The Slate Valley contains a mixture of gravel roads, paved roads, rough class 4 roads and the D&H Rail Trail, offering some very good cycling in Vermont and eastern New York. The area features quiet roads, charming villages, friendly people, valley roads and trails, mountain roads with good climbs, little traffic and scenic views. SVT has mapped 16 different routes out of the village of Poultney, Vermont in the heart of the Slate Valley.
Ride Start All rides begin at the D&H Trail kiosk at the intersection of Church and Knapp streets in Poultney. To reach the kiosk from Main Street, turn north on Depot Street from Main Street and then east (right) on Church Street until you come to the D&H Trail. If you are travelling to Poultney south on Route 30, turn right (west) onto Church Street and travel until you reach the D&H Trail. There are several places you can park.
Route Terrain Ratings Each route is rated based on the average for this area, which is somewhat flatter than other places in Vermont and generally hillier than other areas in the northeast. The routes with easier terrain generally stay in the valley and go north and south from Poultney. The routes become progressively hillier as you go east into the Taconics. As one person wrote on SVT’s Facebook page, “bring your climbing legs.”
Technical Hardness Ratings All the routes use public roads or a rail-trail. Nine of the 16 routes use gravel roads, paved roads and a rail trail that are generally smoothly surfaced and offer no technical difficulties. Seven routes use sections of unmaintained 4th class roads that do present some technical difficulty and require the ability to ride bikes on rough terrain.
The Gravel Ride Network is a series of different length loops on roads that explore the different areas and terrain of the Slate Valley.
Each of the rides has a map and a complete cue sheet (linked below).
13.4 miles, Moderately Hilly
8.2 miles, Moderately Hilly
14.0 miles one way, Moderately Hilly
14.2 miles, Moderately Hilly
14.4 miles, Moderately Hilly
15.5 miles, Flat