This ride’s general location is Rochester. Scenery is densely wooded, with one meadow view. The single-track section is a blast, and this ride can be connected to the “Ash Hill Trail” ride for a total of 17.5 very difficult miles. This ride is a real treat. You will be better to ride it counterclockwise because the final descent would be a killer to climb.
|Activity Type||Mountain Biking|
|Length||9 total miles|
|Elevation Gain||1500 feet|
Trailhead: A mile south of Rochester on VT 100, turn west onto Liberty Hill Road (Forest Service Road 223). Go .5 mile, cross a concrete bridge, and park in the area on the right. Your ride begins where you park.
Directions: From the parking area, begin riding on Liberty Hill Road (FR 223), heading for the big red barn. Begin climbing right away and soon you will pass a beautiful white house on the left; farther up the climb you will bad a beautifully refurbished farmhouse with outbuildings and excellent views to the south.
After most he 1.5 miles of climbing, come to a trail junction marked with VAST trail signs. You will also notice a white mountain biker sign. Stay to the left at this junction and continue climbing. Stay left at the next Y-intersection where FR 228 goes off to the right. A quarter mile from this intersection, you will pass the Contest Trail terminus on the left. Don’t go that way – clockwise on the Contest Trail is brutal (but not impossible), which is why I have presented this ride in the counterclockwise direction.
This section of Liberty Hill Road is moderately challenging, with rocky and muddy sections along the way. Eventually it descends along a stone road with meadow views ahead and to the right. In 1 mile it turns to a maintained town road. Continue descending and at 3.7 miles turn left onto FR 292. Look for the little, white mountain bike rider sign.
Climb steeply on this double-track trail to a high meadow with great views to the right. Pass through a gate and go left as you enter the meadow. Follow the grassy trail, veering right and passing remnants of stone foundations on you left. Cross the meadow to the far side, then go left on a grassy trail. Ride north on the edge of the meadow. Turn right to enter the woods through an opening in the stone wall. Climb a steep pitch to the high point of the ride and begin about 2 miles of fun single-track that is will marked with mountain biker signs and white arrows. This is the Contest Trail.
Following a long descent, the Contest Trail brings you back to Liberty Hill Road. Turn right and retrace your steps back to the start, for a total of 9 moderate miles with a few difficult sections. Or, at the next trail junction, take Ride 42, Ash Hill Trail for a longer ride (17.5 miles).
Download the map, courtesy of Green Mountain National Forest Services.
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