We know Vermont.
We live here. We work here. We play here. We operate tours exclusively here in Vermont, and our guests benefit from our focus, our experience, and our expertise.
In the early 1970s, our founder had a vision: to enhance and introduce in America the hut-to-hut hiking system long popular in Europe. In bringing his idea to Vermont, he pioneered the concept of the inn-to-inn vacation. In few other regions does one find all of the requisite ingredients in the proper concentration: celebrated hiking trails and footpaths appealing to beginning and serious hikers; hospitality and comfort at the antique country inns that dot the valleys below the ridgeline; outstanding meals prepared by creative chefs; and a local climate supportive of sustainable low-impact tourism.
“Country Inns Along the Trail” was born as a cooperative endeavor among six Vermont innkeepers, organized by the Churchill House. The first self-guided trips ran in the summer of 1975. That same year, the first of the guided hiking tours made their debut, using the same inns and starting every other Sunday all summer long. A key feature of all trips was (and remains) the ability to hike with just a small knapsack, as “bed and board await the hiker at trail’s end” each day.
The Country Inns format quickly proved popular, and the company, soon an independent enterprise, began offering other ways to enjoy Vermont inn to inn: road biking for a true door-to-door experience, complete with luggage transfer; cross-country skiing; snowshoeing; and mountain biking. Each of these was available in both a guided and self-guided option. Three of the more unusual offerings of the past (none of which has stood the test of time, unfortunately) were “Vermont’s Original Llama Trekking” adventures; a three-day canoe tour staying at inns near the Otter Creek; and a “Steam Train Excursion to Vermont Country Inns.” At times, we have operated tours outside Vermont, on a guided and self-guided basis in Maine, New Hampshire, and the United Kingdom.
In 2007, Country Inns Along the Trail was named one of the “50 Best Girlfriends Getaways in North America” as published by National Geographic, and as one of the seven best affordable adventure trips by Smarter Travel. In 2008, we were the subject of a feature story on CBS television in Vermont, as well as the lead article in the Sunday Travel Section of the San Francisco Chronicle. In 2009 Inn to Inn was featured in USA Today, the nation’s newspaper. 2010 saw us find facebook, and 2011 saw us in a feature article of AAA’s member magazine, “Journeys” as well as a return appearance in USA Today. Additionally in 2011, our director completed coursework and exams sponsored by the Department of Tourism & Marketing and received certification from the State of Vermont as a Vermont Tourism Ambassador, one of only 30 in the state. You can be sure that your vacation will be designed by someone with extensive knowledge of attractions and hidden gems that make a great vacation. In 2015 we appeared in a feature article in the Travel section of the Times of London.
Today, guests of Country Inns Along the Trail benefit from our 41 years of experience as Vermont’s premier vacation planners. We invite you to experience Vermont in the best possible way: up close, and at your own pace.