There are plenty of perks to visiting a rural village like Grafton, Vermont, but it’s an exceptionally good location to vacation for the adventure-seekers and cyclists among us. Bring your favorite two wheels and push pedals along one of the following dirt or road cycling routes while you’re here. In addition to the Grafton Trails and Outdoor Center, where you can enjoy mountain biking in the summer and fat tire biking in the winter, there are several other places to pedal:
Dirt Roads to Ride Around Grafton
Hinkley Brook/Houghtonville Loop: 9mi/15km, 2hr., moderate terrain
A good climb to start but a great 7 mile downhill on the way home. Recommended direction is to turn left on Main Street and follow Hinkley Brook Road to the top of the hill, turn right on to Cabell Rd. leading into Houghtonville. Turn right on to Rt 121 East and return to Grafton.
Middletown Road Loop: 6mi/10km, 1.25 hr, light to moderate terrain
The inner loop of Hinkley Brook Road; turn left on Main Street and follow Middletown Road around to Rt 121. Turn right on Rt 121 and return to Grafton.
Popple Dungeon Loop: 12mi/20km, 3 hr., moderate to challenging terrain
Turn left on Main Street, follow Rt 121 west 5 miles to Houghtonville, then turn right on to Stage Coach Road. Continue to Popple Dungeon Road, turn left and ride to Windham (7mi). Turn left on to Rt 121 and return to Houghtonville and continue back to Grafton. (Alternate route: Turn Right on Popple Dungeon Road to Rt 35, then turn right on Rt 35 and return to Grafton. Rt 35 is paved.)
Putnam Forrest Overlook Ride: 7mi/12km, challenging climbs
Beautiful vistas await at the top of this loop. Follow Rt 121 west, turn right over the bridge just past Middletown Road and follow Putnam Forrest Road to the top of the hill. This turns to a jeep path ~2 miles out.
Paved Roads to Bike Near Grafton
Chester – Saxtons River Ride: 28 mi/45km, easy to moderate terrain
There is a short distance on a major road but most riding is on paved country roads. Head north on Rt 35 to Chester, turn right on to Rt 103 to Rockingham, right on to Pleasant Valley Road to Saxtons River, right on Rt 121 and continue on 121 west into Grafton.
Saxtons River Out & Back Ride: 18 mi/29 km, overall easy terrain that follows the Saxtons River
East on Rt 121 to Cambridgeport, left across the bridge, continuing on Rt 121 into Saxtons River. A good turn around point is the Saxtons River store.
Athens – Townshend Hill Loop: 18 mi/20km, 2 hr, overall moderate terrain, short unpaved section of road
Head east on Rt 121 to Cambridgeport, continue straight on Rt 35 south towards Athens. A short section of Rt 35 is unpaved, continue on to Townshend Road (look for the sign and sharp reverse Y). Turn right on Townshend Road and return to Grafton.