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NE Backcountry Discovery Route


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July 2022:


Day 0 – 6 Jul 2022:

For someone who has not seen a lot of the Northeast, the Backcountry Discovery Route crew did well to get something through Pennsylvania, New York state, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.  At the end of this I will show the RoadRunner magazine route I used to get South back through Vermont.

Afternoon 6 July traveled from home to Winchester VA, picked up a buddy who offered to drop me off vicinity of the start point, Hancock NY.

I am not a Facebook user, but was encouraged to join the NE BDR group and that was very worthwhile.  It was apparent there were a few people commencing South to North the same week.

I have had numerous bikes in the back of my Honda Ridgeline, but this was the longest – yes the tailgate is rated for that load:




We arrived Lakewood PA in the evening and stayed at the Lakewood Inn and Restaurant.  A bit pricey for what it was but had a great bar and meals.


Day 1 – 7 Jul 2022 (205 miles/7 hours in the saddle; 62f/78f)

I did Section 1 at about 135 miles and about 50 miles of Section 2 (and a bit off route to get fuel as I was not paying attention), ending up at Pine Hill NY – Starlite Motel.  Friendly staff at the hotel – pretty basic lodging and no walkable food options.




The gas symbol, top right is Fleischmanns, vicinity Pine Hill NY where I finished for the day.


The ride was very good.  About 30 mins in there was a 5 mile section of a “closed” road which was 1st gear and pretty rocky.  The remainder of the day was excellent black top (all minor roads) and plenty of dirt roads.  I saw one group of 7 heading South (going pretty fast on my side of the trail) and another single bike (two up) also heading South.  Also some four wheelers who had great trail manners.  I stopped in the afternoon to talk to a grader operator working on a forest road and he said he had seen about 10 bikes pass him that day heading North, so I assume they were on the BDR as well.

I got an early start and could have pushed on further, but had pre booked accommodation (not my original plan, I was going to wing it camping and hotels), as the NE BDR Facebook group had advised so.

I had a very relaxing afternoon ride, knowing that I had tons of time up my sleeve.  Quite different to the MA BDR a few weeks ago when I rushed to beat the weather on the last few days.  I would have liked to organize lodging on the fly, depending where I got to, but the Summer holidays made accommodation tight.


Vicinity Margaretville NY and Lake Como NY (the other Lake Como for you Europeans):





Day 2 – 8 July 2022 (233 miles/7.5 hours in the saddle; 64f/84f)

Completed Section 2 and 60 miles into Section 3, overnighting at Econo Lodge Lee, Great Barrington, MA.  Acceptable lodging.  Being Friday, plenty of weekend holiday travel around Great Barrington.

New York state; Connecticut and Massachusetts.




Started at the gas symbol to the West – Fleischmanns, ending gas symbol to the East, Lee MA.


Some greasy sections after overnight rain.


Early into the morning section, there is an “Easier” bypass that goes around 9 miles of the main route.

The green dash is the easier bypass:



I got 7.7 miles (of 9 miles) into the main route and got stuck on a hill with grapefruit size loose rock.  Lost momentum and could not get going again.  I was able to back down to a place where I could turn around and back tracked South to the Easier bypass.  If I was traveling with someone else, I would have given it another shot.  I did not get a photo of that!


All the roads were good.  Route 23 into Catskill was a little monotonous.  The road at the commencement of Section 3, up around Mt Washington State Forest (Western MA) was fun.


I did a small detour of 2-3 miles to get to Windham for lunch.  There are a couple of great options to eat.  I did Hickory Hill Market – great sandwiches.  Windham is about half way through Section 2.

The road out of Fleischmanns in the morning:





Other random shots.









More to follow ......

Edited by TenereTragic700
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Day 3 – 9 July 2022 (204 miles/7 hours in the saddle; 62f/75f)

Completed Section 3 and 73 miles into Section 4, overnighting at a B&B in Chester VT.  B&Bs are not my favorite – too fussy for me, but I was the only one in the small place and Chester VT is a nice little walking village.

Massachusetts and Vermont.



Started at the fuel symbol in the South (Lee, MA) and ended at the fuel symbol in the North (Chester VT).

The first 45 minutes out of Lee (North of the Wood Ponds area) was slow going, not too difficult, just slow.  That would have been very challenging in the wet.  I did not do the Mount Greylock side excursion as I though I did not have enough time.  Turns out I should have.  The first Class 4 road bypass is “Section 3 ALT: Easier Bannis Rd”.  I tried the main route and got stuck going up a gravel hill.  I doubled back and took the bypass and then came in main route from the North – was able to run it in reverse.  Even if you take the Bypass, go in the Northern end of the main route and then take to road up to Borden Mountain.  Excellent road up there.  There is a fire tower on the summit.

The next Class 4 road and associated bypass is Section 3 ALT: Easier West Hill, just South of Readsboro.  I took the main route (the Class 4 road) and it was a challenge but doable for me.  I stopped at the store at Mile 0 Section 4 and got a great sandwich.  Also stopped at Grafton, at the general store, where there is a great selection of stuff.  Nice place to sit outside as well.

The whole route from the commencement of Section 4 is great.  Vermont on a nice day is spectacular.

A good way to start and end the day:







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Day 4 – 10 July 2022 (169 miles/7.5 hours in the saddle; 59f/79f)

Completed Section 4 and about 50 miles into Section 5, overnighting at a hotel in Bristol VT.  Bristol is an easy jump off from the route and I used this as a base for some road riding in the area in 2019.  The Bobcat Café and Brewery has great meals and beer.

