Join us for a trip to Vermont and Upstate New York during the peak of the fall foliage colors. We’ll spend three days in Burlington at the Hotel Vermont [https://hotelvt.com/] and five in Lake Placid at the Crowne Plaza Lake Placid [http://crowneplaza.com/lakeplacid]. You can hike, bike, paddle, golf, and visit regional museums. Or just take scenic drives, visit breweries, or shop.
This will be a pretty flexible trip. We’ll have an SUV for every four or five people, but each SUV holds 7. On days when we’re not transporting luggage, we can rearrange groups according to their interests. Want to do a challenging hike? If you can make a group of three—maybe even two—it can probably be arranged. But there will also be organized activities to participate in many days and suggestions offered for the rest.
Take Burlington! Many will bike in and around Burlington on Saturday and Sunday. On Monday and Tuesday, we’ll likely visit a nearby museum one day and hike the other.
The Burlington Bike Path is the draw for our biking outings. Buy the two-day supplemental biking package and you can explore the short southern segment of the path on Saturday afternoon. We’ll make it a “Bike & Brew” outing—as recommended in a New York Times travel article—with six or more beer and cider breweries to choose from in a six-mile loop. We’ll all meet at a designated brewery for a pre-dinner drink and to assemble into dinner groups.
Sunday’s bike ride promises to be exciting. [If you skip the Saturday bike ride, you can buy a Sunday-only package instead.] The 20-mile round-trip ride goes along—and into-- Lake Champlain. A highlight is the three-mile stretch on a causeway into the lake, Water on both sides, we reach the end of the causeway where we catch a short ride on a bike ferry to an island in Lake Champlain. You can linger on the island to explore and have lunch or just rest on shore for a bit and head back into town. Another brewery meetup before dinner? Of course!
Ready to hike? There are many offerings within 20 to 30 miles of Burlington. Ask for my itinerary. I suggest four or five Vermont hikes of various lengths and difficulty.
Tired from a day of biking or hiking? Let’s go to the Shelburne Museum [https://shelburnemuseum.org/]! A short drive south of Burlington [with some quickie hikes nearby to fill out the day], the Shelburne is an eclectic museum of Americana, folk art, and textiles—much of it displayed in 25 historic buildings relocated to this complex.
Everyone transfers to Lake Placid on Tuesday evening. It’s a fun town with many eating and drinking venues to explore. Wednesday is our organized paddle day! We’re offering two optional guided paddles near Saranac Lake outside Lake Placid. Both are described in more detail under “Optional Offerings” below.
Three days left! Adirondack hiking options are endless. Contact me for a detailed [though still draft] itinerary. You might return to our outfitter to do another paddle—guided or just renting a boat on your own. Or join us in an optional outing that explores the Adirondacks during the Gilded Age. See details below.
The day begins in the village of Blue Mountain Lake. [https://www.theadkx.org/]. It’s a 50+-mile drive to get there! But it’s a drive through some of the prettiest part of the Adirondacks. Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, Long Lake. A beautiful drive at the peak of the season.
Want more options? Organize a side trip to North Creek south of Lake Placid to do a railbike outing with Revolution Rail [https://www.revrail.com/faqs]. Or visit Ausable Chasm [http://ausablechasm.com/ ]—the Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks—where you can hike, float, or rappel.
Sunday, October 6th, for those with airfare booked with the Regular Package, we return to Burlington to take an early-afternoon flight home to Chicago.
The trip includes eight nights lodging [double occupancy; breakfast NOT included]; shared ground transportation [SUVs with four or five people in each vehicle; gas; parking, and ferry]; and some form of group celebration [party; brewery drink tickets; hosted appetizers?] to be determined. No meals are included.
Registration Closes: August 20, 2019
Only Land Packages are currently available. You must arrange air or ground transport at the beginning and end of the trip on your own. See details under "Land-Only Package" below. .
Package and Option Cost:
The "Regular Package" that included round-trip airfare is no longer available.. See "Land-only Package" below.
Land-only Package $1,535.
