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Riding Through Beauty Vermont's Top Scenic Motorcycle Rides

Riding Through Beauty: Vermont's Top Scenic Motorcycle Rides

Vermont, known for its picturesque landscapes and charming small towns, offers a unique experience for motorcycle enthusiasts looking to explore its scenic beauty. Riding through Vermont's diverse terrain, from pastoral farmlands to historic sites and rugged backcountry, is an adventure that combines the thrill of the ride with the tranquility of nature. This article delves into the top scenic motorcycle rides in Vermont, providing insights into the best routes, the importance of community and preparedness, and the hidden gems that make each journey unforgettable.

Key Takeaways

  • Vermont's diverse landscapes offer motorcyclists a blend of serene farmlands, distinct regional ecosystems, and challenging terrains.
  • Preparation and local knowledge are crucial for navigating Vermont's climate variations and ensuring safety on scenic routes.
  • Scenic stops along Vermont's roads, such as historic general stores and cultural landmarks, enrich the riding experience.
  • Ride 22 and Ride 37 are highlighted for their breathtaking views and challenging routes, appealing to riders seeking adventure.
  • The sense of community and the acts of kindness encountered on the road exemplify the human element that enhances Vermont's scenery.

Exploring the Green Mountain State: Vermont's Diverse Landscapes

Exploring the Green Mountain State: Vermont's Diverse Landscapes

Pastoral Vistas and Serene Farmlands

Vermont's countryside is a tapestry of rolling hills and lush greenery, a perfect backdrop for the contemplative solitude of a motorcycle ride. The VTXL, a route less traveled, offers motorcyclists an intimate experience with the state's bucolic beauty, where the hum of the engine and the rustling of leaves are often the only sounds piercing the quietude.

The roads meander through quaint farmlands, where the pace of life seems to slow down, allowing riders to fully immerse themselves in the pastoral vistas. These serene landscapes are punctuated by historic landmarks and natural wonders, such as the foliage tunnel near Long Pond Road and the dramatic cliffs of Mount Pisgah.

Vermont's scenic routes are not just about the ride; they are about the moments of tranquility and the connection to the land. The state's farmlands offer a peaceful retreat from the bustle of modern life, inviting riders to pause and appreciate the simpler pleasures.

For those seeking to experience these landscapes, here are a few notable stops along the way:

  • The Cambridge Village Market, home to "Safford," the tropical summer bear
  • The Gates Covered Bridge, a picturesque New England staple
  • The historic remnants of the license plate house
  • The majestic views of Mansfield from bucolic Fletcher

Each of these locations offers a unique vantage point to take in the grandeur of Vermont's countryside, making them essential stops on any motorcycle tour of the state.

Distinct Regional Ecosystems and Cultures

Vermont's regional ecosystems are as varied as the cultures that have flourished within them. From the rolling hills and pastoral landscapes to the rugged highlands, each area presents a unique blend of natural beauty and human tradition. The state's history is deeply intertwined with its geography, where natural barriers and resources have shaped the economic and social development of its towns and communities.

  • Rochester, for instance, has become a hub for outdoor recreation, transforming its economy in the wake of natural disasters like Hurricane Irene.
  • The creation of new towns often followed geographic features, leading to political boundaries that reflect the state's diverse terrain.
  • Mills, tanneries, and waterways played a pivotal role in the early economy of regions like Stockbridge and Pittsfield, only to be reshaped by the forces of nature.
Vermont's landscape is not just a backdrop for the state's culture; it is a dynamic canvas that continues to evolve with its people. The resilience and adaptability of communities like Rochester, which have reinvented themselves through outdoor recreation, are testaments to the enduring spirit of the Green Mountain State.

The intricate network of trails and the presence of cabins and other amenities highlight the state's commitment to preserving and sharing its natural treasures. As motorcyclists traverse these regions, they not only witness the splendor of Vermont's ecosystems but also become part of the ongoing narrative that is etched into the very soil of this land.

Challenges and Charms of Vermont's Terrain

Vermont's terrain presents a unique blend of challenges and charms that can transform a motorcycle ride into an unforgettable adventure. The state's topography is characterized by its rugged Green Mountains, rolling hills, and picturesque valleys, offering riders a diverse array of landscapes to traverse. The beauty of Vermont's natural scenery is undeniable, with its pastoral landscapes and virtually no traffic on many of its back roads, providing a serene and intimate experience with nature.

However, the terrain also poses its own set of challenges. Elevation changes can be abrupt, and the weather can shift quickly in the mountains, requiring riders to be prepared for varying conditions. The most difficult route, Ride 37, is a testament to the state's elevation extremes and the skill required to navigate them. Despite these challenges, the sense of community and the kindness found throughout Vermont's small towns add to the charm of the journey, making any difficulties encountered along the way worth the effort.

Vermont's motorcycle rides are not just about the roads traveled, but also about the experiences and connections made along the way. The state's distinct regions, cultures, and ecosystems contribute to a ride that is as enriching as it is beautiful.

For those seeking a memorable trip and not daunted by significant elevation days, Vermont's terrain is a must-ride destination. Honorable mentions for scenic routes include Larkin Road in Tunbridge and Kelley Stand Road in Sunderland, each offering their own unique vistas and riding experiences.

