There are a wide range of exciting, exhilarating and relaxing activities awaiting you in Mad River Valley in the summer months. This page introduces just a few of them, plus of course if your passion is golf or cycling this is also the place to be! Check our Places to Visit for even more ideas. Plus there is always lots going on so ask us what you would like to do!
Soaring above the Valley
One of the most beautiful soaring sites in the United States is nestled in the Mad River Valley here in Warren. Spring, Summer and Fall are great times to take to the skies over the Valley. Sugarbush Airport, on the east side of the valley, is a well-known glider airport and home to Sugarbush Soaring. It’s sometimes the venue for National Championship Soaring events. The sailplanes are beautiful to see, up close on the ground, or in the air, gliding silently overhead.
The airport provides sightseeing rides – a particular joy during foliage time. For more timid souls, it’s a treat to go to the airport to watch the tow planes take the sail planes into the sky and let them go, to soar for miles before returning to touch down gently on the one runway. The viewing is up close and personal. The planes sit on the grass where visitors may peek inside, ask questions of the pilots and, perhaps, gather the courage to take a ride.
Click on the video to enjoy a preview. We offer a “Snore and Soar” package and we can make the booking for you.
Kayaking Down the Rivers
On a warm summer’s day where better to be than on the water?
We have made arrangements with local outfitter Clearwater Sports to give you the opportunity to see the Mad River Valley from the water with a Kayak Tour! They will provide all the equipment you need and full instructions for kayaking or tubing. Then they will be your guides as you explore the river, or get you set up to go off on your own.
Please call us at least a week or so before your visit to reserve a spot on one of their paddling tours or tubing outings on the Mad River or on the Winooski River (depending on water conditions). For a group of 8 or more there can be a great barbecue waiting for your shore-side at the end of your trip downriver.
Hiking The Long Trail
Built by the Green Mountain Club between 1910 and 1930, the Long Trail is the oldest long-distance trail in the United States. The Long Trail follows the main ridge of the Green Mountains from the Massachusetts-Vermont line to the Canadian border as it crosses Vermont’s highest peaks. It was the inspiration for the Appalachian Trail, which coincides with it for one hundred miles in the southern third of the state.
The trail runs right along the ridge above West Hill House. Casual hikers will enjoy the short hike south on the Long Trail from Lincoln Gap to Sunset Ledge. This is about a one hour trip including time to admire the view.
Serious hikers will appreciate the views from the top of Mount Abraham, third highest peak in the state. That’s a half-day hike north on the Long Trail from the Lincoln Gap. The photo is from the top of Mt Abraham looking west and is courtesy of guest Mary Jensen. It’s hard to describe how spectacular it feels emerging from the trees about 300 ft below the summit and suddenly having a view to the horizon in every direction.
You can go back the way you came, or continue to Lincoln Peak and come down on the ski trail to the Sugarbush base and back to West Hill House B&B.
In the video Iris & Thomas tell you about their experience—in Austrian!
Experienced hikers will want to challenge the gap-to-gap hike from the Lincoln Gap to the Appalachian Gap which takes about 8 hours. Don’t worry—we’ll meet you at the far end!
There are also many other trails to hike – check with us when you get here to discuss what best suits your hiking ambitions! For example have a look at the Stetson Hollow and Lincoln Brook hiking trail photo albums. For more information on these walks on others check our Hiking the Long Trail blog.
Hiking boots, water bottles which we will fill for you and an extra layer of clothing are important suggestions for happy hiking.
Sugarbush Resort just one mile from us has added to its network of legendary mountain bike trails! Whether you prefer high-speed downhill runs, North Shore-style free ride features in the park, long technical descents on your cross-county bike, or leisurely loop rides, Sugarbush Resort has it all. The trails are open every day from 10 till 4, and till 6 on Fridays and Saturdays. You can bring your own mountain bike or rent one here. And the good news is that you can ride the ski lift up the mountain with your bike and it’s all downhill from there – almost 1600ft of descent! The lifts are open daily from late June through till the Labor Day weekend, and weekends through till October 17th.
In addition there is a growing network of mountain bike trails throughout the Mad River Valley, reading from the beginner level through to expert. We shall be glad to pull out the maps and show you the latest when you are here!
Birdwatching is exceedingly popular in Vermont. The state is bird and birder-friendly in general and the Mad River Valley is no exception, hosting a great number of trails and other birding hotspots – many right near the B&B. The warmer months make for the perfect birder’s getaway.
The Valley has an abundance of northern forest natural community types. With acres of uninterrupted forest in the mountains, birders have the unique opportunity to witness neotropical migrants in their breeding grounds. Our Green Mountains are the home of such birds as the rare Bicknell’s Thrush, the Blackpoll Warbler and the Golden- crowned Kinglet.
For more information check out our Springtime in Vermont blog
Vermont Festival Of The Arts
The Vermont Festival of the Arts readies its canvasses each August. There are usually over 125 Events during August and through Labor Day. August is Art! Get Ready! Have a look at our Blog on the 2015 Arts Festival to get an idea of what all goes on!
Perennial Festival favorites, such as Art in the Big Red Barn, Art in the Garden, Photo Show in the Round Barn, Mad River Valley Craft Fair, A Passport to Open Studios and the Vermont Young Musicians Award Concert, are always joined by some new ventures.
The first Sunday in August usually heralds the Taste of the Valley, providing an opportunity to sample the best from Chefs and Caterers around the Mad River Valley, and see the best two of the event in a cook-off! Stay with us for the weekend and we can arrange discounted hard-to-get tickets for you
After your activities we have several excellent suggestions for you to relax for the rest of the day:
- Put your feet up in one of our comfortable chairs, either on the patio or inside, and enjoy a glass of beer or wine from our honor bar before dinner.
- Let us arrange a massage for you to relieve any aches and pains! We can arrange this right here at West Hill House, including a couples massage. A few days notice is required to book.
- And of course make plans for dinner at one of our excellent local restaurants – we’ll be happy to arrange the reservations for you. Our dinner package at 275 Main at The Pitcher Inn is a great choice—ask us to book it for you.