Blog Post: Country Inns Along the Trail

Vermont is known for its abundance of outdoor activities: hiking, cycling, swimming, and canoeing are just a few of the activities available. And there isn’t just one spot to do each of these activities. We are surrounded by a variety of local swimming spots, gorgeous mountain top views, rivers, lakes, and so much more! Being located in Middlebury, in the heart of Vermont, the Swift House Inn is a prime home-base location for those outdoor enthusiasts.

One of the best ways to take in all that Vermont has to offer is by booking a trip with Country Inns Along the Trail or “Inn to Inn.” Inn to Inn is just as its name implies: you travel from country inn to country inn enjoying the luxuries of classic Vermont Inns and B&B’s while either biking, hiking, or walking each day to explore the surrounding areas.

Inn to Inn was founded in the 1970s with the vision to introduce in America the hut-to-hut hiking system that had long been popular in Europe. This idea morphed into the inn-to-inn vacation. Vermont was, and still is, a prime location for this compared to some other regions: it has the needed concentration of hiking trails and footpaths that are both appealing to beginner and experienced hikers, back roads ideal for cycling, reputable country inns within 15 – 20 miles of each other, outstanding restaurants on-site at the inns or close by with chefs who promote local fare, and a community who supports the goal of sustainable low-impact tourism.

Country Inns Along the Trail came to fruition with the first self-guided trips in the summer of 1975, with the guided hiking tours following later that year. Inn to Inn began with six Vermont innkeepers, organized by the Churchill House. Inn to Inn is now an independent business that has been operated by Seth and Olya Hopkins since October 2006. With nine years of experience owning a nine-guestroom Vermont country inn, Seth and Olya have the knowledge and know-how to give their guests a unique and fulfilling Vermont experience. Before becoming innkeepers, they were both career educators. They live in Brandon with their three daughters.

Inn to Inn has been expanded to include road and mountain biking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. For a true door-to-door experience, the road biking trips include luggage transfer from inn to inn. All trips are custom-designed for each guest’s needs and wants and are adjusted for desired locations and distances.

Cycling trips are the most popular at the Swift House Inn. To go from inn to inn each day, a minimum of 18-20 miles a day is necessary (with routes up to 50 miles), but smaller loops can be integrated into multi-night stays at the inns. Most guests enjoy daily distances in the 25 – 40 mile range at a leisurely pace of 7 or 8 miles per hour with stops for sightseeing and snacks, and rests to take in the views. A choice of hybrid (recommended) or road rental bike is included in the package prices. Bikes come equipped with helmet, water bottle, a small trunk on a rear rack; each pair or group of bikes comes with a mini-pump, spare tube, adjustment kit, and lock. Emergency roadside service (often a pick up by the luggage transfer staff) is always available.

For those looking to plan their own itinerary, we keep maps of all route lengths available for guests. Whether you are biking, hiking, or walking to take in all Vermont has to offer, we look forward to seeing you at Swift House Inn!

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