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Walking Vermont: Green Mountain Valleys & Inns

The embracing spirit of Vermont—independent yet companionable, earnest yet convivial—resides here in the valleys of the Green Mountains.

  • Activity Level: Easy / Moderate
  • Daily Mileage: 2 - 6 mi
  • Daily Walking: 2 - 4 hr
  • Small Groups: 20
  • Walking Activity
  • Ideal for those who walk for a morning or afternoon on a regular basis. Footing may be on a variety of surfaces. No extended ascents or descents, but some rewarding climbs.

Why You'll Love This Tour


Vermont: Green Mountain Valleys & Inns

The embracing spirit of Vermont—independent yet companionable, earnest yet convivial—resides here in the valleys of the Green Mountains. You’ll discover, as the poet Robert Frost knew, that the trails that wind through dense forests of pine, through stands of blueberry, past glacier-cut lakes and soaring peaks all share secrets that warm the heart and make friendship invaluable. You’ll discover the hospitable towns of Waitsfield and Middlebury, share a picnic lunch, savor craft brews, and see the cabin that Frost called home. Your walking trails in woodland, meadow, and village all lead to a place where delight and satisfaction reside.

Cultural Highlights

  • Enjoy 5 relaxing nights in cozy, historic Vermont inns
  • Walk the trails at the Von Trapp Family Lodge
  • Enjoy the fine Austrian-style lagers at the Trapp Bierhall
  • Explore the hemlock-rich Mad River Valley country roads
  • Share a delightful picnic lunch by Silver Lake
  • Have time to make your own discoveries in Waitsfield
  • Delight in the trails by beautiful Blueberry Lake
  • Walk meandering trails through pine forest and farmland
  • Ponder the poems of Robert Frost at an interpretative trail
  • See Frost’s cabin, where he lived and wrote for 24 years
  • Walk to the Otter Creek Gorge on the fine Trail Around Middlebury
  • Learn about the Vermont sap trail at an included visit to a sugar shack
  • Tour beautiful Shelburne Farms, a National Historic Landmark

What To Expect

This tour features fairly easy terrain, with some gradual climbs. You’ll walk on a variety of surfaces, including dirt trails and paved roads. On rainy days, the footpaths can be wet and muddy. Your VBT on-tour support vehicles are available at specific meeting points for those who need assistance. Both morning and afternoon options are available on most days. This tour is ideal for both enthusiastic beginners and experienced walkers. Several of the walks require a transfer from your hotel to the start of the walk. Your Trip Leaders often use this time in the van for a morning route review, so you can enjoy a more leisurely morning at breakfast.

Average Daily Mileage: 2 – 6 miles
Average Walking Time: 2 – 4 hours

Climate Information

Average High/Low Temperature (°F) – Middlebury
Sep 71°/50°  Oct 59°/40°

Average Precipitation (in.) – Middlebury
Sep 3.2 Oct 3.1

What’s Included:

• 5 nights in cozy historic inns
• 10 meals – 5 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners
• FREE use of walking poles
• Service of two VBT Trip Leaders
• On-tour vehicle support
• Daily route directions and maps
• Welcome reception
• Sightseeing and cultural activities
• Transfers
• Afternoon pass at Von Trapp trails, guided von Trapp family history walk, admission to Shelburne Farms
• 5% Frequent Traveler Credit to use on your next VBT vacation
• Special Good Buy Discount

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Land Only Single Supplement: $445

Please note: Web Special savings cannot be combined with any other offer. Standard Terms & Conditions apply when purchasing this trip. Ask our Tour Consultants for details. Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors. Prices are based on preferences selected above, including meals and sightseeing as specified in What’s Included. All prices are subject to change. Departure dates and prices shown may be updated several times daily, and apply to new bookings only.

Itinerary & Map
Or, Expand All Days
DAY 1: Arrive Burlington International Airport (BTV) / Hike Trapp Family Lodge trail

After you make your way to Burlington International Airport (airport code: BTV) to meet the group, VBT will offer a shuttle to Stowe and the Trapp Family Lodge.  The shuttle will depart the airport at 12:30 p.m. Meet your Trip Leaders outside the main door and across the road in the shuttle pickup area. They will be wearing VBT staff garments, holding a VBT sign, and the vans will have VBT signage on them. If you are arriving after this shuttle departs or if your flight is delayed, you must make your own arrangements to the Trapp Family Lodge. Please plan to have lunch before leaving the airport, or bring a packed lunch with you.

