Longing for Landgrove Dirt Roads
May 29, 2014
“I guess my feet know where they want me to go, walking on a country road.” – James Taylor
I love those Landgrove dirt roads. I’ve often fantasized about buying a renovated farmhouse in Landgrove with gardens, an old red barn and lots of land. Ever since I was in high school, I’ve had a soft spot for this small hamlet tucked away on the edge of the Green Mountain National Forest in Bennington County.
While taking photos in Landgrove over Memorial Day Weekend, it dawned on me why I love the town so much. Nearly every stretch of road in Landgrove is dirt—not pavement—making the entire town feel like a dreamy, never-ending country road.
Landgrove Dirt Roads: Choosing Dirt Over Pavement
The town, which has a population of 158 people, has 15 miles of roads. Every road in the community – except for a one-mile section of Route 11 that briefly passes through Landgrove between Peru and Londonderry – is dirt.
“It’s been a conscious decision by the town to keep it that way,” says Landgrove Town Treasurer Andrea Ogden, who jokes that having so many dirt roads can be especially tricky during mud season. Still, the community’s decision to avoid pavement has clearly maintained the town’s bucolic character.
If you want to get a flavor of the town and explore the Landgrove dirt roads, explore Landgrove Road by foot, mountain bike or car and enjoy views of Magic Mountain and Stratton, and see some interesting local sites, including the the local meeting house or the local tennis club.
Another highlight in town is the Danby/Mount Tabor-Landgrove Road, which runs through the Green Mountain National Forest. Closed in the winter, the road offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, including access to the Appalachian/Long Trail. (Dave and I once came across a moose in this area).
After all these years, I’ve finally figured out what’s kept me coming back to Landgrove. Yes, it’s beautiful, rural and scenic. But more than anything, Landgrove’s country roads have been the true key to my heart.
**If You Go: To get to the Danby/Mount Tabor-Landgrove Road, take Landgrove Road from Weston to Little Michigan Road to the Danby/Mount Tabor-Landgrove Road.
ScottPosted at 10:40h, 02 June
Wow, another favorite! Anytime I go to visit Weston from Manchester, I take Landgrove Road for an even more “scenic-er” route (instead of Rt 100). Time and light permitting, I’ll take the same route back if I can. I’ve gotten some great pictures along that road too.
Every time I make that little detour, I think the same thing. “I should get a place up here!” I doubt it will ever happen, but it doesn’t surprise me that other people think the same thing.
Coming from Jersey where the dirt to paved road ratio is likely just the opposite, its always a cool experience.
There’s another cool unpaved road into Grafton (I think 121?) that I always enjoyed too.
EricaPosted at 13:51h, 02 June
Hi Scott – Route 121 is gorgeous, too. I can’t remember how much of that road is dirt — I’ll have to check it out the next time I’m in southern Vt. Spring is in full bloom up here! Hope you can escape the concrete jungle and visit Vermont soon 🙂 Take care, Erica
ScottPosted at 09:50h, 03 June
121 is weird, there’s a good part of it that’s paved, and then goes to unpaved, and then its all paved again once you hit the ‘built-up’ part of Grafton.
That was actually my first unpaved road experience as a driver. 🙂
There was a patch of blueberries growing in a field outside of town, and my wife and I just stopped and picked a quart or two. The owner had left a stack of containers to put the blueberries and a sign was there saying that the blueberries could be paid for at The Fire Barn (which I think has since closed).
So, I think by the time we got into the Village to pay for our harvest, the place was closed and we just estimated how much we had and left some money in a little box that was hung on the building for that purpose.
That blew us away! Honor-system blueberry picking. We ended up making a kick-butt blueberry pie with them when we returned home.
This was probably in the mid 90’s. Another memory dredged up from a post here!
EricaPosted at 11:02h, 03 June
Hi Scott — that is wonderful! Only in Vermont, right? What a great memory to have about Vermont. Thanks for sharing.