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Top 10 Motorcycle Rides in Vermont

Top 10 Motorcycle Rides in Vermont

Vermont, with its rolling hills, scenic byways, and charming small towns, offers a motorcyclist's dream landscape. Each ride presents a unique experience, from the challenging hairpin turns of the Appalachian Gap to the serene beauty of Addison County's pastoral scenes. This article highlights the top 10 motorcycle rides in Vermont, where the journey is as captivating as the destination. Whether you're looking for the thrill of a difficult route, the satisfaction of a smooth descent, or the awe of stunning views, Vermont's roads deliver unforgettable moments on two wheels.

Key Takeaways

  • Ride 25 is celebrated as the best overall route, offering an exquisite blend of scenery and riding pleasure.
  • The Stone Trail provides a historic ride through Vermont's granite industry, with museums and old quarries along the way.
  • Ride 37 is known for being the most difficult route, challenging riders with its demanding terrain.
  • CCC Road off Mount Hoar in Sutton boasts the best descent, with its smooth gravel surface and perfectly angled turns.
  • Ride 22 offers the best views, showcasing the diverse and picturesque landscapes of Addison County.

1. Ride 25

1. Ride 25

Ride 25 offers a quintessential Vermont motorcycle experience, weaving through picturesque landscapes and providing riders with a sense of tranquility and adventure. This route is known for its smooth curves and scenic vistas, making it a top choice for motorcyclists seeking both relaxation and excitement.

Key features of Ride 25 include its accessibility and the variety of attractions along the way. Riders can expect to encounter charming small towns, local eateries, and opportunities for photo stops that capture the essence of Vermont's natural beauty.

While Ride 25 is not the most remote or the chilliest of routes, it stands out for its balanced blend of engaging riding and serene moments. It is a ride that allows for reflection and appreciation of the journey itself.

For those looking to explore beyond Ride 25, honorable mentions such as Ride 36, Ride 41, and Ride 42 offer alternative experiences, each with its own unique characteristics and appeal.

2. Ride 37

2. Ride 37

Ride 37 offers a unique blend of scenic beauty and challenging terrain, making it a favorite among motorcycle enthusiasts in Vermont. Traversing through the towns of Bennington, Pownal, Stamford, Readsboro, Woodford, and Shaftsbury, this route provides riders with an opportunity to experience the diverse landscapes of the Green Mountain State.

The route's varying elevations and curves demand attention and skill, offering an exhilarating ride that is both rewarding and memorable.

While Ride 37 does not boast the same level of notoriety as some of its counterparts, it holds a special place in the hearts of those who have experienced its charm. Below is a list of key highlights that make Ride 37 a must-ride journey:

  • Bennington: Known for its historical significance and cultural attractions.
  • Pownal: Offers picturesque views of the Taconic Mountains.
  • Stamford: A quiet town with serene landscapes.
  • Readsboro: Features thrilling descents and ascents.
  • Woodford: Home to the highest town in Vermont, providing stunning vistas.
  • Shaftsbury: A perfect place to conclude the ride with its quaint atmosphere and local eateries.

Ride 37 is not just a journey; it is an experience that encapsulates the essence of motorcycle touring in Vermont. It is a ride that deserves its honorable mention and stands out as a memorable adventure for those seeking the road less traveled.

3. Ride 22

3. Ride 22

Ride 22 is renowned for offering some of the best views in Vermont, making it a must-ride for motorcycle enthusiasts seeking both a challenge and a visual feast. The route's winding roads and elevation changes provide an engaging experience that is both thrilling and rewarding.

The following highlights some of the key features of Ride 22:

  • Scenic overlooks with panoramic views
  • Challenging twists and turns
  • Opportunities for wildlife sightings
  • Proximity to local attractions
Ride 22 encapsulates the quintessential Vermont motorcycle experience, with its picturesque landscapes and rider-friendly atmosphere.

While not as remote as Ride 31, Ride 22 offers a balance of accessibility and escape. Riders can immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Vermont's countryside, punctuated by the camaraderie found among fellow motorcyclists. It's a route that invites riders to gear up for an adventure that is both exhilarating and serene.

4. The Stone Trail

4. The Stone Trail

The Stone Trail offers a unique blend of Vermont's natural beauty and historical landmarks. As riders traverse this path, they encounter a tapestry of leaves flittering down from the trees, creating a serene ambiance. The trail is part of an extensive ATV network, providing an adventurous route for motorcycle enthusiasts.

