The Slate Valley Bicycle Loop
The Vermont – New York border area north of Albany has been mining country for many years. The extent of this enterprise is not that visible from the ground unless you are in the right place or look closely. From the air or using Google Earth the quarries can be seen everywhere. Marble is the principal product in the Rutland VT area but this route explores the slate industry which straddles the border in the Granville, NY and Pawlet, VT area.
Slate roofs are known for their durability and have been used for years as a high quality roofing material. The material comes in many colors which make it ideal for creating the patterned roofs that are frequently seen. What is not known by many is the process that is required to take the stone from the ground and turn it into the thin slabs that we take for granted. This process and the history of the industry in the area are presented in the Slate Valley Museum in Granville, NY. Small but complete, the museum allows a good understanding of the process and history in a quick tour or you could spend hours examining the many collections of material.
Starting in Poultney, VT., home of Green Mountain College, the route heads south to Granville on a lightly traveled road that has the kinds of ups and downs that make bicycling enjoyable. Heading on south to West Pawlet will allow you to see quarries up close and really appreciate what you saw in the museum. The ride can be shortened by taking Button Falls Rd. from Granville to Rt. 30, south of Wells. This is a lovely flat road that parallels Rt. 149, has less traffic and also provides views of the quarries from a distance. It is a nice enough road to ride it from Rt. 30 for a way on the way back from West Pawlet.
Start at Routes 140 & 31
- 0.0 South on Rt. 31 (South St.).
- 5.5 VT / NY State line - proceed on NY State Rt. 25.
- 7.9 R onto Rt. 149 (Main St.) Granville.
- 8.0 L onto River St. - Slate Valley Museum is on the right.
- 8.1 L onto Water St.
- 8.2 R onto Church St.
- 9.0 L onto Rt. 22.
- 11.9 L onto County Rt. 29.
- 12.6 L onto Rt. 153 - West Pawlet.
- 15.8 L onto Rt. 30.
- 18.7 L onto North St. in Wells.
- 20.6 R onto Lake Rd.
- 20.8 L onto Rt. 30 - Check for traffic carefully.
- 26.8 Poultney