Monday, September 28, 2020

Cycling in the Northeast Kingdom

Happily aboard Miss Clementine, climbing and descending mostly dirt roads around East Charleston.
In early September, my husband and I escaped from busy Chittenden County and his full-time basement office drudgery, fueled by the promise of 4 days of idyllic, traffic-free, Vermont's Northeast Kingdom roads. 

A favorite pastime: inspecting tiny cemeteries.
We spent 3 nights in a cozy lean-to, serenaded by loons, owls, and breezy solitude. Not all campsites were open, which lent comfortable space between campers. Brighton State Park also has a series of hiking trails that came in handy to further stretch our legs.

By day we cruised paved roads that danced near the closed Canadian border.

Funny sign at a crossroad to greet Canadian's heading into Vermont (in normal times).

In Canaan's town square, fall foliage was just beginning.

Canaan's lovely library - open for business!

We stumbled on a very interesting monument!
Most afternoons we had time to also drive and explore some more. The extreme northeastern part of Vermont has always intrigued us. It's remote small towns are often reliant on tourism, and connections with New Hampshire and Canadian towns are important for commerce or family ties. Needless to say, lack of travel across the border has devastated summer tourism.

The entire Connecticut River is within New Hampshire, which means New Hampshire is responsible for upkeep of all bridges spanning the river.

The Connecticut River originates from small lakes in Canada (another area to someday explore) and runs the eastern border between Vermont and New Hampshire. As we were driving a winding, lovely Vermont-side road I offered to drive so my husband could enjoy some more carefree cycling miles. 

At Columbia Bridge, my husband starts his trek further south. I pick him up 10 miles later.

Home away from home for a few nights.

After a few morning showers on the fourth day, we traversed the Saint Johnsbury to Danville section (out and back) of the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail. Even on a Friday morning, the trail, which we thought was remote, was seeing frequent use. However, we all had plenty of space.

The renovated Danville station was a nice place for lunch.

A pedestrian and 4 wheeler/snowmobile bridge in Danville.

The western terminus of the section ends at Joe's Pond. It was nice to see that at least the tracks are gone for future LVRT connections. Someday the trail will run across Vermont.

It was a most welcome 4 day getaway, inspired by my husband's one week vacation. I'm glad we were able to choose the best weather days. Sleeping long hours on a camping mattress was tough on our bodies, especially with lack of daylight in September (and nowhere to hang out after hours because of you know what) but we thoroughly enjoyed our time away and got to explore more of our home state. What's not to like about that?


  1. Danville! I was born in Danville... Illinois. And both towns seem to look be about the same size. Both one-horse towns. Does your Danville have a post office? (the sure fire sign of achieving "town" status)

    1. Danville has a post office that's within a country store.

  2. Sounds like it was a nice getaway. The lean-to looks like a good way to camp.

    1. Randy, the leanto cost 28.00 per night! Worth it to insure dry camping. I slept for two out of three nights in my sleeping bag outside of the tent - no insects in September. I also stored my bike inside the shelter. A great experience all around.

  3. What a lovely tour and so nice to get away. I love those covered bridges we dont have them here.


Due to increased Spam, I am moderating comments. Thank you for your patience.