Day 1: Stowe - Sunset Hill Walk, Trip Orientation and Welcome Dinner
2 miles, moderate
We’ll greet you at 1:00 p.m. at the Burlington, Vermont Airport and transfer to Stowe by private van. We’ll have a warm-up walk right from the center of Stowe up Sunset Hill for a marvelous view of the village, a perfect introduction to our Green Mountain week. We’ll enjoy a welcome drink and orientation. Our dinner together this evening will be a convivial, icebreaking taco party in a gourmet Mexican restaurant in Stowe.
Day 2: Stowe – Mount Mansfield and Smuggler’s Notch
3-5 miles, moderate to challenging
Early risers will enjoy a walk on the award winning Rec (Recreation) Path that meanders along a river from the Village. After a hearty hot breakfast we’ll take an historic journey today up the Mount Mansfield Toll Road to the visitor’s center at the top of the Mountain. 19th Century visitors changed from coach to horse part-way up, but our van will make the journey all the way to the top. We’ll hike in this arctic landscape along the ridgeline on part of Vermont’s famous Canada-to-Massachusetts Long Trail from the Nose to the Chin of Mount Mansfield and back. The views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks to the west and the White Mountains of New Hampshire to the east are breathtaking. After our hike we’ll take another drive back in time to Smuggler’s Notch, the road between Sterling Peak and Mount Mansfield. The huge boulders next to the road make this drive a dramatic adventure and you can easily imagine the early 19th Century and Prohibition era smugglers sneaking their wares to and from Canada. This afternoon you’ll have a chance to explore Stowe village on your own, or, if you wish, go for another walk. We recommend a visit to the Vermont Ski Museum right on the main street in Stowe for a flavor of Stowe’s rich and nostalgic winter sports history. Lunch is on your own. Dinner tonight will hopefully be at a classic New England church supper or at one of Stowe's fun and charming restaurants.
Day 3: Stowe – Little River State Park
3 miles, moderate
Little River was once a settlement, home to 50 pioneer families in the late 1700s. This evocative woodland walk takes you past remnants of old town buildings, a saw mill, and cemeteries; all are evidence of a once-thriving community. Following a picnic lunch we’ll return to Stowe for a visit to the Von Trapp Family Lodge. We’ll enjoy the views from the lodge and learn about the history of the Sound of Music fame Von Trapp family after they settled in Vermont. Today would be a good day to treat ourselves to a piece of Apfelstruedel in the Lodge’s Austrian tea room before heading back to Stowe. We’ll have dinner together tonight in a classic, historic Stowe restaurant.
Day 4: Stowe – Bull Moose Pasture - Goshen
4 miles, moderate
We’ll take a walk in a classic Vermont landscape today through sugar maple groves, past old cellar holes in the woods, and next to fields of Holstein cows straight from central casting to Bull Moose Pasture. We’ll follow this walk with a trip to a cider mill and perhaps a farm visit. We’ll then say good-bye to Stowe and head south (in relative terms) to Goshen, Vermont. Our drive will take us down the scenic Route 100, once known as the Vermont’s Ski Highway since there were so many rustic, one-rope-tow “Mom & Pop” downhill ski areas that sprang up along this road in the 1940’s to the 1960’s. We’ll stop at the quaint Warren Store and then we’ll head west from Route 100 up the Middlebury Gap, stopping by dramatic Texas Falls along the way if time allows. When we check in to our inn, we’ll enter the peaceful, off-the-beaten path world of the Moosalamoo part of the Green Mountain National Forest, which has been designated a National Recreation Area. Our inn has pretty views, a spring fed pond reflecting the foliage, a wood fired sauna, and fabulous cuisine. It is surrounded by hills, fields, woods and trails.
Day 5: Goshen – Silver Lake and Rattlesnake Cliffs
5-7 miles, moderate to challenging
Early risers will quietly head off on a pre-breakfast walk on the Beaver Dam Loop in search of wildlife, returning on Truck Trail. (Let’s see who can guess the reason for naming a trail in the woods Truck Trail). Today we’ll hike up by the Falls of Llana, and then up to the Rattlesnake Cliffs (not to worry: we have never seen a Rattlesnake there) where we’ll enjoy stunning views of Lake Dunmore and the Adirondacks. After that we’ll journey up to Silver Lake, scene of a now gone resort hotel and religious revival meetings during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Dinner is at the inn tonight, perhaps preceded by a visit to the wood fired sauna.
Day 6: Brandon Gap – Hogback Mountain Loop – Robert Frost Cabin
3 miles, moderate to challenging
In case we have not yet seen a moose, we’ll take a dawn drive up to beautiful, remote Brandon Gap in search of a moose. After the Inn’s wonderful hot breakfast, we’ll hike directly from the door of the inn and explore Hogback Mountain. Our hike will take us through woods to awesome views at the blueberry picking area on a search for remnants of the downhill ski area that was here in the 1940’s. We’ll make an afternoon visit to that Vermont “pilgrimage” site, the Robert Frost Cabin, soaking up the view from this movingly humble building and beautiful setting. We’ll follow that up with a visit to one or our favorite, authentic country stores. Tonight we’ll toast each other and our accomplishments during our last fireside gourmet dinner in the inn.
Day 7: Addison, Vermont, 4 miles, moderate
After breakfast we travel out of the Green Mountains and over to the Champlain Valley for a hike up Snake Mountain (again, no snakes) and final, fabulous Lake Champlain and Adirondack views at the site of the former aptly named Grand View Hotel. Time permiting, we’ll also visit a local cheese farm or winery to sample some of the products enjoyed by “localvores,” proponents of the local food movement supported so enthusiastically in Vermont. We’ll return you to the Burlington Airport by 3:00 p.m.
Please bear in mind that this is a typical itinerary, and the actual walks, sites and accommodations may vary due to season, special events or weather. We reserve the right to alter the itinerary since tour arrangements are made up to a year in advance, and unforeseen circumstances that mandate change may arise. Itinerary changes are made to improve the tour and your experience. Your guide is an expert on this tour and will make any adjustments to suit the circumstances and the group’s needs.