Frequently Asked Questions
The Vermont Inn to Inn Walking Tour is a sought-after adventure by people from around the world. To date, walkers from more than thirty-seven countries have taken part in this simple and beautiful adventure!
We know that our Vermont Inn to Inn Walking Tour is a unique concept; for most people it generates a lot of enthusiasm …and questions. Read through these most frequently asked questions, and then if you’re still pondering something, don’t hesitate to contact us.
The Vermont Inn to Inn Walking Tour includes four nights with dinner and lodging, each followed by breakfast and a self-guided scenic walk of up to 13 miles per day. We deliver your luggage to the next inn for you, so you only carry your day pack and the snacks we give you for your walk.
Your fourth and final walk is after your fourth overnight of the Walking Tour, bringing you back to your car in the afternoon, after having just walked up to 13 miles. Consider booking a fifth night at an inn of your choice so you can relax and dine out after your final walk, saving your travel home for the next day. You’ll be glad you did.
The walking route is a circle. You leave your car at the first inn and eventually, on your final walking day, you walk back to it.
You start by checking in to your first inn (between 3 and 6pm) and enjoying dinner and overnight lodging. After breakfast, you begin your first walk. Repeat this three more times. So, your fourth night of lodging is followed by breakfast and your fourth long walk (back to your starting point).
With this, we encourage guests to plan their travels accordingly. Booking a 5th night directly at the inn of your choice is the perfect way to end the walking tour. It gives you a place to shower after your final walk (you’ll want one!) and you’ll have your car so you can drive to dinner and conclude with a great night’s rest (you’ll need one!).
- Four-night stay includes each night at a different Vermont inn
- Private room with private bath
- Full country/gourmet breakfast each morning
- Afternoon refreshments at each inn
- Dinner each night
- Trail snacks for the day’s walk
- Luggage transportation each day between inns
- Remember: if you struggle to lift the bags, we can’t lift them either!
- All taxes, service charges and gratuities
We understand that some circumstances may arise causing a need to cancel, so we want to be upfront and clear regarding our policies. The orchestration of the tour is complicated and intensive, involving four inns and many logistics. To secure your reservation, we require a deposit of 50% of the cost of your tour. Once this deposit is paid, half of your deposit is immediately non-refundable. Two weeks prior to your tour start date, the remaining 50% of your tour price is due. Once this second payment is made, all monies paid are fully non-refundable. Cancellation must be accomplished by personal conversation via the telephone. 1-833-INN-2-INN (466-2466)
If you are concerned about this cancellation fee, we suggest purchasing travel insurance, much like one does for any other major vacation. This link is one example of several insurers that offer travel insurance: www.allianztravelinsurace.com We are not affiliated in any way with this or any of the travel insurance companies.
Rates apply to adults and children age 15 and older.
Children under 15 cannot be accommodated on tours.
We offer tours from May 15 through the end of October.
From May through September 5, guests can start any night of the week. You choose the date and if it’s available, we assign the starting location.
From September 6th through October 31, tours can only start on Sunday nights. Again, you choose the Sunday you want to start, and we assign the starting location.
Each inn is quite different from the others. Whether in the village or on remote rural roads, whether updated with the newest spa bathrooms or still reflecting the Vermont inn simplicity of yesteryear, each of the four inns is charming, clean, and eager to welcome you after your long day’s walk. (Visit the WALKING TOURS page for specific information on each inn.)
The daily walks range from 7 to 13 miles, averaging just over 10 miles per day. Some of our walks are door to door, while some of the routes require that the innkeeper drives you to a starting location. You will be walking on a lot of packed dirt roads, but many paved roads too, nearly all of which are open to traffic. However, the routes are through rural areas, so “traffic,” as most people think of it, is not a significant factor in this walking tour.
Unlike the European walking tours many of our guests have enjoyed, our walks do not go through little villages. You will be walking on rural roads, with no bathrooms or picnic areas. (The wooded areas along the roadside will need to be your provider of both.) The walking routes are through “rural residential” areas, passing New England architecture, green pastures, winding rivers, and occasional mountain vistas. Miles and miles of wooded roads promise serenity and contemplation.
The routes are hilly. We are often surprised at how often our guests are surprised by the hills, so this paragraph is here to stop that common cycle. We are IN the Green Mountains. The walks consist of long, sustained hills. You’re virtually always walking up or down. But don’t let this info-byte alarm you. You can walk at your own pace and take breaks as often as you’d like. Yes, this is a challenging series of walks, and yes you should train in advance for your comfort and safety, but this tour is not reserved for athletes only.
