Appalachian Trail Adventures
PO Box 155
Killington, Vermont  05751
Phone number: 1-888-855-8655
Business owner’s name: John Keough
Year started business: 2007

Appalachian Trail Adventures is a spa with
a unique approach to health and fitness --
with hiking as its core activity.  It provides
daily guided hikes along the Appalachian
Trail and the Long Trail throughout the
Green Mountains of Vermont.  Its guests
are hikers who do not feel comfortable hitting
the trails alone as well as those seeking a fun
weight loss program. The spa is located less than a mile from the Long Trail and
the Appalachian Trail to provide maximum access to the hiking trails.

We spoke to Appalachian Trail Adventure owner John Keough, who has been
guiding in Vermont for over 20 years and who is intimately familiar with the
region's hiking trails, mountains, valleys and villages.  He has worked for the
EPA, The Natural Conservancy and the State of Vermont exploring caves, mines
and documenting bats.

What inspired you to start Appalachian Trail Adventures?

I enjoy sharing my love of the outdoors, hiking and
healthy lifestyle to others.   I have been exploring Vermont
for 20 years which provides me an incredible knowledge
of Vermont history and attractions. Before I started
Appalachian Trail Adventures I worked at one of the
oldest hiking spa in the country for six years.  Before
that I lead numerous guiding trips in Vermont, hiking,
caving and snowmobiling.

What brought you to Vermont?

I am originally from the Boston area but skiing brought me to Vermont during
high school; I loved this area -- and skiing -- so much that I ended up attending
college in the Killington (Vermont) area.   

What do you love about Vermont?

Vermont is great place to live, the people are so friendly and the state is so
beautiful. It’s a pleasure to drive to work every day and look at the beautiful
green mountains and blue skies.  It’s a great place to live if you're an outdoor
enthusiast like myself.  I can go out my home door and jump on the
snowmobile or  go ATV riding, mountain biking, cycling, snowshoeing, hiking
to an historic gold mine or to a beautiful vista.

You have been “caving” for ten years and co-discovered  the largest cave in
New England.  Tell us about that.   

It was an very exciting time, we were the very first people to see this cave
(located in Vermont)  in the history of mankind! The first to leave footprints and
our lights were the first to shine in these rooms. The cave is home to a colony of
25,000 bats. We are very lucky to see an albino bat in this cave, which is very

What is unique about your business, compared to other adventure travel

We offer a dual program for both weight loss guests, stress management, and
healthy minded vacationers who wish an all inclusive vacation. The
accommodation, meals, hiking program, weight loss program, yoga classes,
water aerobics, stretch, cooking demonstrations, nightly lectures and movies.

Where do your guests stay?

They stay at the Cortina Inn & Resort which has air conditioned rooms and a
spa.  Meals are prepared by a registered dietitian, and are a healthy balance of
carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats. We also offer special diets, such as
vegetarian, vegan, wheat and dairy-free options. Our program is designed for
those seeking a healthier lifestyle, including weight loss, by providing two meal
sizes: weight loss portions and hikers' portions.

Could you explain your hiking programs?

Our Peak Bagger Program is for those advanced hikers staying 7 nights or
longer. Guests can hike all five of Vermont's 4,000 foot mountains, the
Appalachian Trail and the Long Trail. The Long Trail is the oldest long distance
hiking trail in the country. Those who summit all of Vermont's 4,000 footers, are
awarded with a certificate of accomplishment. (This feat, in the hiking
community, is referred to as "peak bagging.") These mountains we  hike are the
best advanced trails Vermont has to offer. We travel to beautiful trails near
some of the quaintest villages. If guests are not available to stay for a week and
climb all five mountains, not to worry.  We keep records of which peaks they
have climbed. On their next visit or visits, when you finish the 4,000-footers, we
will award the "peak bagging"  certificate of accomplishment.

We also have a program called
Vermont's Vista and Village Vacation for guests
who would like to go on vacation for 1-6 nights, which takes intermediate hikers
to Vermont's most beautiful vistas, to a waterfall, a historic mine, or to a crystal
clear lake. The majority of our hikes are in the Green Mountain National Forest
along the Appalachian Trail and Long Trail. The Long Trail is the oldest long
distance hiking trail in the country. Afterwards, we explore the quaintest
villages in Vermont, stopping at favorite attractions.

