Top 10 Places to Visit in Vermont by Bike

Top 10 Places to Visit in Vermont by Bike

Regardless of the time of year that you choose to visit Vermont, the attractions and destinations that await are plentiful in all corners of the state. Truly a four-seasons state for tourism, weather is no factor in finding a good time in Vermont.

There are so many neat places to visit in Vermont, that it can sometimes be difficult to know where to begin!

1. Burlington

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Dear guys, we have to tell you that the residents of Burlington are dedicated to environmental stewardship and this it shows. Also, like-minded visitors enjoy biking the Greenway (also called the Waterfront Bike Path), a forested corridor that runs the entire length of the city. As a cyclist, that will work great for you too!

The Burlington Greenway (Bike Path) said the crown jewel of parks system is an immensely popular attraction during the summer, fall and spring and, increasingly, the winter months. Eight miles of paved path, with aggregate shoulders for runners and walkers, runs from just south of Oakledge park to the Winooski River to the north, and along the way runs through and connects many major parks and facilities situated on the Lake Champlain shoreline. Lots to be admired on this ride!

But we have also a some can't-miss rides.

For example, Smuggler's Notch Loop, a 65-mile loop, uniquely in Vermont, cruising gentle the farmland before climbing 4,383-foot Mt. Mansfield. The route rolls so close to waterfalls so you'll feel their mist. We can say there are not many roads in the country like this one. Another highlight on the way is the grueling 8-mile climb that averages an 8.8 percent grade in the final mile and a half. But, that is not all, because here we have another great ride for you: Hinesburg Town Forest system. An 18-mile network, less than 15 minutes from downtown, the labyrinthine network features a bonanza of single-track, berms, bridges, twists, rollers and jumps. You should try it, really!

And, of course, Crown Point Bridge Loop, starting in Charlotte, 12 miles south of Burlington. This 65-mile lakeside tour proceeds through the rolling hills of New York's Adirondack Park Preserve. This is a delightful ride by the beautiful lake surrounded by the peaceful farmland scenery.

2. Stowe

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Here, in Stowe, cyclists of all abilities and ages can hop on their desired bike and ride!  Whether you prefer the wild of the woods, the large roads, or the paved recreation path, you're guaranteed to enjoy spectacular views in a unique Vermont setting. Here you have many bike shops in town from where to get a bike or the accessories you might need. Let’s start with mountain biking, a top summer activity in Stowe, and with good reason. The large network (over 50 miles!) of well-maintained, interconnected trails offers fun and challenging terrain, suitable for all ability levels. The Stowe Recreation Path (known locally as the 'Rec Path') is a perennial favorite among visitors and area residents alike.  The 5.5 mile one-way paved public path that is free to use and easy-to-access.  With a mostly flat and level trail experience, people of all ages enjoy easy traveling along the entire route. The Stowe Recreation Path is open all year long, enjoyed by cyclists, runners, and walkers in the spring, summer and fall, and by Nordic skiers in the winter. If you are also a skier, come in Stowe!   

3. Montpelier

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Montpelier, the capital of Vermont, has the distinction of being the smallest capital city in the country. It's a small town with big city amenities - a lively arts and music scene, great restaurants, excellent schools, and an active community life. The Vermont State House is one of the most beautiful and well-preserved statehouses in the country. Its style is reminiscent of Greek Revival architecture. Take a ride and visit also the Hubbard Park, one beautiful place to go to in Montpelier Vermont if you love to admire majestic trees. It totals 185 acres and has many picnic areas where you can take your family for a lreaxing picnic. Here there are about 7 miles of trails where you can go hiking and skiing. About 10 miles away from Montpelier there is Barre, the location of the world’s largest granite quarry. Steep cliffs are a sight to behold, going down 475 feet to the quarry floor. In the visitor's center you will see how granite is cut, sculpted and polished, transformed from stone into works of art. To end romantically your trip, save some days to visit a winery or attend the wine-tasting, maybe or search out the local cheeses. For a guilty pleasure desert, indulge something outrageous at Lake Champlain Chocolate Factory.

4. Woodstock

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Here we are in a quaint little mountain town that has elevated tourism to an art form. This place offers you the opportunity to just relax and unwind. Whether you're a 100-miler or just out for a bit of sight-seeing, Woodstock is the place for cyclists. The quiet back roads along the meandering rivers and brooks make the journey the event. But if you are a strong fit type, you can experience more extreme cycling opportunities with Vermont Overland-who offers rides on class four roads throughout the area. Woodstock is also the home to Discovery Bicycle Tours who offer bike tours world-wide. Bring your own bike of rent one from the First Stop Bike shop. After your ride, sit on the Long Trail Brewery's deck next to the Ottauquechee River and drink some cold juice. Don’t know what to choose? Here you have some picks! Echo Lake Loop (6 miles, 220 ft. climbing), East Mountain Road Loop (13 miles, 1,089 ft. climbing), OCI Triangle (18 miles, 853 ft. climbing), 20 Mile Stream Road Loop (19 miles, 640 ft. climbing), Pomfret Loop (24 miles, 1,099 ft. climbing), Terrible Mountain Loop/Belmont Option (24 miles, 2,861 ft. climbing), Terrible Mountain Loop (28.5 miles, 2,415 ft. climbing), Ludlow/Reading Loop (31.5 miles, 1,189 ft. climbing), Woodstock/Brownsville Loop (35 miles, 1,470 ft. climbing), Woodstock/Reading Loop (44 miles, 1,906 ft. climbing), Killington/Barnard Loop (55 miles, 1,739 ft. climbing), Pomfret/Brownsville Loop (75 miles, 3,107 ft. climbing), West Around Century (108 miles, 4,344 ft. climbing), East Around Century (103 miles, 4,239 ft. climbing).