The Art of Motorcycle Touring in Vermont

The Art of Motorcycle Touring in Vermont

Navigating Elevation and Climate Variations

Vermont's scenic motorcycle routes present riders with a unique set of challenges and rewards, particularly when it comes to navigating the state's varied elevation and climate. The Green Mountain State's topography can change dramatically over short distances, with routes like the VTXL showcasing elevation changes comparable to climbing multiple Mount Everests. Understanding these variations is crucial for a safe and enjoyable ride.

Motorcyclists must be prepared for sudden weather shifts that can accompany elevation changes. For instance, a sunny valley ride can quickly turn into a foggy mountain ascent. This unpredictability demands that riders equip themselves with gear suitable for all conditions and maintain a flexible itinerary.

Vermont's motorcycle routes demand respect for the natural elements, as the joy of the journey is intertwined with the challenges posed by the terrain.

Here are some considerations for riders tackling Vermont's elevation and climate variations:

  • Familiarize yourself with the route's elevation profile and climate zones.
  • Anticipate temperature fluctuations and pack accordingly.
  • Stay informed about local weather forecasts and road conditions.
  • Plan for longer travel times in higher elevations due to potential weather impacts.

Riders who embrace these challenges often find that the rewards are well worth the effort. The breathtaking views and sense of accomplishment after conquering Vermont's elevation extremes provide an unparalleled experience on the road.

The Importance of Community and Local Knowledge

The tapestry of Vermont's motorcycle routes is enriched by the threads of community and local knowledge. Riders who engage with local residents often uncover insights that are not found on maps or in guidebooks. These interactions can lead to the discovery of hidden trails, the best local eateries, and stories that bring the landscape to life.

  • Engage with local communities
  • Seek out local stories and recommendations
  • Discover hidden trails and eateries

The value of local knowledge extends beyond mere navigation. It fosters a sense of connection between the rider and the region, transforming a solitary ride into a shared experience. For instance, understanding the historical significance of a trail or the challenges faced by a community can deepen the appreciation for each mile traveled.

The journey through Vermont's landscapes is as much about the people and their stories as it is about the scenic views and winding roads.

Motorcyclists are encouraged to take the time to stop and converse with locals, participate in community events, and support local businesses. This not only enhances the riding experience but also contributes to the sustainability of these small towns, which often rely on tourism for economic vitality.

Safety and Preparedness on Scenic Routes

When embarking on Vermont's scenic motorcycle routes, safety and preparedness are paramount. Riders must be equipped to handle the unpredictable nature of the terrain and the varying weather conditions. A well-maintained motorcycle, appropriate gear, and a keen awareness of one's surroundings are the cornerstones of a safe journey.

  • Motorcycle Maintenance: Before setting out, ensure your motorcycle is in top condition. Check the brakes, tires, lights, and fluids.
  • Protective Gear: Always wear a helmet, gloves, sturdy boots, and protective clothing suitable for all weather conditions.
  • Navigation Tools: Carry a map and a GPS device. Familiarize yourself with the route and any potential hazards.
  • Emergency Kit: Pack a basic repair kit, first aid supplies, and essentials like water and snacks.
  • Weather Preparedness: Monitor the forecast and be ready to adjust your plans accordingly.
Riding through Vermont's landscapes requires a balance of adventure and caution. The state's backcountry roads can be as challenging as they are beautiful, and preparedness is the key to enjoying them safely.

Remember, the charm of Vermont's scenic routes often lies in their remoteness, which means help may not be immediately available. It's crucial to plan ahead and be self-sufficient. By doing so, you can ensure that your ride through the Green Mountain State is not only memorable but also safe.

Vermont's Hidden Gems: Scenic Stops and Stores Along the Way

Vermont's Hidden Gems: Scenic Stops and Stores Along the Way

Historic General Stores and Local Treasures

Vermont's scenic motorcycle routes are punctuated by charming historic general stores that offer a window into the local culture and history. These stores are often the lifeblood of their communities, serving multiple roles beyond retail. They become informal gathering spots, where riders can exchange stories and tips, and often find unique Vermont-made products and homemade treats.

  • Pierce's Store in Shaftsbury
  • Brownsville Butcher
  • Putney General Store
  • Warren Store
  • Wells Country Store
  • Sherman's Store in West Rupert
  • Dan & Whit's in Norwich
  • Willey's Store in Greensboro
  • Falls General Store in Northfield Falls
  • Willoughby Lake Store in Westmore
  • The Cupboard in Jeffersonville

Each store has its own character and history, some having served their communities for over a century. For instance, Dan & Whit's in Norwich has been a general store for several hundred years, also functioning as a town hall, bank, and post office. These stops are not just for resupplying but are integral to experiencing the essence of Vermont.

The essence of Vermont's scenic rides is not only in its landscapes but also in the small, often overlooked encounters with local life at historic general stores.

While the main routes offer plenty to see, it's the detours to these local gems that often yield the most memorable experiences. They are places where one can appreciate the slower pace of life and the warmth of community spirit, making them indispensable to the touring experience.

