1/2 mile south of Rochester on Route 100 turn right onto route 73 (Brandon Gap Rd.) After about 2 miles, where 73 makes a sharp left, go straight on Forest Road 42. (Bingo Rd.) Park along the road.
The Green Mountain National Forest's scenic beauty along the backbone of Vermont's Green Mountains offers unlimited recreation opportunities any season of the year. Ideal for mountain biking is a network of secluded forest and old logging roads which lead over rolling hills and verdant mountain peaks; along cold mountain streams and beaver ponds; through dense pine forests and lush green valleys.
There are three trails in the Rochester District open to mountain bikes; Pine Brook, Ash Hill and the Contest Trail.
Thresher Hill / Pine Brook Loop Mountain Bike Ride
The Pine Brook Trail is one of several designated mountain bike trails in the Central Vermont Green Mountain National Forest. It's a pretty bike ride through the woods along bubbling streams. The trail begins on FR 42 Bingo Road) and connects to Thresher Hill Road (FR 62), which is located on the right at a four-way intersection. The Pine Brook Trail begins at the end of FR 62. It follows an old road and crosses Pine Brook and a couple of smaller streams on trail bridges before rejoining Bingo Road.
The elevation on Bingo Road (FR 42) is 1200 ft.. Highest elevation is 170 ft. Total distance of round trip is approximately 5 miles and rated moderate.
Forest Road 42 is located 4.5 miles west of Rochester off Vermont Route 73. This country road meanders along a mountain stream providing very nice riding along a low gradient in the cool shade of the forest. If you do not want to do the complete five mile Pine Brook Route, this makes an easy out and back trip. Heading out, you can pedal quite comfortably as the trail climbs gently. Then turn around and enjoy the return trip. It's a nice family ride. Just about anyone will enjoy this ride.
If you want more and are up to the challenge, head onto Thresher Hill for the second leg of this route.
If you climb Thresher Hill (Forest Road 62) you will be rewarded by great views, a steady gradual climb, and a great workout. Continue beyond the end of FR 62 onto the Pine Brook Trail. If you don't want to do the Pine Brook Trail segment, just turn around and head back for a fun return trip.
Pine Brook Trail
The Pine Brook Trail is a 1.5 mile trail connecting Bingo and Thresher Hill forest Service Roads in Rochester.
Park at any of the small pull-offs along Bingo Road (Forest Road 42). Bike along FR 42 to Thresher Hill Road (FR 62) which intersects on the right at a 4-way intersection. Follow FR 62 to it's end where the Pine Brook Trail begins.
The trail follows an old road, crossing Pine Brook and a couple of smaller streams on trail bridges. The singletrack trail continues through a young hardwood forest, gradually descending along Pine Brook. It then passes through an old Hemlock forest and descends more sharply for a short distance before arriving at a closed gate at the bottom of a hill. Use caution and slow down when approaching the gate.
Note: The gate is to protect the trail surface from vehicle traffic. On the other side of the gate the trail takes a sharp right turn and soon intersects Pine Brook Road, a gravel surface road. Finally, take a left at this intersection to connect with Bingo Road (FR 42).
For more information
Rochester Ranger Station
Phone: (802) 767 - 4261
Green Mountain & Finger Lakes National Forest
Phone: (802) 747-6700