Circle of Greens

HIGHLIGHTS: This circuit combines unspoiled pastoral landscapes with four timeless village greens, from bucolic and country classic, to historic and stately; each offers a unique glimpse into the town's past and reflects it's future. Gracefully undulating hills, rolling country lanes, Historic Districts rich with colonial architecture, and the shoreline of Bantam Lake, Connecticut's largest natural lake, are among the many pleasures awaiting cyclists on this two wheeled adventure. Take time to tour the Morris Historical Society's one-room schoolhouse and Bethlehem's Historical Society Museum and the classic Bellamy Ferriday House and Garden. After relaxing on Litchfield's stately green, visit the Tapping Reeve House and First Law School in America and the Museum maintained by the Historical Society.

PARKING: Litchfield Town Hall on Rte. 202 west of the Green, Litchfield, CT. Extended parking is not available on the Litchfield Green.

Mileage: 29.3 miles Shortened Option: 17 miles

Terrain: Parts of this ride can be characterized by rolling country lanes, challenging climbs and gradual descents with fairly good shoulders throughout the ride. The Rte. 202 section of this ride is moderately traveled especially in Litchfield and Bantam Centers where extra caution is advised. All back roads on the Milton portion of this circuit are narrow and winding with several tricky descents and no shoulders. Please note that Rte. 132 and Rte. 109 have fairly good shoulders throughout as well as several challenging uphill climbs.

LEVEL: Moderate to Difficult

Directions

0.0 From Town Hall in Litchfield Center, take a right onto Rte. 202 west.

0.6 Take a right onto Milton Rd.

2.5 At the intersection of Milton Rd. and Maple St., take a right onto Maple Street.

2.6 At the first fork, take a left, back onto Milton Rd. enroute to Milton's bucolic village green.

3.8 Enter Milton Historic District.

4.4 At the Milton Green, take a left and continue on Milton Rd., crossing Potash Rd. If time allows, explore the village green area.

4.5 At the intersection of Headquarters Rd. and Milton Rd., continue on Milton Rd. through the Historic District.

4.7 At the fork of Milton Rd. and Sawmill Rd., take a left onto Sawmill Rd., which is a narrow country lane.

5.7 At the intersection of Sawmill Rd. and Headquarters Rd., turn right, onto Headquarters Rd., climbing one hill.

6.4 Take a left onto Litwin Rd., a narrow country lane, caution is advised.

6.5 Take a right onto Cathole Rd., a narrow country lane with several descending hills and one steep hill to climb.

8.7 At the intersection of Cathole Rd. and Rte. 202, take a left onto Rte. 202 east to Bantam. As you ride along this stretch of road, you will notice that there are very few trees in this area. The center of Bantam was devastated by a tornado several years ago.

9.3 In the center of Bantam, at the junction of Rte. 202 and Rte. 209, take a right onto to Rte. 209 south for a ride around Bantam Lake.

12.2 At the junction of Rte. 109 and Rte. 209, take a left onto Rte. 109 to Morris Center. This portion of Rte. 109 has gently rolling terrain and one steep but short climb.

13.8 In the center of Morris, at the junction of Rte. 61 and Rte. 109, take a right onto Rte. 61 south to Bethlehem. Before leaving Morris, take time to explore this quintessential New England village.

TIME OUT: TO SHORTEN YOUR RIDE: At the junction of Rte. 109 and Rte. 61 in Morris center, take a left onto North Street (Rte. 61 north). In 0.2 of a mile, at the fork in the road, bear right onto County Rd. which is Rte. 61 north and follow for for 2 miles. At the junction of Rte. 61 and Rte. 63, take a left onto Rte. 63 north and follow for 2 miles to Litchfield's Historic District. At the junction of Rte. 63 and Rte. 202 in Litchfield Center, take a left onto Rte. 202 west and follow for one mile to Town Hall where this tour began. This option shortens the ride to 17 miles.

16.9 Enter the Historic Bethlehem District.

17.2 Facing Bethlehem's classic village green, at the intersection of Rte. 61 and Rte. 132, take a left onto Rte.132. If time allows, explore the village green area and Bethlehem's historic homes before heading out on Rte. 132, which has rolling pastoral terrain, including several short, but challenging climbs.

21.3 At the junction of Rte. 132 and Rte. 63, take a left onto Rte. 63 north heading towards East Morris.

24.7 At the junction of Rte. 109 and Rte. 63 in East Morris, continue on Rte. 63 north towards Litchfield's Historic District.

28.3 At the busy intersection of Rte. 63, Rte. 202 and West St. at the Litchfield Green, take a left onto Rte. 202 west. If time allows, explore this stately village green and historic district that has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1959.

29.3 Arrive at Town Hall, on Rte. 202, where this loop began.