Cultural Landmarks and Artisanal Finds

Vermont's scenic routes are not only gateways to natural beauty but also conduits to the state's rich cultural heritage and artisanal offerings. From the historic covered bridges that dot the landscape to the vibrant arts scene, each journey offers a chance to immerse oneself in the local culture. The state's commitment to preserving its history is evident in the numerous museums and historic sites that provide a window into Vermont's past.

The artisanal finds along these routes are a testament to Vermont's creative spirit. Local craftspeople and artists take pride in their work, whether it's handcrafted furniture, fine art, or culinary delights like locally produced cheese and maple syrup. These treasures can be found in the small-town galleries, at farmers' markets, or during one of the many festivals celebrating everything from the arts to the harvest.

Vermont's motorcycle routes offer more than just a ride; they are a journey through the heart of its cultural landscape, where every stop is an opportunity to connect with the artisans and keepers of the state's heritage.

For those seeking a unique experience, the state's oddities and roadside attractions, such as the Vermontasaurus at Post Mills Airport, provide a whimsical break from the ride. These unexpected finds contribute to the charm and allure of exploring Vermont on two wheels.

Below is a list of some notable cultural landmarks and artisanal finds to explore:

  • Covered Bridges
  • Historic Sites
  • Museums
  • Outdoor Art
  • Performing Arts
  • Festivals and Fairs
  • Culinary Tours (Cheese, Chocolate, Cider)
  • Artisanal Shops (Handcrafted Furniture, Fine Art)
  • Roadside Attractions (Vermontasaurus)

Each of these points of interest adds a layer of depth to the motorcycle touring experience, inviting riders to slow down and appreciate the craftsmanship and history that make Vermont unique.

Rest and Relaxation in Vermont's Small Towns

After a day of navigating the winding roads and embracing the stunning landscapes, motorcyclists find solace in Vermont's small towns, where rest and relaxation are a revered art form. These towns offer a blend of rustic bed & breakfasts, historic inns, and local eateries, providing the perfect backdrop for rejuvenation.

Vermont's small towns are not just stopovers but destinations in their own right, each with a unique character and offerings. Here's a snapshot of some recommended places to stay, each with its own charm:

  • The Essex House in Island Pond: A cozy retreat after a 38-mile ride, with the promise of a comfortable bed and warm hospitality.
  • Emergo Farm in Danville: Not just a place to rest but an experience in itself, with its farm-fresh breakfasts and scenic surroundings.
  • Rowell's Inn in Simonsville: Highly recommended for its culinary delights, especially when the restaurant is open from Thursday to Saturday.
Vermont's pastoral landscapes and virtually no traffic on certain routes provide a serene backdrop for motorcyclists seeking a tranquil escape. The state's commitment to preserving its natural beauty and historic charm is evident in every small town, making each stop a memorable part of the journey.

As riders traverse from the Northern to the Southern regions, they encounter a tapestry of experiences, from the historic downtowns of Barre and Bennington to the artisanal finds in Brandon and Brattleboro. The journey through Vermont is as much about the destinations as it is about the ride itself.

The Allure of Addison County: A Motorcyclist's Dream

The Allure of Addison County: A Motorcyclist's Dream

Ride 22: A Journey Through the Heart of Addison

Ride 22 offers a quintessential Vermont experience, weaving through the heart of Addison County with a landscape that captivates and challenges riders. This route is a compilation of the county's greatest hits, showcasing a diverse array of scenery from the Highlands of Ripton to the expansive views of the Adirondacks. The journey is punctuated by serene corn fields, rolling pastures, and quiet lanes, all framed by the natural beauty of wooded thickets.

The southern reaches of Ride 22 are particularly striking, with white gravel roads that demand attention and respect from every motorcyclist. These stretches provide a rustic beauty that is both a visual treat and a test of riding skill. The route's diversity is not just in its terrain but also in the experiences it offers, from the tranquility of the countryside to the exhilaration of navigating its more challenging sections.

The allure of Addison County's Ride 22 lies in its ability to continuously surprise and delight riders with its ever-changing vistas and the pure joy of discovery on two wheels.

While the route itself is a highlight, the stops along the way contribute to the richness of the journey. Riders can find moments of rest and reflection in the small towns dotted throughout the county, each with its own unique character and offerings. It is these elements combined that make Ride 22 a journey through the heart of Addison, and a must-ride for any motorcycle enthusiast seeking the essence of Vermont's scenic beauty.

The Panoramic Views of the Highlands of Ripton

The Highlands of Ripton offer some of the most breathtaking views in Addison County, with Ride 22 serving as a testament to the region's natural splendor. This route is a mosaic of picturesque landscapes, from the expansive views towards the Adirondacks to the serene beauty of white gravel paths winding through southern reaches.

The experience of riding through the Highlands of Ripton is one of immersion into the grandeur of Vermont's countryside. The vistas unfold as a living tapestry, with each turn revealing a new facet of the region's charm.

Riders are encouraged to take their time, absorbing the sights at a leisurely pace. Here are a few highlights to anticipate along the journey:

  • Westward looks into the Highlands
  • Corn fields and pastoral scenes
  • Quiet lanes and wooded thickets
  • The contrast of rugged terrain and agricultural lands

These elements combine to create a ride that is as varied as it is beautiful, ensuring that each mile traveled is rich with visual rewards.