The journey along The Stone Trail is not without its challenges. Riders must navigate through some of the boggier bits and areas with rocks referred to as baby heads due to their size and shape. These obstacles add an element of excitement to the ride. The trail also includes a Long Trail crossing, where the famous hiking path intersects, offering a moment of reflection on the interconnectedness of Vermont's outdoor experiences.

The Stone Trail is a testament to the community's efforts in maintaining and enhancing the trail's accessibility. The "helpful" brought in stones to stabilize the path, allowing riders to descend into Bennington with a sense of accomplishment.

The transition from off-road to PAVEMENT marks the end of the trail, where riders can take a moment to appreciate the journey they've completed. The Stone Trail is a ride that captures the essence of Vermont's rugged landscape and the spirit of its people.

5. CCC Road off Mount Hoar in Sutton

5. CCC Road off Mount Hoar in Sutton

The CCC Road off Mount Hoar in Sutton is renowned for its best descent among Vermont's motorcycle rides. The road's gravel surface is described as 'silky smooth,' providing an exceptional riding experience, especially during the peak of autumn leaves. The descent is characterized by a perfect balance of angle and curve, allowing riders to enjoy a thrilling yet safe ride.

The ride down CCC Road is a symphony of natural beauty and engineering, where the vibrancy of the leaves in peak season and the gentle descent create an unforgettable experience.

While the road is a highlight in itself, the surrounding area offers a plethora of sights and attractions. Riders can enjoy the preserved views of Tomasi Meadow and Casey’s Hill, as well as the proximity to Underhill State Park and the Proctor Maple Research Center. The journey continues with a variety of road types, including Class 4 sections that promise a rugged and adventurous ride.

Notable Points Along the Route:

  • Proximity to Underhill State Park
  • Views of Tomasi Meadow and Casey’s Hill
  • Class 4 road sections for off-road enthusiasts

This route is a must-ride for those seeking a blend of scenic beauty and the thrill of the ride. It's a testament to Vermont's diverse motorcycle riding landscape, offering a mix of smooth descents and rugged terrain.

6. Stage Coach Road

6. Stage Coach Road

Stage Coach Road, situated in the picturesque Green Mountain National Forest, is a route that offers a unique challenge for motorcycle enthusiasts. This rugged track, primarily serving as an ATV trail, is renowned for its demanding terrain, particularly the first 3-4 miles which are akin to other dirt or National Forest Service roads. The road begins in the Heartwellville area of Readsboro and stretches through Woodford, almost reaching Bennington.

The journey through Stage Coach Road is not for the faint-hearted. It is a test of skill and endurance, with the road conditions varying from manageable to extremely rough. The surrounding wilderness adds to the allure, making it a ride that is both thrilling and scenic. Despite its reputation as one of the worst roads in the area, it is a must-visit for those seeking an adventure off the beaten path.

Stage Coach Road encapsulates the essence of Vermont's rugged terrain and is a testament to the adventurous spirit of motorcycle riders who dare to traverse it.

While the road may be challenging, the experience is rewarding, with riders often sharing tales of their journey through this less-traveled path. It is advisable to prepare adequately before embarking on this ride, ensuring both rider and machine are ready for the unpredictable conditions that lie ahead.

7. Radar Road in New Haven

7. Radar Road in New Haven

Radar Road in New Haven is infamously known as the Worst Climb among Vermont's motorcycle routes. This challenging stretch demands respect and preparation from riders seeking to conquer its steep inclines and sharp turns.

The road's reputation is not without merit, as it presents a formidable ascent that can test the limits of both machine and rider. Despite the difficulty, the sense of accomplishment upon reaching the summit is unparalleled, offering a rewarding experience for those who take on the challenge.

The journey along Radar Road is a testament to the adventurous spirit of motorcyclists, encapsulating the essence of riding through perseverance and determination.

For those planning to ride Radar Road, it is advisable to ensure your motorcycle is in top condition and that you are equipped with the necessary gear for a safe and enjoyable ride. The table below outlines some key considerations for this route:

Aspect Recommendation
Motorcycle Condition Ensure regular maintenance
Gear Appropriate for the season
Skill Level Intermediate to advanced
Weather Check forecast beforehand

Remember, while the challenge of Radar Road may be daunting, it is the journey and the stories that come from it that make it a memorable part of Vermont's top motorcycle rides.

8. Larkin Road Tunbridge

8. Larkin Road 

Larkin Road in Tunbridge is an honorable mention among Vermont's motorcycle routes, offering a serene experience as it parallels a small stream. This route is not just a path but a journey through the picturesque landscapes of Vermont, providing a tranquil escape from the bustling city life.

