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.
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 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 Clearwater Sports to give you the opportunity to see the Mad River Valley from the water! They will provide all the equipment you need and full instructions. Then they will be your guides as you explore the river, or get you set up to go off on your own.
For a guided tour call us at least a week or so before your visit to reserve a spot on one of their paddling tours 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. Call us for details and pricing.
Hiking The Long Trail
Built by the Green Mountain Club between 1910 and 1930, the Long Trailis 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.
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.
Hiking boots, water bottles which we will fill for you and an extra layer of clothing are important suggestions for happy hiking.
Sugarbush Resort 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. Check out the Mountain Bike Trail Map.
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.
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 Birdwatching in the Mad River Valley.
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!
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.
In some gastronomic minds, the Festival doesn’t truly begin until A Taste of the Valley, usually on the second Sunday in August at Sugarbush Resort’s Lincoln Peak Village. A selection of Festival artists and crafters show their work in a fun street fair atmosphere interspersed with fine food from all the Valley’s restaurants and caterers. You can buy tickets from us, but this event sells out early so plan well ahead!
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. The Common Man is one of our favorites.