Well, Uber and Lyft haven’t yet discovered rural Vermont, and you won’t have cell service on most of your walking routes to make a call anyhow, so calling anyone for a ride is not a reliable strategy. Instead, we can modify routes in advance by dropping you off at a delayed starting point. Have crazy blisters and you want to walk only 5 miles instead of that day’s full route? No problem. We’ll drop you off on the route with only 5 miles left to go. Don’t want to walk at all that day because of an injury or stormy weather? No problem. We’ll drop you off at the next inn when we deliver luggage. We will require your flexibility to work around our innkeeper schedules, but with that we will help you modify the route as needed.
If you do not want to walk any of the routes, yes, you may drive from inn to inn. We have many guests who choose to do this due to health concerns. Instead of canceling their trip, they opt to enjoy each inn and the many surrounding attractions (shops, historical sites, short & easy walks, etc.). This works wonderfully, but it does eliminate the ability to participate in any of the walking routes. For logistical reasons, you cannot drive some days and walk others as you’d be separating yourself from your car. Innkeepers will not shuttle guests back to their vehicles.
Logically, we’re going to start this section with the advice that you should consult with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns regarding your ability to complete this tour safely. You need to remember that this tour includes walking more than 42 miles uphill and downhill over the course of four days and that you will not have a trail guide or consistent access to cell service. All that said, we have seen all ages, shapes, sizes, and abilities complete this tour. It is very accessible for the average healthy, fit person. And very rewarding!
A hard one to answer for someone else. Each of our innkeepers reports they would feel safe walking these routes alone. Many single female travelers complete this tour and none have reported that they ever felt unsafe. That said, it is an unaccompanied walking tour, and you will be walking alone in very remote areas without cell service. Many of our walkers choose to bring pepper spray for the “just in case” encounter with a bad dog, bear, or human. (No one has ever used it.)
Yes! Although many people can complete the Walking Tour with no training, those who do train typically enjoy it more, reporting fewer blisters, aches, and pains. This isn’t just walking twelve miles in a day – it’s doing that four days in a row. (Try to include hills in your training.)
We’re so glad you asked this! Some guests prefer the ankle support of their hiking boots while others prefer their sneakers and still others love their hiking sandals. Any of these should be fine. You will be walking on roads, not trails, so you have a lot of freedom in your choice. However, we have two pieces of advice for you.
- Bring at least two pairs. If you get blisters from one pair, it’s great to put on a different pair the next day, offering those sore spots some relief.
- Don’t buy new shoes for your trip. A forty-two mile walking vacation is NOT the time for breaking in a new pair of shoes. Break in your shoes over the course of time and your feet will thank you.
No, dogs are not invited. Although we love pooches, and a couple of our inns even have some furry friends for you to love, we cannot allow guest dogs as part of the Walking Tour.
If you are allergic to dogs or cats, please note that some inns have pets that spend time in the public areas and interact with guests. However, these pets do not enter the guest room areas of the inns, so your room will be pet-free. Just let us know when you make your reservation that you have a pet allergy, and we’ll help keep our furry friends away from you during your stay.
No, bicycles are not invited. Some of the routes require a drop off by car, and we cannot transport bikes. (Nor can we transport bikes in the event of lightning storms or injury. Just leave them home.)
Based on when you travel, you could be the only party on the tour, or you could be a part of a group of up to 8 guests. At some inns, all guests dine together at one table, while at other inns, parties dine separately. As for walking, some parties choose to walk separately, while many enjoy the conversation and comradery of their group and choose to walk together. It’s entirely up to you.
At every inn, you will be served a 3-course home-cooked dinner and a full hearty breakfast. Most inns prepare one set meal, planned around the advanced-stated dietary needs and preferences of the group. (If you have allergies, special diets, or even strong preferences, please let us know when you make your reservation.) Then we’ll send you off for the day after breakfast with trail snacks and greet you at the next inn with some more snacks to hold you over until dinner. Although a traditional lunch is not included, guests report not wanting a full lunch but feeling fully satisfied with the food offered. That said, if you want to pack a small cooler with added goodies or sandwich making treats, we’ll happily transport that from inn to inn with your luggage.
With advance notice, yes. We will happily accommodate allergies, special diets, even strong preferences, but you need to let us know in advance. Most inns offer only one set meal per group and we design that meal around such accommodations. Be upfront and clear about how strict your needs are so we can prepare accordingly. (Allergic to gluten or just trying to eat less carbs? We’d like to know.)
We get it! This is an important part of vacation for many! Three of our inns are BYOB. You are welcome to bring your own favorite beverage and enjoy it during your visit to the inn. We will move your alcohol from inn to inn along with your luggage, so it’s waiting for you at your next location.
One of our inns, The Pettigrew Inn, has a beer and wine license. This means that when you are at dinner (or in any of the common areas), you may only drink beer and wine that has been purchased from the inn (just like at a restaurant). You can drink anything you have brought with you in your guest room.
