Thursday, May 5, 2011

Strolling of the Heifers offers the inaugural Tour de Heifer

This year, on Sunday, June 5, Strolling of the Heifers offers the inaugural Tour de Heifer, a trio of scenic farm-to-farm bicycle rides tailored to all levels of cycling ability, with routes ranging from 6 to 60 miles. The routes feature incredible views, farm and woodland terrain, New England villages (one with a covered bridge) and much more. Come to Brattleboro for the parade and expo, and stay for the Tour de Heifer! 

16-mile Scenic Farm Loop:  All are invited for this local bike ride, which starts at 10 a.m. We will ride north from the starting point at Gaines Farm on Route 5. (Riders may ride their bikes to Gaines Farm, but there is parking available there as well.) When we arrive in the village of Algiers, we’ll be greeted with volunteers handing out snacks and water, and live music.  Then we will take a left on the Guilford Center Road, pass the Blueberry Haus farm, and follow until the first left, where we will ride out the gorgeous Weatherhead Hollow Road to Franklin Farm for a break. We will take a left on the Keats Brook Road, and ride alongside the beautiful Keats Brook, then left on Route 5 and back to the Gaines Family Farm. For a hearty, farm-fresh lunch and fun events for the whole family, return to the Franklin Farm after the ride by car, van shuttle or bike.

6-mile Farm-to-Farm Family Ride:  This fun and safe ride will begin at Gaines Family Farm on Route 5 at 11 a.m. Riders will head south to Keats Brook Road, then turn right along a winding dirt road which comes out at Weatherhead Hollow Road and the Franklin Farm, which will be the site of a lunch of healthy local foods and other fun events for the whole family. The ride returns to Gaines Farm after lunch.

An alternative for walkers: 3-mile Farm-to-Farm Stroll:  Start at Gaines Farm at 10:30 a.m. Same 3-mile route on a winding dirt road to Franklin Farm as the Family Ride, one-way only; lunch at Franklin Farm; return to Gaines Farm by shuttle van (or stroll back!).

Additional activities:  Arrive early for breakfast and farm tours at Gaines Farm; stay late for a mountain bike ride (on your own) up to Sweet Pond from Franklin Farm. Make a full day of it!