When Mad River Valley locals head out to explore and experience other parts of Vermont you might hear them say that “we’re going VermonTouring.” The Mad River Valley’s central location in the heart of the Green Mountains makes it an ideal launch pad to explore Vermont. With a little planning, you’ll be amazed at how much there is to see. Whether you are looking for a short drive around town, an hour or two or a full-day excursion, there are some classic tour loops emanating from the Mad River Valley. Here are a few suggestions;



Local Driving Tours

Classic MRV Tour

If you’re pressed for time and you can do just one jaunt around the MRV on your visit, this is the one! It’s also a great way to get the proverbial “lay of the land.” It’s a loop starting and ending at the MRV Chamber Visitor Center. Tack on some of the other adjoining loops to create a personalized tour.

Bragg Hill Loop

This relatively short loop delivers some of the MRV’s most spectacular views year-round. Hard up against the intersection of Route 100 and Route 17 turn up Bragg Hill Road. You’ll come across Knoll Farm and then the views really open up. Stop by the South Fayston cemetery to take in iconic MRV views and explore one of the oldest burial grounds in The Valley featuring Revolutionary War veterans. Bend around the pond and go past the much-photographed Bragg Farm, home to Ploughgate Creamery. At this point the road heads downhill and becomes Number 9 Hill Road which is named after the old No. 9 Schoolhouse at the bottom of the hill. You’ll come out on Route 17 (aka the Mill Brook Road) where you can make a left to head back to Waitsfield Village

West Hill Loop

This is a great add-on loop if you want to explore the beautiful landscape above Warren Village and back around via the Lincoln Gap Road. Consider making a side-trip “uy” the Lincoln Gap to check out this magnificent, steep passage over the Green Mountains. Don’t forget Lincoln Gap goes unplowed and is closed for the winter season!

East Warren Loop

This 10-mile loop delivers long vistas and bucolic agricultural landscapes. If you can stop, park and stretch out those legs, this adventure has lots of places to enjoy a walk.

Northfield – Roxbury Route 12 Loop

The Northfield Mountains create the eastern edge of the Mad River Valley. This 37-mile loop goes over two of the gaps that crisscross the range. It features stretches of the scenic Mad River Byway along the Mad River before it heads up and over to Northfield Falls, the home to Vermont’s highest concentration of covered bridges. Other highlights include the tiny village of Roxbury, spectacular views from the top of Roxbury Gap and the bucolic scenery of East Warren.


Covered Bridge Tours

Vermont covered bridges are a unique feature of the landscape. There are more covered bridges per square mile in Vermont than any other place in the world, with 107 authentic covered bridges located throughout the state. Yup, our iconic covered bridges are certainly an attraction and the MRV has more than our fair share. Here are two tour options;

Local MRV Covered Bridge Tour

Starting on, well, Bridge Street in historic Waitsfield Village, this scenic drive takes you on a 12-mile trip that encompasses three bridges. The Great Eddy, the Pine Brook and Warren Village covered bridges.

The Full Monty

This ever-popular driving tour delivers seven bridges in just under 40 miles with spectacular scenery along the way. This tour will take you “off-the-beaten-path” to discover some places, experiences and views most visitors will never see.


Scenic Byways

Mad River Scenic Byway

The Mad River Byway is a 35-mile foray through the heart of Vermont, passing around or through lovely and lively downtowns, farms, famous ski areas (Sugarbush and Mad River Glen), and historic sites. See the drive virtually in this video. A pleasant walk along the Mad River is accessible via the well-planned, mapped and landscaped Mad River Path with many access points along the way.

The Green Mountain Byway

Explore the scenery, recreation, history and culture of Central Vermont’s Green Mountains. Capped by Mount Mansfield (Vermont highest peak) and the Smugglers’ Notch mountain pass, you’ll find something for everyone! Get outside, get going, and celebrate Vermont along the towns and villages of the Green Mountain Byway.


Full Day Tours

Double Gap Mountain Trek
This drive features spectacular mountain views, thrilling ups and downs, and the very best foliage that Vermont has to offer. You travel over the Lincoln Gap which, at 2,410′ is the highest one in the state as well as over the Appalachian Gap at 2,365′, the highest gap open all year.
See the Map! 

Capital District Excursion
Along this 55 mile loop you’ll visit Vermont’s twin cities of Montpeleir and Barre. Montpelier is Americas smallest state capital while it’s neighbor, Barre is the granite capital of the world. There are lots of beautiful nd interesting attractions along the way.
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The Northern Loop
This 76 mile tour takes you north to Waterbury, Stowe, and up through Morrisville. Then it wraps around the Worcester Mountains through Scenic Elmore and Worcester along scenic Route 12. You end up in our state capital of Montpelier before retuning back to “the valley” via the Mad river Byway.
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Champlain Valley Tour
Head west over the Appalachian Gap and descend into the picturesque Champlain Valley. Along the 100 plus mile 2.5 hour loop there are lots of places to stop and check out the local flavor. Highlights along the way include the lovely towns of Bristol and Vergennes and famous attractions like the Shelburne Museum,  Shelburne Farms, the Rokeby Museum  and Burlington’s Church Street Marketplace
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History Tour of South-central Vermont
This tour heads south from the MRV down iconic VT Route 100 towards the Calvin Coolidge Homestead, the birthplace and historic site of Vermont’s only Presidential before heading east and up the Connecticut River Valley. Highlights include Grafton Village, the American Precision Museum, the King Arthur Baking Center, Dartmouth College and the Joseph Smith Birthplace. You’ll also pass spectacular scenic spots like Warren Falls, Moss Glen Falls, beautiful Route 103 and lots of classically, quaint villages along the way.
See the Map!


(Re-printed courtesy of Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce).