The half-eaten pint of Ben in Jerry’s in the freezer is the only connection many people may have to Vermont.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you have my permission to raid your neighbor’s freezer (say it’s for education purposes).
Although Vermont is somewhat of a runt compared to the rest of its forty-nine siblings, it’s assets are disproportionally large. Vermont has been in the news a bit more due thanks to Bernie Sanders, but this strong, little state has always possessed a rebellious, unconventional flavor.
And it’s this flavor that makes Vermont a timeless paradise for cyclists.
But before I ramble on about Vermont’s virtues, I would like to briefly entertain the trivia freaks reading this post, because Vermont happens to have enough interesting facts for a lifetime of cocktail parties.
- In 1777, Vermont became its own independent country because New York and New Hampshire were not playing nicely (it became the 14th state in 1791).
- Vermont is the largest producer of maple syrup, producing 35% of the nation’s supply
- Billboards are illegal. Yup, that’s right, you won’t have car accident attorneys yelling at you when you cruise down the interstate.
- Vermont has the highest ratio of cows to people, with 1 cow for every 3.8 people.
- Two towns in Vermont issued arrest warrants for Bush and Cheney in 2008.
Though seemingly disparate, these humorous factoids reveal what local Vermonters have always known: the state is a remarkably independent union that has preserved its rugged, pastoral roots. (And quirky roots…check out the 38 unusual things to do in Vermont).
What does this mean for the cyclist?
Miles of roads that wind through bucolic tableaus and over the backs of verdant mountains. Miles of sprawling farmland and unbroken tracts of forest. Miles of natural beauty unscathed by the scourge of commercialism and sprawl that has spoiled other corners of this country.
It is not uncommon to find narrow, secluded roads that hug the banks of a burbling brooks, roads that pass through quintessential covered bridges, roads that deposit the traveler in small villages that have preserved their 19th century charm.
And if you visit in the fall, be prepared for the multichromatic shock. Vermont’s hardwood forests shed their summer hues in spectacular fashion, revealing an explosive palette of red, orange, and gold that would have made Van Gogh salivate.
Oh, one other thing: cider donuts. The only thing you should ever consider dying for.
Simply put, Vermont is the mecca of New England cycle touring.
It is for this very reason Great Freedom Adventures specializes in Vermont bike tours – there is no other place in America that can offer such a mesmerizing blend of natural beauty, colonial history, and action-packed cycling. For those traveling into the state for the first time, a tour with Great Freedom Adventures is the best way to ensure that you’ll see the very best. Each tour has been hand crafted with over thirty years of experience in the area, giving cyclists the best routes, farm to table dinners, architecture, and stunning mountain vistas.
Vermont is a cyclist’s paradise.
And did I mention Ben and Jerry’s?
When Jon isn’t traveling, he guides for Great Freedom Adventures
“No title” by tpsdave / Pixbay
“Hapgood Pond” by U.S. Department of Agriculture / Wikimedia Commons
“Apple Cider Donuts” by Joy / Flickr