Ride with us through Vermont’s tranquil Northeast Kingdom with its colorful mountain vistas and stunning views of sprawling Lake Champlain. From fiery-red hardwood canopies to expanses of golden yellow, you can’t beat the breathtaking views of Vermont in the autumn. What better way to go leaf peeping than by bicycle?
We’ll start in the bicycling mecca of Burlington, where, in addition to a bevy of cultural and historic sites at hand, we’ll be treated to amazing views of the Adirondack Mountains looming to the west and the Green Mountains to the east. Moving eastward we’ll enjoy stunning colors and visit many quaint New England towns, including a quick trip into New Hampshire and a stop in Montpelier, the capital of Vermont. Our trip ends back in Burlington, but not before we’ve experienced all of the color and beauty that Vermont has to offer.
"Great tour, despite some difficult weather and route changes. I’ll definitely be doing another ACA tour in the future."
Day 1. Burlington, Vermont, 0 miles
We'll start our tour in historic Burlington, known to the locals as "B-Town." With the magnificent backdrop of the Green Mountains to the east, the Adirondack Mountains to the west across the rippling waters of Lake Champlain, and a bevy of cultural and historic sites at hand, we'll let Burlington treat us right before hitting the open road.
Day 2. Burlington to St. Albans, 42 miles
Today we'll leave the bicycling mecca of Burlington and watch our urban surroundings quickly give way to rolling farmland. After riding through the calendar-perfect towns of Colchester and Milton, we'll return to the shores of Lake Champlain and pass through pretty St. Albans Bay before moving away from the shoreline to our home for the evening in St. Albans proper.
Day 3. St. Albans to Jay, 42 miles
We'll strike out on the beautiful Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail today for the first 20 miles of our journey before heading up and over Jay Peak. Our route wanders through the farms, forests, fields, and wetlands of the Northeast Kingdom with image after image perfect for a postcard. Riding traffic-free for most of the day means plenty of spectacular photo opportunities!
Day 4. Jay to St. Johnsbury, 54miles
Today's stunning and challenging ride will take us through the foothills of the Green Mountains. The leaves will be beautiful as we head into the heart of the Green Mountains, with bright yellow, lime green, orange, and fiery red hues highlighting the hills around us. We'll finish today in St. Johnsbury, where, according to the town motto, "rivers and people come together."
Day 5. St. Johnsbury to Fairlee, 54 miles
Following Adventure Cycling's Green Mountains Loop today, we'll dip into New Hampshire briefly before crossing back into Vermont. Tonight we'll rest at one of Vermont's oldest continuously operated country inns, situated between the Green and White Mountains near the Connecticut River.
Day 6. Fairlee to Waterbury, 54 miles
Today our wheels will take us through the heart of Vermont. We'll have the opportunity to explore the state capital of Montpelier, and our ride will take us to the front of the capitol building itself. We'll finish the day in Waterbury, home of world-famous Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, and settle in just a mile up the road from the ice cream factory. You may find time to swing by and get yourself a sweet treat!
Day 7. Waterbury to Burlington, 26 miles
It's a short ride back to Burlington through rolling hills and past plenty of silos and colorful mountains. Although the day's ride will be over quickly, our memories of "leaf-peeping" through Vermont will stay with us long after our final pedal strokes.