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Page history last edited by David Tremblay 4 years, 6 months ago Saved with comment

Welcome to the XVT Mountain Bike Route


Audax Vermont, champion of long distance cycling and randonneuring, is starting to create a new biking route in Vermont, the XVT.  We want your experience, your local knowledge, and your interest in pouring over maps, to help pick the best existing roads and trails.  This is not about trail building, this is about creating a beautiful, fun, and challenging long distance mountain biking route to be done either in sections or in its entirety.


A mountain biking route that loops around Vermont, from Massachusetts to Canada and back, on as much dirt as possible.  Most of the route is local town maintained dirt roads in good condition.  Rougher Class 4 roads will be incorporated whenever possible.  VAST trails will be included when trail surface is reasonable for summer travel.  Singletrack that is point-to-point will be included as much as possible.  Paved roads will be avoided.

There are no markers on the ground, no maintenance assurances, and no one who can provide directions or support.  Be prepared and self-sufficient.  Enjoy maple creemees and whoopie pies at local stores.

Locations and land that permit tent camping and fee campgrounds on route will be identified to facilitate bikepacking.  However, the majority of the route abuts private land that may be posted.  Camping in those areas will require considerable prudence and stealth.

Route will probably be 450-500 miles.

For development purposes, the route will be broken into seven zones:

1 Canada- Rt 2 (east)

2 Rt 2-Rt 4 (east)

3 Rt 4-Rt 9 (east)

4 Rt 9-Mass-Rt 9

5 Rt 9-Rt 4 (west)

6 Rt 4-Rt 2 (west)

7 Rt 2-Canada (west)


Cue Sheet


Please comment by zone to make collating with others easier.  Text, maps, www.bikely.com links, and .GPX files all acceptable.  We hope to produce cue sheets and .GPX files for the entire route.


Contribute your ideas by Zone


Suggested route ideas:

Specific roads/trails the route MUST include:

Camping opportunities:


Get out the maps and thanks in advance for your contributions!


Audax Vermont
Dave Tremblay (tremblay@madriver.com)
Dave Blumenthal(dave@studiozoic.com)


Sadly - Dave B is no longer able to contribute.

but I know he'd would have loved to see this route happen!

Photos of our exploratory 2009 trip are here:





Update!!!! 2012 inaugural ride of the route!!!  Contact Dave T to join the ride!


Wiki Etiquette

At the onset of this project, we are primarily interested in lots of route ideas.  Please do NOT delete comments and ideas from other people.  Sections that would be of marginal quality on their own might be just the connector needed to link fabulous sections.  Please separate paragraphs so that different comments aren't smushed together, and "sign" your additions with your name.  If the volume of comments makes this page unwieldly, it will be broken into separate Zone pages.


Please SAVE promptly so that others may edit.


Audax Vermont reserves final decision making.  Test rides will be required to verify all sections.


Zone 1 Canada-Rt 2 (east)

Suggested route ideas:


Tomifobia Trail connects to Beebe Spur trail to Newport Vermont... great place to start!   or better yet start in Sherbrook on Route Verte





Ayer's Cliff to E Burke...via Willoughby



Ayer's Cliff to E Burke.  Just a theory.  Feel free to suggest variations.





included this route part as much as possible


Lake Willoughby area would be nice, both roads and Wheeler Pond Camps (a great stopover)


Averill - would give access to long N-S distance in the Kingdom State Forest

Ayer's Cliff could be the "Tour Divide" international terminus as it is at the end of a nice rail trail.   Cross border at Beebee  - Newport home of Louis Garneau Then Glen Road to Brownington then Willoughby. -dt




The division contains forty miles of gravel roads, which are open for driving during much of the year except during winter and mud season. During the winter, the roads are not plowed, but a network of groomed trails is available for properly registered snowmobiles to use (VAST TMA required). During the spring "mud" season, the gates are locked to prevent damage to the roads and stuck vehicles! The roads are usually open by Memorial Day.  for the current status of the roads.

Drivers should be aware that the roads are also used by trucks hauling logs and should be careful to stay on their side of the road. Bicycles and horses are not allowed on the roads.


St. J state forester reported that bikes are NOT allowed on Essex Timberlands 10/14/09 - DB



http://www.nvda.net/Transp/documents/bk_rd_bk_pln_final.pdf  excellent resource!

The Bailey-Hazen route could be good, but the Derby Line-Wells River route goes thru E Burke.  -Dave Blumenthal


Specific roads/trails the route MUST include:

Kingdom Trails - Dave Blumenthal


Camping opportunities:


Zone 2 Rt 2-Rt 4 (east)

Suggested route ideas:



West Danville to somewhere in Chelsea


XVT-2 comments:

Lanesboro Rd is questionable. As is road from Green Bay loop/Martins Pond.  They are ridable but more a winter vast trail than something to seek out and ride.

