Ride the length of Vermont (and have a blast doing it!).
Imagine crossing a state. The long way. That’s what we do on our Vermont bike trip (all the way from Massachusetts to Canada!).
Biking is fun—really fun—because we do it with a group of new friends. We take our time—it isn’t a race. We stop a lot—for water and snacks and lunch and, yes, for Ben & Jerry’s.
The camping is fun, too, and so are the games and the kayaking. Come to think of it, it’s all fun. That’s the point—two weeks of fun, with new friends and two great Overland leaders.
The kids who come are adventurous, enthusiastic and friendly. And a lot of them—most of them actually—have never been on a bike trip before. That’s okay. Everyone learns quickly, and our Overland leaders are there to motivate, encourage and support. Every mile of the way from Massachusetts to Canada.
I had so much fun seeing the beautiful views from my bike seat.
- Phoebe Costalos, Westfield, New Jersey
Day 1: Trip Start
We’ll meet in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and drive a short distance to our first campground. In the afternoon, we’ll prepare for our bike trip, learn how to load our bikes and practice riding as a group.
Days 2-6: Southern Vermont
On the border of Massachusetts and Vermont, we’ll start our trek north. We’ll bike through farms and rural communities in the valley between the Green Mountains and the Adirondacks. The terrain is gently rolling and increases in difficulty as we build up strength each day. We’ll make our way through southern Vermont, spending nights in campgrounds from the shores of Lake Shaftsbury and Lake St. Catherine to the unhurried, unspoiled town of Brandon.
Days 7-11: Kayak Lake Champlain & Explore Burlington
From Brandon, we’ll ride to the southern end of Lake Champlain. Our route skirts along the shores of the lake with views of the Adirondacks to the west and the Green Mountains to the east. The lively town of Burlington provides a nice change of pace from the small Vermont communities we will have ridden through in days past. We’ll spend a day kayaking on Lake Champlain and exploring the town as we prepare for our remaining trek to the border. As we continue north, we’ll ride the length of South Hero Island.
Days 12 & 13: The Canadian Border & Trip End
Our trip comes to an end after crossing North Hero Island into Alburgh. After two weeks on our bikes, we’ll ride triumphantly to the Canadian border. We’ll then drive back to Williamstown and celebrate the accomplishment of biking the entire length of Vermont.
12 nights of frontcountry camping. Campground facilities will vary and may include hot water, flush toilets, showers and/or laundry. Itinerary may vary by group and is subject to change.
Bike the length of Vermont!
Students going on Vermont should prepare for:
- Full days of outdoor activities led by two caring Overland leaders
- Camping out and cooking meals as a group
- 10 days of biking with an average of 25 miles per day
- A fun, supportive and wholesome Overland experience
We expect you to arrive to your trip fully prepared for all activities.
Preparing for the Biking
Daily rides on Vermont average 25 miles over varying terrain. The longest day is approximately 45 miles. The route includes rolling hills as well as some significant climbs. The Vermont itinerary also includes one day without riding where you will spend the morning kayaking on Lake Champlain. Groups typically average 6-10 miles per hour while riding. You will take multiple breaks throughout the day—for water, snacks, lunch, etc.—and the goal is to have fun while improving biking skills and overall fitness.
Overland bicycle tours are self-contained—there is no van support. You will carry all of your belongings, plus some group gear and food, on a sturdy rack mounted over the back wheel of your bike. On average, you will carry about 30 pounds of equipment on your bike (not including the weight of the bike).
You should come prepared and recognize that some days will be more challenging and longer than others. Delays occur due to a wide range of variables—weather patterns change and road conditions vary. You, or someone in your group, might get a flat tire or encounter another mechanical issue that could delay your group. On some days your group will arrive at camp in the early afternoon, with plenty of time to explore, play games or go swimming, while on other days your group will spend more time on the bike.
Our Vermont trip is designed to be a cooperative, non-competitive experience where everyone contributes and helps one another. While there is always a range of physical ability in each group, it's important that you follow our training schedule and that you take the time to gain confidence on a bike—mounting and dismounting, shifting gears, braking and making turns. Enjoy your rides this spring . . . and we'll see you in Vermont this summer!
- 4 weeks before your trip: two rides of 5 to 8 miles each.
- 3 weeks before your trip: One ride of 5 to 8 miles and a second ride of 15 miles.
- 2 weeks before your trip: at least two rides of 15 miles.
- 1 week before your trip: at least two rides of 15 miles. .
Responsible Riding Practices
In addition to building your fitness and familiarity with bicycling, preparation for Vermont includes increasing your awareness of responsible riding practices. We encourage you to follow the guidelines below when training for your trip and to consult with local bike shops for route and riding advice.
WEAR A HELMET AND CLOSED-TOED SHOES
Always, no exceptions.
DESIGN A GOOD TRAINING LOOP
To the extent possible, ride on bike paths, bike lanes, and bike routes.
FOLLOW THE LAW
You have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers. Obey traffic signals and stop signs. Ride with traffic; use the rightmost lane headed in the direction you are going.
Make your intentions clear to everyone on the road. Ride in a straight line and don’t swerve between parked cars. Signal turns, and check behind you before turning or changing lanes.
Ride where people can see you and wear a hi-vis top. Ride with your rear light on and flashing. Make eye contact with others and don’t ride on sidewalks. When possible, ride with others.
Watch for turning vehicles and ride outside the door zone of parked cars. Look out for debris, potholes, and other road hazards. Cross railroad tracks at right angles.
Check that your tires are sufficiently inflated, brakes are working, chain runs smoothly, and quick release levers are closed. Carry tools and supplies that are appropriate for your ride.
Preparing for an Overland Experience
Overland trips are wholesome, structured experiences with high expectations of each student’s behavior. You are expected to be enthusiastic, positive, helpful and supportive of your trip mates and your leaders. We ask that you leave your cell phone and electronics at home (cameras are always welcome), so you can fully engage with your group and your trip. Arriving ready for a challenge—and prepared to contribute to an enthusiastic group—will go a long way toward creating a successful trip. Please contact us if you’d like to discuss preparing for your Overland trip!