Autumn Trail Riding in New England


Photos courtesy Mountain Top Inn

Mountain Top Inn

The changing leaves of fall are one of the most spectacular sights nature has to offer, and there’s no better place to see them than Vermont. Maples, oaks, aspens, and ash in a palette of red, orange, and yellow cover the state’s hillsides for weeks in early autumn.

Seeing this show of color on horseback is the ultimate way to experience it. Riding through the fall foliage gives you a perspective you just can’t get when viewing the leaves from afar.

Mountain Top Inn

One place you can immerse yourself in Vermont’s autumn color is at the Mountain Top Inn & Resort in Chittenden. Located about 70 miles from Burlington, the Mountain Top Inn & Resort offers trail rides looping through the lush Green Mountain National Forest to a vantage point perched high on a mountain top.

“The views, especially at fall foliage time, are spectacular,” says Randie Schoenberg, spokesperson for Mountain Top Inn & Resort. “Riders are literally enveloped as they pass through.”

The 350-acre resort itself sits on the top of a mountain, with sweeping views of the surrounding range and valley, which includes a 740-acre lake.

Mountain Top Inn

Besides riding through the woods, visitors to the resort have access to a full-service equestrian center, which boasts two outdoor riding rings, a cross-country jumping course, children’s horsemanship camps, lessons, clinics and fox hunting. Both English and western riding are offered, with rides for beginner through advanced.

“The trails and meadows offer opportunities for trotting and cantering,” says Schoenberg. “Lessons and clinics are offered for all levels, and include jumping and cross-country.”

Mountain Top Inn

Guests can bring their own horse for the day or for overnight boarding, or ride one of the 30 owned by the resort. These are mostly Quarter Horses, with some Thoroughbreds and draft crosses.

Other Amenities

For those moments when you’re not riding, the resort offers a pool, dining terrace, full-service spa and salon, plus fitness room with sauna. Yoga, surfset and boot camp classes are also offered, as well as chances to play tennis, volleyball and disc golf. Hiking, biking and boating are also encouraged, along with a chance to lounge and fish on the resort’s private beach.

If You Go:

Three-Night Horseback Riding Vacation:

Hearty Vermont breakfast and afternoon refreshments, plus six hours of guided trail rides. Package rates start at $1,275 double occupancy; $1,050 single occupancy.

“Giddy Up and Go” Two-Night Girls’ Getaway

Country breakfast and afternoon refreshments, one-hour massage and one-hour scenic trail ride. Package rates for two guests start at $860.

Nearby Attractions:

The Inn is minutes from Woodstock, Vt., which has a slew of quaint restaurants and shops.

Learn more at

This article originally appeared in the September 2016 issue of Horse Illustrated magazine. Click here to subscribe!


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