Vermont XL Bikepacking refers to an adventurous activity that involves cycling off-road trails and carrying camping gear on bicycles through the wilderness of Vermont. The state is known for its diverse terrain and picturesque landscape, which makes it an ideal destination for bikepacking enthusiasts. This activity requires a certain level of physical fitness and outdoor skills, as participants are required to navigate through challenging mountain passes, rivers, and rugged trails while carrying all their essential gear. Vermont XL Bikepacking offers a unique opportunity to explore the great outdoors, connect with nature, and challenge oneself in a new and exciting way.

The Allure of Bikepacking

Bikepacking, a combination of cycling and backpacking, is an exhilarating way to explore the great outdoors. It’s a unique way to travel that allows you to cover long distances, traverse rugged terrain, and immerse yourself in nature. With the rise of adventure cycling, more and more people are turning to bikepacking as a way to escape the daily grind and experience something truly extraordinary.

Vermont: A Haven for Bikepackers

Vermont is a state that is tailor-made for bikepacking. Its lush forests, rolling hills, and picturesque towns make it a perfect destination for adventure cycling. The state is home to a vast network of trails and gravel roads that crisscross the Green Mountains, providing bikepackers with endless opportunities to explore.

Key Takeaway: Bikepacking is a thrilling way to explore the great outdoors and Vermont is the ideal destination for adventure cycling with its vast network of trails and gravel roads. The Vermont XL is a challenging and rewarding 600-mile route that takes you through some of Vermont’s most scenic and remote areas, but it requires careful preparation including having the right gear, training and fitness, and route planning.

Vermont is a state that is tailor-made for bikepacking. Its lush forests, rolling hills, and picturesque towns make it a perfect destination for adventure cycling. The state is home to a vast network of trails and gravel roads that crisscross the Green Mountains, providing bikepackers with endless opportunities to explore.

The Vermont XL: A Route Like No Other

The Vermont XL is a 600-mile bikepacking route that traverses the entire length of the state. It’s a challenging and rewarding journey that takes you through some of Vermont’s most scenic and remote areas. The route starts in Stamford, near the Massachusetts border, and follows the western edge of the state before turning north and heading towards the Canadian border.

The Highlights of the Vermont XL

The Vermont XL is a route that is full of highlights. From the stunning views of Lake Champlain to the charming towns of Middlebury and Burlington, there is something for everyone on this route. Some of the highlights of the Vermont XL include:

  • Riding through the picturesque Mad River Valley
  • Exploring the Northeast Kingdom, a region that is known for its rugged beauty and remote wilderness
  • Crossing Lake Champlain on the Colchester Causeway, a narrow strip of land that separates the lake from Malletts Bay
  • Visiting the historic towns of Middlebury and Burlington, both of which are known for their vibrant culture and bustling downtowns

Preparing for the Vermont XL

Bikepacking is not for the faint of heart. It requires a certain level of fitness, skill, and preparation to successfully complete a long-distance route like the Vermont XL. Here are some tips to help you prepare for your trip:

Gear and Equipment

One of the most important aspects of bikepacking is having the right gear and equipment. You’ll need a sturdy bike, preferably a gravel or mountain bike, that can handle rough terrain and long distances. You’ll also need a lightweight tent, sleeping bag, and cooking equipment, as well as plenty of water and food.

Training and Fitness

To successfully complete a long-distance bikepacking route like the Vermont XL, you’ll need to be in good physical shape. You should aim to do regular cardio and strength training exercises in the months leading up to your trip. You should also try to do some long-distance rides to build up your endurance.

Route Planning

Route planning is an essential part of bikepacking. You’ll need to plan your route carefully, taking into account things like elevation gain, road conditions, and water and food sources. You should also make sure to have a backup plan in case of bad weather or unforeseen circumstances.

FAQs for Vermont XL Bikepacking

What is Vermont XL Bikepacking?

Vermont XL Bikepacking is a challenging, multi-day bikepacking route through the beautiful and rugged terrain of Vermont. The route covers 300 miles of mixed terrain, including dirt roads, scenic byways, and mountain trails, and takes riders through quintessential Vermont towns and landscapes. It is designed for experienced cyclists who want to immerse themselves in the beauty of Vermont’s wilderness while testing their cycling abilities.

Can anyone participate in Vermont XL Bikepacking?

While the route is open to anyone with the necessary equipment and experience with multi-day bikepacking, it is recommended for advanced cyclists who have already completed long distance bikepacking trips or possess strong bike handling skills. The route includes plenty of climbing and challenging trail sections, and riders should be prepared to spend several days camping and self-sustaining in the backcountry.

How long does Vermont XL Bikepacking take to complete?

Most riders take between 5-7 days to complete the entire route, depending on their speed and level of experience. However, the route can be broken down into smaller segments to allow for shorter trips, and riders are encouraged to make the trip their own by adjusting the route length and pace.

What are the weather conditions like in Vermont during the bikepacking season?

The weather in Vermont during the bikepacking season (May-September) can vary greatly, with temperatures ranging from warm and sunny to cold and rainy. Riders should be prepared for all weather conditions, including temperatures in the low 40s or high 80s, strong winds, and thunderstorms. Proper gear, including rain gear, sturdy tents, and a warm sleeping bag, is essential for success on the route.

Where can I find more information about the Vermont XL Bikepacking route?

For comprehensive information about the route, including detailed maps, GPS coordinates, and trail descriptions, riders should consult the official Vermont XL Bikepacking website or reach out to local bikepacking groups for advice and recommendations. Many riders also document their own adventures on social media platforms, providing inspiration and insight for others who want to take on the route.


By Frank

Frank Thompson, a seasoned cyclist and bike aficionado, has been passionate about all things bicycle-related since his childhood. Born and raised in the beautiful Seattle, Frank has spent countless hours exploring the winding trails, scenic roads, and vibrant urban landscapes on two wheels. With over 20 years of experience in the cycling world, Frank has garnered an extensive knowledge of bicycle mechanics, maintenance, and customization. After completing his degree in Mechanical Engineering, Frank pursued a career in the bicycle industry, working with renowned bike manufacturers and local bike shops. His expertise led him to become a sought-after consultant for professional cyclists, weekend warriors, and bike enthusiasts alike. Throughout the years, he has also volunteered with various cycling advocacy groups, promoting safe and accessible cycling infrastructure in the community. Frank's passion for cycling extends beyond his professional life, as he has participated in numerous local and international bike races and charity events. His love for adventure has taken him on several memorable cycling expeditions, from the breathtaking mountain trails of the Rockies to the picturesque coastal roads of the Mediterranean. As a valued contributor to West Seattle Cyclery, Frank shares his wealth of knowledge and experience with our readers through informative articles, how-to guides, and gear reviews. Always eager to help fellow cyclists, Frank is dedicated to making the world of cycling more approachable and enjoyable for everyone. When he's not busy tinkering with bikes or writing for the blog, you can find him exploring new routes, coaching beginner cyclists, or spending quality time with his family and their beloved golden retriever, Buddy.