5. Bennington

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Get the real taste of Americana! The covered bridges alone are worth the trip. A driving tour takes you under five covered bridges and to the Vermont Covered Bridge Museum.

With American flags fluttering from colonial and Victorian houses, Bennington is a quintessential American town. Two walking tours of historic Bennington take you past the town's oldest buildings and the Old First Church. The town's main attraction is a 306-foot-high obelisk commemorating the Battle of Bennington in 1777 in which Ethan Allen's Green Mountain Boys were a decisive factor in defeating the British under General Burgoyne.

And if you are a cheese lover, you don’t need to go to France yet! The Vermont Cheese Council introduces you to more than 45 cheesemakers who produce over 150 varieties of small-batch, sheep, cow and goat specialty cheeses and have won literally scores of awards. Don’t forget to pedal all this time, because cheese is not zero calories. 

6. Quechee Gorge State Park

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Hundreds of thousands of visitors stop each year to take in the breathtaking views of the Quechee Gorge. Other visitors seeking an overnight stay enjoy the easy access to the park’s spacious campsites. Quechee Gorge State Park is located along US Route 4 and provides visitors with awe-inspiring views of Quechee Gorge.

The focal point of the park is Vermont’s deepest gorge, formed by glacial activity approximately 13,000 years ago. Visitors can look down at the Ottauquechee River, flowing 165 feet below viewing points along Route 4. if you want to stay longer, the park contains 45 tent/trailer sites and 7 lean-to sites which are located in the camping area. Most sites are large enough to accommodate large RVs.

7. Smugglers Notch State Park

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Situated on over three acres, the park features a flat ground skills park, a pump track, and a downhill skills park. The downhill skills park is accessed by a Wonder Carpet conveyor lift, which runs daily 11:00 am - 5:00 pm.

Vermont biking in the "Stowe/Smugglers-Notch" region is a fun, year-round activity, from mountain biking in the summer to fat biking in the winter, and it's a great way to enjoy the beautiful scenery of northern Vermont.

There are many inns that welcome bikers in Vermont, assisting with mountain bike trail info and helping to plan your bike route in northern Vermont.

Starting from The Bike Shop, the park’s mountain bike trail network features over 5 miles of single track and 8 miles of double track mountain biking. Just like their ski trails, you can ride green, blue, or black trails to access easy, intermediate, or advanced terrain. The trails have something for everyone!

8. Mt. Philo State Park

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Mt. Philo State Park was established in 1924 and it is the oldest state park in Vermont.

Ride on the Mount Philo Loop to find a picturesque, but hilly, 26-mile ride with amazing lake and mountain views. Ride has a more open feel than many routes along the typically forested roads of Vermont. The Mount Philo Loop, minutes from downtown Burlington, is a rolling route with unbeatable views. Sitting at just under 26 miles, it starts in South Burlington at Overlook Park on Spear Street. The views of the Adirondacks and Lake Champlain as well as Camel’s Hump and the Green Mountains are astounding all up and down Spear. But once riders turn onto Mt. Philo Road the views of the lake and mountains are breathtaking. Even the most focused riders would be hard pressed to not stop and take a picture. Not up for a 26-miler? Take a right off Spear onto Hinesburg and from there take a right onto Mount Philo turning this into a shorter 19-mile ride. There are so many different options with similar beauty once you are in the area.

9. Lake Champlain Islands

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Have you ever had a cycling vacation? Once you’re here, you must take a 5 days Lake Champlain/Grand Isle Bike Tour, that could be your cycling escape.

Every day on this spectacular tour includes leisurely lakeside cycling and inspiring views of Lake Champlain, the sixth largest (and surely one of the loveliest) lakes in the U.S. It begins by enjoying peaceful landscapes riding to Charlotte, then cross by ferry to ride through the nationally recognized historic village of Essex, New York. Then you will enjoy stunning views of the Green and Adirondack Mountains as you bike along the renowned Burlington Bike path. The easy cycling includes a visit to Vermont’s oldest settlement at Fort Saint Anne (and the Saint Anne Shrine), to the oldest log cabin in the nation, and to the quarry at Chazy reef where the oldest fossils in the world are located. You will also enjoy a visit to Snow Farm Vineyard and always include the ever-popular option of riding north into Canada, so bring your passport! As a surprise, it also includes an afternoon of professionally guided kayaking along the quiet shores of the lake. Going for 5 days, this really could be your always dreamt biking vacation!

10. Shelburne Farms

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Take a break and spend some time in a quieter place and after, we guarantee, you will feel the renewed connection with yourself. What to do at Shelburne Farms? Take a dip in Lake Champlain, but don’t forget your water shoes as they recommend.

Use their kayaks, canoe, or rowboat or challenge your kids to a lawn game – croquet, badminton, bocce ball. Or just relax in the beauty of the Inn’s Formal Gardens.

Goodbye, Vermont! We will be here soon! How about you, guys? If you would plan your trip to Vermont, what will you choose to explore? Share your trips for greatest trips.