Touring & Riding around Vermont
There are few rides in life like Vermont's Green Mountain corridor. Peak season for touring is from May-early October when the temperatures are in the 70s, the humidity is low and the sun is shining. Many Vermont inns cater specifically to touring motorcycle groups, RVs and group bus tours. They keep local maps and tours on hand. We're currently compiling a databse of all these local tours and will have the 2012 ones posted in April.
North to South, it takes approximately 8 hours to tour Vermont in a straight ride. Of course, the more detours you take, the more enjoyable the trip often becomes. From the waterfalls at Jamaica statepark to the peaks of Stowe, a ride through Vermont will become a must-do year after year.
Phil's Southern Vermont Tour - 141 Miles - 4 Hours drive time
Begin: West Dover, VT on Route 100 south
STOP #1: ART OF HUMOR GALLERY
From Route 100 South, turn left on to Higley Hill road (the River Valley Market is on corner). Follow Higley Hill Road for 1.8 miles until you turn right on to Lake Raponda Rd. Follow Lake Raponda Road for 2.3 miles and turn left onto Ware Rd, then 0.3 miles to a right onto “Not-A-Road”. The gallery is the last building on the street. Try not to hurt yourself laughing and thinking at the same time.
STOP #2: GRAFTON CHEESE FACTORY
Naturally, after leaving an art gallery, it's time for cheese. Leaving the Art of Humor Galley, go left on Ware Rd for 0.3 miles to the stop sign and turn left on to Lake Raponda Rd for 0.6 miles. Lake Raponda will dead end at Route 9 East. Take a left on Route 9 East towards Brattleboro for 16 miles, going over Interstate 91, and turn left on to Cedar St for 0.7 miles, going through 2 stop signs. Turn left on to route 30 North and you will see the Grafton Cheese Factory on left.
STOP #3: SAXTON RIVER DISTILLERY
Leaving Grafton Cheese with a full belly, make a left on Route 30 North for 1 mile. The Distillery is on your right.
STOP #4: TAFT HILL GLASS BLOWING STUDIO
Now that you've loaded up on cheese and liquor, follow Route 30 North for 20 miles through Newfane and into Townsend. The Taft Hill Glass Blowing Studio is on your right. If you phone ahead you can schedule to make your own glass ornament. Their number is 802.365.4400
STOP #5: WATERFALLS AT JAMAICA STATE PARK
Leaving the glass blowers, continue on Route 30 North for 4.6 miles towards Jamaica Center. Look for signs to Jamaica State Park and turn right on Depot street – follow to the end turn left into state park. See the ranger and go on hike to find the waterfalls.
STOP #6: VERMONT COUNTRY STORE
After your dip in the waterfalls, leaving Jamaica State Park stay on Route 30 North for 5.0 miles until Route 100 North turns right going towards Londonderry. Follow 100 north 12.2 miles to the town of Weston. The Vermont Country Store is on your right. You'll find all kinds of things here that you'd think you'd never see again.
STOP #7: MANCHESTER OUTLET SHOPS
We told you you'd find something at the Vermont Country Store that amazed you. Now on to our next shopping destination, the world famous Manchester Outlet Shops. Leaving the Vermont Country Store, follow 100 South 5.0 miles back towards Londonderry but this time you are going to stay right when route 100 goes left and you stay on Route 11 West for 15.0 miles. Follow Route 11 past Bromley Mountain (home of the summer zip line) down the big hill into Manchester Village. Go past the McDonalds and Friendly’s and Turn left on to Route 7A to find parking.
STOP #8: HILDENE
If you still have energy (and money) left after Manchester, follow 7A south past the Orvis Store and the Equinox Hotel. About 1 mile past the Equinox on the left is HILDENE, the ancestral home of President Abraham Lincoln's family.
STOP #9: CHOCOLATORIUM
Hildene's beautiful, isn't it? Ok. Time for a snack. When leaving Hildene you can turn left and follow Route 7A South for about 8 miles towards Bennington. Turn left onto East Arlington Road for 1.1 miles, then right on to Old Mill Road. The Village Peddler/Chocolatorium is on your left.
STOP #10: BENNINGTON
If you survived your sugar coma, jump on Route 7 South (not 7A like before) and straight into downtown Bennington. There are all kinds of places to explore here: the Brewery on Main St, Bennington Pottery, the Robert Frost House and more.
STOP# 11: DINNER & BED!
Leave Bennington on Route 9 East for 20 miles to the intersection with Route 100 North in Wilmington. Stop in Wilmington for a beer and food or take the left on Route 100 North and back to where you started in West Dover.
Incase you're wondering - Phil is the innkeeper at the West Dover Inn in West Dover, VT. Stop by his restaurant at the end of the tour and let him know you made it to all 10 stops. He just might give you something on the house.