Sometimes, while staying at the October Country Inn (check us out), you might wake up early on a beautiful day and want to take a walk before breakfast. Or, you just want to take a walk in the neighborhood without having do drive somewhere first. When we get this urge, Edie and I walk down to River Road for a 3 mile stroll alongside the Ottauquechee River.
From the inn, head east on Upper Road for a short distance and take the spur trail off to the right. It emerges on Route 4 across the street from the Bridgewater Corner Store at the
intersection of Route 4 and Route 100A. Follow Route 100A south. Cross the Ottauquechee River bridge and turn left on River Road just past the Bridgewater Grange Hall.
Follow River Rd to the east for about a mile. This flat gravel road becomes increasingly less maintained as it narrows into a quiet lane through the woods that closely follows the river. This is a great place to see Orioles in the summer. The road begins an uphill trend that brings you to a intersection with a snowmobile trail that turns off to the right. Continue straight ahead, moving away from the river, into a clearing on a small hill. This road becomes just a faint double-track path over this clearing and continues into mixed woods on the other side.
Continue following this relatively flat primitive road for about .4 mile as it crosses several small creeks. You will come to a small creek with a markedly short, steep hill that turns to the right at the top. Just before this turn, on your left, you will see a faint but discernible trail that angles off toward the river in the general direction from which you came. Follow this trail through a pine forest as you begin to make a loop back toward the river.
You will descend a short but steep pitch as you arrive back at the river. At this point, after crossing a creek, the path turns away from the river and goes uphill for a short distance before merging back with River Road. Turn right and retrace your route back to Route 100A and back to the inn.
An abbreviated, 2 mile version of this walk would be to skip the 1 mile loop section that starts at the intersection with the snowmobile trail, and just walk to that point and return.
However, quiet-time-in-the-woods is a precious thing. It may be difficult to acquire if you live in an urban-ish setting. It may be a good part of why you’re in Vermont to begin with. In other words, don’t miss the loop part of this walk, Especially in the late summer and fall.
It’s also a great candidate for a snowshoe trek during the Winter.