Covered Bridges of Windsor 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 Windsor at the time of your choosing, as there are no activities planned for your arrival day. Of course, the earlier you arrive, the more time you have to take advantage of the sights and charms of this historic town on the Connecticut River.Known as the birthplace of the “free and independent State of Vermont” Windsor’s Historic District includes its “Old Constitution House,” the American Precision Museum (birthplace of the interchangeable parts concept for the machine tool trades), numerous historically noted homes and markers, and of course, the grand-daddy of all covered bridges.
The ride on this day includes a wide variety of cycling terrains as you traverse beautiful Vermont landscapes. You’ll depart the Windsor area by way of gentle rolling hills dotted by horse farms and family-owned farms. Once you’ve had the opportunity to warm-up, your cycling mettle will be slightly challenged for several miles but, your efforts will be rewarded with gorgeous panoramic views.
About a third of the way into your ride, the terrain flattens, you’ll visit the picturesque Ottauquechee Twin Covered Bridges and then, begin your trek into White River Junction to enjoy the sights and charms of this “on the rise” hip gateway to the Upper Valley. White River Junction gets its name from its bygone heyday as a major junction of north-south and east-west railroad lines. In addition, the town sits at the confluence of the White and Connecticut Rivers. Today, commerce in WRJ has taken on a different form which has attracted a young, hip crowd looking for trendy restaurants, lively bars, chic boutiques, theater, and music. You’ll stay downtown in the historic Coolidge Hotel.
Your ride on this day begins with a relatively long stretch of flat leisurely cycling paralleling the White River. As you head west, you’ll enjoy the tranquil sights and sounds of riverside meadows with grazing livestock and fertile farmland. About halfway through your ride, you’ll begin your trek to the delightful village of Quechee via the verdant rolling hills of the Upper Valley.
As you cycle this day, you’ll pass through the Quechee Covered Bridge, the Taftsville Covered Bridge and Woodstock’s Center Bridge.
For those choosing to overnight in Quechee before heading to Woodstock, there’s plenty to do including a visit to the majestic Quechee Gorge, VINS (Vermont Institute of Natural Science) and you’ll be able to traverse your way between sights by way of the Ottauquechee River Trail and the Quechee State Park Trail System.
Recommended (Optional) Layover Day in Woodstock
Woodstock is a magnificently preserved New England village, offering an historic village green, beautiful riverside estates, a covered bridge, the Marsh-Billings Rockefeller National Park with miles of pristine hiking trails and guided tours of the Rockefeller Mansion, the award-winning Marsh-Billings Farm and Museum, tons of wonderful shops (may we suggest the Vermont Flannel Company) and a variety of exciting eateries to enjoy. Woodstock is an ideal destination for a mid-trip layover day.
Also available is lovely riverside cycling offering the opportunity to pass through yet another historic covered bridge, the Lincoln Bridge or, we can arrange day hike on the Appalachian Trail which passes through the region.
Departing Woodstock, you’ll head northward passing the Marsh-Billings Rockefeller National Park and soon after you’ll enjoy effortless cycling with expansive views through South Pomfret. As your trek turns north again toward Barnard, you’ll enjoy gently rolling hills with idyllic scenes of grazing cows on lush green hills lined with ancient stone walls.
Midway through your ride, you’ll encounter the sparkling waters of Silver Lake in Barnard where you can enjoy a refreshing dip and picnic alongside its banks (the Barnard General Store across the road prepares wonderful sandwiches to go).
The remainder of trek includes a long descent back into the Woodstock area where you’ll continue south into the idyllic Kedron Valley known for its tranquil horse farms and the Green Mountain Riding Association. You’ll stay at the Kedron Inn which includes a swimming pond for those warm summer afternoons.
You’ll begin the day cycling further south along slightly rolling hills shaded by this forest on either side of the road. For much of the way, you will also enjoy the gurgling of the stream to your right. As the forest gives way to open pastures and farmland, you’ll begin to glimpse Mount Ascutney and soon, as you begin to head east, you’ll cycle in its shadow for many miles along quiet dirt roads, through two covered bridges and later the village of Brownsville.
For those wishing to do more cycling, there is an optional loop midway through the route which will take you back in time through three additional covered bridges which blend beautifully into the bucolic scenery. Finally, you’ll begin your descent back into the Connecticut River Valley.