22 miles Paved Roads
Parking: Rt. 9 and Fairgrounds Rd., Cummington
Towns: Cummington, Plainfield, Hawley
Ahh, another 55 degree, sunny day in New England in November, usually a month of grey low skies, damp winds and chilly temperatures. My friend Ellen and I rode north from the parking lot on Rt. 9. Last summer, Abby, Susan and I rode south from the same location. (See Cummington Loop 1) Put together, they would make a lovely, longer, figure-8 ride.
Plainfield Road turned into South Central Road, and after crossing Rt. 116 it became North Central Road. This is a fine ride, offering some easy climbing on quiet, mostly well paved roads. Except when riding on Rt. 116 itself there were almost no cars, and the landscape often provided beautiful wide open views.Even 116 is not usually heavily trafficked.
The road curved around, becoming North Street as it went into Hawley. Soon we turned right onto Watson, with traces of snow left on the sides of the road. After a lovely descent, with great views, the road takes a sharp right turn where Bug Bear Swamp Road goes straight, and took us back to 116. Bug Bear Swamp Road: now that is a road requiring a ride, just to experience its name. We were looking for a turn onto Gloyd, but it is signed as Pleasant so we missed it. In a short bit we didn't turn onto Jones Avenue, which would also have connected. Who knew there would be an Avenue in Plainfield, more of a village than a town, much less a city. And I had a map. No harm was done, so having missed the turn we continued on 116 to South Central, turned left and retraced our steps.
We've remarked on these beautiful horses before, black with small white markings. Today they were joined by a handful of chickens.
Pay attention if you ride it, some of the roads my map shows as dirt have been paved. There are several roads you can use to return to your car, but watch for them to turn south off Rt. 116.
Roads: Cross Rt. 9 north and follow Main Street to Plainfield Rd. Turn right onto Plainfield Road, crossing the bridge over the river. Plainfield Rd. becomes S. Central to 116. Cross 116 straight, where it becomes North Central. Right onto North Union, right onto North Street, right onto Watson, right onto Watson Spruce Corner to Rt. 116. Right onto 116, then left onto South Central. Click here for the route on Map My Ride, with map, cue sheet and climbing details.