trails of the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, ending at the park's visitor center and the Billings Farm & Museum. 

The tour concludes back at The Woodstock Inn & Resort. Checkout time is 11:00 am and you may store your bags with the inn. VBT has made arrangements for a shuttle from the inn back to the Dartmouth Coach stop in front of The Hanover Inn on Wheelock Street in Hanover, New Hampshire. It departs Woodstock at 1:00 pm. Travel time is approximately 40 minutes, depending on traffic.

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