Jay Peak loop ride from Sutton Quebec
The Greatest Ride in the East?
The Hardest ride in the East?
The Hilliest Ride in the East?
The Most fun you can have in 80 km?
Can I walk today?
Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, No!
I finally rode the Jay Peak 5-hill ride from Sutton Quebec. 5200 feet of vertical climbing.
The basic circuit is:
1-Park at Sutton Quebec, go south, turning at first road left south of sutton (chemin brookfall)
2-Take "Chemin Scenic Road."(Hill #1 - 500ft vertical climb and descent) at its end, turn right and stop at to US Customs at East Richford/Rt 105A (the river here is part of the Northen Forest Canoe Route)
3-Take Vt Rt 105E east over the backside of Jay Peak (Hill #2 - 1600 ft vertical climb)
4-At bottom of descent (1200 ft vertical descent), take first side road to village of Jay (services) (side road: sign says Jay Peak Tourist Info)
5-Climb road past the Jay Peak ski area and then conquer a final climb after ski area (Hill # 3 - 1400 ft vertical climb)
6-Descend to Mongomery Centre (services) (1750 foot vertical descent)
7-Go north to Montgomery (services ???), cross the Covered Bridge
8-This road is another great scenic hill, go north to Vt Rt105 (west of Richford) (hill # 4 - 700 ft vertical climb & descent)
Note: this ride skips Richford, but for food supplies, Richford is your last chance before getting back to Sutton)
Note: If you've had enough and are exhausted, take the shortcut home from here: go to Richford and take flats back to Sutton
9-Take 105E to 105A (customs at East Richford) and cross border back to Canada
10-Take "Chemin Scenic Road" back to Sutton, this is the "hard side" of Chemin Scenic road. (Hill #5 - 500 ft vertical climb and descent )
That's it, the beautiful 80 km, 5200 ft of climbing, 5-mountain pass ride around Jay Peak from Sutton Quebec. It's THE cycling testpiece of the East. An amazing road ride. Vicious never ending steep and steeper hills, multiple "camellien houdes" piled one on top of another. And the directions are so simple, I didn't even bring a map with me (really not recommended!)
In other words, Fantastic!
There's tons of amazing scenery, great descents, some perfect roads, some rough roads, some recently repaired roads, some roads in need of repair (hello Quebec!). The best road was the side road between 105W and Jay village, a ribbon of perfect pavement rolliing along slightly downhill, heaven for cyclists. The most scenic road (of many!) was on the hill after the covered bridge in Montgomery. The best descent was Jay Peak to Montgomery Center.
I parked in the public parking behind main street in Sutton, just south of the road to the ski area. Behind the chocolate museum.
I'd been waiting months, years, an entire decade to do this ride again after doing it multiple times in the late 80s and early 90s. I knew it was a tough ride, and the hills delivered: I used up 100% of my reserves on at least three of the climbs! Wooohoo!!
Easier Options: This ride can be done with only two hills, take flats to Richford and ride around Jay Peak without doing Chemin Scenic road or the Montgomery covered bridge backroad (although this one is the jewel of the route). For a harder option (are you nuts?) when you arrive back in Sutton ride the hill up to the Mont Sutton ski area.
For any last minute bike supplies and parts, Velo Brome is on the way to Sutton (between Cowansville and turnoff to Sutton).
This amazing road loop should be done at least once in a lifetime by every cyclist in the east.