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Vanilla Bean, the long way round

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Ride Stats:

  • Distance: 92 miles / 148.1 km
  • Ride Time: 2-4 hours
  • Approximate Fuel Costs: $6.99
  • State: Connecticut
Submitted by:

This route started out simply as an attempt to find some good, twisty roads in my own backyard and turned into a roadmap to one of my favorite destinations, The Vanilla Bean Cafe in Pomfret, CT.It starts out in South Western Norwich, CT near the intersections of I395 (exit 80) and CT82. This the edge of Norwich's retail area. Just head East on CT82 about to gas up your bike or yourself! But head West on CT82 to Wawecus Hill Road where the twisties begin. There are some nice hilly turns and nice chicane on this road.As you get to the top of the hill look West across the farm meadow for a nice vista. Make a left at Gager Road and head downhill between the fields. The right hand turn at the bottom of the hill can be tighter than you expect, so slow down. Take the next right onto Gifford Lane, this is one of the twistiest roads in the area. Take it slow the first time.At the end of Gifford Lane it forks with two very short pieces of road exiting onto Fitchville Road. The left fork is narrower and can appear to be a driveway. Either way make a left onto Fitchville Road.Pass under CT2 and take your second right up Brush Hill Rd. Not as twisty but still entertaining. Climb up one side of the hill and shoot down the other. At the end of Brush Hill Rd. make a left onto Old Rt. 87 and another left onto Kahn Rd. at the fork. Kahn road has some nice curves and good views of farm land. Watch out for tractors and farm kids leading their prize oxen by hand to another pasture just like you would walk your dog!!As you cross frm Franklin township into Lebanon, the road changes from Kahn to Hoxie. What's more noticable is that the road surface is a little newer. Take Hoxie to the end and make a left onto Waterman Road. Watch carefully, cars tend to fly around the corners in either direction. Go up the hill and around the curves to make a right onto East Hebron Tpke. Don't be fooled by the name. Some parts are nice and wide, but can suddenly narrow down for small bridges that only one car can cross at a time. A car and a bike? I wouldn't chance it.This is another road that changes name, this time from East Hebron Tpke. to Goshen Road Hill Road. This happens at the first stop sign. The second stop sign is CT16. Make a right and head up to CT207. Make a right onto CT207 and an immediate left onto Clubhouse Road. Clubhouse Rd. has some nice curves to it and ends at Tobacco St. Make a left onto Tobacco St. and the second right onto Cheseboro Bridge Road. At the stop sign this changes to Pine St. Follow this to CT66 and make a right.Open her up a little and CT66 but be prepared to stop at the traffic light where it hits CT87. Make the first right after CT87 onto Old Willimantic Road. This is a nice, narrow country road, enjoy the scenerie, but watch for the stop signs at unexpected places. This ends at Cards Hill Road. Make a left to check out TSI Columbia Harley Davidson or make a right to continue on this route.Follow the curve to the left onto Kingsley Road, which becomes Pleasant St. as you pass over into Willimantic. Make a left at the next traffic light to cross the Frog Bridge with giant bullfrogs sitting atop giant spools of thread. I'm weak on the history, but I know that the frogs symbolize a battle we won at this site and the thread the textile industry that funded the building of Willimantic.Now Willimantic is known for its University, Hospital and local brewery.Once over the bridge, make the right onto Main St. and pass the Textile Museum on the right. Follow Main St. around to CT14. Make the right onto CT14. About a mile down the road watch on the right for the G&L Christmas Barn. A worthwhile stop to check out their miniature trainsets and vistas depicting different areas of the world and by-gone eras.CT 14 swings right and merges with CT203. It then turns left and breaks away. Continue on CT14 and take the second left after breaking away from CT203. This is Back Road. Take the second right onto Brooklyn Tpke. Take this all the way to CT97. Make a left onto CT97 and continue quite a way up through Hampton into Pomfret. CT97 is nice, fast moving road with sweeping curves. At CT44 make a right and