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Vist Us

Vist Us

So you’ve decided to come visit us! That’s wonderful, we love having visitors. In fact, we need human contact in regular doses or we start twitching. We’ve got a handful of recommendations on what to do and where to nosh once you’re here!

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COVID Info: Vermont has very low virus numbers. Part of that is because there are so few folks here but part is because we play things safe. For current info on traveling to Vermont, or within Vermont, please reference the VT COVID Travel Page put together by the state government.  https://accd.vermont.gov/covid-19/restart/cross-state-travel.

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As far as the riding goes around these parts, we’re pretty spoiled. From May-November the dirt roads and class-four roads are in their prime condition. The class-four roads aren’t maintained in the winter, so passing them can either be way more work than it’s worth or downright impossible. Not to say we still don’t try! Our fat bikes have come in handy there.

Your primary resource for getting out on gravel or singletrack is going to be Slate Valley Trails. They’ve mapped out a Gravel Road Network which has a bunch of 10-30 mile loops that all begin in Poultney proper. There are cue sheets and maps for each route that you can print off, or if digital navigation is more your thing, you can use the routes in the Ride With GPS app.

For those of you to whom singletrack calleth, we’ve got you covered. There are currently three trailheads, with about 50 miles of trail currently. Our trail system is still growing! All said and done we’ll have more than 60 miles of single track all within a short drive/ride from the shop.

The Fairgrounds: This area has a good mix of trail difficulties. If you’re riding with a beginner, or just want to get your legs back under you from the cold months: start with Bumper Cars. Merry-go-Round has a bit more climbing, and a few switchbacks, but isn’t technical. There’s an “East” and “West” to Fairgrounds. The parking lot is up Town Farm Road (a dead end road) and is on the east side. To access the western trails, ride down Town Farm Road and cross Route 140. There, you’ll come across a map so you can figure out your game plan, take the snowmobile bridge over the Poultney River. Follow the little green and white SVT signs and you’ll be set!



Endless Brook Trails: Our favorite way to access the Endless Brook Trails is to head out from the shop, take a left on Route 140, ride right past the trailhead for the Fairgrounds (which is always so hard to do), continue on for a bit and then head right up Dayton Hill Road. Dayton Hill turns class-four about ½ the way up, and you’re dodging potholes that have turned into ponds. After the crest of Dayton, you descend down down down, if your eye site is sharp enough, you’ll catch a little carved sign on the right and a sniggle (single track path), that’ll take you in the back way to Shale Shifter. If you miss that, which you probably will, don’t stress! Just keep cruising down to the stop sign, hang a right on Endless Brook Road and you’ll see the trailhead and parking area on the right.

Delany Woods is in the town of Wells, and is off the northern tip of Lake Saint Catherine. Access to the trailhead is tucked down a class-four road (which is pretty gnarly ifn’s you’re interested in riding down that we’ll put together a route for you!). The trails themselves are twisty and not always marked. But it’s a small area, and you can’t get lost. Indulge your sense of adventure and just wing it!

 


For any of the single track areas, we recommend printing off the trail maps from Slate Valley Trails website. If you’re better at keeping track of your phone than a piece of paper, a solid resource is TrailForks. It’s an app powered by Pink Bike (if that means nothing to you, don’t sweat it), and is pretty comprehensive. Download it and you’ll have it as a back up if you get in a pinch. Download the VT state trails and any other states you frequent and you’re good to go!

For a mellow day of riding with your family or partner, consider taking the D&H Rail Trail from downtown Poultney up to Castleton. It’s about 7 miles one way. When you get into town, head on over to the Birdseye Diner to treat yourself to a milkshake. Then, head across the street to the Castleton Village Store and grab a box of wine, some beer, and a few snacks. Before you head back south, mozy over to Castleton University and poke around on their multi-use trails.

Now that you’ve worked up an appetite just thinking about all the riding you’re gunna do. We’ve got some must eats for ya:

Sissy’s Kitchen is in Middletown Springs, the next town east of our shop. It’s about 8 miles away, a lovely ride or drive along the Poultney River. Get over there for breakfast and order the best corned beef hash we’ve ever had. Poke around in her beautiful garden while you wait, then snag one of picnic tables and just know that life truly couldn’t get any better unless there were basset hounds bounding around the garden. (And there used to be! Tragically they both passed on to that big garden in the sky). Be warned that there are baked goods sprinkled everywhere the eye looks, and you’ll definitely end up buying a treat or two while you’re in there. Maybe you should ride there after all…She also has an awesome lunch menu, and makes take n’ bake frozen dinners too. Her hours are limited 9-6 Wed-Sat, and 9-4 on Sunday, so make sure you don’t miss out on this gem!

The East Poultney General Store is run by Mike and Emily, who are transplants from California and shaking things up at the General Store — for the better! They are a short 3 minute walk/1 half-minute bike ride from our shop, and is our go-to for staples. Beer, wine, coffee, sandwiches, kombucha, fresh baked goods, and lots of snacks! During the summer/fall Quill Hill Farm has a farm stand outside. Vermont honor system, so make sure you have some cash on hand.

 

Wells Country Store holds a special place is James and his family’s hearts. They’ve been stopping in for the best cider donuts around since James was a wee babe. His mom orders a big batch of their mixed berry muffins to take home and freeze at the end of every Vermont visit. She loves them that much. We’ve never had anything but pure deliciousness from the Wells store, drop in and you’ll be so happy you did.

Tap’s Tavern is located on Main Street in downtown Poultney. It’s genuinely fantastic and we’re super grateful to have them as our primary dinner spot. They have a solid tap list of VT beers (obviously), the cocktails are on point, and we highly recommend sharing (because its huge) the pulled pork nachos. Burgers, the beet salad, and the seasonal pasta are also high on the list.

 

Maybe you want to do something other than ride your bike and eat while you’re here. Coupla things real quick:

The Deane Nature Preserve is a semi-steep hike up the ridge to a lovely overlook of Lake St. Catherine. Accessing the trailhead can feel a little weird. You walk through the private property of a cool cottage, cross a bridge over a pond (where you’ll scope some interesting sculptures). You’ll find raspberries in the field at the bottom and wild blueberries at the top if you happen to be around in the right season. It’s owned by Green Mountain College which, at the time of this writing, is on track to close at the end of the current semester. We don’t know what that’ll mean for the Deane Preserve so before you head over just check in and figure out if it’s still open to the public.

One last thing!

The Lake Saint Catherine State Park entrance is about 5 miles south from the shop down Route 30. It’s a fine place to camp, family friendly, with showers and real toilets (oh my!). You’ll have access to the lake, which has a nice beach for swimming, and kayaks you can rent. The Lake itself if about 7 miles long, so you could easily spend a couple days paddling around at a gentle pace. In the winter, the park closes for camping, but you can still get in to XC ski, and when the lake freezes up in the winter you’ll find ice fisherpeople driving around and drilling fishing holes near their shanties. We recommend taking out fat bikes with studded tires on the frozen water, it’s pretty surreal (and mostly not terrifying, just don’t think about it too hard!).

This is just a short list of the resources in our neck of the woods, we’d love to tell you more, so don’t be afraid to ask!

Click here to check out a few options on where to stay once you're in Poultney!