Guests driving to the tour should meet the group at Burlington International Airport (BTV) and park your cars here for the week. Parking rates are approximately $12.00 USD per day. Burlington International Airport offers both short and long term parking in their newly expanded, multi-level, covered parking garage. The main parking entrance is located just past the terminal building on the left. Credit cards and cash are acceptable payment methods.

You’ll arrive at the Trapp Family Lodge in the renowned resort town of Stowe, Vermont, at 1:30 p.m. The broad fertile plain in which the lodge sits is framed by the emerald-hued Green Mountains to the west and the Hogback Mountains to the east. At the lodge, opened by the Von Trapp family of The Sound of Music fame after they came to the United States, you will join your Trip Leaders for a safety briefing and orientation session. Afterwards, join our local Trapp guide and learn about the Von Trapp family history. You’ll cross Luce Hill which was named for Stowe’s first settler, Oliver Luce, who arrived in 1793. Your roughly threemile ribbon of narrow trail winds its way through quintessential Vermont forest, dense with trees and lush beauty. After your hike, enjoy refreshments and appetizers at the new Trapp Bierhall, known for their excellent Austrian-style lagers.

Later, shuttle to your inn at the base of the Appalachian Gap in the heart of the Mad River Valley, where you’ll spend three delightful nights. After time to settle in to your room, gather with your fellow travelers at 6:00 p.m. for a short shuttle to American Flatbread at Lareau Farm for dinner.

Hotel: Mad River Barn
Meals: D
Daily Options: 2-3 miles

DAY 2: Waitsfield Common Road / Picnic Lunch

After breakfast, shuttle to nearby Waitsfield where you’ll begin walking on a picturesque Vermont country road with breathtaking views of the mountains, and quaint farm houses. Enjoy a picnic lunch featuring farm-to-table ingredients. This afternoon, you may opt to walk the wooded trail at the farm, or walk down to the village and covered bridge or return to the inn and relax.

Dinner will be on your own tonight in Waitsfield or Waterbury, one of Vermont’s newest destinations for food and cocktail connoisseurs. Choose from several local favorites. Your Trip Leaders will have suggestions and will shuttle you into town.

Hotel: Mad River Barn
Meals: B, L
Daily Options: 3-6 miles

DAY 3: Explore Blueberry Lake / Mad River Valley

Start your day with a leisurely breakfast. Afterwards, you’ll shuttle 15 minutes to Blueberry Lake, a shallow body surrounded by gently sloping hills. You’ll spend the morning here, hiking well-maintained trails, perhaps jumping in the lake for a refreshing break.

Lunch will be on your own at the eclectic Warren General Store, built in 1839 as a stagecoach-stop inn and boarding house. You will find a nice selection of fine Vermont craft beers here. You’ll enjoy your lunch by the babbling waters of the Mad River.

This afternoon, you’ll walk the Warren Interpretive trail through a beautiful hardwood forest. Alternately, for a birds-eye view of this bucolic terrain, you may opt for a breathtaking hike up to Sunset Ledge.

Enjoy a leisurely dinner at the inn this evening with your fellow travelers.

Hotel: Mad River Barn
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 2.3 miles (Blueberry Lake Loop); 1.5 miles (Warren Interpretive Trail) or 2.2 miles (Sunset Ledge)

DAY 4: Bread Loaf / Visit Robert Frost cabin / Hike to Silver Lake

After breakfast at the inn, you’ll shuttle 45 minutes southwest and wind your way up to the crest of scenic Middlebury Gap (elevation 2,149 feet). You’ll then plunge down through deep forest to emerge at the rambling Bread Loaf campus, the site of Middlebury’s famed summer writers’ conference. Just beyond Bread Loaf, you’ll stop at the Robert Frost Wayside Picnic Area and Interpretive Trail. The poet laureate of Vermont lived in Middlebury from 1939 until his death in 1963, and the lovely mile-long loop that you’ll follow today is dedicated to his life and work. As you stroll this pretty path, pause to learn about the poet and read excerpts from his poems posted along the way, perhaps pondering the sly wonder of “The Road Not Taken.” You can also take the short walk up the hill to the Robert Frost cabin. As you explore, keep a lookout for wild blueberries, huckleberries, and beavers in the pond.

