- Bob LoCicero
Dirt Road Highway - Pittsford to Huntington
Estimated Mileage: 64 miles
Estimated Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
No one likes to be over dressed for a party. It can feel that way when you’re riding your knobby-tired dual-sport down a paved road, chugging along, wobbling the knobs into oblivion. You’re looking for dirt or gravel roads, but sometimes to get from here-to-there you to ride on pavement -- you don’t have a choice. Or do you?
This route takes you from Pittsford, VT to Mossy Glen Falls in Stowe, VT – a route of approximately 100 miles – with as little pavement as possible. There are stretches of mild class 4 roads, but the route is mainly scenic Vermont class 3 dirt roads. In all, the route is suitable for larger adventure touring bikes and riders seeking relaxation over gnar (or those who are looking to link sections of gnar by traveling on dirt).
Begin at Keith’s Country Store and Deli on US-7 in Pittsford, where you can get gas and deli sandwiches. (Note: Pittsford is easily confused with Pittsfield. The two towns are at nearly the same latitude, but are separated by the spine of the Green Mountains and the town of Chittenden; Pittsford on the west and Pittsfield on the east).
Head north on US-7 and take your first right turn onto Plains Rd toward the Pittsford town offices. Go .9 of mile: at the fork bear left onto Sugar Hollow Road and begin your dirt road travels.
Sugar Hill road is a pleasant, flowing road. In 2.6 miles, the road becomes Birch Hill Road. Stay on Birch Hill Road until you come to T-intersection at McConnell Rd. Turn right onto McConnell road and travel 1.5 miles to VT-73. (When travelling this route North to South, look for a cemetery immediately before the turn onto Birch Hill Rd).
VT-73, also known as Brandon Gap, is paved. Ride a nice twisty section of pavement for 2.1 miles until you see Town Hill Rd on the left. At the intersection, there is a sign for Goshen, the Blueberry Area and the Green Mountain National forest. Take the left onto Town Hill Road.
Watroba’s General Store -- on VT-73 just before the turn onto Town Hill Road – has creemee’s, food and a nice outdoor eating area with picnic tables and umbrellas.
Town Hill Road becomes Carlisle Hill Road, which becomes the Goshen Road (a.k.a. Forest Road 32). For the next 9 miles, you will be surrounded by the Green Mountain National Forest in the Moosalamoo National Recreation Area.
The Moosalamoo Recreational Area is 16,000 acres of forest, hiking trails, camping, and lakes. There is no off-road riding within the boundaries of the Recreational area.
After 3.7 miles on the Goshen Road, you will come to the Blueberry Hill Inn. The Inn was built in the 1800’s and sits in a picturesque setting, at the foot of Romance Mountain (seriously). The inn hosts many special events, so reservations are strongly recommended if you’d like to stay over night here.
There are two campgrounds within the Moosalamoo area. The Silver Lake Campground is on Silver Lake Road – a two mile side trip off our route (approximately 2.4 miles from the VT-73 junction). The campground is a small primitive campground that requires .6 mile hike from the parking area. There is no fresh drinking water at the campground, so plan ahead if you want to stay there.
The Moosalamoo Campground is located on the Goshen Road, 6.5 miles from the junction with VT-73. The campground has 19 campsites in a wooded setting, along a campground loop road. There is drinking water and vault toilets at the campground.
The Voter Brook Overlook, located off the Moosalamoo Campground road, has fine views of the Lake Champlain Valley and Adirondacks and is a worthy side trip, even if you have no plans to stay at the campground. There are several picnic tables there and it makes an excellent lunch spot.
The Gosham Dam, 4.8 miles from the VT-73 junction, is also an excellent side trip. The dam creates a tranquil lake with swimming and you can walk out across the top of the dam. The narrow side road that leads to the parking area can be loose and rocky and more closely resembles at class 4 road than a groomed road. Use care, as cars travelling in the opposite direction usually drive in the middle of the road.
The Goshen road ends, after 9 miles of dirt, on VT-125, a great paved road. Take a left onto VT-125 and head west approximately .7 of a mile and turn right onto Natural Turnpike Road (Forest Road 59).
The Natural Turnpike starts out paved, but eventually becomes a well groomed class-4 road before ending in Lincoln. To follow the Natural Turnpike, bear left at the fork with Peddler Bridge Road and head up the hill.
After approximately 3.5 miles you will come to a fork at Steam Brook Road. The Natural Turnpike is the left fork.
The Natural Turnpike becomes South Lincoln Road. Follow South Lincoln Road until you reach the pavement on East River Road/Lincoln Gap Road. Turn Left onto East River Road and ride into the center of Lincoln. The Lincoln General store, in Lincoln center, sells food and drinks, but no gas.
Turn right at the store onto Quaker Street (paved; becomes dirt). Follow Quaker Street .8 to Downingsville Rd. Take a right onto Downingsville Road and follow it for 5.1 miles. You will see the Jerusalem Country Store and VT-17 on your right. Take a right and ride the short connector road to VT-17.
The Jerusalem Country Store has food and gas. Take a right turn onto VT-17 and travel .4 mile. Take a Left turn onto Robert Young Road.
Follow Robert Young Road 1.9 miles to Upper Meehan Road. Take a right onto Upper Meehan Road and follow it to a T-intersection with Meehan Road. Take a right onto Meehan Road. Follow Meehan Road to Ireland Road. Take a left onto Ireland Road and follow it to VT-116.
Take a right onto VT-116 and travel 2.6 miles on pavement to the center of Starksboro. There is a general store in Starksboro, but no gas. Take a right turn onto Big Hollow Road and ride steeply up the hill.
Ride 4.2 miles on Big Hollow Road. Take a slight right turn onto Shaker Mountain Road. As you crest over the high point on Shaker Mountain Rd, there are fine views of Camels Hump and the Huntington River valley. Follow Shaker Mountain Rd to the Huntington Main Road.
Turn left onto the Huntington Main Road. Travel .8 mile to Huntington Center (Fire Station; Town Offices; no store or gas) and turn right onto Camels Hump Road. Travel .6 mile on Camels Hump Road and turn left at the farm onto Taft Road and ride steeply uphill.
Ride until Taft Road hits a T-intersection with East Street. Turn left onto East Street and follow it 1.6 miles to Huntington Village. Beaudry’s Store in Huntington village has food, creemee’s and gas.
This ends part-1 of the Dirt Road Highway. The next section takes us from Huntington to Stowe on dirt roads.
Pittsford to Lincoln
Lincoln to Huntington Main Rd
Huntington Main Rd to Huntington Center