Vermont. It really is as beautiful and green as you imagine it to be. On this goal-oriented, summer bike trip you’ll pedal through Vermont’s deep green valleys, famous for covered bridges, cool streams, cow-dotted pastures, and charming small towns. Along the way you’ll kayak Lake Champlain and volunteer on a local community service project. Together as a team you’ll make your way north, cross the Canadian border, and reach your final destination, Montréal. A fun contrast to rural Vermont, this lively, cosmopolitan city offers the perfect international setting to celebrate your many amazing accomplishments.
Vermont & Lake Champlain
We’ll start our ride in the charming village of Poultney, where we’ll get to know each other and learn the ins and outs of safe riding. With Lake Champlain as our first goal we’ll begin our northward ride through lush valleys, rolling hills and picture-perfect villages. We’ll follow the lake’s shore until we are just south of the Canadian border. Here we’ll trade our bikes for sea kayaks and spend a full day exploring Champlain’s gorgeous coves and bays.
Route Verte & Montréal
Back on the bikes, we’ll mark our next milestone as we pedal across the border and into Canada’s fertile farmland. We’ll pick up the Route Verte (the “Green Road”) and travel this world-famous cycling path through the rural heartland, over the St. Lawrence River and into historic, French-speaking Montréal. Feeling fantastic about reaching our final goal, we’ll spend two nights and a full day exploring the sights of this dynamic city. A French feast and warm “adieus” will round out our time together in Montréal.
Please see our General FAQ page for many more frequently asked questions and answers!
How physically challenging is VM?
Given a rating of Challenge Level 4 (out of a maximum of 10), we consider VM to be a beginner cycle-touring trip that any moderately fit, motivated student can successfully complete with some prior preparation. Compared to similar biking trips, we believe that VM is slightly more challenging than Cap Cod & the Islands (mostly due to extended mileage), but easier than Coast to Quebec and Montana Service Adventures. Please note that all of Apogee’s Challenge Levels are not scientific and are subjectively calculated by the Apogee staff.
My child is new to cycle touring and has never ridden with loaded panniers. Could my child participate without previous experience?
Yes. Apogee’s trips are designed around the concept of “achievable challenge” – anyone who has a willingness to challenge themselves and possesses a basic to moderate level of physical fitness is already well-prepared. Upon your child’s enrollment, we will send you a suggested training schedule that we highly recommend your child completes prior to his/her trip. Training beforehand (especially with panniers and weight) will directly contribute to good risk management and your child’s physical comfort.
Does my child need to bring his or her own bike for this trip?
No – we offer rental bikes (as well as panniers) for an additional fee. In 2017, the cost of a hybrid rental bicycle for the 12-day trip is $180. Waterproof rental panniers are available for $50. If your child already has a bike that is appropriate for this trip, they are welcome to bring it! If you are unsure whether your child’s bike is suitable for the trip, please give us a call, and we’d be happy to help.
Aside from the trip cost, what are the additional expenses for this trip?
Apogee’s tuition costs are meant to be all-inclusive and include all meal, accommodation, and activity fees. The most significant additional expenses on our Vermont to Montreal trip will include travel to and from Manchester, NH, a sleeping bag and sleeping pad, a bike helmet, and bike and pannier rentals ($180 & $50 respectively), as needed.
What does the community service portion of this trip entail?
Our service projects vary from year to year, but most years, our VM groups work in coordination with the Burlington Parks and Recreation team on a variety of tasks, including painting and bike trail maintenance. Your child can expect 3-6 hours of community service.