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August 21, 2008

Bicycles, Barking Dogs, and Organic Cows

Biking in Vermont

by Sara Tucker

I love a good map, and I just found a beauty lying on the reception desk at the Three Stallion Inn in Randolph, Vermont--my hometown! I'm blown away to discover that I live in some of the best bicycling territory this side of Moab. It's all laid out in topographical detail in "White River Valley Biking Routes."

The map, which was commissioned by the inn from Map Adventures, LLC, encompasses 24 routes for all levels, on both dirt and paved roads. A sample: The 10.6-mile Organic Cow Farm loop for mountain bikes follows a snowmobile trail and a series of logging roads. Then there's a back-roads tour for hybrids that invites riders to "pick your own berries at Beebleberry Farm." But for me, the winner looks like a 40-mile ride along country roads past Floyd's Store (where my uncle and his buddies hang out), a sugar house that serves pancakes, and Ariel's Restaurant, where Brookfield residents love to bring their out-of-state guests. Not for me, though, is the Kelsey Challenge route, with its killer mountain road and its warning to "watch for barking dog (tan house on right with tall pines)."

I spent a good part of the weekend exploring the Three Stallion's own trail system, which is exquisite. Ferny forests, secluded ponds, stony brooks. We were on foot, and although the inn's 17 rooms were fully booked, we saw nary a biker nor a hiker. From September 2 to 18, the inn is offering a midweek discount (Sunday through Thursday) of 40 percent.


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