All of Vermont, and certainly the Middlebury area, are blessed with diverse outdoor attractions. Many have been inspired by the natural beauty of our mountains and have written eloquently about the surroundings. Robert Frost, one of Vermont’s most well-known poets, (and a frequent guest at the Waybury Inn!) documented the landscape during his summers at Breadloaf, attesting to the peace one can find in these parts. Of course, there are many outdoor adventurers that are happy to leave the writing to others, and whose passion is taking advantage of nature in a more physical way. We have never been wild about “one size fits all” options, but in this case “one area can please all”– the Middlebury area has activities for the writers and the thrill-seekers alike. We hope that you will visit and take advantage of our great outdoors.
Picnic luncheons are always available at the Inn and can be tailored to your preferences, please let us know at the front desk if you would like to see our menu and place your order the night before or during breakfast the day of your adventure so it’s ready to go when you are.
See other exciting outdoor activities
Fly Fish in the Middlebury River, which is no more than 100 yards from the Inn’s front door. The river is stocked each spring with brook and brown trout that are elusive but caught every day. The area between the gorge and the Lower Plains Bridge is a productive fishing stretch within a short walk from the Inn. In our lobby we have a nice variety of locally tied flies, available for purchase, to enhance your fishing arsenal. If you want to learn this fascinating sport or obtain local knowledge we team up with a local guide service that can tailor their services with your needs and desires. The service is Stream and Brook and you can learn more at: www.streamandbrook.com
If you are planning to do some fishing in Vermont (fly-fishing or otherwise), you can purchase your license online by clicking here.
Hiking or Snow Shoeing
Hiking and/or Snowshoeing in the Green Mountains is a must! There are so many maintained trails it would be near impossible to list and describe them all, but we will mention some of our favorites:
- Robert Frost Interpretive Trail: Located three miles up the mountain and part of the National Forest, the trails are maintained and bridges allow easy passage over the steam that wanders through the field. Various poems by Frost are written on small kiosks throughout the walk.
- Spirit in Nature Trails: An extensive trail system takes one through the forest and is well marked so you can confidently hike without the worry of all trees beginning to look alike.
- The trail to Lana Falls and Silver Lake: The trail head starts at the back side of the lovely Lake Dunmore, about five miles from the Inn. The scenery is very nice and at the top there is a sweet reward: Silver Lake. This is a great spot to picnic, read, do a little fishing or just sit and admire the scenery.
- The Long Trail: The Green Mountain Club founded, built, and to this day maintains Vermont’s Long Trail. The first long-distance hiking trail in the United States and it spans the peaks from the Massachusetts state line for 270 miles to the Canadian border. A trailhead is located about 4 miles from the Inn and provides a great day’s hike. Find out more here.
There are two great lakes to canoe or kayak, which are Lake Dunmore and Lake Champlain. Lake Dunmore is five miles from the Inn and has many points of access, one of which is Branbury State Park, the park offers canoe, kayak and rowboat rentals. Lake Champlain is a much bigger lake and is approximately twenty five miles from the Inn. There are many coves that are lovely for small craft and we will be happy to point you toward our favorites.
Running, Jogging, and Walking
While you are visiting, your morning cardio work is important and there are three directions that we recommend. Lower Plains road is across the street and has limited traffic; a run to the end of the road is about 1.8 miles with a couple of small inclines to keep it interesting. If you like flat, turn to the west as you leave the Inn, stay on the sidewalk and a run to the post office will take you 1 mile and to Route 7 will be 2 miles. For more pain and gain turn east from the Inn and head up Rt. 125, it is straight up hill and at the 1.5 mark you will be at Upper Plains Road.
Road biking has become extremely popular in Vermont and, it seems to us, drivers are extremely polite and understanding. If you bring your bike we can direct you to some of the same routes that are used by the professional bicycle touring companies that we partner with during the summer. The Inn can also make arrangements for bicycle rental with some advance notice. Click here to find out more.
Nordic and Alpine. We are fortunate to have great ski areas for cross-country and downhill skiing. Rickert Cross Country is four miles up the hill and offers a cozy lodge, rentals and miles of groomed trails. It is part of Middlebury College and the location for the ski team’s competition. There is the opportunity for lessons and, of course, lots of local advise (requested or not). Snowbowl is relatively small but incredibly addictive. It has two major downhill runs that are lengthy and challenging and many more runs that are shorter but packed with good times. This is a hill that will make you feel great that you ski and give you a good feel for Middlebury residents and kids because this is “their hill”. Food is available at Snowbowl at very reasonable rates but no alcohol, but our Pub will fill that bill on your return just 10 minutes down the mountain.
- Shelburne Museum: Located in Shelburne, Vermont, this is a first class museum dedicated to Americana. Plan on at least one full day, the tickets are good for 3 days if that gives you any indication on the magnitude of the property. Rain or Shine, a great way to spend the day – will require a great deal of walking.
- Morgan Horse Farm: Located in Middlebury, Vermont, a fascinating tour of the horse farm operated by the University of Vermont and dedicated to the Morgan Horse.
- Fort Ticonderoga: Ferry over to New York to tour Fort Ticonderoga a beautifully preserved fort that played a significant role in the Revolutionary War.
If you and your party are interested in any of these activities, or have any questions, please contact us.