Puppy Dog Route 2018 (Updated)

Discussion in 'Northeast - Greater Flugistan and home of the carp' started by SRTie4k, May 14, 2018.

  1. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams Supporter

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    I did the 2012 pdr 5 years ago, and just did both going back and forth over 5 days with a healthy dose of other riding tossed in. My memory of it 5 years ago was it might as well be paved, and that seemed true this time around. The 2018 version seemed a little more interesting in that regard. Still easy, graded, well maintained roads, but something about it seemed more fun. Not sure if that helps, or confuses the matter:lol3:lol3
    #41
  2. Ishippineapples

    Ishippineapples I chose a stupid name - Call me Dan

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    Not sure on the PDR, haven't done it yet BUT you have to get some lunch at Tacos Tacos in Ludlow - best burrito around!
    #42
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  3. Rbott

    Rbott Been here awhile Supporter

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    Just an FYI....most of the VAST trail system is on private property or National Forest land and is only open to snowmobiles.....

    Ryan
    #43
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  4. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams Supporter

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    Thanks. I was careful to be aware of signs and private land. If it doesn't feel right I turn around.
    #44
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  5. Quattros2k

    Quattros2k n00b

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    Thanks! I might just keep going w/the 2012 route, as it's pretty well documented and I don't mind that it might be a little on the easy-side. ....hopefully I'll have some time for Tacos!
    #45
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  6. flei

    flei cycletherapist

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    if you want it to be more difficult, ride it in mud season. if you can't do it then, ride it in the rain.
    #46
  7. SRTie4k

    SRTie4k Northeast Explorer

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    My buddy and I just did the PDR 2018 from the border down to Springfield VT on Saturday. My thoughts:

    PDR 2018 is much more accessible from the top than PDR 2012. PDR 2018 is immediately off the interstate at the border, while PDR 2012 is pretty much in the middle of the state a decent distance from both 91 and 89.

    PDR 2012 is better than PDR 2018 from the border to around Stowe. PDR 2018 is much more wide dirt roads through farmlands vs PDR 2012 which is slightly more technical up in that area due to passing through a few mountainous state parks. PDR 2012 also feels more isolated, while PDR 2018 passes through more small towns and sticks primarily to residential roads. I personally like the technical, isolated stuff better up in northern VT.

    In Berlin, just before the two versions overlay each other, PDR 2018 takes a class 4 road (Chase Road) that was very gnarly and washed out. If you're on a big bike and are concerned with riding technical terrain with pretty big washouts, I'd recommend staying away from this section. That said, it was a total blast! I got up it pretty easily with TKC80 front and Karoo 3 rear, and plenty of sustained throttle. I really enjoy that type of riding being mixed in with the casual dirt road riding, personally.

    Between Berlin and where we ended up in Springfield, I enjoyed PDR 2018 much more than PDR 2012. PDR 2018 does a fantastic job from this point onward of straying off into narrow dirt roads that wind their way around, up and down mountains in the middle of nowhere. It passes in and out of the Green Mountains constantly. Despite this, there's also much better access to gas and amenities, and we were able to stop at a place in Sharon for lunch. We had never stopped for lunch before on PDR 2012, it's just too far from civilization in this section of the state (which is not a bad thing necessarily).

    We ended up doing ~470 miles on Saturday, including riding up from Fitzwilliam NH. We're planning on continuing from Springfield down to Greenfield some Friday afternoon, but I don't expect a whole lot given a decent portion of the southern route overlays PDR 2012, and the fact that I used to live in that area so probably already know a majority of those roads.

    I had a really great time though. PDR 2018 is definitely worth riding, there's a lot of wonderful views (riding around Mt Ascutney is particularly wonderful), a few fun technical sections, and a lot of leisure riding to be done.

    [​IMG]
    #47
  8. bcliff

    bcliff Been here awhile

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    a buddy and I did the 2018 PDR this past Thurs/Fri. I was on my Tiger 800 XC, @TheJRM on his 2018 Vstrom 650XT. We left the North Shore of Mass about 6:30am to slab it about 2 hours out to Greenfield, MA where we picked up the PDR. Our goal was to get as far north as possible, possibly to the Canadian border.

