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Vermont XVT/Super 8 Bikepacking Circuit

Loop in the Stowe and Waterbury area

Text and photos by Simon Bergeron


It had been quite some time since I had been following the activities on the Facebook group XVTBKPKRTE, where members share their experiences on the famous "Cross Vermont Bikepacking Route" (hence the name XVTBKPKRTE). Having mountain biked several times around Stowe, I was particularly keen to try the portion of the long circuit near this region. It's also worth mentioning that I was planning a quick outing, about 24 hours (aka S24O).

For the past few months, the Vermont bikepacking circuits have been available online at These circuits are the result of several years of exploration to connect a variety of segments of secondary roads, singletracks or double tracks, multi-use trails, and gravel roads, with the goal of crossing Vermont from north to south. Additionally, the XVT and Super 8 circuits are now connected by a multitude of connectors.

Our plan was as follows: connect Stowe to Waterbury via a segment of the XVT, and return by taking a section of the Super 8.


Saturday around noon, we parked at the iRide shop, a cult favorite among Vermont mountain biking enthusiasts. From the shop's parking lot, it's possible to access the fabulous singletracks of the Cady Hill network. And off we go, treating ourselves! The trails are mostly very flowy, with few technical sections. Our Chic-Chocs fatbikes, equipped with 29×3'' wheels, roll so smoothly that they make us forget they're loaded with food, a tent, sleeping bags, and clothes.


We would like to continue riding the network, but at some point, we need to make progress towards our goal, to avoid ending up navigating by headlamp! So, we exit Cady Hill and ride for a while along a secondary road before joining the "Little River State Park." The scenery changes. A wide trail along a small river allows us to easily cover several kilometers.

Now we've reached a crossroads, where two options are available to us to reach the place where we had planned to camp. First option: the longer path that gently skirts around the river on the same wide trail. Second option: a shorter path that crosses a valley sheltering the river. We choose the second option, which will turn out to be more intense than expected... We'll be pushing our bikes for a while! A lot of vertical elevation will be accumulated in just a few kilometers.

The descent towards our camping site was exceptional. A fast and winding singletrack... pure enjoyment to complete the day!

At the campsite, we set up the tents and enjoy the lake with a little swim. We make a fire and savor our very good Happy Yak meals. The real life, indeed!

Come morning, we know we're not very far from the charming little village of Waterbury. So, we eat a light breakfast, pack the bikes, and head towards the village café. In about an hour, we're enjoying magnificent espressos and lattés with homemade granola bars! A delight!

The rest of the journey, which involves completing the loop and returning to Stowe, takes place on the section named Super 8, where we will string together sections of gravel roads and multi-use paths. All this while skirting the magnificent mountains of the "CC Putnam State Forest." Classic Vermont landscapes, with beautiful mature forests, country roads, and occasional stunning rural residences adorned with solar panels!

Shortly before arriving in Stowe, we cross the Gold Brook Covered Bridge, also known as Emily's Bridge. Legend has it that a young girl died there in the mid-1800s and that her spirit now haunts the bridge... From our experience, we didn't encounter anything out of the ordinary!

Approximately 24 hours after our departure, having covered a distance of 53km with a vertical gain of 1340m, we arrive back at our car. It's time to enjoy one of the many local microbreweries and discuss the next section of the XVT and Super 8 that we'll explore!


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