Summer Activities

Things to do in Vermont in Summer

There are a wide range of exciting, exhilarating and relaxing activities awaiting you for Mad River Valley summer fun. 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 Health & Wellness ActivitiesDay Trips, and Favorite Attractions pages for even more ideas. There is always lots going on so ask us what you would like to do! You will enjoy this blog post written about a guest’s summer visit to the Valley. The Mad River Valley Event Calendar has up-to-date information about many of the events and activities in the area year-round. The Farmers’ Market each Saturday morning, May through October, is a must visit event. After breakfast at the B&B head to Waitsfield where you’ll find not only local farmers with their products but also local artisans with their creations.

Glider Rides - Soaring About 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 an informative documentary from Vermont PBS. We can make the booking for you with a small discount!

Sugarbush Soaring -Outdoor Journal
Play Video about Sugarbush Soaring -Outdoor Journal
Kayaking

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 TourThey 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. Enjoy a preview of the walk in three and a half minutes in this video courtesy of MRVTV.

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!  Also there are a number of trails at the Mad River Glen ski area. 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

Mountain Biking & Cycling

When you come to the Mad River Valley you will discover an extensive network of mountain biking trails as well as miles and miles of well-maintained two-lane blacktop. We will provide you with maps and directions. At West Hill House B&B we offer indoor storage for your own bikes, or if you prefer to rent check the Sugarbush website for info on their rentals – note that you do need to reserve ahead.

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! Regrettably the lifts are not running this summer due to COVID-19 restrictions, but there are lots of other trails to explore…

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! In the meantime, the Mad River Riders share a wealth of information about the trails.

 

Yes, we have hills but listen to our guest Sam for his perspective… Note his really fancy Trek road bike, weighing in at just over 7kg!

Towards the end of the summer, there is a major cycling event–the Green Mountain Stage Race. This multi-day event is usually held Labor Day weekend and offers 4 days of exciting and challenging racing in the Green Mountains of Vermont.

 

We love hosting cyclists. We have had the honor and pleasure to welcome now retired pro-cyclist Ted King a couple of times. Ted was an Economics Major from Middlebury College, so while he was living in Spain he came back “home” to Green Mountains. He was a member of the Cervélo Test Team in the 2010 Giro d’Italia, and subsequently in the Cannondale/Garmin Road Racing Team and rode in the Tour de France. 

Also Tim Johnson, a member of the Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld Team, has been our special guest several times. His wife Lyne Bessette joined him on one occasion—she was a member of the Canadian Olympic team in 2000 and 2004. We have also welcomed many other accomplished cyclists as guests, just here for fun or to ride in the Stage Race.

For all of our cyclists, our barn offers not only space to store your machines but also lots of room to set them up and make adjustments.

And even through the “official” season is over by Labor day weekend, the fall is a gorgeous time to cycle in the valley to appreciate the amazing foliage display.

After the leaves are on the ground, you are rewarded with amazing views, so the month or so between mid October and Thanksgiving can also make for some great days in the saddle. Come and see for yourself!

Birding

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 have a look at our Springtime in Vermont blog post and also check out the Mad River Birders.

Bird

Arts in the Mad River Valley

Throughout the summer, Mad River Valley Arts plans several fascinating events and art shows. Some of our favorites include the Green Mountain Watercolor Exhibition, the Valley Garden Tour, and the Green Mountain Photo Show.
 
Valley Arts is an organization that promotes and encourages participation in the creative endeavors of the Mad River Valley community with events year-round, and also supporting arts-related businesses and organizations. All the indications are that after a hiatus in 2020 the many and varied arts events should be able to proceed in 2021. Check the Valley Arts website for the current schedule.

Mad River Valley Golfing

Our B&B makes for a perfect location for a golf holiday in the Green Mountains of Vermont. We have the Sugarbush golf course right in front of the house, and the others listed here are all within about an hour’s drive. Sugarbush and the National Course are both in Golf Digest’s top 10 in Vermont. All the courses offer spectacular views and great golf. We can help you put together a package and arrange the tee times for you. You can also enjoy many other Summer Activities around West Hill House B&B.

Summer Activities 1 Sugarbush Golf Course – We’re right beside one of the fairways and less than a mile from the club house of the Sugarbush Resort Robert Trent Jones, Sr. championship golf course. Jones is one of history’s great masters of golf course architecture and his legendary talent is apparent in every one of the 18 holes of the Sugarbush Golf Club. Designed with remarkable respect for the natural surroundings, this par-72 course is as beautiful as the game itself. You will experience a golf journey through the hilltops of the Mad River Valley, featuring inspiring views at every tee, making each hole a story unto itself. We can arrange your tee times for you in advance so that you will be all set to go – let us know when you reserve your room. The course is usually available from May 1st to October 31st. 

Montague Golf Course Montague Golf Club – Open for play since 1913, the Montague Golf Club is the second oldest operating golf course in Vermont. It is about half-an-hour’s drive from the B&B. They refer to themselves as “Vermont’s Best-Kept Golf Secret”. A beautiful, 6,300-yard links golf course with many holes fronting on the Third Branch of the White River. Montague’s front nine is lined by maple and pine trees. The back nine is more of an open “links-style”, with rolling fairways and sloping land lined with tall heather grasses. We can arrange your tee times for you in advance – let us know when you reserve your room. 

Green Mountain National Golf Course Green Mountain National Course – located about one hour south of the B&B down route 100 near Killington. It is ranked the No. 1 public golf course in Vermont and the exceptional layout and dedication to service offers a great experience for golfers of all ability levels. The course has gently sloping fairways that feature generous landing areas, distinctive changes in elevation and undulating greens that provide natural beauty. You can view the centuries old rock formations carved by the glaciers, and be sure to take a moment on the 16th tee where you can enjoy the panoramic views in a spectacular setting.

Après Golf – After your game 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 wine before dinner.
    • Let us arrange a massage for you to relieve any aches and pains!
    • And of course make plans for dinner at one of our excellent local restaurants – we’ll be happy to arrange the reservations for you.

After Enjoying your Mad River Valley Summer 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.

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