go about one and a half miles, fork right onto CT101 and end at our destination on the left immediatley after the fork. If you come to a stop sign at CT169, you just past the entrance. The Vanilla Bean Cafe a very popular stop with motorcyclists, so don't be suprised to find the parking lot packed with bikes of all types. Go slow and use your rear brake on the gravel sections. There is parking on all sides of the cafe.There is a good amount of seating inside and outside. The food is excellent with a menu that includes comfort foods and more adventurous faire. (NOTE: If you continue on CT101 across CT 169 there is a gas station almost immediately on the left side). Once your apetite for food and conversation have been sated. Make a left out of the parking lot and an IMMEDIATE right onto CT169. CT169 is another nice, fast moving road with sweeping curves. Start out passing The Pomfret Prepatory School. Watch out for school functions and wedding parties. Continue on CT169 for a number of miles and enjoy the scenery. It will fork to the right shortly after US6. Watch on your right for The Pillars, a historic plantation house that is now a catering hall. If you didn't have your fill at the Vanilla Bean, there is an ice cream trailer (for lack of a better road) with some of the best ice cream in the area, just opposite The Pillars.The Pillars is situated at the corner of CT169 and North Society Road. Make the right up North Society Road for a nice curvey ride with some nice views. Make the second left onto Barstow Road to head back South and end at CT14. Make a left onto CT14 and an immediate right onto Lisbon Road. Keep left at the fork to stay on Lisbon Road. Make the next left onto Gooseneck Hill Road and the third right onto Baldwin Brook Road. A short, but interesting road that puts you back onto CT169.Make the right onto CT169 and follow down to Kinsman Hill Road which will be the second road on the right. Kinsman Hill Road becomes CT138. CT138 has some nice curves. One of my favorites is a downhill that crosses some abandoned railroad tracks with a slight left-right chicane. Go slow the first time or you'll end up in the wrong lane. And watch for trains. The signs say EXEMPT, but I don't trust them!CT 138 ends at CT97. Make a left onto CT97 and cross one of the nicer sections of the Shetucket River. There is a small riverside park on the right before you cross the bridge and a stop sign at the end of the bridge. (NOTE: If you need gas, make a left and continue about a mile to gas station on the left)Continue straight onto CT207 passing through the small village of Baltic and up past St. Mary's church. Take your second left past the church onto Plain Hill Road. Take this to the end. This is a nice road with some good curves that passes a few farms as it leads into the city of Norwich. Plain Hill Road ends at West Town St. Traffic can be a bit busy here. Be careful making a left onto West Town St. and an immediate right between the Mobil and Sunoco Stations onto Wawecus Street. Pass Buddy's Dugout on the left (burgers & ice cream), Phelps Dodge on the right (copper manufacturer) and under an active railroad track. Continue straight at the stop sign, go past the Little League field on the left and under CT2. Stay left at the fork onto Roger's Road. Rogers Road is another curvey road that passes through farm and wooded areas (and the town transfer station). Watch out for deer and turkeys here. I ran into a flock of turkey's as I came around one of the blind curves one morning. It's good thing they can fly!!Roger's road ends at Wawecus Hill Road, close to where we started. Make the left and hit the curves and chicanes from the other direction as it leads down to CT82. Make the left onto CT82 and end at I395. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I do.

This is a motorcycle ride in the state of Connecticut. This motorcycle route has 6 scenery characteristics and other road conditions to help you plan your road trip. This motorcycle map was created by Vince64 in November. Click here to see other Motorcycle Roads by Vince64

Rider Photos:

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Ride Scenery:

Historic SitesFall ColorsForestRuralRiverFarm Land

Best Time to Go

Spring, Summer, Fall

Road Characteristics:

Sweeping Curves RoadTwisty RoadRolling HillsNo TrafficAverageAdequate Gas StationsAdequate

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