Bridges of Windham County Tour
A Tip from a Repeat Customer:
“Before ordering your tour, jot down the towns you’ll be staying in then, go to the Accommodations page and jot down which inns you like most in those towns. Doing so will make completing your order fast and easy.”
At a Glance
You may arrive in Brattleboro at the time of your choosing, as there are no activities planned for your arrival day. Brattleboro is a lively southern Vermont arts and cultural center, ideal for window shopping, gallery hopping, people watching, canoeing on the Connecticut River, hiking the trails of the Brattleboro Retreat, or visiting the Retreat’s Petting Farm, buying Vermont handcrafts, relaxing over a locally brewed beer, catching a movie or some live music, and of course, enjoying any one of a variety of exciting eateries and fine restaurants.
This very bucolic ride with easy-to-slightly challenging cycling takes you west to Brattleboro’s Creamery Covered Bridge, before turning south for some wonderful cycling in the hollows between the mountain ridges south of Brattleboro. The route takes you briefly into Massachusetts by way of a shaded, unpaved road that parallels a beautiful cascading river; and then brings you back into Vermont through beautifully rolling areas mixed with forests and dairy farms. Back in Brattleboro, you will pass the uniquely designed buildings that comprise the former Estey Organ factory. Leaving Brattleboro, you cycle northward following the course of the West River from its mouth in Brattleboro to the quintessentially Vermont village of Newfane, one of New England’s most beautiful villages. On your way to Newfane, you’ll visit the magnificent Dummerston Covered Bridge, Vermont’s longest covered bridge still in use.
Departing Newfane, you will continue traversing northward through the scenic West River valley. After serval miles, you’ll veer westward through a densely forested area along tranquil shaded roads making your way toward and then across the Townshend Dam and soon after, you will visit the recently refurbished, pedestrian only, Scott Covered Bridge.
Soon after, you’ll pass through the sleepy village of Townshend, Newfane’s sister village and begin your trek into Grafton, often described as one of New England’s most beautiful small towns. As you reach the village center, you’ll pass the tiny Grafton Ponds Covered Bridge.
When you reach Grafton, don’t be surprised if you find yourself wanting only to drink-in the lovely setting (if that’s the case, the swimming pond at the Grafton Inn is the perfect place to do so). However, you may also wish to visit the village’s art galleries, the local Nature Museum, the original Grafton Village Cheese Company or perhaps, engage in a variety of outdoor recreational activities at the Grafton Ponds Outdoor Center.
On this third day of cycling, you will experience an impressive variety of Vermont landscapes. Your route begins with a visit to the Kidder Hill Covered Bridge and continues with an easy stretch of quiet cycling out of Grafton as you parallel the meandering Saxtons River. On your way to Bellows Falls, you’ll pass through the tiny village of Saxtons River passing the Hall Covered Bridge. Once a hub of industry, Bellows Falls is home to the nation’s first man-made canal. As you pass through its downtown, a quick side-trip to the Vilas Bridge which is now closed to traffic will provide you with a great view of the magnificent falls for which the town is named.
Leaving the relative bustle of Bellows Falls you’ll return to quiet, wooded cycling along the mighty Connecticut River and soon after, turn westward onto the Toonerville Rail Trail which you’ll follow into Springfield. There you’ll have an opportunity to have lunch and enjoy strolling the picturesque streets of its nicely preserved downtown. Beyond Springfield your route takes a long, gradual climb before plunging down to the Williams River, the course of which you will follow via a tranquil, scenic road, known as the Green Mountain Turnpike, leading you to the ever-so-charming town of Chester.
On your final day of cycling, you’ll return to the scenic beauty of the Green Mountain Turnpike paralleling the Williams River, crossing it via the Bartonsville Covered Bridge and not long after, crossing it again via the Worall Covered Bridge. As you leave the Williams River corridor, you’ll enjoy a long stretch of quiet, back-road cycling through a lush valley of working farms, later jogging eastward toward the town of Putney through gently rolling hills dotted with orchards, vineyards and dairy farms.
In Putney, you’ll stop for lunch and explore the eclectic mix of shops before beginning the final leg of your journey following the Connecticut River back to Brattleboro.