The White Gravel Roads and Rustic Beauty

The white gravel roads of Vermont offer a unique riding experience that combines the thrill of exploration with the serenity of the state's natural beauty. These roads, often less traveled, wind through the countryside, revealing rustic scenes that seem to belong to a bygone era. The crunch of gravel under the tires and the canopy of trees overhead create an ambiance that is both exhilarating and calming.

As riders navigate these paths, they encounter a tapestry of landscapes that are quintessentially Vermont. From the historic homesteads dotting the landscape to the rolling hills that stretch out into the distance, each turn presents a new vista to appreciate. The following list captures some of the most evocative road names and the experiences they promise:

  • Old Foundry, Orwell: A road that feels removed from time, offering solitude and a deep connection with the land.
  • Gravel Lane, Moretown: A name that speaks for itself, promising an authentic gravel road experience.
  • Rake Factory Road, Peacham: A road with a history as intriguing as its name, leading riders through a landscape that defies industrial expectations.
  • Justa Road, Calais: A modest name for a road that may surprise with its understated beauty.
  • Mosquitoville Road, Ryegate: A road with a name that adds a touch of humor to the journey.
The essence of Vermont's white gravel roads is not just in their visual appeal, but in the stories they tell and the sense of discovery they offer. Each road is a chapter in the state's rural narrative, inviting riders to become part of the story.

These roads are not just conduits through the landscape; they are destinations in their own right. They challenge riders to embrace the unexpected and to appreciate the slower pace of travel that allows for full immersion in the rustic beauty of Vermont.

Vermont's Architectural Marvels: A Route for History Buffs

Vermont's Architectural Marvels: A Route for History Buffs

The West View Farm Round Barn in Waterford

The West View Farm Round Barn stands as a testament to Vermont's rich agricultural history and architectural ingenuity. Nestled at the end of a Class IV road, this immaculate structure surprises riders with its serene presence amidst the rural landscape. The barn is not just a relic of the past but a living part of the community, reflecting the state's commitment to preserving its heritage.

The round barn, with its unique design, offers a moment of tranquility and a chance to appreciate the convergence of function and form in Vermont's countryside.

Riders often find themselves slowing down to admire the barn and the surrounding homestead, which includes other well-maintained buildings. This unexpected encounter is a highlight for many, serving as a perfect culmination to a day's journey through Vermont's scenic byways. The barn's location, coupled with the natural beauty of the area, makes it a cherished stop for motorcycle enthusiasts.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Bennington
  • Newport
  • Poultney
  • Danby
  • Barre
  • Lincoln
  • Brookfield
  • Stowe
  • Westminster

The West View Farm Round Barn is a beacon for riders seeking to connect with Vermont's pastoral beauty and architectural marvels. It stands as a proud example of the diverse landscapes and experiences that riders enjoy, much like those found on Connecticut's top motorcycle rides.

Covered Bridges and Historic Downtowns

Vermont's landscape is dotted with covered bridges, each telling a story of a bygone era. These architectural treasures, coupled with the historic downtowns, offer a glimpse into the state's rich past. Riders can meander through towns like Barre and Middlebury, where the fusion of history and modernity is palpable. The journey through these areas is not just about the ride, but also about the exploration of Vermont's cultural heritage.

The covered bridges serve as gateways to quaint towns, where one can find a variety of attractions from arts and heritage to culinary delights. The experience is enhanced by the seasonal changes, with each bringing its own unique charm. Whether it's the fresh bloom of spring or the fiery foliage of fall, the backdrop to these historic structures is always picturesque.

Vermont's scenic drives are not merely routes; they are narratives woven into the landscape, inviting riders to become part of the story.

Below is a list of some historic downtowns and covered bridges that are essential stops on any motorcycle tour:

  • Barre
  • Bellows Falls
  • Bennington
  • Brandon
  • Brattleboro
  • Bristol
  • Burlington
  • Middlebury

These locations are just the beginning of what Vermont has to offer. Each town has its own character and stories waiting to be discovered.

Preserving Vermont's Heritage on the Road

As motorcyclists traverse the picturesque roads of Vermont, they become part of a living history, surrounded by landscapes that have been carefully preserved to maintain the state's rich heritage. The journey is not just about the ride; it's an immersive experience into the past, where every turn reveals a story etched into the very fabric of the region.

The essence of Vermont's heritage is encapsulated in its commitment to conservation and the celebration of local culture. Riders are encouraged to engage with this legacy, ensuring that the beauty and history they enjoy today will be there for future generations to appreciate.

Vermont's commitment to preserving its historical sites and cultural landmarks is evident in the numerous attractions that dot the scenic routes. Here is a list of heritage elements that riders often encounter:

  • Covered Bridges: Architectural wonders that speak of a bygone era.
  • Historic Downtowns: Where the past and present merge in harmony.
  • General Stores: Hubs of local life, offering a glimpse into the community's soul.
  • Farm Stands: Showcasing Vermont's agricultural pride with local produce and goods.
  • Artisanal Finds: From handcrafted cheeses to fine spirits, these are the flavors of Vermont's craftsmanship.

By engaging with these elements, riders contribute to the local economy and help sustain the practices that keep Vermont's heritage alive. It is a symbiotic relationship where respect and appreciation for the past enrich the present-day journey.