Okay, so this question really isn’t asked ever, but the answer is a resounding “YES!” There is a 40 pound limit per bag. Although we innkeepers like to think of ourselves as superheroes, alas, we are mere mortals. We have aging knees and bad backs. We live in historic buildings with narrow staircases and no elevators. We are not moving just your luggage, but the luggage of eight individuals on any given day. PLEASE keep the weight of your luggage limited to 40 pounds per bag.
Packing for a trip longer than your four day walking tour? You can leave all that extra gear in your car (or ask your innkeeper if there’s a space at the inn). You do not need to bring your two-week-vacation’s worth of luggage with you from inn to inn. We thank you. Our staff thanks you. Our backs thank you. Forty pounds per bag — it IS realistic.
Our 2020 rates are $1,498 for double occupancy (two people in one bedroom) and $1,298 single occupancy, May 15 through September 5; and $2,098 (double) and $1,898 (single) from September 6 through October. Rates include all lodging, breakfasts, dinners, trail snacks, luggage delivery, and taxes. Contact us for triple occupancy options. The only items the package rate does not include are alcohol (see notes above) and your optional-but-recommended fifth night. (Rates vary by room and by inn. Please book directly with the inn of your choice.)
We start accepting reservations for any given year in mid-December preceding that year. (If you give us your email address, we’ll send out an announcement several days prior to our opening the books.)
To make a reservation, just give us a call or send us an email. We ask you for the following information:
Names of all travelers
Cell phone number you’ll likely be traveling with
Any allergies or dietary restrictions the inns will need to accommodate
If you need any bed configuration other than a queen/king
Fifty percent of the tour cost is due at the time of reservation. We will send you an electronic invoice that can be paid securely online with a credit card. We cannot take your card information over the phone.
The remaining fifty percent of the tour cost will be invoiced in the same manner approximately two weeks prior to your tour start date.
Please familiarize yourself with our strictly enforced cancellation policy because nobody likes surprises, especially those that involve our wallets.
If a cancellation is made more than 14 days in advance of your tour start date, 50% of the deposit will be refunded. If a cancellation is made within 14 days of the tour start date, there are absolutely no refunds of any portion of the tour payments.
Some of our innkeepers swear by travel insurance when they travel. Check with your credit card, maybe they already offer it. Or you can purchase it independently.
Of course, we hope you don’t need to cancel (it’s never for an anticipated or happy reason), but please know our policy before you book.
We all have that mental check list we use just before we walk out the door, right? (Wallet… cell phone… glasses…) You will get a more complete list with your tour confirmation packet, but this is the Walking Tour version of that abbreviated “must have” list.
- Layers. (Helps to accommodate a variety of weather.)
- Rain gear.
- Two pairs of walking shoes (see FAQ way above).
- Bandaids / blister prevention and treatment.
- Bug spray.
When packing, please remember our mandate that no piece of luggage weighs more than 40 pounds. (If you’d struggle carrying it from the car, into the inn, up a flight of stairs, and down a long hallway, so will we!)
Planes, trains, and automobiles! We love that our guests travel from all over the world for our Walking Tour and here we’ll try to help you navigate the many choices that are available to you. Keep in mind that we are rural Vermont: this means we do not have a plethora of hired or public transportation available. Advance planning is pretty important when trying to travel in our area.
From Boston, MA (Logan Airport): You can rent a car from Boston and then drive 2.5-3.5 hours (depending on traffic) to your starting inn. OR take the bus (Dartmouth Coach) from Boston to West Lebanon NH. Then hire us to pick you up and bring you to your starting inn. OR take the CapeAir or JetBlue shuttle flight from Boston to Rutland, VT and then hire us to transport you to the inn.
From New York City: You can rent a car and drive 5 hours to the inn. OR take an Amtrak train to one of our nearby stations (Bellows Falls, VT or Rutland, VT). From there, you can hire us to transport you from the train station to your starting inn.
Burlington, VT: You can rent a car and enjoy the scenic two hour drive. (But choose the scenic route and plan extra time. The journey can be a part of your fun!)
Bradley Airport in Hartford, CT, or Manchester Regional Airport of Manchester, NH, or Albany International
Airport of Albany, NH: Rent a car and drive two hours to your starting inn.
Great question, but it depends of course on your walking, lingering and lunching speeds. A leisurely pace of 1.5 – 2 miles per hour would take from 6-8 hours depending of course how long you linger at the endless opportunities to enjoy interesting sights along the way. A brisk pace of 3-4 miles per hour could take from 4-5 hours. Most people are not trying to rush through it and have reported paces on average of about 6-8 hours with plenty of time to soak in the beauty along the way.