Where: Shoreham, Vermont
When: September 2013
In its sixth year, the Tour de Farms offers three loop rides of approximately 10, 25 and 30 miles that make frequent stops at more than a dozen Champlain Valley family farms, orchards, vineyards and greenhouses. At each stop, cyclists can sample the bounty of this fertile strip of the Green Mountain State, including local foods like apple cider, quiche, bread, roasted vegetables, yogurt, wine, cookies and, of course, maple syrup. $28/adults, $13/children.
Where: Athens, Georgia
When: July 14 and Sept. 15, 2013
These 20- to 50-mile tours are offered once every spring, summer and fall, and highlight the changes and dynamic produce of the Athens and Atlanta area. Taste the old-fashioned Red Mule grits at Mill Farm, which are ground on-site by Luke, the mule, on the farm’s gristmill. Learn the ins and outs of community supported farming at the Full Moon Cooperative, then tour the greenhouses of Woodland Gardens Organic, which provides 70 varieties of produce to local restaurants and markets. Ticket includes tastings at the three three farms, mechanical support, and a farm-sourced pizza party. $48
Where: Madison, Wisconsin
When: Sept. 15, 2013
For the past seven years, 500-plus bikers have joined Madison’s CSA for their annual Bike the Barns ride, an epic 50- to 65-mile farm and food tour of Wisconsin’s farm country and local dairies. A fresh route is mapped each year, keeping locals and out-of-towners alike entertained for the full day ride. This annual fall event funds a farm-to-table produce program for local low-income families. Choose from two route lengths, both of which include a farm-fresh lunch. Fundraising required.
Where: Washington, D.C.
When: September 2013
City slickers can escape the grind this September and head out to rural Montgomery County for this annual fall tradition of local cycling club Potomac Pedalers—up to 75 miles of fresh air and green pastures rolling over Maryland’s Agricultural Reserve. Pick your own produce on the 230-acre Homestead Farm, then end the day with a picnic at Kingsburg Orchard. Since it's the tail end of the season, cross your fingers that you get your hands on the last of the Asian pears. Ride is free, registration required for post-ride picnic.
Where: Northampton, Massachusetts
When: June 28-30, July 19-21, Aug. 9-11 and 23-25, Sept. 6-8, 2013
Named by Outside as one of the best East Coast adventure towns, Northampton’s Pioneer Valley is ripe for biking and farming. Join Mount Major Bike Tours on a two-day, two-night weekend getaway, based out of the historic Hotel Northampton. Visit four local vegetable and meat farms, stroll through the Amherst farmers' market, and cap it off with a three-course gourmet Iron Chef-style dinner made by Chef Daniel Martinez of local haunt Bistro Les Gras. $850, includes all meals, hotel and bike rental.
Where: Charles County, Maryland
When: Oct. 19, 2013
Routes range from a metric century (62 miles) down to a family-friendly "Sprout Route" that never leaves Gilbert Run Park. Venture out on a longer ride, though, and you'll stop in at five different farms—raising turkeys, goats, cattle, vegetables and grains—spread throughout the gorgeous rural landscapes of southern Maryland's Charles County, where winding back roads curve through hilly terrain. Registration includes farm-fresh snacks en route, as well as a post-tour picnic made with local ingredients. $15-60, depending on route
Where: Austin, Texas
When: December 2013
A little country and a lot of food, this family-oriented, self-guided ride tours 19 urban farms, farmers' markets and community gardens around Austin. With a strong focus on the next generation of locavores, farms bring out their most patient and pat-friendly barnyard friends. Pet a few donkeys and catch a chicken at HausBar Farm, or give hogs belly rubs at Green Gate Farms. Be sure to bring your appetite for chef-prepared local food samplings at select stops. Pedal at your own pace, resting assured in the support of Bicycle Sport Shop mechanics. $35
Where: South Hero, Vermont
When: July 13, 2013
Vermont Farm Tours hosts the sixth annual Islands Tour this July, with 10- and 25-mile routes starting and ending at Snow Farm Vineyard and Winery, Vermont's oldest commercial vineyard. This self-guided tour winds along Grand Isle's coast and over rural roads, sharing views across Lake Champlain to the Adirondacks on the west and the Green Mountains on the east, with plenty of Vermont farmland in between. Pit stop at Hackett’s Orchards for some fresh apples, admire the magnificent paper artwork at Glow Studio, and pat the angora goats at Yellow Dog Farm. The cherry on top? A free massage following your complimentary tour of the vineyard. $35/adults, $20/youth
Where: Wiscasset, Maine
When: August 25, 2013
Every summer, 20-, 50- and 100-mile tours roll out from historic Morris Farm, a refurbished collection of ocean-weathered gray barns near Maine's rugged coast that were brought back to life in 1994 by passionate locals. Now in its 15th year, members have this ride down to a science, hitting up some of MidCoast’s most beautiful and sustainable farms. End the day at the farm fresh local foods BBQ back at Morris before collapsing in the hay. $45-$65, depending on ride length
Where: Polk County, North Carolina
When: July 22, 2013
Join an intimate group of 50 riders along this self-guided 45-mile route through the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, stopping for free tours and refreshments at up to eight farms along the way. Place all of your purchased produce in the Farm Tour Truck, which is delivered to the finish at the end of the day. All proceeds go to the Mill Spring Community Kitchen. The day ends with a complimentary massage by students from the local community college. $40
Where: Monroe, Oregon
When: September 14, 2013
Once a primary route for covered wagons heading west, the Willamette Valley now draws a different set of wheels. Flat and fertile, and sandwiched between the Coast and Cascade ranges, the northwest corner of the state is prime for farming. This 100-mile ride has meals packed in at every opportunity, starting with a straight-from-the-garden fruit breakfast, four farm rest stops with local goodies, and a final post-race bluegrass concert and picnic packed with produce. Don’t forget dessert, homemade pies and locally-made vanilla ice cream. Proceeds go to the Monroe Sharing Gardens in Monroe and Alpine, Oregon. $89
Where: Nederland, Colorado
When: June 16, July 14, Aug. 11, Sept. 15 and Oct. 13, 2013
Boulder County boasts some of the best farmers' markets around, and is conveniently surrounded by world-renowned bike routes. Combine the two with Awe-Struck Tours' Bike to Farm Tour, a full-day ride broken up with an outdoor homemade field-to-table lunch. Enjoy your fresh picks under the shade of the cottonwoods with views of the Front Range’s snow-capped peaks, or opt for some romance and pick the Thursday Night Bike to Farm Tour Special, ending with a three-course dinner, live music and wine tasting. $45 for full-day; $39 for Thursday nights