The Road Less Traveled: Vermont's Class IV Roads

The Road Less Traveled: Vermont's Class IV Roads

The Thrill of Unpaved Adventures

Vermont's Class IV roads offer a unique blend of challenge and excitement for the adventurous motorcyclist. These lesser-known tracks provide an authentic experience of the state's rugged terrain, often requiring riders to navigate through a variety of surfaces that can change from hard-packed dirt to loose, rocky paths. The unpredictability of these roads demands a high level of skill and attention, making every journey an adventure in its own right.

The diversity of the VTXL's unpaved roads is a testament to the thrill they offer. One day might present a smooth gravel path, while the next could lead to a section where even a mountain bike would struggle. This variety ensures that monotony is never an issue, and riders are kept engaged with the ever-changing landscape.

The essence of Vermont's unpaved adventures lies not just in the physical challenge, but in the ever-present opportunity to connect with the raw beauty of the natural environment. It's a ride through the heart of the state's wilderness, where each turn can reveal a new vista or a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.

For those considering the challenge, here are some highlights and details to anticipate:

  • Leaves flittering down
  • The ATV network
  • Trust us
  • Some of the boggier bits
  • Baby heads
  • Long Trail crossing
  • The “helpful” brought in stones
  • Down into Bennington

These elements combine to create a ride that is as unpredictable as it is unforgettable. The Class IV roads of Vermont are not just routes on a map; they are narratives of resilience, beauty, and the spirit of adventure that beckons the bold.

Discovering the Backcountry by Motorcycle

Vermont's backcountry offers a unique opportunity for motorcyclists to immerse themselves in the state's natural beauty. The experience of riding through these less-traveled roads is characterized by a sense of adventure and the unexpected. Riders are encouraged to prepare for varying conditions and to respect the delicate ecosystems they traverse.

The backcountry roads of Vermont provide a rare chance to connect with the land and its history. These routes, often unpaved and less maintained, challenge riders with their ruggedness and reward them with unparalleled serenity and connection to nature.

Motorcyclists exploring Vermont's backcountry will encounter a variety of terrains, from loose gravel paths to narrow forest trails. It is essential to equip oneself with the right gear and knowledge of the area. Below is a list of considerations for a safe and enjoyable backcountry experience:

  • Familiarize yourself with the route and local conditions.
  • Ensure your motorcycle is suitable for off-road travel.
  • Carry necessary supplies, including a first-aid kit and tools.
  • Respect wildlife and natural habitats.
  • Be prepared for weather changes and carry appropriate clothing.

The backcountry roads beckon with the promise of solitude and discovery. However, they also demand respect and preparation. Riders who take the time to understand and adapt to these environments will find that Vermont's backcountry is not just a place to ride through, but a destination in its own right.

Respecting the Natural Environment

Vermont's Class IV roads offer a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the untouched beauty of the state's backcountry. However, this privilege comes with a responsibility to preserve the natural environment that makes these rides so special. Riders are encouraged to adhere to the principles of 'Leave No Trace' to minimize their impact on these delicate ecosystems.

  • Plan ahead and prepare to ensure minimal impact on the environment.
  • Travel and camp on durable surfaces to avoid damaging flora and fauna.
  • Dispose of waste properly to prevent pollution and harm to wildlife.
  • Leave what you find, preserving the natural and historical artifacts for others to enjoy.
  • Minimize campfire impacts by using a lightweight stove for cooking.
  • Respect wildlife by observing from a distance and not feeding animals.
  • Be considerate of other visitors and the quality of their experience.
As motorcyclists, it is our duty to protect the landscapes we cherish. By riding responsibly and with environmental consciousness, we not only enjoy the splendor of Vermont's backcountry but also contribute to its preservation for future generations.

Motorcycle Ride 37: Vermont's Most Challenging Route

Motorcycle Ride 37: Vermont's Most Challenging Route

Conquering Vermont's Elevation Extremes

Vermont's topography presents a unique challenge for motorcyclists, with its rolling hills and steep inclines that characterize the state's rugged landscape. The thrill of navigating these elevation extremes is a testament to the skill and determination of riders who seek to master Vermont's most challenging routes.

The experience of ascending and descending through Vermont's varied elevations is not just a physical endeavor but a journey through the state's natural beauty.

For those prepared to tackle the climbs, the rewards are substantial, offering panoramic views and a sense of accomplishment that is unparalleled. It is essential, however, to approach these routes with respect and preparation. Mechanical checks, awareness of weather conditions, and safety precautions are vital components of a successful ride through Vermont's high-altitude adventures.

The following table highlights some of the most notable climbs and their characteristics:

Location Elevation Gain Road Type Noteworthy Aspect
Radar Road, New Haven High Paved Steepest Climb
Kelley Stand Road, Sunderland Moderate Dirt Scenic Parallel Stream
Burton Hill Road, Irasburg Varied Shaded Dirt Challenging Terrain

While the climbs may be daunting, they are manageable with the right mindset and preparation. As with any high-altitude motorcycle adventure, such as those in Colorado, the key to an unforgettable journey lies in the readiness to face the challenges head-on.

