Ride Around Mount Mansfield
Estimated Mileage: 40.4 miles
Estimated Time: 1 hour, 32 mins Normally, I would not recommend riding up VT-100 towards Stowe or through Smuggler's Notch unless your idea of great ride is wallowing behind a motor home at 35 mph. Last night, however, I found an enjoyable way to make the ride around Mount Mansfield: do it just before dusk when traffic is relatively light and the campers have setup for the evening. This time of day is also ideal because the low sun makes for some beautiful views over the mountain. The first local trick is to get off of VT-100 and take the Moscow Rd to avoid the Stowe village (sorry, shoppers). This short cut will put you out higher up the Mountain Rd (VT-108) and cut out at least one traffic light. The ride through the notch is interesting, as the road is very narrow. Keep to the white line as you weave through the notch so you don't get plastered by an oncoming SUV. After riding through the notch and down the Smuggler's Notch ski area side of things, you'll end up in Jeffersonville. The intersection at VT-108 and VT-15 is tricky and line of sight is poor. Almost immediately after pulling onto VT-15 look for a left onto Upper Pleasant Valley Rd. You will follow Upper Pleasant Valley Rd to Pleasant Valley Rd for the ride down the western side of the mountain.