Single Supplement: $1,050.
Payment Schedule: Payment in advance is due on registration. Break payments into two transactions of $1500 or less, because the website does not accept payments of more than $1500 at one time.
Most people on this trip are flying non-stop from Chicago O’Hare to Burlington International Airport. The group flies on September 28, 2019 on UA 1621L, departing at 9:30 am from Chicago and arriving in Burlington at 12:41 pm. If you fly on your own, you will need to meet the group at the airport by 1:00 pm to ensure that you can transfer to our hotel with the group. But the airport is only about 5 miles from downtown Burlington, so arranging your own transfer to the hotel should not be difficult or expensive.
The majority of the group will fly home to Chicago from Burlington on UA 1907W on Sunday, October 6, 2019. The flight departs at 1:27 pm and arrives in Chicago at 2:52 pm. We transfer from Lake Placid on the morning of October 6th. Because of the ferry ride involved in this transfer, we can not arrive at the Burlington International Airport earlier than about 11:00 am. Schedule your return flight with a departure time of 1:00 pm or later.
Additional Activity Options:
Burlington bike rental packages at Local Motion [https://www.localmotion.org/]:
□ Two-day package at $55. Includes bike from Saturday afternoon, Sept 28th through 6pm on Sunday, Sept 29th; overnight storage of bike at rental outlet; and round-trip bike ferry to Lake Champlain island.
□ Sunday only package at $40: Includes bike all day Sunday plus the round-trip bike ferry to Lake Champlain island.
Guided Paddle Trips with the St Regis Canoe Outfitters [https://www.canoeoutfitters.com/guided-tripson] on Wednesday, Oct 2nd, 2019:
□ $149 for Paddle Trip from the Middle to Lower Saranac Lake. [4-5 hours; no portages.] This is one of St Regis’s most popular outings and may attract the biggest group on our trip. It is a flatwater paddle on two very scenic lakes that are connected by the Saranac River. Near the end of the river section there is an old-fashioned wooden lock that is hand operated.
□ $149 for Trip from the Hotel to Long Pong. [4-hour paddle; 2-hour hike; three portages--longest about 1/3 mile.] This is the most ambitious outing, with both a hike and three portages. This small stream with portages connects a series of four ponds. The wilderness is undeveloped wild land that offers a good chance to see wildlife. If time allows, you hike Long Pond Mountain, a 700-foot ascent to an open, rocky top that provides views of the St Regis area, Upper Saranac Lake, and the High Peak District.
Note on Paddle Pricing: Both paddles include boat [canoe or kayak], guide, and lunch. If we reserve four or more spots on any one outing, our price drops to $119 per person. Refunds will be provided as appropriate.
□ $79 for Adirondack Gilded Age Heritage Tour [https://www.theadkx.org/];on Friday, October 4, 2019.
Mark Twain dubbed the end of the 19th century as America’s “Gilded Age.” It was a time when vast fortunes were made in America by the Captains of Industry. For these wealthy entrepreneurs fabulous wilderness estates were built in the heart of the Adirondacks so these American aristocrats could live in luxury in the most remote wilderness. This three-part day explores the roll that the Adirondacks played in the Gilded Age with an unguided visit to The Adirondack Experience museum in Blue Mountain Lake, a luncheon cruise with historical commentary on beautiful Raquette Lake, and a guided walking tour of Great Camp Sagamore, made famous when owned by the Vanderbilt family and the only iconic Gilded Age camp open to the public.
□ $60 for Whistling Man Sunset Cruise in Burlington, VT on Monday, September 30, 2019
The two-hour sunset sailing cruises begins at 4:45 a short walk from our hotel. The outfitter has two boats that are the same size, but accommodate different numbers of passengers. Our group has already filled and reserved the higher capacity vessel [12 passengers] for Monday, September 30th. Depending on how many more reservations we get, we could book the second lower-capacity vessel [6 passenger] for Monday, September 30th or the larger capacity vessel for Sunday, September 29th.
Contact: Ken East (Leader) Tim Thurlow (Assistant)