Vermont: Bike the Northeast Kingdom
Credit: Herb Swanson

When the bike hordes from the flatlands invade their mountain notches, Vermont's cyclists seek refuge in the Northeast Kingdom. In the remote corner of the state, the thinly populated NEK covers 2,000 square miles – 80 percent of which is forest. Even on major holiday weekends, there are empty miles of flattop: covered bridges, tunnels of sugar maples, rolling pastureland, and hand-painted signs offering both scrap metal and church meetings. Stowe Mountain Lodge is a great launching point (you can leave your car for a week). The must-ride: deep, glacial Lake Memphremagog.

Getting there: From Burlington, drive 35 miles to Stowe, ditch your car at the Stowe Mountain Lodge, and head into the Northeast Kingdom.