See Groton State Forest Map:  http://www.audaxvermont.com/images/peachycuehome3_files/BlakeHillTrail/VelcoROW.jpg

for nice route around south end of Peacham Pond.  Rough cues at: http://www.audaxvermont.com/cuesheet/100kmPeachyfinish.htm


DT take over south of here

Includes Groton rail trail.


Groton rail trail along 232

Quarry Rd ? Galusha Hill Topsham

Maplewood Corinth


McIver-Taylor Valley- Brocklebank Vershire - Strafford

Oxbow rd  or Johnson Hill - So Royalton - Dave Tremblay


The Original VMBA maps: http://www.uvm.edu/~djacobow/images/maps/maps.html






Kate Carter's book recommends:

Strafford: Moses Mt. Rd, Farnham Branch Rd, Dairy Hill Rd (Royalton)  also, Hoyt Rd thru Clover Hill WMA

W Tunbridge: Brocklebank, cross Strafford-Tunbridge Rd, Willis Rd, Mt. Pleasant Rd...towards Farnham Branch Rd.

Strafford/Vershire: Taylor Valley Rd, Turnpike Rd, Sawyer Hill Rd (see picture)

Norwich: Turnpike Rd to Joslin Rd in S. Strafford


Specific roads/trails the route MUST include:

Camping opportunities:


Zone 3 Rt 4-Rt 9 (east)

Suggested route ideas:

I used to live in Lulow and know a route : Chester, Gassettes, Cavendish, Ludlow, Reading, Plymouth five corners, Bridgewater- Dave Tremblay



route from Rt 9 to Chester. -DB

continue north to Cavendish by DT route ????


Goes through http://www.windmillhillpinnacle.org/

Maps: http://www.windmillhillpinnacle.org/images/map09.pdf  AND  http://www.windmillhillpinnacle.org/images/map7_whpa.pdf

Note that mountain bikes ARE allowed on the Windmill Hill Pinnacle trail, but stronger discouraged when it has been wet.

West Hill Shop in Putney confirms this, and says that the trails can be rough hiking, NOT buff singletrack, so be prepared for techy stuff and hike-a-bike.

Also goes through http://www.putneymountain.org/PMA/Trails_%26_Maps.html


Also goes through Grafton Ponds Daisy Turner Loop (Kate Carter book)


http://www.stabvt.org Ascutney area trails


Sunset Lake Road - North Pond Road from Newfane-Marlboro - DB


Specific roads/trails the route MUST include:

Plymouth Five Corners to Colby Pond - Dave tremblay


Camping opportunities:

Leanto at the Pinnacle, Windmill Hill, reservations required


Zone 4 Rt 9-Mass-Rt 9

Suggested route ideas:



route from Rt 9 in Marlboro to Massachusetts to Rt 9 Bennington

39.6 miles, 3852' gain



alternate route from Harriman Reservoir to Rt 9

less riding on Rt 9 if connecting to USFS Rd 71


Jacksonville General Store

Corner Route 100 and Route 112, Jacksonville, VT 05342

(802) 368 2822

M-Sat 8-7, Sun 9-5


in Marlboro, perhaps 100 yards off route:

Sweetie's Market and Deli

Rt 9, Marlboro


MWThFr 7A-6P  Sa 8A-5P Su 9A-5P Tu Closed

checked by DB 10-09


Climb 1286' from rt. 9 junction to Ames Hill, over about 5 miles. Nice break with about 300' to go at Orchard with view of Mt. Monadnock some 40 miles to the E. Once you summit Ames you can turn around, or go on to Marlboro, then turn L and come back via W. Guilford, or extend for scenery to the covered bridge at Green River (see USGS Brat. quad or DeLorme VT). In dry weather this is all hardpack dirt roads, w/next to no motor traffic. In mud season expect ruts & moving water, made more difficult b/c they turn up about 700' into a 1200'+ climb. - DB from web


D2R2 runs throught his area: http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/D2R2-170km2009 - Dave Tremblay


Further south?



Specific roads/trails the route MUST include:

Camping opportunities:

Woodford State Park


Zone 5 Rt 9-Rt 4 (west)

Suggested route ideas:




Rt 9 Bennington to Rt 4 Bridgewater Corners

Includes GMNF bike trails.  Also includes a very short piece of VAST to get from FS Rd 10 towards Greendale. (This short piece will require care)

96.9 miles, 9700' gain


Rt 9-Kelley Stand (2 options)

1) New bike/equestrian trail

This needs to be field checked: http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/greenmountain/htm/greenmountain/links/recreation/seasonal/images/new_horsebiketrails_woodford-somerset.pdf


According to this, all new equestrian trails are ALSO ok for mt bikes.  New trails are by designation only, not new construction.

By phone conversation with GMNF office, trails are open. - DB

.gpx data would be really nice!


