Walk This Way
Good news for the granola-averse: A new breed of walking tours trades fanny packs and sleeping bags for three-course meals, foot massages, and sunset cruises.
Coast of Maine Walk
This summer the Newport-run Wayfarers unrolls a Coast of Maine walk with a stop in Bar Harbor. Led by John Doncaster, an Oxford-educated, poetry-quoting Brit and longtime Rockport resident, the group hikes in Acadia National Park, wades alongside fishermen on Monhegan Island, ogles Gilbert Stuart masterpieces at Rockland’s Farnsworth Museum, and sets sail at sunset on a schooner around Penobscot Bay. A farewell dinner—lobster pie with butter-crumb topping, rosemary-Dijon rack of lamb—takes place in the Bar Harbor Inn’s oceanfront Reading Room Restaurant.
Difficulty High. Uneven coastal terrain, ascents up to 400 feet, and five to six hours of walking a day mean the out of shape need not apply (though a just-in-case van is always on standby).
Who should walk Couples, foodies, former English majors
Who shouldn’t Singles, landlubbers, families with young kids
7/27–8/1 or 9/28–10/3, $2,595 per person, 800-249-4620, thewayfarers.com.
Vermont Foliage Women’s Tour
Country Walkers is best known for leading far-flung expeditions to places like Bhutan, Peru, and Morocco, but the Waterbury-based outfitter’s new women’s-only Vermont Foliage Tour stays closer to home, stopping at Goshen’s Blueberry Hill Inn in the Green Mountains and the activity-packed Stowehof resort in Stowe. Guide Maggie Anderson—a triathlete, yoga instructor, and quintessential outdoorswoman—leads daily hikes on Mount Mansfield, the state’s highest peak. Walks are punctuated by pottery demonstrations, a gourmet cooking class, and group dinners at area restaurants known for fresh ingredients.
Difficulty Moderate. Three to eight miles a day on lake trails; gentle mountain ridgetops offer plenty of places to pause.
Who should walk Mothers and daughters, gym rats, friends craving a reunion
Who shouldn’t Sorority-phobes
9/28–10/3, $2,198 per person, 800-464-9255, countrywalkers.com.
White Mountains Weekend
Boston-area yogis Meghan Searles Gardner and Kerry Jordan launched Mindful Trekking last year with day trips to Milton’s Blue Hills geared toward overstressed type-As. The dynamic duo has since added soothing weekend tours to New Hampshire’s White Mountains that comprise two five-mile hikes, guided mountaintop meditations, and twice-daily Vinyasa yoga classes. Participants spend a cozy Friday night amid roaring fires and family-style dining at the Appalachian Mountain Club’s new Crawford Notch Lodge. Jordan, a licensed massage therapist, leads posthike foot massages. (Sorry, they’re self-administered.)
Difficulty Low. The trip covers just 10 miles total and incorporates yoga appropriate for both beginners and seasoned practitioners.
Who should walk Singles, stressed-out office drones, Eat, Pray, Love fans
Who shouldn’t Adrenaline junkies, BlackBerry addicts
6/27–6/29 or 7/25–7/27, $200 per person, 857-222-0687, mindfultrekking.com.