Scenic Rewards and Breathtaking Landscapes

The pursuit of scenic rewards and breathtaking landscapes is a driving force for motorcyclists venturing through Vermont's varied topography. The state's natural beauty unfolds in a tapestry of stunning vistas that are particularly captivating from the vantage point of a motorcycle. Riders are often greeted with a visual feast: from the foliage tunnels that reveal glimpses of serene waters to the majestic cliffs that rise dramatically beside winding roads.

  • Foliage Tunnels: Intimate views of nature's canopy
  • Mount Pisgah's Cliffs: Towering natural monuments
  • Lake Willoughby: Deep waters flanked by natural grandeur
  • CCC Road Climb: A challenging ascent with rewarding panoramas
The experience of riding through Vermont is akin to a moving painting, with each turn of the road offering a fresh brushstroke of nature's splendor. The state's landscapes serve not just as a backdrop, but as a dynamic participant in the journey, constantly shifting and providing new perspectives.

The VTXL, a route known for its pastoral landscapes and minimal traffic, exemplifies the tranquil beauty that can be found on Vermont's less-traveled paths. The absence of traffic enhances the sense of solitude and connection with the environment, allowing riders to fully immerse themselves in the sensory pleasures of the ride. Whether it's the sudden emergence of a picturesque view or the quiet charm of a stone-walled trail, Vermont's scenic routes promise a rich tapestry of experiences that resonate long after the journey ends.

The Test of Endurance and Skill

Motorcycle Ride 37 is not for the faint of heart. It demands a high level of fitness, above-average endurance, and intermediate to advanced riding skills. The route spans 316 miles from Canaan, Vermont to Williamstown, Massachusetts, and is designed to be completed over the course of 7 days, although some may attempt it in 5-6 days.

The rideable time is 99%, with a total elevation gain and loss of 31,800 feet, peaking at 2,761 feet. The journey is a true test of a motorcyclist's ability to navigate varying terrains, including a mere 1% of singletrack that feels much more significant due to the technical demands.

Riders must be prepared for moderate challenges in both navigation and resupply, ensuring they have the necessary provisions and equipment to sustain the journey. The best time of year to embark on this adventure is early fall, when the weather is favorable and the scenery is at its peak.

  • Start/End: Canaan, Vermont to Williamstown, Massachusetts
  • Total Distance: 316 miles
  • Days Needed: 7 days
  • Rideable Time: 99%
  • Fitness Level: Very good
  • Skill Level: Intermediate to advanced
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 31,800 ft
  • High Point: 2,761 ft
  • % Singletrack: 1%
  • Time of Year: Early fall
  • Ease of Navigation: Moderate
  • Ease of Resupply: Moderate

The route's complexity and the physical demands it places on riders make it a coveted achievement within the motorcycling community. Those who complete it often share a deep sense of accomplishment and a bond with the rugged beauty of Vermont's landscapes.

Community and Kindness: The Human Element of Vermont's Scenery

Community and Kindness: The Human Element of Vermont's Scenery

The Role of Local Communities in Enhancing the Ride

The fabric of Vermont's motorcycle culture is interwoven with the warmth and support of its local communities. Riders traversing the state's scenic byways often find themselves greeted by the congeniality of small-town residents, whose knowledge of the local terrain is invaluable. These interactions not only enrich the journey but also serve as a bridge between the rider and the unique character of each locale.

Local businesses, from repair shops to diners, play a pivotal role in supporting motorcyclists. They provide not just services and sustenance, but also a gathering place for riders to share stories and tips. This sense of community is palpable and can transform a solitary ride into a shared experience, fostering connections that last beyond the road.

The collective wisdom of Vermont's townsfolk can turn a routine stop into an unforgettable chapter of a rider's journey, revealing hidden gems and ensuring the ride is as smooth as the state's winding roads.

The following list highlights how local communities enhance the motorcycle riding experience in Vermont:

  • Fostering camaraderie among riders and locals
  • Offering insider knowledge of the best routes and stops
  • Providing essential services tailored to motorcyclists' needs
  • Creating an atmosphere of hospitality that defines Vermont's charm
  • Ensuring safety through shared information about road conditions

Acts of Kindness on the Open Road

The open road in Vermont is not just a pathway through stunning landscapes, but also a journey woven with human connection and unexpected acts of kindness. Riders often recount moments where the generosity of strangers turned a routine stop into a memorable encounter. From a shared meal at a local diner to assistance with a mechanical issue, these gestures create a tapestry of goodwill that enriches the travel experience.

In the spirit of camaraderie, motorcyclists have developed informal networks of support. Below is a list of common courtesies extended by the riding community:

  • Offering directions or route advice to fellow riders
  • Sharing tools or spare parts in times of need
  • Inviting solo travelers to join group rides
  • Providing local insights on weather conditions or road closures
The essence of Vermont's motorcycle culture extends beyond the scenic routes; it is deeply rooted in the warmth and kindness that riders share with one another, echoing the state's community values.

These small acts of kindness, often unspoken and unheralded, contribute significantly to the safety and enjoyment of the journey. They reflect a universal motorcycle ethos that transcends geographical boundaries, making Vermont not just a place to ride, but a place to connect.

