Riding New England at STAR ’16

By Doug Weir
Excerpt from STAReview 3501

I will start with the best. Vermont 100 is THE road in Vermont. It snakes its way all the way from North Adams, MA, to the Canadian border, and usually has limited car traffic. It goes through and along side of the entire Green Mountain National Forest. Stratton is just off VT 100 near the town of Jamaica. If you again are looking forward to visiting another tourist store, VT 100 passes right by The Vermont Country Store in Weston.  Further north it passes by the biggest ski area in the East, Killington. It then enters Granville Gulch. Look closely for the sign for Moss Glen Falls on the west side.  After it crosses I-89 (about 30 miles east of Burlington), it passes by probably the most famous tourist trap in VT, Ben and Jerrys Ice Cream Factory. From B & Js, you have a choice. VT 108 passes through the twisty Smugglers Notch.

vermont1However, unless you get there early in the day, it will be polluted with cars. Whether you take VT 108, 118, or stay on 100, you will be given a scenic ride through ever flattening farm country all the way to Canada. If you want to have a road essentially all to yourself, continue on to VT 105, which follows along the Canadian border.

In Southern Vermont just about any road that crosses the Green Mountain N.F. will be fun. The best would be VT 11and 30. VT 9 is also nice, but sees a lot of car traffic. US 4makes a nice climb out of Rutland to the Killington Ski Area, but is overly improved.  East of Killington, US 4 passes over Quechee Gorge. For those who have been to the canyons of the West, it is no big deal, but this is about as good as it gets in the East.

Just about any road that crosses VT 100 North of Killington will be good or very good riding. My paved favorites are VT73, 125, 17, and the Camp Brook Road connecting Rochester to Bethel. If you don’t mind a very steep dirt road, you should try the Lincoln Gap Road. It starts or ends just south of Warren. The east side is paved, but it turns to dirt at the top. It is doable by any street bike unless it has been raining. You can zig zag back and forth on all these roads between VT 100 and US 7.There are many other attractive roads in VT. However, I would avoid US 7A, unless you like lots of traffic and tourist stores. One of my other favorite roads is the short VT 66 from Randolph.

vermont2Covered bridges are all over Vermont.They are shown on the Official Map,but some of the highest concentrations are on VT 14 and 110. The longest U.S.covered bridge crosses the Connecticut River from U.S.5 at Windsor. If you would like to know more about these bridges, there are numerous books available on their history and construction. As I mentioned before, there are an infinite number of dirt roads in Vermont.

Most, but not all, are shown on the Official Map. One of the favorite games my brother and I like to play goes as follows: From wherever you are,find a small town on the map, like West Corinth (SE of Barre), and tell your GPS to take you there via the most direct route.

Most GPSs know the small, semi-abandoned roads that don’t appear on most maps. Whether you can actually follow the GPS depends on how much rain there has been recently.They don’t call the spring in Vermont The Mud Season for nothing.

If you have come this far, why stop at Vermont?…

Continue reading on Page 12 of STAReview Issue 3501