Backroads Discovery in Southern Vermont

sharonBackroad Discovery Tours offers a highly personalized look at the greater Manchester area in southern Vermont. When you board Sharon O'Connor's mud green van, once used for conveying prisoners, you are in for a treat.Sharon imparts her knowledge of the area with infectious enthusiasm. She knows her stuff and rightly so - she spent a good two years researching and developing her scenic and hilly backroad routes. Riding on a backroads tour is rather like being with a friend. Your friend picks you up at the airport and whisks you off to the hills of Vermont for a two to three hour tour, all the while explaining the local scene. The only difference is that you are with a group of five or so people and your pick up point is the Manchester Welcome Center.

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Want to know about local issues? Sharon will fill you in on "Ridge Line Regulations" that prevent development of urban sprawl along the hillsides of the Taconic and Green Mountains.

As you bump along the dirt roads, you'll learn about Malfunction Junction - a traffic intersection in the center of Manchester Village, why you can't see any billboards and why the pavements in Manchester Village are made out of marble.

You'll visit an Alpaca farm, an abandoned marble quarry, and learn all about property prices. "The average home costs about $800,000," says Sharon, as she explains about the great migration following 9/11.


When you are finished with the tour you will have some idea of what makes southern Vermont tick, why Manchester and the nearby town of Dorset are Gold Towns and what the term Gold Town means. You'll have seen alternative lifestyles and visited a country store in Pawlett where there is a mysterious cabinet built right into the floor of the store.

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