Vermont to Montréal

teen summer bicycle touring, community service & kayaking

Trip Details

  • Start: Wakefield, MA, USA
  • End: Wakefield, MA, USA
  • Age Range: 13 - 15
  • Challenge Level (1-10): 4
  • Tuition: $3699 (airfare not included)

Trip Dates

  • June 29 - July 10 (Waitlist)
  • July 14 - July 25 (Waitlist)
  • July 29 - August 9 (Please Call)

Trip Highlights

  • Bike through Vermont’s gorgeous countryside
  • Kayak Lake Champlain
  • Volunteer with a local Vermont community group 
  • Celebrate in Montréal!

Trip Overview

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.

Cycling Rural Vermont & Community Service

Cycling Rural Vermont & Community Service

We’ll start our ride in the charming village of Poultney, where we’ll get to know each other and begin to learn the ins and outs of bicycle touring. With Lake Champlain as our first goal, we’ll begin our northward ride through lush valleys, rolling hills, and picture-perfect villages, camping on the shores of serene Vermont State Park lakes along the way. Reaching the exciting city of Burlington, we’ll trade our bikes for work gloves and spend the afternoon lending a helping hand cleaning and maintaining the Island Line Bike Trail or volunteering at a local community farm.

Sea Kayaking Lake Champlain & Exploring Burlington

Sea Kayaking Lake Champlain & Exploring Burlington

Waking up on the shores of Lake Champlain, we’ll kick-off our rest day in sea kayaks as we explore the lake’s gorgeous coves and bays with professional guides. Afterwards, we’ll walk Burlington’s streets and maybe even pay a visit to the flagship Ben & Jerry’s. Feeling well-rested, we’ll continue our journey north along Lake Champlain via the gorgeous causeway and iconic bike ferry. 

Riding the Route Verte & Celebrating in Montréal

Riding the Route Verte & Celebrating in Montréal

After making our way through Grand Isle State Park, we’ll reach our next big milestone as we pedal across the Canadian 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.

Trip FAQs

Please see our General FAQ page for many more frequently asked questions and answers!

How physically challenging is Vermont to Montréal?

Given a rating of Challenge Level 4 (out of a maximum of 10), we consider Vermont to Montréal (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 Cape Cod & the Islands (mostly due to extended mileage), but easier than Pacific Coast. Please note that all of Apogee’s Challenge Levels are not scientific and are subjectively calculated by the Apogee staff.

Where will my child be sleeping on this trip?

Our VM groups will be camping in Vermont State Parks and established private campgrounds every night of the trip. Leaders will separate students by gender into tent groups, and participants will share a tent with one or two other students.

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.

What is the maximum number of students I can expect on my child’s Apogee trip?

There are never more than twelve students on an individual session of this trip. Additionally, we limit enrollment by gender to two-thirds/one-third. Groups are always led by two qualified leaders.

Does my child need to bring their own bike for this trip?

No – we offer rental bikes for an additional fee of $275 as well as rental waterproof panniers for $60. If your child already has a bike that is appropriate for this trip, they are welcome to bring it. Please call our office with any questions regarding the suitability of your child’s bike for this trip.

What does the community service portion of this trip entail?

The specifics of our community service projects and the number of hours we volunteer varies slightly from year-to-year. In the past, we have worked with Burlington Parks and Recreation on a variety of tasks including invasive species removal, bike trail maintenance, fence painting, etc. Students can expect 3-5 hours of community service work over the course of our trip, usually in a single day.

How will I communicate with my child while they are on this trip?

We are a technology-free program, meaning that your child won’t have access to their phone or other electronics over the course of their trip. We have one mail stop on Vermont to Montréal; parents, relatives, and friends are welcome to use this to send letters or postcards to a student. Note that we do not allow packages to be sent – letters and postcards only. If you have an urgent message to get to your child, please call our office and we’ll work to get you connected with your child.

My child will be flying to this trip start. How will they connect with their leaders?

Please note that Apogee staff members do not travel with students; our trip leaders will already be in Wakefield (Boston) on arrival day and will stay at our headquarters in Maine after the trip ends. Apogee staff and trip leaders will have a detailed flight itinerary for each student who is flying to the trip start and will be at Boston’s Logan Airport to greet them on arrival. Once students are with their leaders, they will call home to let their parents know they have arrived and are with their group. Please see our blog post for specifics regarding students traveling as Unaccompanied Minors. Conversely, if a student is flying home at trip’s end, we will get them to Logan Airport, get them checked into their flight, and make sure they depart safely. Further, we encourage you to coordinate travel with other attendees; we’re happy to put you in touch with other enrolled families from your region. We will provide enrolled families with a Travel Information document covering details specific to traveling to and from Boston, including airport information and arrival and departure time windows. Please contact Apogee with any specific questions or concerns regarding drop-offs and/or pick-ups.

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 meals, accommodation, and activity fees. The most significant additional expenses on our Vermont to Montréal trip will include travel to and from Wakefield/Boston, MA, a sleeping bag and sleeping pad, a bike helmet, and touring bike and panniers (rentals are available, see above), and personal gear. We suggest that you review the packing list (downloadable on this webpage) to determine what personal gear you already own and what you might need to acquire for this program. Please also check out our Gear Recommendations blog post for links to our personal recommendations.

To check trip availability, please call 207.725.7025, or email for more information.