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Green Mountain Gravel Adventure Bike Tour

  • Green Mountain gravel road
  • Lake Champlain and mountains
  • Jumping in the river
  • Green Mountain Gravel biking on wooden path
  • Cooking breakfast in the campground
  • Sunset over Green Mountains
  • Single track section Green Mountain Gravel
  • Tree across gravel route
  • Riding through the belted Galloway cattle
DURATION
6 Day(s)
DAILY BIKING
35 to 55 miles
TRIP DIFFICULTY
5-Advanced
REVIEWS
STARTING FROM
$1495
SINGLES ADD FROM
$75

Trip Overview

This Vermont bike tour is one of our "Adventure Tours" for riders who appreciate a more rustic travel experience. The routes focus on remote, off-road surfaces, often involving gravel, dirt, and single-track. You camp in tents for most nights, with only one night indoors. Guests provide their own bicycles and are responsible for their own basic bike maintenance, such as fixing flats and cleaning and lubing chains. Guests also provide their own camping gear. When available, riders will dine in restaurants, supplemented by meals prepared by leaders. A van will be available to ferry gear and food. However, the van’s purpose is not to serve as a sag vehicle, as riders are expected to pedal every mile.

The Green Mountain Gravel Adventure, is arguably one of the best adventure routes in the northeast. It's based on a route created by Joe Cruz and Logan Watts from bikepacking.com, with some Discovery additions. You pedal 250 challenging miles and climb nearly 22,000 feet. Nearly 70% of the route is off-road — ranging from well-maintained gravel roadways, to barely maintained Class IV dirt lanes, to super fun single-track. If you appreciate the challenge of gritty off-road riding, then this route is for you!

You start and end in Burlington, and pass through quaint New England villages, rolling farmland, and forested trails — including scenic red barns, covered bridges, and classic Holstein cattle. And if you like brews, you are in for a treat! As Vermont proudly holds the title of “Craft Beer Capital of the U.S.,” there will be a ton of opportunities along the route to relish your favorite liquids. (Dates for 2023 are in progress.)

Read more about our Adventure Tours

Itinerary

From start to finish, check out the route.

DAY 1 - Waterbury Village Historic District
Distance: 38 miles | Climbing: 1,800 ft | Growler Opportunities: 2 | Terrain: Intermediate | Little River State Park
Your first mile and a half will be beside beautiful Lake Champlain. As you pedal along the Island Line Trail, take note of the gorgeous Adirondack Mountains across the way. When you leave the bustle of Burlington behind, you won’t see a city this large until your return to town at the end of your journey. Fourteen miles into the route, you have your first encounter with the Winooski River, which you parallel for the remainder of today’s ride. Savor a late lunch in the Waterbury Village Historic District and a local Vermont beverage at Prohibition Pig. For Ben & Jerry’s fanatics, pedal three miles off-route to visit the famous ice cream factory for a tour, a sample, and a viewing of the Flavor Graveyard. Cycle the final few miles to Little River State Park, where you can explore miles of hiking and mountain biking trails in the adjacent Mt. Mansfield State Forest or take a refreshing dip in the Waterbury Reservoir.
DAY 2 - Vermont Peaks
Distance: 46 miles | Climbing: 4,100 ft | Growler Opportunities: 4 | Terrain: Intermediate | Elmore State Park
The climbing begins today! That should come as no surprise, as you are pedaling in the vicinity of Stowe, better known as “The Ski Capital of the East.” You spend the day in the presence of Mount Mansfield, which at 4,395 ft. is the highest mountain in Vermont. Pass by the lodge of the von Trapp Family, whose well-known story is fictionalized in the film “The Sound of Music.” Enjoy a hearty German pretzel and a brew at the Von Trapp Brewery & Bierhall. Just a few miles later, stop by The Alchemist for a tour of a beautiful facility and a taste of some of the best beers in the country. Grab some grub and suds in Morrisville before cycling the final miles to Elmore State Park. If you still have some energy to burn, hike to the fire tower at the top of Elmore Mountain or rent a stand-up paddleboard and explore Lake Elmore.
DAY 3 - Northeast Kingdom
Distance: 50 miles | Climbing: 5,000 ft | Growler Opportunities: 1 | Terrain: Advanced | Woodbury Meadows Campground
Gear up for even more climbing, as today’s elevation profile is very bumpy. As you cycle through rural Vermont, you feel as though you have the whole state to yourself! Bikepacking legends Joe Cruz and Logan Watts describe today’s ride as “epic terrain leading to an epic brewery.” Sure enough, halfway into today’s ride you are rewarded with a shining jewel — the Hill Farmstead Brewery. Have a picnic lunch on the grounds of the brewery. But make sure not to overdo it, as you still have lots of epic riding ahead of you! Forge ahead for the last miles of the day before arriving to camp at Woodbury Meadows.
DAY 4 - Mad River
Distance: 55 miles | Climbing: 5,800 ft | Growler Opportunities: 3 | Terrain: Advanced | Warren Lodge
If you thought yesterday was a challenge, tack on five more miles and 800 more feet of climbing! Nah, your biggest challenge today is pacing your calorie intake so you can enjoy three lunch & brew stops. Fortunately, each stop is spaced with about 15 miles of spectacular riding in between! Day #5 presents you with a bit of a steep stretch, but you conquer that challenge like a champ! After a hard day of riding, relax at Warren Lodge and sit in a chair and enjoy a fire pit and the rushing sounds of the Mad River. Or simply take solace in knowing that tonight you are sleeping indoors ... in beds. Wahoo!
DAY 5 - Lincoln Gap
Distance: 42 or 51 miles | Climbing:3,300 or 3,600 ft | Growler Opportunities: 3 | Terrain: Advanced | Green Mountain Family Campground
It’s all downhill from here! (Well, sorta, but not really.) With significantly less mileage and climbing, today’s ride should be easy-peasy. But, there is a catch, and that catch is called Lincoln Gap. Just a few miles into today’s ride, get your climbing legs ready, as you get nearly all of today’s elevation out of the way in one single push. This climb has some steep sections — and some 18% grades — that may require you to dismount your bike and walk. Your efforts up Lincoln Gap are well rewarded, because after a generous downhill, your remaining miles of the day seem to be as flat as pancakes! Have a scrumptious lunch and liquid accompaniment at Otter Brewing Company in the quaint town of Middlebury. Before arriving at Green Mountain Family Campground, take an optional ride to the Bristol/Bartlett Falls, where you can swim below a 14-foot waterfall. Celebrate our last dinner together at American Flatbread.
DAY 6 - Departure Day
Distance: 45 miles | Climbing: 2,600 ft | Growler Opportunities: 3 | Terrain: Intermediate
You are in the home-stretch! The start of today’s ride follows the New Haven River northward. After pedaling through the countryside, stop at Fiddlehead Brewing in Shelburne. Get a not-to-be-missed beverage and take it to Folino's Pizza next door to be guzzled with a not-to-be-missed pie. You end the ride at Zero Gravity Brewery, where you enjoy a final round on Discovery, share your favorite memories from the last week, and say goodbye to your adventure amigos.

