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
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 the Dartmouth Coach stop in front
of The Hanover Inn on Wheelock Street 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.
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. 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. At Brockway Mills,
you can ride in to see the gorge and the small hydroelectric plant. We'll also
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.
Next 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.
We arrive in Chester in time for lunch. You may elect to
ride or shuttle back to the inn from here. 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
Day 3 - North Chester's Stone Village / Stoughton Pond / Echo Lake
For those choosing the longer option 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.
We'll enjoy a picnic lunch today, prepared by our Trip
Leaders, at Stoughton Pond, the perfect setting for a mid-day chill-out.
Afterwards, we cycle through another covered bridge before arriving at 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 the
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. During our visit, 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.
Next we'll visit the Plymouth Cheese Factory, which was
established by the President's father, John Coolidge, in 1890. We'll enjoy
comparing the finished products we sample here to the cheeses we tasted
previously in Grafton.
You'll then 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. Or, if a little hysteria is not your thing, jump
in the VBT shuttle for the short climb.
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 three miles along a quiet back road into
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 Quechee through the towns of West Hartford
and Pomfret and back to Woodstock. 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!
Time and pace permitting, you may 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.