After, you’ll shuttle 20 minutes to the Leicester Hollow trailhead. Your destination is pristine Silver Lake, nestled between mountain ridges rich in plant species including hemlock, maple, birch, oak, red spruce, and white pine, along with woodland birds such as ovenbirds, veeries and hermit thrushes (the Vermont State bird). Enjoy your gourmet box lunch lakeside. Work off your lunch along a footpath that leads to Lenny’s Lookout with views of Lake Dunmore. We return through the Green Mountain National Forest along an old forest road.

After this rewarding hike, you’ll drive north 45 minutes to the handsome college town of Middlebury, its main street lined with lovely shops and galleries. Settle in at the Swift House Inn, a former governor’s mansion.

For dinner on your own tonight, enjoy one of the many fine restaurants within walking distance in town. Your Trip Leaders will have suggestions for you.

Swift House Inn
Meals: B, L
Daily Options: 4-6 miles

DAY 5: Walk the Trail Around Middlebury to Otter Creek Gorge / Afternoon in Middlebury or hike up Snake Mountain

Before breakfast, set out on an invigorating jaunt to the summit of Chipman Hill, the original site of Middlebury College’s downhill ski area in the 1940s and 50s. Enjoy magnificent views westward over the Green Mountains. After breakfast at the inn, we shuttle a short distance to begin our exploration of the Otter Creek Gorge on the TAM, the Trail Around Middlebury. This delightful series of walking paths, developed by the local Land Trust, leads you through town, onto the Middlebury College campus, and along Otter Creek. Learn about maple syrup production at a nearby Vermont sugarhouse.

This afternoon, there’ll be time to discover the charms of Middlebury at your leisure or join us for a hike up Snake Mountain, elevation 1,287 feet, with rewarding views of Addison County, Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks. In Middlebury, walk over the Main Street bridge to view the waterfall at Otter Creek, stop in the Vermont Book Shop (Robert Frost’s favorite bookstore), or visit the National Museum of the Morgan Horse (a prized horse bred in Middlebury since the 1870s).

Tonight, as you enjoy a farewell dinner, raise a glass and toast your Vermont discoveries.

Hotel: Swift House Inn
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 1 mile and 2.6 miles and/or 3.6 miles

DAY 6: Explore Shelburne Farms / Depart

This morning, you’ll shuttle 45 minutes to Shelburne Farms, a 1,400-acre working farm and National Historic Landmark set picturesquely on the shores of Lake Champlain. During your tour of the spacious grounds, you’ll view the farm barn, breeding barn, coach barn, and the grand Shelburne House overlooking the lake. Shelburne Farms was acquired by Dr. William Seward and Lila Vanderbilt Webb in the late 1880s to create a model agricultural estate. Today, it is a nonprofit organization committed to education for a sustainable future.

VBT’s 30-minute return shuttle to Burlington International Airport will depart Shelburne Farms at noon. We recommend flights out of Burlington no earlier than 2:00 p.m.

Meals: B
Daily Options: 2 miles

Vermont Walking Tour Map

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Walking Vermont: Green Mountain Valleys & Inns

Mad River Barn

Situated on 16 beautiful acres in the heart of Vermont’s Mad River Valley, the Mad River Barn features 18 guest rooms of varied sizes and configurations, each with a classic New England touch. Guests can relax in the inn’s rustic, country-style restaurant, have a drink in the pub and admire its floor-to-ceiling fieldstone fireplace, and enjoy the offerings in the game room. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel.
Free WiFi Included

Swift House Inn

Resting just outside of Middlebury's downtown center, the Swift House offers luxurious accommodations within walking distance of the town's many excellent restaurants and shops. Relax in this cozy 1814 inn—a former governor’s mansion—while you enjoy its lovely gardens, exquisite dining in Jessica’s Restaurant, a cozy bar, and fireplaces. A/C is available.
Free WiFi Included

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