Map

Dates & Pricing

Prices are per person based on double occupancy (2 people in one room). Single supplement for private room is listed at the top of this page. A deposit of $500 holds your reservation for most tours. For weekend tours, the deposit is $300.

Start End Cost Availability

What’s Included

5 nights’ lodging (five camping, one indoors), 5 breakfasts, 1 lunch (you are on your own for four lunches), 5 dinners, snacks to take along on the ride, two leaders (one on-the-bike guide, one cook), gear portage, van support for emergencies, detailed Ride With GPS route directions. Airfare, camping gear and bike are not included.

Dates & Pricing

Prices are per person based on double occupancy (2 people in one room). Single supplement for private room is listed at the top of this page. A deposit of $500 holds your reservation for most tours. For weekend tours, the deposit is $300.

What’s Included

5 nights’ lodging (five camping, one indoors), 5 breakfasts, 1 lunch (you are on your own for four lunches), 5 dinners, snacks to take along on the ride, two leaders (one on-the-bike guide, one cook), gear portage, van support for emergencies, detailed Ride With GPS route directions. Airfare, camping gear and bike are not included.

Inns

Where you stay along the way.

Little River State Park
Today, Little River State Park is one of the most popular parks in central Vermont. Waterbury Reservoir is particularly favored for boating with a portion of the reservoir devoted to quieter uses. Angling for bass and trout is as popular here as water-skiing.

Enjoy swimming beaches, play areas, boat rentals and a launch, and miles of hiking and mountain bike trails in the adjacent Mt. Mansfield State Forest. Self-guided history and nature trails are located close to the camping area.
Elmore State Park
The Town of Lake Elmore calls itself “The Beauty Spot of Vermont.” Located in the southeastern part of Lamoille County, Elmore is mostly forested and agricultural land. Lake Elmore and Elmore Mountain, which rises almost from the lake’s shore, are prominent features of the town.

Lake Elmore is 219 acres, and lies northwest of the village and empties into the Lamoille River through Pond Brook. Elmore Mountain is in the "Worcester Range" and its timber is mostly hardwood. The mountain has an elevation of 2,608 feet.

The park had its beginning in 1936 when the town of Elmore and local citizens made a gift of 30 acres on Lake Elmore to the state of Vermont. With modest means, a picnic and beach area were created. Today, with more than 700 acres, Elmore State Park has become a popular, developed recreation facility.
Woodbury Meadows Campground
This campground features 50 wooded acres just 14 miles north of Montpelier. Amenities include a bath house, 3 tent sites & 3 full hook up RV sites. They just added a 15 KW solar array to power the campground and dwellings. There is a swim spot on Cranberry Meadow Pond just 1 mile away.
Warren Lodge
Warren Lodge provides a family-owned lodging experience that combines thoughtful, modern accommodations with the warmth of a New England country inn. It's located at the foot of the Sugarbush access road where you are afforded modern conveniences, along with quality and scenery.
Green Mountain Family Campground
Green Mountain Family Campground is a private family-owned and operated campground.

It is a quaint 42-acre traditional campground that is nestled in the Green Mountain National Forest. It features pools, laundry and hot showers.

Guests say …

Quotes from guests about this tour:


"Loved Warren and Bristol Falls to cool off. Liked the variety of riding conditions."
— Paul G.

"This route was physically and technically demanding! I really enjoyed it and it pushed my skills as a biker."
— Andy K.

"The food and drinks were varied and plentiful."
— Steve S. 

"[About one of the campgrounds] A great spot! I might return here with my family. I love having the lake to swim in and the large private campsites."
— Andy K.

"The route was great. You guys did an awesome job with the cooking."
— Kitty C.

Gallery

Images from this tour. Click each to see it larger.

Green Mountain gravel road Lake Champlain and mountains Jumping in the river Green Mountain Gravel biking on wooden path Cooking breakfast in the campground Sunset over Green Mountains Single track section Green Mountain Gravel Tree across gravel route Riding through the belted Galloway cattle