Recreational activities are year-round in Granville, from all the snow sports in winter to myriad spring, summer, and fall activities.
Downhill and Cross-Country Skiing, Snowboarding, and Snow Shoeing
Visitors to Granville have a number of great choices for downhill skiing and snowboarding: The Middlebury Snow Bowl in Hancock, Sugarbush, Lincoln Peak and Mount Ellen in Warren, and Mad River Glen in Fayston. Snow shoe and cross country ski on Granville’s numerous hiking trails. If you prefer groomed trails, check out the Rikert Nordic Center at the 3Breadloaf Campus of Middlebury College on Route 125 just west of Hancock or the Blueberry Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoeing Center at Blueberry Lake in East Warren.
Biking and Mountain Biking
Enjoy biking on the many miles of Granville’s network of scenic roads, and mountain biking on the U.S. Forest Service Roads that wind through the Green Mountain National Forest. To obtain a map of biking trails, visit the National Forest Ranger District office on Route 100 in Rochester. Also check out the mountain bike trail system at the Sugarbush Resort’s Lincoln Peak where equipment rentals are available. If you are an avid bike racer, check out the Green Mountain Stage Race, held every year on Labor Day weekend. It is four days of racing thorough the Mad River Valley on Route 100 and various side roads of Waitsfield, Warren, and Granville.
Hiking and Walking
The most challenging hike in the Central Vermont portion of the Long Trail is the 12 mile hike from the Appalachian Gap (App Gap) to the Lincoln Gap. Your hike can begin at either trail head, either on Route 17 in Fayston or Lincoln Gap Road in Warren. For a less serious day hike from Lincoln Gap Road, try the 5-mile trail to 4000-foot high Mt Abraham. For an easier hike up to a great view of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks, follow the Long Trail 1.5 miles south from Lincoln Gap to Sunset Rock. The Granville Trails Association is currently developing a network of recreational trails with trailhead parking areas on Granville’s Ancient Roads system. See the maps section as these trail maps become available online. For another easy walk, from Route 125 just west of Hancock you can access the Robert Frost Interpretive Trail, a 1.5-mile loop though woods and fields.
If you prefer walking, you will enjoy walking the many miles of Granville’s network of scenic back roads. The speed limit is 25 mph and the occasional car slows down even further for people and their kids and dogs. While adults enjoy the natural beauty of the woods and scenic views and hope to catch a glimpse of a passing deer, moose, fox, or black bear, kids are especially delighted to pass by local farms and see chickens, cows, and horses. Another beautiful walkway that winds along a gorgeous waterfall with benches and picnic tables is Texas Falls off Route 125 in Hancock.
Many people believe that the autumn foliage season of late September/early October is the best time of year for walking and hiking in Granville and the surrounding areas. If you’d like to just sit and relax while viewing the autumn spectacle, the Sugarbush Resort offers ski lift rides for foliage viewing.
In Granville, walking is fun even in the winter. The town roads are well maintained and can be walked for miles because they are quickly plowed after snowfalls and sanded when necessary. You can also try the local network of snowmobile trails maintained by the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers (VAST) and local snowmobile enthusiasts, which are easily accessed from the town roads. Even when the surrounding snow is three feet deep, the VAST trails provide paths through the woods—just keep an eye out (and listen carefully for the sound of) snowmobiles coming through and be ready to step to the side of the trail because the snowmobiles have the right of way.
Go fishing or find great swimming holes along the White River in Granville and Hancock. Teenagers and older children love the challenge of Warren Falls, on Route 100 in Warren, a rock formation along the Mad River that has formed into a natural “waterpark” with high diving into deep pools and waterslides. Blueberry Lake in Warren offers great fishing, swimming, and boating, not to mention wild blueberry picking in mid to late summer.
Other Sporting Activities Accessible from Granville
Golf The 9-hole White River Golf Course in Rochester and the 18-hole Sugarbush Golf Club in Warren.
Tennis Tennis courts free and open to the public in Rochester.
Ice Skating There is a free ice skating rink open to the public at the Rochester Elementary School and a low-cost skating rink in Waitsfield that allows hockey and offers hockey sticks of all sizes and pucks for rent.