Head North!

As I’ve mentioned a few times in previous posts I, like many people, have been riding the same old routes all spring and summer, sticking nice and close to home. Yesterday, I decided I was really in the mood to get away and do something a little different. In other times, I might head over to New Hampshire or down into Massachusetts, but we are not in ‘other times’. I definitely wanted to stay within the borders of Vermont to avoid any issues with having to quarantine upon return.

So, I decided to throw my bike on the car, and head north to the town of St. Johnsbury, about 125 miles north of my house. St. Johnsbury is currently the eastern terminus of the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail. The LVRT is still under construction, but when complete will span 93 miles across the northern part of Vermont. There’s currently two sections complete. A western section that’s about 17 miles long, and an eastern section about 15 miles. I’d ridden the western section last year, so I was anxious to see what the eastern side was like.

Two hours in the car each way seems like a lot for a couple hour bike ride, but I had the advantage of looking at the beautiful fall foliage during the trip up north. The other small challenge of this trip was the weather. Yesterday was a sunny day, but up in northern VT, the temperature never got above 45 F, and there were steady winds of 15 to 20 MPH all day, so it was cold!

So, here’s just a few photos from the trail, and your chance to see a little bit of fall color.

Several of these tunnels near the start of the trail. I think this counts as an arch.
Tried to pose my bike standing using the pedal balanced on the helmet trick, but the wind wouldn’t have it.
One of the bridges crossing the many small streams in the area
There are many areas that cut through rock on both sides of the trail. They had to do a lot of work to lay those original train tracks
Some pretty leaves at one of the road crossings
Some socially distanced horses
Lunch stop to consume my PBJ wrap and a banana
And on my way back home. I missed a key photo op here, since this rest area had a bunch of Garceaus outside so those who wanted could avoid going inside

All in all, a good ride, and well worth the car trip. The first eight miles of the trail are a steady climb of about 2% grade, and unfortunately into that 15-20 MPH wind, so it was a bit of a 7 MPH slog in the beginning. Of course, I got to fly (and freeze!) on the way back.

Retired guy who likes to ride his bike in Vermont.

8 response to "Head North!"

  1. By: DJG Posted: October 9, 2020

    Stunning photo’s, your winter looks a bit closer than ours here in the UK.

    • By: BobinVT Posted: October 10, 2020

      Thanks Dave. Yes, winter is definitely right around the corner here, maybe. It’s pretty inconsistent these days. There’s been times there’s snow on the ground by Halloween, and then sometimes not until after Christmas. We shall see what weirdness 2020 brings.

  2. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: October 9, 2020

    That is a great trail! Beautiful photos, and Im envious to say the least.
    They are in the process of building a rail trail in our area, but progress is slow, and funding hard to come by. Ive ridden the completed 7 miles twice, but it along a US highway and thru the normal corn and soybeans — a far cry from the Lamoille trail.

    Brief video: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=kickapoo+rail+trail&&view=detail&mid=6EB1191C4FC00A0F25C86EB1191C4FC00A0F25C8&&FORM=VRDGAR&ru=%2Fvideos%2Fsearch%3Fq%3Dkickapoo%2Brail%2Btrail%26FORM%3DHDRSC3

  3. By: BobinVT Posted: October 10, 2020

    Thanks Rich. It is a great trail. I just wish it was closer to where I live. Your Kickapoo trail in the video looks nice too. I love trails that go through lots of small towns.

  4. By: Bill Stone Posted: October 10, 2020

    Beautiful, Bob! Great trail and pics. Any idea on when the full 93 miles will be complete? That will be quite a “must do” trail and attract cyclists from near and far.

  5. By: BobinVT Posted: October 11, 2020

    Thanks Bill. Good question, which I didn’t immediate know the answer. Turns out, the state recently approved funding for construction, targetted to be complete by 2023. I think doing it end to end will definitely go on my bucket list.

  6. By: The Navigator Posted: October 12, 2020

    What an absolutely gorgeous ride! Thanks for sharing.

    My parents used to pack up us kids most Sundays and easily drive 2-3 hours to different state parks all over Indiana to take us hiking for three or four hours. So driving a bit to ride a bit doesn’t seem odd at all! After we grew up, and my parents had done every natural area in IN at least a few times, they’d drive 3-4 hours over into Ohio to do the metro and state parks over there. Do it while you can 🙂 Their driving range and hiking distances are much shorter these days.

    • By: BobinVT Posted: October 12, 2020

      Thanks Em. You’re right, of course. It’s really not that far to go to enjoy a good ride. I just like that feeling of leaving from my back door, and feeling like I’m temporarily car-free.

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