Tell us about your weight loss programs.

We have what's called our Lifestyle Change Program, which is a 7 to 14 night
stay.  This program can make a significant difference in lifestyles through
modifying eating and exercise habits. Guests can anticipate receiving weight
loss education and leave feeling mentally and physically enhanced.
It is a perfect way to learn new routines, abandon bad habits and make lifestyle

For those who can't get away for a week, we have also designed a
Bad Habit
Breaker Program.
Even in that short time (2 to 6 night stay) guests can start to
feel the benefits and start on their  path to weight loss, enhance muscle gain,
reduce stress and receive weight loss education. It is a perfect way to kick-start a
new lifestyle and routine, providing long-term incentives to make real changes
in your life...all in a beautiful and relaxing Vermont setting, I might add!

Do you have any “specials” throughout the year?

Yes, for  guests staying 3 to 13 nights our rates drop and for 14 nights our rates
drop even more. For an incredible deal check our double occupancy rates.

What are your most popular programs? And who participates in your hiking

Our most popular program is our Peak
Bagger Program and our  weight loss

While we do get the occasional local
Vermonter participating in our programs,
the majority of our guest are from around
state and out of the country and the majority
are women. Our guests run from young
adults to seniors seeking health and fitness
at different ability levels.

Do you have any new programs in the works?

We plan on expanding out fitness classes next season and offer facials,
pedicures and manicures.

Tell us a little about the area in Vermont where your business is located?

We are located in the heart of the Green
Mountains of Vermont.  Killington Mountain
is Vermont’s second largest mountain and
home of the famous Killington ski area.  
Within an hour drive is the quaintest villages
of Woodstock, Quechee, Manchester and

What are some “can’t miss” attractions in the area?

The Vermont Soap Factory, the Vermont Institute of Nature & Science, Simon
Pearce Glass and Pottery, the Frog Hollow Galleries (a unique collection of fine
traditional and contemporary Vermont crafts done by over 250 Vermont

Down the street we stop by art galleries, rare book shops, pottery shops, the
Vermont Folklife Center and Woody Jackson's Holy Cow studio (his legendary
art, some of which you have seen on Ben & Jerry's ice cream, is a synonymous of

Gillinghams & Sons, the oldest general store in Vermont (established in 1886,
the shop carries the finest products from Vermont and around the world.)

Our program also offers side trips Cold Hollow Cider Mill (New England's
most famous cider). A favorite is the Granville Bowl Mill and antiques, opened
in 1857, its the oldest mill in the states.

What do you do for fun when you’re not running hiking programs?  

Besides working on my house, I go caving, camping and explore places where I
haven’t been before in Vermont and the northeast. I truly love to explore! In the
winter I enjoy snowmobiling and teaching skiing at Okemo
ski resort.
Subscribe Today -- It's Free!
The Heart of New England
Celebrating the unique character & culture of Maine ~ New Hampshire ~ Vermont
Appalachian Trail Adventure's owner, John Keough
John and sidekick, Rascal
Appalachian Trail Adventures is located in the heart of Vermont's Green Mountains
Guided Hiking Vacations and Weight Loss Retreat: Buttermilk Waterfall and Swimming Hole
Health Spas/Retreats In Vermont
Guided Hiking Vacations and Weight Loss Retreat
Appalachian Trail Adventures is a hiking spa that provides daily guided hikes along the Appalachian Trail and the Long Trail throughout the Green Mountains of Vermont for the novice, intermediate , advanced hikers & weight loss retreat participate.

Starting At: US $200/Night
>> Click For More Details & Pictures
©The Heart of New England online magazine
...celebrating the unique character & culture of Maine, New Hampshire & Vermont!
Contact| The Heart of New England HOME | Search

Click Here to Get Your FREE Weekly Newsletter Today!
Join us on
Facebook or
for exclusive updates
on travel specials,
& more!

Click here for your FREE
weekly newsletter! (And
get 12 FREE desktop

Bring the heart of
Vermont into your home
with beautiful, affordable,
high-quality Vermont
prints. Visit our
Vermont Print Gallery

Visit our
Marketplace for
all things New England!

More Travel Stories: