The Green Mountain National Forest consists of a North Half (the Rochester/Middlebury Ranger Districts) and a South Half (the Manchester District).
The Manchester Ranger District contains the area extending east to west from Wardsboro to the New York border and north to south from Wallingford to the Massachusetts border.
(State line of Massachusetts up to SR 140. It lies east of US 7 and west of SR 100)
While there are no freeways, interstates, or expressways that cross the Southern section of the Green Mountain National Forest, State and town roads travel around and lead to National Forest land. Approximately 243.6 miles of U.S. Forest Service Roads, (less than 2% are paved) wind through the Green Mountain National Forest providing a vast network of graveled forest and old dirt logging roads to explore and unlimited recreational opportunities at any season of the year.
The Manchester Ranger District is ideal for mountain biking. While both the north and southern sections of the forest offer a range of terrain, the southern Green Mountain section is lower in elevation and provides a more genteel biking experience. The Southern Green Mountain National Forest drapes the mountains and valleys in a verdant patchwork quilt of mostly successional northern hardwoods and pines. Old farm roads and carriage trails roll over the hills and wind around and through a mix of agricultural and open lands, wetland areas and woodland forest. The southern Green mountains is ideal for wildlife watching and the area where you are most likey to spot a moose. The GMNF network of Forest Service roads also provide connections with cross country and downhill ski areas, the Big Branch, Peru Peak, Lye Brook and George D. Aitken Wilderness Areas, the White Rocks National Recreation Area, hiking and snowmobile trail systems and singletrack trails perfect for mountain biking.
Non-motorized off-road vehicles such as mountain bikes and other bicycles may be ridden on gravel and paved Forest Service Roads when those roads are not gated or posted closed to bikes. (Bicycle use is specifically prohibited from the Long and Appalachian Trail, it's side trails, Wilderness, Primitive Areas and Special Areas).
The following Forest Roads are recommended for mountain bike riding..
Mt. Tabor (Danby) Forest Road 10
Distance: 10 miles
Trailhead: Located off Route 7 in Danby between Manchester and Rutland in the Southern part of the state, the 14 mile FR 10 which cuts directly through the GMNF makes for a beautiful ride. Park at the AT/LT parking lot on the west end of forest Road 10 to avoid the steep climb out of the valley.
It's a gravel road (cars allowed) that travels past beaver ponds, Devil's Glen Cave and scenic Utley Brook. Tributary roads to Forest Road 10 -- Roads 60, 30 and 279 add more miles of forest exploration. There is a small picnic area on the Danby side with a spectacular river gorge just below it and great views of the mountain from your table.
Moses Pond Road/Weston Loop: (Weston) Forest Road 18, 17, 17A, 29
Distance: 9 mile loop
Trailhead: Leave your car on the Green in Weston village.
Ride north out of the village on Route 100, then turn left on Greendale Rd. (FR 18). Two miles north, after crossing a bridge, take an immediate left onto Forest Road 17 and climb steadily along scenic Jenny Collidge Brook. After a mile and half, turn left onto FR 17A which runs right into Moses Pond Road (FR 29). From this high point, it's a lovely 4 mile coast downhill into Weston.
Griffith Lake (Peru) Forest Road 58
Distance: 4.0 miles round-trip
Trailhead: Town of Peru, off Forest Road 58.
From Route 7 in Manchester: take Route 11/30 east. Stay on Route 11, past the junction with Route 30, past Bromley Ski Area, and turn left into the town of Peru for 7.5 miles. Turn left onto Hapgood Pond Road.
From Route 100 in Londonderry: travel west on Rte 11 for about 5.0 miles and turn right into the town of Peru. Take Hapgood Pond Road north out of town; - Drive 1.0 mile on Hapgood Pond Rd. and then turn left onto North Road (Forest Road 22). Take North Road for 0.5 miles, turn left onto Mad Tom Road (Forest Road 21), drive approximately 2.0 miles, and turn right onto Forest Road 58. Continue to the gate at the end of the road and park at the Griffith Lake Trailhead.
An easy ride on a an old carriage road which meanders through a scenic mixed hardwood/softwood forest. There are several gradual inclines along the way (elevationgain 217 ft.) , but overall, the trail remains relatively flat. At approximately 0.5 miles from the trailhead, there is a large beaver pond, which offers excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing.
Griffith Lake is a popular area for picnicking, swimming, and camping. Please practice Leave No Trace ethics, such as carry out what you carry in.
Forest Road 71: (Somerset and Stratton) Forest Road 71, 83, 325
Trailhead: Park at the Landing Strip Campground.
From the parking area, you can follow FR 71 north and FR 83 west; Somerset Road to Somerset Reservoir to the east; or Castle Brook Road, FR 325 to the west.
International Paper / I.P Forest Road (Stratton) Forest Road 341
This road, also known as the International Paper or I.P. Road, can be accessed from the Stratton-Arlington Road (Kelley Stand Road) on the south and the Kendall Farm Road on the north. This road is open to mountain biking when not in use as a snowmobile trail.
It is a 18.6-mile ride on a hard, gravel road surface that is rated moderate with an elevation change of 1,227 ft.
Wallingford Pond: (Wallingford)
Distance: 1 mile (one way)
Park in the parking lot near the end of Wallingford Pond Road (FR 20). At the bulletin board take the old road into the woods and follow the highly-eroded road a mile to the pond. Don't forget the picnic lunch.
Little Pond Road: (Woodford)
Distance: 2 miles (one way)
Park in the parking lot on Route 9. Bike two miles over rough road to the pond. Look out for blackberries (in season) along the way.
Kelly Stand Road/Arlington-West Wardsboro Road: (Sunderland, Stratton)
From the west, this route is a strenuous climb. Tributary roads such as FR 70 and FR 85 add miles of forest roads to explore.
For more information
Manchester Ranger District
Phone: (802) 362 – 2307