VT-100 Alternatives: Part 1 - VT-12
Estimated Mileage: 91.4 miles Estimated Time: 3 Hours, 17 mins
VT-12 runs from Hartland north to Morrisville and is a typical Vermont country road with a mixture of sweepers, straights and curves through a combination of woods and open farm.
Riding from the south you can use VT-106 to join VT-12 at Woodstock. Woodstock Vermont is a nice tourist town with interesting shops, places to eat and tourist events. Woodstock provides all of the amenities that an out-of-state traveler might need.
Coming into Woodstock on 106 can be confusing. As you enter town on VT-106, go right at the town green and then straight to the Woodstock downtown. Follow the signs for US4 east and VT-12 will be on your left.
If you miss this turn, you'll end up heading east on US Route 4.
If you do end up on US-4, it is only a short distance from Woodstock to the Vermont Institute of Natural Science, VINS Nature center in Quechee Gorge. VINS has an outdoor preserve for injured birds of prey. This is a worthy stop if eagles, hawks and falcons are cool to you.
Following VT-12 north from Woodstock, the road travels through Bethel VT, where you can find the typical small-town Vermont amenities. Tozier’s Restaurant is a short hop west of the VT-12/VT-107 intersection. Toziers serves great seafood, homemade dinners, onion rings and crèmes. They also have a covered outdoor seating area. From Tozier's continue west to join VT-100 or backtrack east to rejoin VT-12.
Staying on VT-12, the next major town on a south-north ride is Randolph. Randolph is a medium size Vermont town with a variety of shops and food choices. You can find an auto parts store here if you need supplies for a quick fix.
For a less traveled route north, try VT-12a. This alternate route is longer than VT-12 proper, but adds curves and has less traffic. In the summer of 2009 there were new sections of pavement and the overall ride quality was very good.
The intersection for VT-12a is before you enter the Randolph "downtown". There are few services on VT-12a, so if you need fuel or food, stick to VT-12.
In Randolph, VT-66 provides a cut-over to VT-14 and provides a looping route with that road.
North of Randolph the road takes on a woodsier feel as it runs along the western edge of Allis State Park. This is my favorite section of this road. Baker Pond in Orange is a small fishing pond that has a parking area and is a good place to get off the bikes and walk around.
Adjacent to Baker Pond is VT-65 which has the famous floating bridge in Brookfield (video). This is literally a bridge that is floating on the water. VT-65 has section of dirt/gravel beyond the bridge, but shortly returns to pavement.
VT-12 runs through Montpelier’s downtown. Montpelier – Vermont’s capital city -- offers a strong variety of food, shopping and attractions and makes for a great rest stop.
North of Montpelier, VT-12 returns to open country roads and few towns. Run this north to Morrisville, where VT-12 intersects with VT-100 and VT-15.