    From Greenfield, MA to Berlin, VT we followed the 2018 PDR route with a minor detour in Woodstock for fuel and a late lunch. Somewhere around Berlin, the route started feeling a bit "forced" to us. Instead of traveling dirt roads to get to a destination, it felt as though the route started following dirt roads for the sake of incorporating dirt roads into the ride. We were about 11 hours into it at this point and starting to fatigue and so made the decision to break off from the PDR and pick up the pace so as to get to Elmore State Park before nightfall.

    Friday morning we broke camp and followed a route I had pieced together that brought us east to Lyndonville to the abandoned radar station (very cool!). From there we continued east towards the NH Whites where we did Jefferson Notch, 302 to Twin Mountain, down through Franconia Notch, to Tripoli Road, Sandwich Notch and then picked our way through Tamworth, NH to Rt 153 in Maine and then the super slab to Mass.

    My 2 cents...the 2018 PDR up to Berlin was very enjoyable and absolutely beautiful. There was nothing particularly technical about the riding although from the sounds of it from @SRTie4k, it seems we missed something fun in Berlin. I was blown away by the Vermont beauty. My previous VT experience had been limited to skiing at Stowe and Killington...didn't realize how much of true Vermont I had missed. Of note, there is some chatter in another thread about a small section of the route being a private road (Hartley Hill) and we did encounter this and decided to go-around. All told on Thursday we rode nearly 12 hours, 400 miles. Friday, from Elmore, across the Whites and back to Mass was about the same.

    Here is an edited track of the 2 days if interested.

    Attached Files:

    #48
  9. trek686

    trek686 Been here awhile

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    I plan on doing the route starting from the south point. Does anyone know of any places to park? Plan on trailering to the start with small bikes for a 4 day ride on the Puppy Dog and Hampster?
    #49
  10. flei

    flei cycletherapist

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    When do you plan to do this ride? I live 14 miles southeast from the start of the PDR and you could possibly park your vehicle and trailer at my house. Send me a Convo/PM if you are interested.
    #50
  11. SRTie4k

    SRTie4k Northeast Explorer

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    Hartley Hill in Westminster VT? I grew up in that town and I've never known Hartley Hill to be private. We used to drive up there by the old mansion when we were in high school.
    #51
  12. bcliff

    bcliff Been here awhile

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    yes, that's the one. There is a sign posted that declares the road private although somewhat obstructed by a tree. Here is the chatter I mentioned. https://advrider.com/index.php?threads/vermont-puppy-dog-trail.1323391/
    #52
  13. SRTie4k

    SRTie4k Northeast Explorer

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    Huh, I guess the town must have changed that somewhat recently. Even Google Maps shows it as public.

    That's unfortunate.
    #53
  14. jojojones

    jojojones Long timer

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    The track does not go right past Hill Farmstead on my map...it's probably 4-5 miles from the track on W Cook Hill Road???...is there another track?
    #54
  15. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler Ascending n00b Supporter

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    Well 4-5 miles isn't bad. "right past" with about 10 minutes detour isn't bad.
    #55
  16. jojojones

    jojojones Long timer

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    that's true..I just thought my track was off. thanks
    #56
  17. Oilhed

    Oilhed MarkF Supporter

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    Hell I was 4-5 miles from the brewery last week when my GPS was trying to take me there!
    #57
  18. TarMack

    TarMack Adventurer

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    Planning of doing the PDR from Greenfield MA this Sunday (9/16/18) morning. Coming from Central Mass., planning to hit the trail head around 8:00 am and see how far North I can get before turning back. Might have one other with me. If anyone is interested in joining, we would love the extra company. We will be on larger adventure bikes.
    #58
  19. Mtraikov

    Mtraikov Adventurer

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    How’s the weather throughout the PDR 2018 route this time of year? Planning on doing it this weekend!
    #59
  20. SRTie4k

    SRTie4k Northeast Explorer

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    Well I just drove up through Hazen's Notch, a dirt road at elevation up in northern VT, in my GTI yesterday and had no trouble whatsoever. Temp was ~47 degrees.

    I'd say you have until roughly mid November until you'll have to start worrying about snow. All you have to worry about right now is temps.
    #60