Do not confuse with route 65 at Brookfield where the infamous Floating Bridge is. Do stop here but don't think you can cross it presently.
Take route 12 north from this intersection to South Northfield, turn west on route 64 to Roxbury and pick up the Roxbury Mountain Road to Warren for an incredible loop.
I cobbled this together from various roads I driven over the years (mostly off the beaten path). LOTS of turns here. The road layout in western Caledonia and Orleans Countys do not follow a nice linear pattern along the ridgelines as they do in the Passumpsic River Valley making for a lot more turns. There are still wonderful rollling farmland views to be had along this route. Good Luck!
Starting point is the Comfort Inn off of I-91 Exit 20 in St. Johnsbury, VT
Directions in Google Maps:
Short Loop (NEK SW-short)http://g.co/maps/ddvrp 30 miles of driving
Long Loop (NEK SW) https://goo.gl/maps/K2Tsfp134c72 82 miles of driving
S Wheelock/Stannard Mtn Rd:
Can't remember specifically where this one is along the route:
Hubbard Hill Road (recommended time between 2-3:30PM for best light on a sunny day)
Edit 9/27/11: Heavily revised to clean up content. Hopefully no one got too lost with the old directions
Some out of towners will be only able to make a day trip to the Northeast Kingdom. Taking that into consideration, which of your two wonderful drives on this thread would you recommend for a day trip? Is it possible to drive, both, your previous drive posted which is in the Lyndonville/Burke areas and this additional Northwest of NEK drive in a day? Next, advise driving conditions for the Northwest of NEK drive. What are roads like, paved, dirt, bumpy? Need a high car clearance or four wheel drive? My husband advised I not plan any more drives like the one lane, dirt road drive we experienced last year to the Lewis Pond Overlook. I will never hear the last of that from him when suggesting drives! Was planning to drive the Lyndonville/Burke Mountain drive prior to your dangling another "carrot" in front of me with your Northwest of NEK drive. Oh, the dilemnas of so much beauty to see and so little time then you have another drive planned for next year....trying to get there, let alone keep up with you, NEK! Again, appreciate all the time and efforts you have invested in assuring folks some wonderful drives in the Northeast Kingdom. What a Kingdom to behold!
Out of Townshend, take right onto Rt. 35. Follow for 2 miles, take right onto Easthill Rd. Take 1st left onto Deer Valley Rd. Do you want an enchanted, winding, dirt road drive in the woods with old stone walls, pastures, cows, horses? This is it. Stunning, picturesque, short and sweet!
Check your library for this book. Borrow the book or xerox what current Vermont drives may be listed in the latest edition. Some may wish to purchase this wonderful book. Highly recommend Reader's Digest, The Most Scenic Drives in America.
Look for this other stunning back road: Strafford Mountain Road/Justin Morrell Memorial Highway into Strafford. Unreal. Slow down at Tunbridge, it's on the left, sharp turn. SMALL sign. Visit the town of Strafford. If you think Peacham was a step back in time, wait 'till you arrive here.
I've already praised it in this topic, but NEK's "Loop through the central Northeast Kingdom" is the prettiest drive I've been on in my life. There was one road on there which was ROUGH (passable in an SUV but you had to go about 5 mph to handle all the ruts) but the others were fine. I believe NEK notes that road and suggests a detour if you want to avoid it.
Looking forward to trying NEK's new route.
My sister-in-law lives in Ludlow, and we visit every year around Columbus Day weekend. I've done lots of "Jenne Farm" and the area around Woodstock (including the road with all the farms). Was hoping to find some new 'shoots' this year and you guys hit this one outta the park, thank you!!
I've copied all the suggestions to a Word document, Google mapped them from my SIL's house, and then re-arranged to divide into "north" and "south" trips.
Of the spots already listed, does anyone have a preferred time of day for any of them? I.e. better light for morning vs. evening?
Take Route 4 to Taftsville
Cross the Taftsville Covered Bridge
Drive up hill, turn left onto Hillside road.
Watch for signs leading to Sugarbush Farm.
There's some farm animals for both the child in us and lil ones to enjoy.
There's a short trail with maple trees with information on how maple syrup is collected. May visit their Sugarhouse and view a brief educational videotape about Sugarbush Farm.
There's a chapel in the woods.
Sugarbush makes and sells their cheese which may be sampled.
Nice gift shop with Maple products and cheese.
Queeche Gorge (preferably mid week)
Shelburne Farms & museum
Hildene, Todd Lincoln home (great tour guides!)
Ethan Allen homesite
Island Pond area
There are so many, two that have greatly improved since we visit visited them, Hildene and the Ticonderoga at the Shelburne Museum, to see the restoration that have taken place is amazing. One we will greatly miss is The Fool on the Hill, ouside of Woodstock. It was so much fun to see all the mini farmland and forest friends scattered all over the hillside, and stuff ourselves with fresh roasted corn on the cob drenched in melted butter. Yum! Then last year when we visited with friends from Arizona, one of the highlights for her(one of her favorite poets) was Robert Frost's home in Shaftsbury and of course his burial site in Bennington. So ther is something for everyone.
1st off, thanks for all of the compliments I enjoy living here and sharing my local knowledge with others.Aspen wrote: Some out of towners will be only able to make a day trip to the Northeast Kingdom.
1. Taking that into consideration, which of your two wonderful drives on this thread would you recommend for a day trip?
2. Is it possible to drive, both, your previous drive posted which is in the Lyndonville/Burke areas and this additional Northwest of NEK drive in a day?
3. Next, advise driving conditions for the Northwest of NEK drive. What are roads like, paved, dirt, bumpy? Need a high car clearance or four wheel drive?
1. I personally prefer the "NEK Central" (Lyndon/Burke) route over the NEK west route due to less complexity and arguably better mountain views. However, they are both very scenic.
2. Depends on how much you like to stop and take photos and/or enjoy the scenery. If you are strictly a drive and look foliage observer you can do both in the same day (I'd estimate roughly 3-3.5 hours of leisurely driving time per route). If you like to stop and enjoy good spots I would concentrate on just one of the trips.
3. As faxmachineanthem pointed out, the NEK Central route has a stretch of rough narrow Class 4 road (Wheeler Mtn Rd), but I do provide an alternative route in the directions. The NEK West route avoids Class 4 roads and improved logging roads (e.g. roads to Lewis Pond). Although, there is a significant amount of gravel driving on the West route, none should be terribly rutted or tough to drive on.
Likewise, that goes for Faxmachine who lives up to his name..."faxing/running off" a great list of routes for those on this Foliage Forum to drive. This has taken off to be a wonderful Fall Foliage year on this Forum with so many sharing their Vermont knowledge to ensure that others enjoy their visits to Vermont.