Hill Blocks View

Distance: 42 miles

Elevation gain: 3,667 (GPS devices vary)

Road Surface: 60% gravel; 33% asphalt; 7% Class IV/other

The Lake Iroquois boat launch parking lot is a good place to start and finish. Just a bit further down the road is a public beach which is also a nice option if you feel like taking a dip after you’re finished. Head out the gravel road from the boat launch and take a right on Oak Hill Road, then a left onto Willow Brook Lane, a gravel section featuring a speedy descent just before hitting Route 2A.

Pond Road is a lovely gravel portion that will take you to Dorset St., which turns back to dirt, then on to Shelburne-Hinesburg Road. The turn onto Boutin Road is easy to miss so keep your eyes peeled. You’ll take a hard left and Boutin quickly devolves into Class IV, which is generally overgrown at the start but improves as you go further. You’ll exit near a driveway and find your way to the intersection with O’Neil Road.

The gravel roads in this part of the Champlain Valley are disconnected and interspersed with asphalt, that’ll be the story for the next few sections as you make your way to Mt. Philo.

Here you’ve got the choice of paying the day use fee ($4 at the time of this posting) and riding up the mountain on the well-maintained asphalt road (which becomes one-way partway up), or continuing onward. The views at the top of the climb are well worth it if you’re up for the effort, which is strenuous but not particularly long.

On from Philo, you’ll find the Quinlans Covered Bridge and a meandering Lewis Creek Road, which takes you to Roscoe and Rotax Roads. You’ll make your way around Cedar Lake and start heading back north on Monkton Ridge, orchards and farms dotting the landscape.

Once you reach the intersection of O’Neil Road for the second time, you’ll take a right and head down Shelburne Falls Road, crossing Route 116 and passing Champlain Valley Union High School on your way back up Pond Road to Lake Iroquois.