The Social Fabric of Vermont's Small Towns

Vermont's small towns are the tapestry that gives the state its unique character. Each town, with its historic downtowns and seasonal changes, contributes to a larger narrative of community and camaraderie. The VTXL, a route that meanders through these locales, offers a glimpse into 'the real Vermont'—from the rustic charm of dilapidated barns to the vitality of thriving homesteads.

The social fabric of these towns is woven from the threads of local gatherings, shared histories, and the collective spirit of resilience. It's in these interactions that motorcyclists can find the essence of Vermont's identity.

The BAMA BIKE FEST, although not specific to Vermont, showcases the social dynamics of biking communities, emphasizing inclusivity, shared passion for motorcycles, and role diversity within the groups. Such events reflect the media's influence on the perception and evolution of biker culture, resonating with the values found in Vermont's small towns.

Below is a list of some of Vermont's historic downtowns, each representing a node in the state's social fabric:

  • Barre
  • Bellows Falls
  • Bennington
  • Brandon
  • Brattleboro
  • Bristol
  • Burlington
  • Middlebury

These towns, along with the changing seasons, paint a vivid picture of Vermont's cultural landscape, inviting riders to immerse themselves in the local way of life.

Planning Your Vermont Motorcycle Journey: Tips and Resources

Planning Your Vermont Motorcycle Journey: Tips and Resources

Mapping Your Route: Tools and Considerations

When embarking on a motorcycle journey through Vermont, the planning stage is as crucial as the ride itself. The complexity of the terrain and the patchwork of land ownership necessitate a reliable set of tools for navigation. A GPS device is indispensable for tracking your progress and ensuring you remain on course amidst the myriad of twists, turns, and remote roads that characterize the VTXL.

Careful route planning with the right tools can mean the difference between a ride filled with unexpected detours and a seamless journey through Vermont's stunning landscapes.

For a successful trip, consider the following resources:

  • State Parcel Viewer and E-911 Map for understanding land boundaries.
  • Online mapping tools such as Fatmap and Strava for route visualization and tracking.
  • The VTXL resources for insights into local routes and conditions.

Remember, the goal is not just to reach your destination, but to enjoy the journey. Take the time to familiarize yourself with these tools and consider the nuances of each segment of your route. This preparation will enhance your experience and allow you to immerse yourself fully in the beauty of Vermont's scenic rides.

Seasonal Considerations and Weather Preparedness

Vermont's weather can be as varied as its landscapes, making weather preparedness a crucial aspect of planning your motorcycle journey. The state experiences a full range of seasons, each with its own set of challenges and delights for riders. In spring, you may encounter lingering snow on higher ground and cool temperatures, while summer offers warmth but can also bring unpredictable thunderstorms. Autumn is renowned for its spectacular foliage, but early frosts can make for slippery conditions. Winter, with its snow and ice, is generally considered off-limits for motorcycle touring.

When planning your trip, it's essential to consider the time of year and the corresponding weather patterns. Here's a quick guide to help you prepare:

  • Spring: Check for road closures due to snowmelt or maintenance. Layer clothing to adjust to fluctuating temperatures.
  • Summer: Stay hydrated and be ready for sudden rain by packing waterproof gear. Plan for longer daylight hours.
  • Autumn: Watch for fallen leaves on the roads which can be hazardous. Expect cooler temperatures as the season progresses.
  • Winter: Though not ideal for riding, if you must, ensure your motorcycle is winter-ready with appropriate tires and that you have cold-weather gear.
Remember, the weather can change rapidly, especially in mountainous areas. Always have a contingency plan and be prepared to adjust your itinerary accordingly.

Lastly, consult online resources and local clubs for the latest information on road conditions. They can offer invaluable insights that can help you avoid potential hazards. Additionally, ensure you have planned for fuel and rest stops, as these can be sparse in more remote areas of Vermont.

Accommodations and Amenities for Riders

When planning a motorcycle journey through Vermont, securing the right accommodations is crucial for a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Riders have a variety of options, ranging from rustic bed and breakfasts that offer a taste of local charm to campsites that bring you closer to nature. For those preferring a more traditional stay, hotels and unique rentals are readily available through platforms like and VRBO.

  • HipCamp: Campsites and rentals with a discount code for first-time bookings.
  • A comprehensive list of hotels along the VTXL.
  • VRBO: Unique rentals for a distinctive Vermont experience.
  • The Dyrt: A resource for finding campgrounds.

Choosing between these accommodations depends on personal preferences and the desired level of comfort. Some riders may opt for the simplicity of camping, while others might indulge in the comfort of a B&B or hotel. It's also possible to mix both styles, alternating between the ruggedness of campsites and the coziness of indoor lodging.

The VTXL offers a range of accommodations to suit every rider's needs, ensuring that each day's journey ends with a restful night, whether under the stars or beneath a quilted comforter.

Reflections on the Ride: Personal Stories from the VTXL

Rider Experiences and Memorable Moments

The personal narratives of those who have traversed Vermont's landscapes on two wheels are as varied as the routes themselves. Each journey is punctuated with unique encounters and recollections that form the tapestry of the motorcycling community's shared history.

