Highways, Byways, and Back Roads: Driving Tours and Itineraries
Find Your Trail
From tours to detours, Vermont’s breathtaking scenery, classic traditions, and contemporary innovations are readily accessible from the Red Clover Inn. Dotting Vermont’s hills and valleys are artisans whose Green Mountain vision is reflected in art, wine, beer, distilled spirits, specialty foods, and more. These entrepreneurs work synergistically beside the covered bridges, legacy forests, and back roads that connect us to our heritage and ground us in the future.
Our people, past, and present define us, offering a diverse range of touring experiences. Will you find your trail?
From mid-September to late October, the mountains and valleys of the Killington region burst forth in a symphony of color. Ride the gondola at Killington Resort and enjoy sweeping views from the top of Killington Mountain, the second highest summit in the state. Spend a day along Route 4 following the Ottauquechee River to Woodstock and Quechee Gorge; travel over blazing hill and dale to the Vermont Country Store in Weston, or set your sites on President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site, a 19th-century preserved mountain village and the birthplace of America’s 30th President. Loop to picturesque Manchester, do a little shopping, and return to the Red Clover Inn via Ludlow and Okemo Mountain Resort. From covered bridges to mountain vistas aflame in red, yellow, and orange leaves, you’ll find plenty of photo ops along the way.
Open Studio Weekend
As Vermont stirs to spring and then summer, Vermont’s crafters open their studios to the public for self-guided tours over Memorial Day Weekend. A statewide celebration of the visual arts and creative process, Open Studio Weekend offers a unique opportunity for visitors to tour the state and meet a wide variety of artists and craftspeople in their studios, some of which are only open to the public during this event. Visit with glassblowers, jewelers, printmakers, potters, furniture makers, weavers, ironworkers, painters, sculptors, quilt makers and wood carvers. Many galleries host gallery talks and feature special exhibits. (www.vermontcrafts.com)
Culinary experiences: Beer, wine, distilled spirits, cheese
Need we say more? The Killington region and beyond is packed with crafters making the good stuff - and offering plenty of samples – created in small batches and derived from locally grown ingredients. Check out Long Trail Brewing in Bridgewater, Otter Creek Brewing in Middlebury, Woodchuck Hard Cider in Middlebury, Foley Brothers Brewing and Otter Valley Winery in Brandon. To the west, stop in to Whistlepig Farm Distillery in Shoreham, to the east, Vermont Spirits Distilling in Quechee. Nosh on Plymouth Artisan Cheese at the President Calvin Coolidge Birthplace in Plymouth, the West River Creamery in Londonderry, or Woodcock Farm in Weston. All are within a day’s loop. Please, pair wisely, designate a driver, and travel smart; buy some for later. If you haven’t had enough, the award-winning Red Clover Inn restaurant serves many of these locally made specialty products at the bar and in our cuisine. (www.brewersassociation.org, www.distilledvermont.org,www.vtcheese.com)
Beautiful in any season, Vermont has more than 100 covered bridges. Some span country streams, some are purely utilitarian; the bridge from Windsor to Cornish, New Hampshire is the longest two-span covered bridge in the world. Tour more than a dozen bridges in a relaxing day’s drive from the Red Clover Inn. From Pittsford to Rutland and Shrewsbury, and east to Woodstock and Quechee, many of the bridges have their own stories, narrated by interpretative plaques placed nearby. (www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=z03LrdwlxfBE.kVS2MQQtaykQ)
Palate to Palette
The Red Clover Inn’s award-winning restaurant is proud to be a stop along this trail, which connects fresh, locally-sourced cuisine to art. Follow the trail to embark upon on a food, farms and art odyssey. You'll find everything from artisan chocolates, farmstead cheese and maple cream, to exemplary theater, music, visual arts, and fine crafts. Enjoy autumn apple picking and delicious pies year ‘round at nearby Mendon Mountain Orchards; go the way of the chocolate at the Vermont Truffle Company, right down the road. Turn, backtrack, and sleuth your way through the third-generation Hathaway Farm Corn Maze in Rutland, the state’s largest at 12 acres. Visit the gallery at the Killington Arts Guild, or check out the hands-on work at the Carving Studio and Sculpting Center in West Rutland. Downtown Rutland is a vibrant arts community, featuring the Chaffee Art Gallery with exhibits and classes, the Castleton Downtown Gallery with contemporary art curated by Castleton College, and performances at the historic Paramount Theatre. (www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=zs2e4Mkrvo9M.kdtI5mpRwcSw)
African American Heritage Trail
In 1777, Vermont became the first American colony to abolish slavery. This spirit of independence is evident today in Vermont’s motto, “Freedom and Unity,” as well as within the people and businesses of the Green Mountain State. Among Vermont’s early settlers were African Americans who tilled the lands, built homes, and fought in the Revolutionary War. An easy day’s drive from the Red Clover Inn will cast a spotlight upon the people and historic sites that played a pivotal role in Vermont’s African American history, including Alexander Twilight Hall at Middlebury College in Middlebury, the Brandon Museum at the Stephen A. Douglas Birthplace, the Jeffrey Brace Historic Marker in Poultney and the Martin Henry Freeman Historic Marker in Rutland, and Woodstock’s River Street Cemetery and Marsh-Billings National Historic Park. (https://vermontvacation.com/~/media/files/pdfs/itineraries/africanamericanh…)
Beginning in 1785, workers journeyed to what would become Vermont’s western corridor to extract marble. Fueled by the industrial revolution, marble was a major state export by the turn of the 19th century. The nearby towns and villages stretching north and south along the trail where marble was quarried, manufactured, and finished depict a rich cultural and artisan history, with marble used in infrastructure, as architectural building materials, monuments, still-standing hitching posts, and as headstones in cemeteries. Not far from the Red Clover Inn, the village of Proctor is that home to the Vermont Marble Museum. The entire town is a must-see, with marble foundations, retaining walls, sidewalks, benches, and steps, as well as the Fletcher D. Proctor Memorial Marble Bridge. (https://vermontvacation.com/~/media/files/pdfs/itineraries/vt_marble_trail.…)
Crossroad of Vermont Byway
The Red Clover Inn is located along the 50-mile Crossroad of Vermont Byway, an east-west corridor meandering from Vermont’s border with New Hampshire, through Woodstock and Killington, toward Vermont’s New York border. The influence of Vermont’s early marble, milling, railroad, and agricultural industry is still evident in vibrant communities along the byway that celebrate their art, culture, and history. Opportunities abound for skiing, biking, and hiking; explore, picnic, or just relax in any of the dozens of scenic vistas along the spine of the Green Mountains and beside the Ottauquechee River. Whether you are up for a triumphant hike or a short stroll, access the Appalachian Trail or Vermont’s Long Trail from the Byway’s many trailheads. (www.vermont-byways.us/Crossroad01)
Scenic Route 100 Byway
Aptly dubbed the “Skiers’ Highway,” the 138-mile Scenic Route 100 connects some of the best skiing and riding in the east, as well as golf courses, extraordinary lakes for fishing, boating and swimming, and Green Mountain peaks for cycling or backroad mountain biking. This north-south byway traverses the spine of the Green Mountains from the Mad River Byway near Sugarbush, to the Massachusetts border in the Berkshires. Route 100 intersects with the Killington region between Bridgewater and Killington, and the nearest point of byway access from the Red Clover Inn is just down the road near the Killington Resort (www.vermont-byways.us/Route_100)