All Vermont today.


From the gas station symbol in the South (Lee, VT) to vicinity (East) of the gas symbol in the North (Warren VT).

I was not able to get through all of the 4 mile section of trail near Wallingford and doubled back to the Section 4 ALT: Easier Icebed Rd.  The 24 miles from East Wallingford to Bridgewater probably took me 2 hours.  That was hard work.  At Barnard VT, start of Section 5 I stopped for a great sandwich at the general store there.  Met up with some local dirt riders who were riding in the area.

Barnard North was all easy enough.  Was overtaken by a group of three, two on Zeros (battery powered bikes) and what looked like a WR250 – could be wrong on that last one.  Good to see electric bikes out there giving it a go.

Vicinity Mt Tabor, came across a car accident with a vehicle over the drop off on the side of the dirt road.  Two groups of hunters and their dogs had extracted the driver and got him up to the side of the road.  He was in a bad way but conscious - survivable.  I could not easily see his vehicle off the side of the road without it being pointed out, so he was lucky the hunters saw him and stopped.  Police and ambulance had been requested.  Two other vehicles arrived to assist over the next 10 minutes.  A good reminder to take it easy.

Morning start:



Other random images:




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Day 5 – 11 July 2022 (243 miles/8.5 hours in the saddle; 59f/82f)

Completed Section 5 and about 110 miles into Section 6, overnighting at Plymouth NH.  Plymouth is an easy jump off from the route at the gas stop at Campton NH.  Another terrific day.  A long one of riding.  Highlights were the floating bridge, the covered bridges and Stinson Lake.

The harder sections today, vicinity Pepper Road, Cookeville Rd, Tucker Mountain and Long Pond Road were all easy enough.  On the main route vicinity East Corinth VT were the Tucker Mountain easy bypass is, there is a 300 yards of mud that would be a challenge if you get serious rain.  It had been dry for a week when I went through and it was still difficult.

Vermont and New Hampshire today.




From the top Northwest of the map (Bristol VT) to the fuel symbol near Route 93 (Campton NH).

Pics from the day:

Floating bridge:








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Day 6 – 12 July 2022 (215 miles/7 hours in the saddle; 62f/84f)

Rain moving through this morning so a slow start waiting for that to pass, 10:00am ish.  Main Street Station diner for breakfast – pretty good $$.

Completed Section 6 and about 70 miles into Section 7, overnighting at Rumford ME.  Rumford is an easy off from the route.  Due to a late start, a long day.  Highlights were the Crawford Gap and White Mountain National Forest.  Brief downpour cleaned off the bike.  Not too much rain that the dirt roads became slick.  Came around a corner in White Mountain to a bear on the side of the road eating what looked like blackberries.  He just ambled off, did not seem too disturbed.

I did not do the Mt Washington (green dash) loop as I had ridden up in on a return trip from Nova Scotia a few years ago.  It is definitely worth doing on a clear day.

The regular route vicinity Nobles Corner through Greenwood has some challenging sections – well for me anyway.

From the gas symbol in the Southeast to the Route 2 symbol in the Northeast.













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Day 7 – 13 July 2022 (217 miles (172 to the end of the route)/8 hours in the saddle; 57f/82f)

Rain overnight. 

Completed Section 7 and section 8 to the border, then doubling back and overnighting Colebrook NH. 

The dirt roads were all pretty easy less the last 2-3 miles to the end of the route.  The rain had made it pretty greasy.

Highlights for me were: endless lakes, Quill Hill scenic overlook, the road around the big lake in the image (Mooselookmeguntic Lake – I did not make that up).  At Rangely, even if you do not want to do the OHV route, take route 16 east 7 miles and on the right is the turn off to Quill Hill – do it.

Vicinity the route 2 marker in the South to the border, then back to vicinity the route 3 marker in the Southwest.










Northbound stats:



Edited by TenereTragic700
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Looks like you are having pretty good weather and the scenery is awesome! 


How are you liking the tires? 

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Great report.  I'd love to do that trip in the weather you're getting.  Enjoy!

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@Hollybrook Motoz Tractionator Desert H/T 90/90-21 and Motoz Tractionator Desert H/T 150/70-18.

Yes happy.  Seem to wear better than the Tractionator RallZ i had on previously.

I just went online to order another set for the next trip and the H/T rear is out of stock everywhere.  Bummer.  Looks like another RallZ rear is in my future.  Appears in stock mid August.  When I leave again.  Just ordered another RallZ.

Edited by TenereTragic700
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  • 3 weeks later...

Great ride report!  It's helpful that you pointed out where you stayed, ate, and how good those places were.  Pictures were awesome!

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Came right through my back yard in the Berkshires! I'm assuming you rode through (R)Oc(k)tober Mountain State Forest on your way north? Nice write up! 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Very nice write up Tragic!...come 9/1 I'm hoppin on a WR250 in Rowe, MA and headed north on this route about where you began day 4

I've got a week and hope to get to the border like you did and then back to my starting point in MA

I'm curious if you found a good route home as mentioned earlier in your post?...some thing about a roadrunner mag.


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@Henchman sorry buddy, the roadrunner route was not the best and then i hit weather, so took secoundary roads all the way to nortern VA.  Two days.

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Ok no worries @TenereTragic700 we’ll piece something together as there 3 appears to be many options. 
Just watched the NEBDR on YouTube and I’m fired up to explore out there!

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