Hikers and Bikers!
We've served up events, spots to get your learn on, and insider info for foodies. With this installment we're focusing on recreational opportunities for hikers and bicyclists. It's hardly a comprehensive list but you'll find some tried and true recommendations, whether you're an amateur or an expert, for some outdoor warm weather adventures you'll make memories of!
Snake Mountain – just over 4 miles out and back w/access from Mountain Road in Addison, this is a popular hike (busier than most spots) that’s not difficult – a good one for kids and with fantastic views of the Champlain Valley across Lake Champlain to the Adirondacks; there used to be a hotel at the top of Snake Mountain – a portion of its foundation remains (you may otherwise be surprised by the concrete slabs!)
Mossalamoo National Recreation Area trails – over 70 miles of well-maintained trails with access points from Brandon, Middlebury, or Rochester; these are well-maintained trails with a variety of terrain and highlights; find a detailed map, trail descriptions, lodging and camping info, videos, news and events on the Moosalamoo website - time to explore!
Mt. Abe – 5-6 miles up and back – the climb (from either the lower or upper lots on Lincoln Gap Road in Lincoln) becomes more difficult in the last mile, with some rock scramblers/slabs, but keep going if you can – the view is fabulous! Mount Abraham is a staple hike for locals and visitors, giving you a great vantage point onto Addison County’s hill country; fun to know - this hike is part of the Long Trail!
Abbey Pond Trail – about 4 miles out and back, it’s a moderate hike (steeper in the beginning) with stream, falls, and of course, Abbey Pond up top; access on Case Street/Route 116 in Middlebury; a great, easy access hike to get you familiar with Addison County terrain
KAREN RECOMMENDS! ...a day trip that will allow you additional time on Lake Dunmore before or after. She likes the 5.3 mile Silver Lake loop, once frequently hiked along with her kids (it's dog friendly, too!). Or try one of the other three hikes all accessible from the same spot, varying in intensity: Keewaydin Trail, Falls of Lana Trail, and the Mount Moosalamoo Trail. You'll find a well-marked parking area on the east side of Dunmore, right off of Lake Dunmore Road. Get an early start so you’ll have plenty of time to spend a lazy afternoon at Branbury State Park for a sandy beach, boat rentals, volleyball, plenty of picnic tables and lots of grassy area for play. Visit Waterhouses Marina/Paddlers Pub for a sit down dinner/summer cocktail, or stop by Kampersville’s Ice Cream Parlor to top off your day!
Gran Fondo - a race for the experienced “If the views don’t take your breath away, the climbs will!” or, “The 25 Best Bike Rides in the World Right Now” according to Outside Magazine in March of ’19; with Lincoln Gap – the steepest paved mile in the U.S. – 109 miles, 11,200 ft of climbing with a max grade of 24%, this one is not for most, but absolutely epic for a few! If you can't bike this one, you can always participate - there is music, food and merriment on both ends of this exciting race!
ACORN Tour de Farms – choose either the 30-mile or 10-mile route (great for families!) across beautiful pastoral landscapes with 4 – 8 farm stops in Vergennes, Ferrisburgh and Charlotte. Additional food and beverage producers tag on to farm stops offering you plenty to taste test and purchase (anyone for maple iced coffee, farm fresh salads, maple glazed ham, and delicious cheeses?); a van carries your purchases along the way – all you have to do is pick and choose, purchase, then collect your harvest at the end of your day!
Moosalamoo National Recreation Area with a handful of trails to choose from; the Chandler Ridge/Leicester Hollow loop was completed in the past few years, thanks to the US Forest Service, Vermont Mountain Bike Association and Vermont Youth Conservation Corp – enjoy great views of Silver Lake and Lake Dunmore on this one!
Lake Champlain Bikeways offers access to several mapped routes based on your interests, with invaluable, tried and tested routes all over the State and beyond; navigate to the “Heart of Vermont Bikeways” map for 6 incredible routes exploring all of Addison County!
AMEY RECOMMENDS!: As an avid hiker and biker, when asked for her favorite ride to date, Amey laid out this route for us... "Start through the Champlain Valley on those rolling hills of Salisbury, Orwell, Shoreham, and up to Panton. I'd make a stop in Vergennes for breakfast at 3 Squares Cafe, then find my way south back to Middlebury through Waltham and New Haven on Pearson Road, over the Otter Creek and right into town. Then I'd stop for a creemee at Burnham's on Route 7 next to Woodware, before finishing the trip back home to Lake Dunmore!"
FOR NATURE GENERALISTS:
Trail Around Middlebury (TAM) – the Middlebury Area Land Trust has curated, built and maintained this 18-mile footpath encircling the village of Middlebury, which includes several hundred acres of town land, conserved properties, schools and plenty of other local landmarks; the TAM traverses all sorts of terrain (including city pavement, marshland and dense woods!), but armed with the trail map and a proclivity for small adventures, you’ll love this opportunity to explore the Middlebury area!
DAR State Park, Button Bay State Park, Kingsland Bay State Park focus on the shores of Lake Champlain; Branbury State Park brings you to the shores of Lake Dunmore - the Vermont State Parks system is extensive, and offers great variety - visit their website for details on these and myriad other Addison County rec spots!
Have you ventured out this summer, or summers past, and happened across some trails or routes you just loved? We want to hear about them! Please, fill us in on your recommendations as to your favorite summertime recreation in Addison County, mountain top to lake side...
the IPJ Team