vermont cyclilng

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Anonymous's picture

Any tips or information about cycling in Vermont, specifically in the Essex/Lake Champlain area would be very much appreciated. We're heading up Saturday for a week and hope to mildly lessen the damage done by those stops at microbreweries, Ben & Jerry's, farmstands and wineries.

Anonymous's picture
David Blume (not verified)
I'm here now!

I am staying in Jeffersonville about 12mi NE of Stowe. I have been here since Sun. The weather has been wet and chilly, but that is expected to change tomorrow. I have ridden in this part of Vermont for the past six summers. This time of year it can be cool. I would expect lows in the eves to dip into the low 50's. During the day, if there is cloud cover, the high can struggle to hit 70. Bottom line, make sure you bring arm and leg warmers and wet weather gear.

Lake Champlain is very pretty and if you want a very easy and pretty ride, check out Isle La Motte in the middle. My preference though is to ride inland where there is less traffic and more hills.

The best routes are NE of Essex/Burlington. Check out Enosburg Falls and routes east and north of there. Routes 108, 109 (excellent)118 and 120 are all scenic and very lightly traveled. Rte 105 east of Enosburg is nice, but a bit more traffic. I enjoyed the ride up to Jay mtn on 242 also.

Around Stowe is lots of traffice, but if you're into climbing, the ride up to Smuggler's Notch is worthwhile. From Jeffersonville its an easy grade until about 3 to 4 miles from the summit when it hits grades of 7 to 9%. Its mostly a straight and gently winding ascent.

From the Stowe side its a gradually increasing easy grade until about 3 miles from the notch, and then it gets steep. Expect grades of up to 10% and near the top there are some 15% sections, but they are very short and the road is well paved and very scenic.

I have also ridden Apalachian and Middlebury Gaps which are absolutely beautiful. See rtes 116, 125 and 17.

Get a copy of the excellent (and free) Vermont Attractions Map at any visitor center. This map is great because it shows all the roads worth riding and unpaved wary of this, just because its on a map, doesn't mean its paved in this part of the world. The Attractions Map is great for showing unpaved sections.

Finally, don't forget to reward yourself at Ben and Jerry's - its open 7 days, but the factory only operates M-F, so if you want to see it in action, hit it mid-week.



Anonymous's picture
Gary Katz (not verified)
Vermont cycling

"Last November I wanted to get away for a few days so I stayed at Mt. Snow before ski season.

Route 9 crosses Vermont. It crosses the state from Bennington (It is the same as NY 7) and continues east to Brattleboro, and then into New Hampshire where it is also known as Route 9. Both border towns (Bennington and Brattleboro) are very nice.

I rode from West Dover (Route 100 10 miles north of VT 9), south into Massachussets and back one day, on another day I rode north on 100 for a while towards Stowe, and on the other two days I did ""tri-state"" rides (driving one day to Bennington where I rode VT-NY-MA and back, and another to Brattleboro where I rode VT-NH-MA and back.)I don't remember all of the routes; I do recall that from Bennington I rode West on VT9 into NY 7, south on NY 22 to NY-MA 2 (long climb to the border, which is in the Mt. Greylock area, with the border at the peak, and then 4 mile descent at 7%), then north to Bennington.

I discovered my routes on the AAA state road maps. Beautiful country, nice roads. 40 miles a day in 4 states for 4 days with 4 (figuratively and almost literally) traffic lights.


Anonymous's picture
kd (not verified)
Thank you

David and Gary,
Thank you both very much for the great information on Vermont cycling. We're heading up Saturday morning, and are planning to try some of the routes (and the ice cream of course).

cycling trips