App Gap from Richmond is a 52 mile ride that circumnavigates Camel’s Hump and travels through Richmond, Waterbury, the Mad River Valley and the backcountry roads of Huntington. The ride is a favorite of locals, but definitely challenging. Besides its length, the climb to the top of the App Gap is a challenging 1,600 feet over 6.2 miles with an average grade of 10% over the last 2.5 miles. One of six gaps in the Green Mountains, this one has the best views from the top, but makes riders work the hardest for them. The remainder of the ride is full of underestimated rollers that gradually climb back into Richmond and seem harder after the intense summit ride. While small compared to App Gap, there is one last leg burner to manage as riders make their way back into Richmond to the ride’s completion.
What Makes It Great
This is one of the hardest routes in the Burlington area. The main climb over the App Gap is a seemingly relentless ascent that continues to steepen with each pedal stroke. Full of switchbacks, the route leaves riders constantly wondering, “Where is the top?” It will all be worth the pain when the summit is reached, however, as the summit offers stunning mountain and lake views followed by a thrilling descent with sharp hairpin turns and switchbacks. Please note, it is important to watch speed here as many of the turns are sharper than expected. There can also be a lot of traffic as this is a tourist destination, so riders need to stay in their lanes and don’t open up too much around the tight curves.
The views throughout the ride and especially from the top of the App Gap are classic Vermont. Beautiful countryside, farmlands, Camel’s Hump and Green Mountain views abound. Riders pass the iconic skiers-only Mad River Glen and get a glimpse of local Vermont life riding through a handful of quintessential Vermont towns Once at the top of the climb riders are rewarded with cliff views of Vermont landscape, Champlain Valley, Lake Champlain and the Adirondack mountains.
Start at Volunteer’s Green on Bridge Street in Richmond. Take a right out of the parking lot and take a left onto Cochran after passing the Round Church. Follow Cochran to the end and take a right onto Route 2. Follow 2 into Waterbury and through town and take a right onto Route 100 towards Waitsfield. Stay on 100 for about 15.5 miles to the Route 17 intersection where riders will take a right. Follow 17 up and over the App Gap. Take a right onto Gore and follow into Huntington where Gore turns into Main. Stay on Main into Richmond where it turns into Huntington Road. Huntington Road will bring riders back to the Round Church where they will follow the road around to the left onto Bridge and back to the car.
There are some great spots to stop and grab a refreshing beer after your long ride, including Stone Corral Brewery and Hachet both within walking distance from the parking lot.
Who is Going to Love It
Cyclists looking for a hill workout will find this a fun ride as well as those looking for a scenic ride through small town Vermont with an added hill challenge thrown in as a bonus.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Park at Volunteer’s Green on Bridge Street in Richmond. Parking is free and the lot is open all hours.