September 25, 2019
It was Friday the 13th and there was absolutely nothing unfortunate about the weather. Sunny and cloudless and just warm enough not to be cool. Humidity was less than nonexistent and visibility seemed beyond just clear. Things far away seemed close. Things close seemed to be in your face.
Though there were few patches of autumn foliage, the vibrancy of all colors seemed to jump several levels.
Maybe it’s the angle of the sun. Maybe it’s the clarity of the air. Maybe this author had too much coffee. But whatever the reason, it seemed there were colorful and unique sights to be seen.
What better way to explore Hinesburg than to attempt a complete “circumnavigation” of our town. Rules were simple: stay within town lines, but drive “around” the town completely. Out came the cell phone and it’s apps for mapping and the journey began.
Starting point was the intersection of Route 116 and Charlotte Road (main light by Lantman’s), which also happened to be “on” the prescribed route.
From there it was due west (toward Lake Champlain) on the Charlotte Road. Valley View barn (at right) and Hinesburg village (below) came into view.
The next right was Leavensworth Road. This road starts out as a pleasant country road, devolves into a narrow track with more cave-size potholes than dirt, and ends at O’Neil Road.
Go right onto O’Neil and there are views of Camels Hump. At Shelburne Falls Road turn right and you arrive at the Jiffy Mart, passing Geprag Community park on the left.
From the Jiffy Mart it is straight across Route 116 at the light and east onto CVU Road. CVU entrance lane on the left is lined with young maples that show vibrant reds every autumn no matter what. Why is this so when some years all else is a dull yellow?
Could it be something in the water?
Who knows? Perhaps Principal Bunting and others feed these trees a special elixir of pulverized Redhawk uniforms.
At the next intersection it’s left onto Pond Road, then right onto Pond Brook. At the low point of Pond Brook Road you will see Sunset Lake on the right. There too will be the most vivid of foliage year after year.
If the water is calm, reflections provide double the color!
Pond Brook Road comes to an end at Richmond Road. Bearing left onto Richmond Road begins a couple-mile loop into the far northeast corner of Hinesburg consisting of a right onto Swamp Road, and a right onto Magee Hill Road. The right at Swamp Road brings the northern “edge” of Hinesburg into view.
You will not fall off the edge of the world should you go to Richmond, but why would you want to leave Hinesburg anyway?
Magee Hill Road returns to the Richmond Road where you will find the brilliant early foliage shown at top right of this page. Bearing onto Richmond Road will take you toward the south end of town.
At the next intersection bear right, which is actually straight, onto North Road. It was there at the residence on the left that 30 feet of white duck were playing follow the leader to a destination only they understood.
Now it’s straight and then down passing Hayden Hill Road and then Lincoln Hill Road on the left. Merge right onto Route 116.
It is there you will find views of the Adirondacks and Cedar Knoll Country Club with its fairways seeming particularly lush and providing sharp contrast to the early foliage there.
Right onto Hines Road and then left onto Gilman Road brings more views of Camel’s Hump into play.
Lewis Creek Road begins on the right after a bit. Lewis Creek itself is babbling along on the left.
Lewis Creek Road comes to Silver Street where, if you bear right, you will head north back toward Hinesburg village.
More views of Camel’s Hump on the right and some nice early foliage there too.
Route 116 is the next intersection and turning left brings you right back to the start (Lantman’s light).
Total distance is 20.76 miles, which at a very leisurely pace takes an hour to drive, allowing for time to stop and take pics. For what it’s worth, the elevation change in feet is 1603.
Should you choose to take this tour yourself, the change in the elevation of your spirits cannot be measured, but it stands to reason that, on the right day, you will find it rewarding to body and soul.
So, next time you have a chance, take a minute to get out and explore the beauty of Hinesburg.