beth -- Aug 07, 2012 10:12 pm
wanted to do a guided group hiking trip and had initially looked at large companies like BackRoads. Thank goodness I came upon ATA in my search. It was just what I was looking for, and it is a vacation where the activities are individually designed for your own level of fitness and ambition in hiking. The hikes were beautiful, challenging but not exhausting, and within a short distance of the Lodge the in one of the program's vans. If it wasn't an all-day hike, John takes anyone who wants to go out for either river kayaking or pond kayaking, which were just great experiences with the gorgeous fall folliage. No one should be scared off by the physical activity, you can do short and easy hikes on lovely country roads, or you can go straight up a mountain if you are up for it. There were two guides besides John, and they were both great. Summitt Lodge is a large, lovely and welcoming place, appropriately rustic for my taste, but very comfortable with all the creature comforts such as cable television. There is a really nice, large jacouzzi at the lodge. The food was very good, with many choices available. It was hearty, healthy, home-cooked food, whole grains, veggies. You choose what kind of lunch sandwich you want the day before, and the guides deliver your lunch to you on the trail or afterwards, depending on the time. The nice thing about this vacation is that you spend time with other people while hiking and at meals, but you can also spend time alone at the Lodge, or just go off on your own anytime. I especially loved playing with the Lodge's new 11-month old Saint Bernard puppy!
All in all, John and his guides are very invested in making sure each person gets to do the outdoor activities they like, at a level they are comfortable with. They help you with your gear, and any little problems that come up. I would definitely do this vacation again.
active vacation for everyone
kris -- Aug 01, 2012 01:44 pm
I'm not a repeat vacationer,but I've come back to ATA for a second year. It's basically adult camp - hiking in the morning,kayaking and swimming in the afternoon,with the ability to squeeze in time for sightseeing and some great VT microbrews. John and his guides are super friendly, knowledgeable,and flexible. They work hard to make sure you get the experience you want. They accommodate all fitness levels and ensure that everyone is safe and happy. Food and accommodations are also great. The Summit Lodge is very homey - you'll know everyone (staff,locals,guests) after a few days. And the berry cobbler is to die for.
Rob -- Oct 08, 2010 08:44 pm
Some buddies and I spent a full day kayaking with John and his guides at Appalachian Trail Adventures this past weekend. John was very helpful in assisting with our decision to use his company. He catered to our needs (and numerous questions) and found a great river in spite of the fact that it hadn’t rained in weeks.
We enjoyed the paddling, the views, and his team’s pleasant nature and conversation. We are already planning our next adventure with them.
Memorable vacation, great hiking
J.Jones -- Oct 05, 2010 09:25 pm
My husband and I spent a week with ATA this past July (2010). It was a great adventure. We really enjoyed the hiking. John and his team know the Killington area intimately, hikes were well planned and well chosen by ability level. Good food and great additional activities like kayaking and yoga. We also love tennis and this lodge has 5 terrific red clay courts. This is a wonderful vacation get-away... affordable, relaxing and so fun!
My First Retirement Adventure!
CJ -- Oct 02, 2010 10:11 pm
Last spring when I was planning my retirement I decided I wanted to begin with something very special! I had decided I was going to become a hiker at the age of 63 and wanted a supportive and safe way to begin and I found it at Appalachian Trail Adventures! Having read all their material the availability of different skills hikes I decided this would be just the right type of hiking camp for a senior beginning hiker.
I was absolutely delighted with my decision after six days with ATA. John, owner and #1 guide was able to assess my ability on my first hike and really form a program just for me during my stay. I hiked each morning, my hikes were always a little shorter than other guests so we usually split during the hikes with my guide taking me out a little earlier each day on a different route. They have such extensive knowledge of the trails in the area of Killington that this was done each day. In the afternoons we met up and had a second outing including kayaking on ponds, a river kayaking adventure, an excursion into Woodstock and a visit to the Long Trail Brewery, a visit to the New England Maple Museum, this was actually a great deal of fun
Great Hikes and Even Greater People
Cindy -- Sep 30, 2010 12:42 pm
ATA made my hiking vacation memorable. I made the trip alone and always felt safe. The hikes were well planned and fun. John and ATA staff were professional, knowledgeable and obviously love what they do. I highly recommend ATA to anyone who loves hiking or would like to try it. Hiking is an excellent way to escape everyday stress and ATA goes out of their way to make sure you leave Vermont feeling like you escaped!
Great hiking experience
Sheryl -- Sep 27, 2010 06:41 pm
ATA was a very positive experience for us. This will be our third year hiking with John and Rascal. We will be returning for a weekend visit in October, having had a fabulous time in May. The guides are terrific and accomodating, the lodging facility great, and all around the value for what you get is fantastic. In addition, we get to hike with the most adorable dog in the world
exciting, fun, active vacation !!!!
sue -- Sep 26, 2010 01:21 pm
If you want an exciting, fun, active vacation I highly recommend ATA. John, the owner, was very knowledgeable, with a great personality, and full of energy. His program is well run and his staff was well trained. John encouraged me to go caving, I am so glad I went, it was truly an amazing experience. Hiking was awesome too with some beautiful vistas. There are a plethora of hikes to choose from depending on your ability. One afternoon we ended our day with a two hour kayak trip, bliss. The Summit lodge has a rustic Vermont charm with all the amenities. You can chill by the fireplace, get a message or use the hot tub after your day of hiking, caving and or kayaking. The food was really good too. I am looking forward to retuning next year.
