A river runs through it, and there are mountain ranges on either side. But that’s only part of what makes the Mad River Valley so scenic. The farms and settlements are charming, too. The best way to see it all is from two wheels. A 16.3 mile loop takes you off the main thoroughfare — Route 100 — onto the back roads of Waitsfield, Warren and Fayston, through covered bridges and along ski slopes, past art galleries and antique shops.
Addison County is a biker’s dream come true. The terrain ranges from flat, open expanses along the lake to rolling roads dotted with dairy farms.
Dirt Rag magazine calls it “the best mountain biking in the United States.” A Boston Globe reporter “felt like shouting ‘Wahoo’ like a kid.” The media raves are coming in about Kingdom Trails in East Burke — a huge, mapped, marked mountain-biking network in the Northeast Kingdom. About 90 percent of the pedaling paradise is on private land. Bikers come from as far as Maine and Ontario to ride the singletrack on trails called Poundcake, Todry’s Tour, Jaw, Beat Bog and — get this — Coronary Bypass.
Quarry country has its own unique beauty. Explore it the “hard” way at Millstone Hill, a bed-and breakfast located in East Barre. The proprietors have developed a 50-plus-mile network of bike trails — both challenging singletrack and more moderate ones — that brings you alongside dozens of old quarries and “grout” pile lookouts. One hundred years ago, it was the site of a small, independent quarry operation, one of more than 75 in the area. Millstone offers camping, too, and indoor accommodations start at $95. The whole lodge rents for $490. PHOTO: JEB WALLACE-BRODEUR
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