The ride along Larkin Road is a testament to Vermont's natural beauty, with every turn presenting a new vista to appreciate.

While not the most difficult, it certainly ranks high for its scenic value. The road's character is defined by its shaded dirt paths, which are a delight for any motorcyclist looking for a peaceful ride. Below is a list of notable features you may encounter along Larkin Road:

  • Roadrunner sightings
  • The occasional lunchbox left by a fellow traveler
  • Impressive views that invite riders to recreate
  • The marble fortress, a testament to local craftsmanship
  • Sweet relief from the summer heat under the canopy of trees

For those seeking details on the route, Strava provides comprehensive information on the ride's specifics, including elevation and distance.

9. Johnson Hill Road Royalton

9. Johnson Hill Road 

Nestled in the picturesque landscape of Royalton, Johnson Hill Road offers a serene escape for motorcycle enthusiasts. This route is often mentioned alongside other honorable mentions such as Larkin Road in Tunbridge and Kelley Stand Road in Sunderland, indicating its popularity among riders seeking a tranquil journey through Vermont's natural beauty.

The ride along Johnson Hill Road is characterized by its gentle curves and quiet surroundings, making it an ideal choice for those who prefer a more relaxed pace. The road's surface is well-maintained, ensuring a smooth experience as you navigate through the scenic vistas.

While not the most difficult route, Johnson Hill Road provides a delightful balance of ease and enjoyment, perfect for a day's ride out in the fresh Vermont air.

For those looking to extend their adventure, nearby routes such as Bradley Hill Road offer additional exploration opportunities, including historical sites like the Olcott House and Maple Hill Farm, which date back to the late 18th century.

10. Kelley Stand Road Sunderland

10. Kelley Stand Road 

Kelley Stand Road in Sunderland offers a unique riding experience that combines historical intrigue with natural beauty. This road, named after William Kelley's hotel, reflects the area's rich logging history and its 18 mills along the Roaring Branch. The road's average grade of 3.6% provides a consistent challenge without being overly steep, allowing riders to immerse themselves in the surrounding splendor.

The journey along Kelley Stand Road is not just about the ride; it's about the connection to the past and the appreciation of the serene Vermont landscape. The road's reputation for wildness is matched by its patriotic and high-minded pursuits, making it a ride that resonates with depth and character.

Kelley Stand Road encapsulates the essence of Vermont's motorcycle routes: a blend of historical context, scenic vistas, and a touch of the untamed. It is a ride that demands respect and offers rewards in equal measure.

While Kelley Stand Road stands out for its continuous ascent and picturesque environment, it is also part of a larger network of routes that riders can explore. Connecting paths like Pat Kelley Road and East Road lead to diverse landscapes, from sugaring operations to luxurious estates, all set against the backdrop of Vermont's preserved natural beauty.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best overall motorcycle route in Vermont?

The best overall route for motorcycle enthusiasts in Vermont is Ride 25, known for its scenic beauty and enjoyable riding experience.

Which motorcycle ride in Vermont offers the best views?

Ride 22 offers the best views, showcasing a 'Greatest Hits Compilation' of Addison County's landscapes, including vistas of the Highlands of Ripton, the Adirondacks, and picturesque farmlands.

What is the most difficult motorcycle route in Vermont?

Ride 37 is known as the most difficult route due to its challenging terrain and technical riding requirements.

Which route has the best descent for motorcyclists?

CCC Road off Mount Hoar in Sutton boasts the best descent, with a smooth gravel surface, optimal sunlight, and perfectly curved turns for an exhilarating ride.

Are there any notable climbs for motorcycle riders in Vermont?

Radar Road in New Haven is known for its worst climb, presenting a significant challenge for riders seeking a tough ascent.

What are some honorable mention routes for motorcycle riding in Vermont?

Honorable mentions include Larkin Road in Tunbridge, Johnson Hill Road in Royalton, Kelley Stand Road in Sunderland, and other shaded dirt roads near streams.

What makes the Stone Trail a unique motorcycle ride?

The Stone Trail is unique due to its rich cultural heritage, passing through historic towns and by the world's largest deep-hole granite quarry, offering a blend of natural beauty and industrial history.

Can you provide some local stores and stops along Vermont motorcycle routes?

Local stops worth visiting include Pierce's Store in Shaftsbury, Warren Store, Putney General Store, and many others that offer a taste of Vermont's local charm and hospitality.

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