Affordable vacation with wonderful hiking & guides
karen -- Aug 25, 2010 08:06 pm
If you enjoy the outdoors, I highly recommend a vacation through Appalachian Trail Adventures. For an all-inclusive vacation with guided hikes and kayaking as well, it is an amazing value. This was my second trip to Vermont for hiking through ATA. I enjoyed last year so much, I booked a week-long trip for this July. Again, I had a wonderful time. John & the rest of his staff greeted me like an old friend upon my return. The new location, the Summit Lodge, was a great venue, with a wonderful view of Killington Peak. The staff of the lodge was friendly and helpful and made me feel right at home. As with last year, all of the hikes I took matched up with my fitness level, and John made sure that I made it to the top of Killington Peak this year – my first 4000 footer. This year, John added kayaking, which I think was a great addition. I certainly enjoyed my adventures on the river. All of the staff at ATA makes sure that the needs of each of the guests are met. Hiking with ATA may become my annual vacation adventure!
leslie -- Aug 25, 2010 11:13 am
Appalachian Trail Adventures was a fantastic experience. I went by myself and had a nice group of people to hike with the first day. The other two days I was the only guest, but the guides and John were great company...it was like having private guides and buddies to enjoy the outdoors with! I got to do everything I wanted from a moderate hike the first day, to hiking to the top of Killington the second day and caving and kayaking the third. I also had a massage and had some down time to sit in the hot tub and enjoy the pool. The food was very good (I realized quickly that the healthy living portions were not enough if you were doing serious hiking!). Everyone was great and I would go again by myself or with a friend. Summit Lodge was fine - nothing fancy but more than adequate and very comfortable.
third year in a row we are coming back!
leslie -- Feb 10, 2010 08:47 pm
We just booked my reservation for the thrid season in a row. The custom service, food and hikes makes a trip to ATA a experience you wont forget. they treat everyone like friends, its like you are hiking with buddies not guides. this year they added kayaking to their program, i cant wait!
excellent place for hikers of all abilities !!!
jane9876 -- Jan 05, 2010 09:46 am
I think that this is an excellent place for hikers of all abilities. The hikes were wonderful. I was there in July when everything was green and the flowers were blooming so wherever we went it was lovely. John made sure that our hikes were varied and doable. We got a good workout without being overwhelmed.
The guides are knowledgeable, careful, and friendly. John fits the hikes to the interests and abilities of the hikers which he can do since he knows so much about the hiking trails in the area. It was fun to see some of the towns in the area and some of the local sights.
The Inn is a nice New England inn rather than a fancy spa. And I thought that was just fine. It was comfortable to hang out there. The innkeeper was friendly and accommodating. I'm a vegetarian and I was very happy with the food. They had a nice selection of vegetarian options (along with meat and fish) but I was especially fond of the pasta primavera for some reason their version of this typical vegetarian dish was particularly tasty.
All in all, it was exactly what I wanted. I'm a single woman who does not like to hike alone in the woods. This worked out beautifully for me. I hope and expect to return.
A hiking experience to remember...
Tony -- Jan 01, 2010 01:26 pm
If you're looking for a hiking trip in New England with an intimate setting and personalized approach, ATA is the perfect program for you. The price point is amazing; the hikes fantastic; and the guides both knowledgeable and lovely. The inn is quaint, and the food both healthy and delicious. For hiking enthusiasts, it should be noted that you are staying right off the Appalachian and Long Trails, without the foot traffic. The guides are extremely well-practiced. Each one was able to give pointers to experienced hikers, as well as to beginners. I'm fairly athletic and have been hiking for years and nonetheless learned to improve my technical skills within a couple of hikes.
An Adventure of life time!
chris -- Dec 26, 2009 02:09 pm
We cannot say enough positive things about you, Grant, Celeste, and the whole experience with ATA. John, you have a great thing going on with ATA. Our experience went beyond all our expectations. I would find it hard to believe that your professionalism, friendliness, and expertise could be matched anywhere else.
The life changing experience we had with ATA made our honeymoon an adventure we will always remember and plan to repeat as soon as we can. Thank you for an adventure of a lifetime. We hope to see you again real soon.
Amanda and Chris from Birmingham, AL
betty -- Aug 06, 2007 07:07 pm
great opportunity to hike with guides...centrally located...defined regime for getting fit with guidance and support...beautiful environment...like the idea of levels to accomadate various abilities.....able to see bit more of vt.'s quaint towns....most appealing concept for a great mountain area experience
betty -- Jul 29, 2007 06:47 pm
you have something for every level of hiker and the additional activities which you offer compliment the goals perfectly.....like the choice of menu: diet or hiker...great location and like the a la carte offerings...great concept!
jake -- Jul 29, 2007 06:43 pm
this was a life-changing experience for a retired 1st time hiker....tremendous variety of hiking vistas....extremely professional hiking staff...and of course, Rascal, the hiking dog, was a terrific inspiration!...excellent accomadations by Cortina Inn and attentive staff ....great programs in addition to the hiking experience...very much looking forward to return visit in the fall
betty -- Jul 22, 2007 04:42 pm
This was a fantastic experience! The program combined beautiful hikes directed by experienced professional guides, delicious cuisine with additional beneficial activities such as yoga and nutrition/cooking sessions. It was so much more than I expected after a long absence from hiking. Return reservations are already made. Baby Boomers should select this vacation as it would put or keep them on a healthier living track. The Bad Habit Breaker really did it for me. Great staff!! Great place!!!
Patricia -- Jul 16, 2007 06:23 pm
I had an incredible time, I highly recommend them for your vacation. The hikes are so beautiful and the staff is great. They are so knowledgeable and helpful. I will defiantly come back next season!