Green Mountain Vistas Circuit Tour
Green Mountain Vistas … featuring Ludlow’s Lake Echo and Weston
At a Glance …
120.5 miles in 4 stages. Note: A “stage” is defined as a day in which tour support services are provided and cycling is required from one hotel or B&B to the next.
This is a moderately challenging circuit tour. Though there are a few long flat stretches (particularly Stages 1 and 4), the terrain consists generally of rolling hills of varying degrees. Stages 2 and 3 may test your cycling mettle, so we’ve kept the required cycling distances relatively short on those days..
Southeastern Vermont’s Windsor County and Cornish New Hampshire. The tour starts and ends in Windsor, with overnight stops in Ludlow, Weston and Perkinsville (Weathersfield).
Min 4 Days / 4 Nights. Note: You may begin AND end your tour on the date of your choosing. You may also add as many “layover days” to your itinerary as you desire.
Gorgeous scenery; Visits to quintessential Vermont villages including Weston and Chester. Covered bridges. A relaxing lakeside stay with swimming and canoeing. Harpoon Brewery Tour. Weston Priory. Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site.
$275.00 per person (does not include bike rental, vehicle parking fees, if applicable, or charges related to special services such as shuttles or SAGs for non bike rental customers).
Daily Itinerary …
Free Day in Windsor. Visit the Windsor-Cornish Covered Bridge and / or the Saint – Gaudens National Historic Site in nearby Cornish, NH: Explore the Constitution House, Dine, Shop, Relax. Spend 1 or 2 nights.
You may arrive in Windsor at the time of your choosing, as there are no activities planned for your arrival day. Of course, the earlier you arrive, the more time you have to take advantage of the sights and charms of this historic town on the Connecticut River.
Known as the birthplace of the “free and independent State of Vermont” Windsor’s Historic District includes its “Old Constitution House,” the American Precision Museum (birthplace of the interchangeable parts concept for the machine tool trades) and numerous historically noted homes and markers.
Cycle from Windsor to Ludlow – Distance: 27.5 miles (downtown Ludlow) 33 miles (Echo Lake). Spend 1 or more nights.
For the first half of the day’s ride you’ll cycle in the shadow of Mount Ascutney, the highest peak in the area, unmistakable as it rises considerably higher than any of the surrounding peaks. After about 7 miles, and with most of your climbing behind you, you arrive in the tiny hamlet of Brownsville. From here you’ll enjoy gorgeous, easy cycling along unpaved roads winding along forested river shores. You’ll also encounter your second covered bridge.
In Perkinsville you’ll begin following the course of the Black River — rarely out of view for the remainder of your ride — and you’ll get a glimpse of yet another covered bridge. You’ll enjoy easy riverside cycling with only an occasional rise and fall in the roadway as you make your way to Cavendish and Proctorsville. As you pass through these twin villages the peak of Okemo Mountain looms larger and larger, beckoning you on to Ludlow, which sits at the base of the mountain. At 3,344 feet, Okemo is the tallest peak in this part of Vermont. Rising almost 2200 feet from the valley floor, Okemo features the largest vertical drop all of Vermont ski resorts.
Though you may choose to stay in the Village to take advantage of its shopping and dining options, you may also choose “a relaxing escape for urban and world weariness” Ludlow’s Echo Lake Inn has been characterized by Vermont Magazine. The Inn offers a large swimming pool, lake access (canoeing and swimming), as well as an award winning restaurant.
Cycle from Ludlow to Weston – Distance: 20 miles (from Ludlow Center to Weston Center). 23 miles (from Echo Lake to Weston Center) Spend 1 night.
This day’s gorgeous ride takes you into the Green Mountains. Though you won’t be climbing any mountains, from Ludlow, you’ll slowly climb to a breathtaking ridge where you’ll enjoy the splendid wooded scenery and sweeping vistas of the Green Mountain National Forest. Because of this challenging climb we’ve kept the day’s mileage fairly short so that you can relax and savor the experience. Your ride tops out at the tiny hamlet of Belmont, with its classic church, general store, and post office, before descending to your next destination, Weston.
With one foot firmly planted in the foothills of the Green Mountain National Forest and the other in the fertile West River valley, Weston has come to exemplify the Vermont travel experience. Anchored by one of the most picturesque village greens in Vermont, the entire village is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. With hills rising prominently on all sides and a crystal clear brook running through the center of town, Weston is a veritable looking glass back to the early 19th century. Historic homes and antique shops, museum, galleries, gardens, inns, artists, and shops of all shapes and sizes grace the village’s main street. Other attractions include the original Vermont Country Store, source of Vermont products; the renowned Weston Playhouse, Vermont’s oldest professional theatre company: and the famous Weston Priory, a Benedictine monastery and one of the last of its kind.
Cycle from Weston to Perkinsville – Distance: 30 miles. Spend 1 night.
From Weston, you’ll enjoy beautiful sweeping vistas as you descend into the fun little village of Londonderry. From Londonderry, you’ll head east to the lovely village of Chester (a recommended stop for lunch on the village green) along a route of gently rolling green hills offering splendid views of family -owned valley farmsteads, and forested ridges..
From Chester, you’ll head north and then east toward your overnight destination in the sleepy village of Perkinsville. The second half of this day’s ride consists of more quintessential Vermont countryside with relatively easy cycling to end your day..
Cycle from Perkinsville to Windsor, VT – Distance: 16.5 miles (with an optional 18 mile scenic loop from the Windsor-Cornish Covered Bridge following your arrival).. Spend 1 night.
On your final day of cycling, you’ll return to the mighty Connecticut River Valley. The valley boasts the richest agricultural soils in New England. Maple syrup, apples, corn, berries and pumpkins are grown / produced in abundance throughout the valley. About half way through the required portion of your ride, you’ll pass over the mighty Connecticut River which forms the border between Vermont and New Hampshire and continue north through lovely rural New Hampshire where you’ll have plenty of opportunities to sample the ample bounty of the region.
Upon reaching the Windsor-Cornish Covered Bridge, which is the world’s longest dual span covered bridge, we highly recommend continuing your journey north along picturesque River Road. As you cycle through the fertile, orchard-studded valley carved by the river, you’ll enjoy relatively easy cycling with occasional gentle rises providing beautiful views of the river and the Vermont hills beyond.
From River Road, you’ll want head back south to to the magnificent former home, lush gardens and art-filled studios of sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens in Cornish. Preserved as a National Historic Site, you’ll experience in this setting the manner in which the area’s natural beauty inspired this prolific artist as well as countless others, past and present.