  • Honorable Mention: Ride 7 encapsulated the quintessential group ride experience, complete with camaraderie and the simple pleasure of a shared meal.
  • Best Apr\u00e9s Scene: Ride 2, remembered for its inaugural group ride of the Dirt 251 project, culminated in a refreshing swim and the joy of newfound friendships.
The essence of these rides transcends the physical journey, capturing moments of human connection and the profound impact of nature's backdrop on the collective spirit.

Rider testimonials often highlight the unexpected delights of the road, such as the discovery of a serene swimming hole or the relief of finding a lost item. These experiences, whether they are shared triumphs or solitary reflections, contribute to the allure of motorcycle touring in Vermont.

The table below summarizes some of the memorable moments from various rides:

Ride Number Noteworthy Experience
Ride 4 Jake Carrie's pond
Ride 38 Sentinel Rock & Willoughby swim
Ride 11 Post-century vibes and finding Maddie's glasses

As the project nears its conclusion, riders reflect on the fleeting nature of warm days and the urgency to capture the essence of each ride. The anticipation of completing a long-crafted route adds a layer of excitement and accomplishment to the adventure.

The Impact of Scenery on the Riding Experience

The transformative power of Vermont's scenery on a motorcyclist's journey cannot be overstated. As riders navigate through the state's diverse landscapes, the visual feast of nature's artistry plays a pivotal role in shaping the ride's emotional and psychological impact. The juxtaposition of pastoral vistas against rugged terrains offers a sensory experience that is both grounding and exhilarating.

The allure of the open road is magnified by the ever-changing backdrop provided by Vermont's natural beauty. From the serene farmlands to the challenging Class IV roads, each turn presents a new tableau that enriches the rider's experience.

Motorcyclists often recount moments where the scenery has not just been a backdrop but a central character in their adventure. The following list captures some of the sentiments expressed by riders:

  • The sense of freedom amplified by expansive views
  • The thrill of discovering hidden gems along less traveled paths
  • The camaraderie formed when sharing scenic stops with fellow riders
  • The introspection fostered by the quiet beauty of remote areas

These elements coalesce to create a ride that is more than just a journey; it is an odyssey that leaves an indelible mark on the soul of the rider.

Why Vermont Belongs on Every Motorcyclist's Bucket List

Vermont, with its unique blend of natural beauty and cultural richness, offers an unparalleled motorcycling experience. The state's diverse landscapes, from the rolling hills of the Green Mountains to the serene farmlands, provide a backdrop that changes with every turn. The sense of community and the shared spirit of adventure among riders add a layer of warmth to the journey.

  • The Green Mountain State's varied terrain challenges riders, enhancing their skills.
  • Distinct regional ecosystems and cultures offer a fresh perspective with each ride.
  • The kindness and community found in Vermont's small towns enrich the travel experience.
Vermont's scenic routes are not just about the ride; they're about the stories that unfold along the way, the people you meet, and the memories you create.

Riders who have traversed Vermont's roads often speak of the state's ability to surprise and delight. Whether it's the historic general stores that dot the landscape, the artisanal finds in local markets, or the unexpected kindness of strangers, Vermont has a way of leaving an indelible mark on those who explore it on two wheels.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some must-see scenic routes for motorcycle touring in Vermont?

Some of Vermont's top scenic motorcycle rides include Ride 22 through Addison County, offering panoramic views and picturesque gravel roads, and the challenging Ride 37, known for its elevation extremes. Don't miss the historic West View Farm Round Barn in Waterford and the numerous covered bridges.

Are there any particular areas in Vermont known for their beauty and motorcycle-friendly roads?

Vermont is known for its pastoral landscapes and virtually no traffic on backcountry roads. The Green Mountain State offers diverse regions from the Highlands of Ripton to the serene farmlands and historic downtowns. Addison County and its surroundings are particularly renowned for their scenic beauty.

What should I be prepared for when biking through Vermont's terrain?

Expect varying elevations and climate conditions. It's important to plan for safety and preparedness on scenic routes. The terrain can be challenging, but the rewards of breathtaking landscapes are well worth the effort.

Can you recommend any local stores or stops along the way for a true Vermont experience?

For a local Vermont experience, consider stopping at general stores like Dan & Whit's in Norwich, the Warren Store, or the historic Pierce's Store in Shaftsbury. These spots offer a glimpse into the local culture and community.

What makes Vermont's Class IV roads appealing for motorcyclists?

Class IV roads in Vermont offer the thrill of unpaved adventures and the opportunity to discover the backcountry by motorcycle. These less-traveled roads can provide a unique experience for those looking to explore the natural environment.

How does the local community enhance the motorcycle touring experience in Vermont?

The strong sense of community in Vermont adds to the touring experience. Kindness and camaraderie are spread throughout the verdant hills, and the local knowledge can greatly enhance your ride.

What are some tips for planning a motorcycle journey in Vermont?

When planning your journey, consider mapping your route with tools that account for seasonal weather and elevation changes. Look into accommodations and amenities for riders, and always be prepared for varying weather conditions.

Why should Vermont be on every motorcyclist's bucket list?

Vermont offers a unique combination of challenging routes, stunning scenery, and a welcoming community. The state's diverse landscapes and cultural landmarks, along with the personal stories and memorable moments shared by riders, make it a bucket-list destination for motorcycle enthusiasts.

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