Running Economy - Page 3
TRAILHEAD: Upper Connecticut River Valley, Vermont and New Hampshire
Getting there. Mount Ascutney is about a 2.5-hour drive from Boston and 4.5 hours from New York City. The closest airports are about 1.5 hours away, in Manchester, New Hampshire, and Burlington, Vermont.
Accommodations and Camping. Ascutney State Park offers 10 lean-to sites and 39 tent and trailer sites, plus quick access to the Futures Trail, a 4.7-mile trip to the top of Mount Ascutney. Storrs Pond Recreation Area has sites for tents and trailers and miles of trails from the campground.
Local inns offer plusher accommodations, such as the Norwich Inn (www.norwichinn.com), which sits just a couple of blocks from the Appalachian Trail. Woodstock, Vermont, is home to a number of inns, from the grand Woodstock Inn (www.woodstockinn.com) to small bed and breakfasts, such as the Farmhouse Inn (www.farmhouseinnvt.com). And a number of national chain motels can be found in Lebanon, New Hampshire.
Amenities. Caffeinate before a morning run at Boston Dreams Coffee House in Windsor or the Dirt Cowboy Café in Hanover. Reward yourself post run by sampling local microbrews. In Windsor, try Windsor Station Pub or the Harpoon Brewery. The Long Trail Brewery in Bridgewater, Vermont, The Brewery at the Norwich Inn in Norwich, Vermont, and Flying Goose Brew Pub in New London, New Hampshire, are all good spots for food and local beers.
More Information. Find an extensive list of local trails on the Upper Valley Trails Alliance website (www.uvtrails.org), or stop by local outdoor stores, like Woodstock Sports, the Mountain Goat in Hanover, New Hampshire (www.mountaingoathanover.com), Omer and Bob’s in Lebanon (www.omerandbobs.com) and Eastern Mountain Sports in West Lebanon (www.ems.com).
Sport Trails of the Ascutney Basin (www.stabvt.org). Twenty-five miles of singletrack and doubletrack, plus nearby access to another 15 miles of trails at Ascutney State Park. The main trailhead is located about five miles west of Windsor, Vermont, at the Ascutney Mountain Resort.
Marsh-Billings Rockefeller National Historical Park. A mix of trails and carriage roads on rolling terrain. Access 20 miles of trails from the Billings Farm and Museum parking lot, located off of route 12 in Woodstock, Vermont.
Boston Lot. A maze of about 20 miles of rolling singletrack trails—with an infinite number of possibilities for loops—located in Lebanon, New Hampshire. There are multiple trailheads, but try starting from Lahaye Road to get quick access to Burnt Mountain, then cool off in the small lake.
Northern Rail Trail. For a flatter running option, take on some or all of this former railroad route, which stretches for almost 50 miles from Lebanon to West Franklin, New Hampshire.
Appalachian Trail. Most of the AT in the Upper Valley is runable, but a particularly scenic section—with rolling hills, open fields and beautiful hardwood forests—goes from Pomfret, Vermont, just north of Woodstock, to Norwich, Vermont, an 18-mile trip. Cut the run in half by stopping (or starting) in West Hartford, Vermont.
Vermont 50: The stunning fall foliage might ease the pain of the 50-mile (or 50K) run. The race is a unique event in that it crosses the property of 77 landowners. “There aren’t many people who would allow 1000 strangers on their property,” says race director Mike Silverman.
Ascutney Mountain Run: It’s paved, but the steep 12-percent average incline makes up for it. Almost exactly half the distance and elevation of the much more famous Mount Washington Road Race, but with no lottery to enter. (www.club.penguincycles.com/AscutneyRun.html)
Road to the Pogue: A 6.1-mile point-to-point run on the carriage roads maintained by the Marsh-Billings National Historic site. The race organizers boast that the scenery and trails make this spot “the world’s best place to run.” After running there, it’s hard to disagree.
Western New Hampshire Trail Running Series: An eight-race series that runs from May to September in a number of Upper Valley towns, including distances from 5K to 14K. (www.wnhtrs.com)
Winter Wild: An eight-race series of winter races in which participants can run, snowshoe or ski up and down local ski slopes. (www.winterwild.com)