I grew up hiking the Cascade Mountains of Washington State and spent 14 years underneath the Rockies while living in Boulder, Colorado. And Zephyr’s home base is located in Red Lodge, Montana just under the Beartooth Mountains, which is why I tend to think peak bagging when I think hiking.
But that sometimes does me a disservice. I am lucky enough to have traveled around the world and experienced some amazing hiking vacations without the elevation change. Our Walking Adventure in Tuscany (running October 24 – 30) is a great example. Hiking along Hadrian’s Wall (scheduled for August 21 – 28 next year) is another.
Why European Style Hiking Vacations?
What makes these non-traditional hiking tours great? In my opinion there are a number of reasons:
- Culture: Hiking to the top of peaks is great but doesn’t generally put you in range of local restaurants, shops, or even interesting locals. Taking a more moderate hike through the countryside, dotted with villages, can be much more culturally enriching.
- Relaxation: Climbing up hills can be very rewarding … but it isn’t exactly relaxing. And sometimes you want to be active on vacation but still enjoy life without having to push yourself.
- Fitness: Conversely, this type of European hiking vacation provides plenty of fitness. But that fitness usually comes from walking multiple miles a day for multiple days in a row. It is a different type of exercise that I find very pleasant over a week.
On our Vermont Hiking Adventure, we replicate the best of what we do on some of the most famous European itineraries. Our hikes include a stroll on a village path in Stowe, a gondola-assisted hike on Mount Mansfield, a ramble on the grounds of the Trapp Family Lodge, and a hike on the Trail Around Middlebury (TAM), Vermont’s coolest small university city.
COVID and Vermont
Would you like a second reason to vacation in Vermont in 2021? Vermont was one of the strictest states in controlling COVID and now is the number one state in the country in terms of vaccination rates. This is critical as the Delta variant spreads, as it is the unvaccinated who are most like to contract and spread the virus. Travel where the people are vaccinated and your risk goes down proportionately. It is also true that if the situation worsens in the US, Vermont is likely to continue to have no restrictions on vaccinated travelers, since they provided them with preferential restrictions previously. So Vermont is a good place to vacation safely while hedging your bets.
Join Us in Vermont
Do you need one more reason to consider joining us on our Vermont Hiking Adventure from October 11 – 15? It takes place in the heart of Vermont’s famous fall foliage! Come join us. (I will be guiding and look forward to meeting you.)