Vista and Views Bike Tour
Mileage: 37 miles roundtrip
PARKING: Goshen Town Offices, Rte. 63, Goshen. At the intersection of Rte. 4 and Rte. 63 in the center of Goshen, take Rte. 63 north for .2 miles, the town offices and school are on your right.
Terrain: This ride can be characterized by its pleasant diversity. Surprisingly flat sections of road offering terrific views of the Litchfield Hills are combined with several short, steep climbs and invigorating descents.
For the most part, this route is lightly traveled except on the section of Rte. 44 in Canaan, where extra caution is advised. Most of the roads have good shoulders, with the exception of some portions of Rte. 272 south of Norfolk center and Goshen East Street which is a narrow but very scenic country lane.
Level: Moderate to Challenging
Vista's and views, wilderness and woods, combined with gently rolling roads make this a popular touring route. It will appeal to cyclists wanting to enjoy alpine views without suffering any more than a couple of short, steep climbs, and reward them with splendid descents.
For much of your ride, the landscape opens up to offer fine views of the Litchfield Hills. You will pedal through miles of lush woodland landscapes, interspersed with meadows, bright green in spring, flower strewn in summer and tawny in autumn. Along the way, you will pass an idyllic cross section of New England's enchantments, set against the timeless backdrop of the Litchfield Hills.
0.0 From Town Hall in Goshen Center, take a right onto Rte. 63 north out of the town offices and school parking area. You will encounter your first big scenic descent on this section of road.
11.1 At the jct. of Rte. 63 and Rte. 7, take Rte. 7 north to Canaan. This section of Rte. 7 is called the Ethan Allen Highway. Along the way you will pass Robbins Swamp, the largest wetland area in Connecticut.
14.0 Enter Canaan.
16.0 At the intersection of Rte. 7 and Rte. 44 in Canaan, take a right onto Rte. 44 east. This can be a busy intersection, and Rte. 44 can be busy, caution is advised.
17.9 To reach the historic Beckley Iron Furnace, a centerpiece of the regions iron ore legacy, take a right onto Furnace Hill Rd., follow for .3 mi., at the stop sign, take a right onto Lower Rd. The Beckley Iron Furnace, which operated from 1837-1918, is several hundred yards ahead of you. Retrace your steps and continue on Rte. 44 east.
18.1 Enter the village of East Canaan. The hills on the right provide a continuous backdrop for several working farms on this scenic stretch.
22.0 Welcome to Norfolk -- village sign !
23.0 At the jct. of Rte. 44 and Rte. 272 in Norfolk, bear right at the fork onto Rte. 44 east and Rte. 272 south.
23.4 At the next intersection, by the Norfolk Green, take Rte. 272 south passing the Norfolk Green. Note the quaint directional sign on the Norfolk Green and the lovely architecture surrounding it. This lightly traveled winding section of Rte. 272 has a narrow shoulder.
27.8 At the fork of Rte. 272 and Goshen East St., bear right onto Goshen East St. and immediately begin to climb a steep hill. This narrow scenic country lane is lightly traveled.
34.6 At the jct. of East St. North (Goshen East St.), take a right onto Rte. 4 west.
36.8 At the intersection of Rte. 4 and Rte. 63 in the center of Goshen, take a right onto Rte. 63 north.
37.0 Take a right into the Goshen Town Offices where this loop began.