2) gmnf road rec71 searsburg to sunderland-Dave Tremblay

excellent map of GMNF roads


It appears that Somerset to GMNF rd 71A to Kelly Stand is the only section of road that provides N-S progress. -dt


From Kelley Stand Rd to Kendall Farm Rd, can follow IPRoad (same as Catamount Trail and VAST) -DB


summer use permission: http://www.bikekinetix.com/t_vt/vt_state/greenmt_north_fr.php


From Rt 11 to USFS Rd 30 to USFS Rd 10 (Danby Road)

New GMNF long distance mt bike trail: http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/greenmountain/htm/greenmountain/links/recreation/seasonal/images/new_horsebiketrails_mttabor-winhall_oct08.pdf


Belmont General Store

2400 Belmont Rd, Belmont, VT
(802) 259-2292



Weston Village Store has cheese, fudge, maple syrup  open daily 9-5

Bryant House: lunch 7 days 11:00 am-3:30 pm; dinner Tuesday through Sunday 3:30 pm to 8:00 pm. 802-824-6287







DT- suggest route from Rt 155 north to Plymouth Five Corners to Bridgewater Corners


Kate Carter's book recommends:

1) Eastham Rd-Ninevah Rd by Lake Ninevah

2) Loop with CCC Road, Old Plymouth Rd, chunk of singletrack.  west side of Calvin Coolidge SF, Shrewsbury

3) Hale Hollow Rd, Mt. Moses Rd, Mecawee Pond Rd: all in NW Reading


Specific roads/trails the route MUST include:

Camping opportunities:

Hapgood Pond          map

Greendale Campground    this was a no-go as the road does not connect north to south. dt

Camp Plymouth State Park


Zone 6 Rt 4-Rt 2 (west)

Suggested route ideas:



Rt 4 Bridgewater to Elm St in Montpelier

78.2 miles 9600' gain




Bridgewater-Pittsfield  23 miles, 3300' gain in two climbs.  Gets over AT corridor on logging roads at Notown.  Needs to be field verified.  Alternatively the Long Trail guide mentions that the Chateauguay Road is good gravel. - DB

South Hill Rd-Taggart Brook recommend by Kate Carter book





Jason Hayden wants to help us get from Pittsfield to Plymouth... he should have some great ideas here!

I also spoke with Doon at green mtn bikes - and he has some ideas for rochester area.


There are great trails open in the Green Mountain National Forest, Pittsfield, VT:

Contest trail off of Liberty Hill Road

Ash Hill trail off of Liberty Hill road

Hayes Brook Traill off Upper Michigan Road


Once in Stockbridge - there is a cool legal GMNF bike trail to Liberty Hill

To Rochester

North Hollow to Mt Cushman

or if riding N-S Braintree Gap

Thresher Ct crns Carrie Howe

Devils Washbowl

Herring Brook  (so beautiful right now)

Jones Brook Ward Brook - Hog Hollow- Dave Tremblay


1997 Map Adventures Randolph mtb map shows that from Rt 100 in Stockbridge, New Boston Rd, singletrack section, Austin White, Hopper Hollow Rd aka Breakneck Hill Rd to Rochester Gap.  Singletrack from there about 1/3 of the way towards the four corners E of Mt. Cushman. - DB

Thayer Brook Rd

From Randolph Village, "Stagecoach Rd" singletrack to satellite dishes.  Murphy Rd, Peth, E Braintree, Farnsworth Rd, Davis Acres, Bover Rd, Pope Rd, Cram Hill- DB


Mt Cushman gap route and other dated but possibly relevant routes:



Gazetteer shows dotted route from Rice Tract Rd-Old Warren Rd, south of Roxbury Gap... rideable?- Dave Blumenthal

This is in Roxbury State Forest Land - was unridable after big Ice Storm of 1998.  Will ask Geoff Wade.

Raynor Road is nice.

Waitsfield mtb trails - Beaver Meadow - Camel's Hump Rd - Little River - new VMBA ride center trails - Stowe - Dave Blumenthal

Beaver Meadow is a critcal link between Little River and Mad River Trails.  It is a logging road used by four wheelers but posted no biking.




Specific roads/trails the route MUST include:

Camping opportunities:

Stony Brook Shelter ~.5mi west of route on AT at Notown.  NO BIKES on the AT.  Carry your stuff there. - DB


Zone 7 Rt 2-Canada (west)

Suggested route ideas:



Elm St Montpelier to Ayer's Cliff Quebec

90.3 miles, 6600' gain



Bring your passport!


Louis Garneau USA

1352 East Main Street

Newport, VT 05855 US

P: 800-448-1984


Creperie in Beebe?





Dave will ask Becka Roolf about these to get something map-like.


Barnett Hill


not sure here? BolduC? bear Swamp?

long meadow hill /kaeding trail

slayton pond/eagle ledge

too muddy?- Dave Tremblay


Eagle Ledge Rd cut over to Woodbury Mt Road - DB


Specific roads/trails the route MUST include:

Camping opportunities:





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