Destination: Bethel, ME
Start Location: 28 Colonial Drive, Montpelier, VT
Start Time: 04:00
Length: 600k / 380m
Time Limit: 40 Hours
Controls: Westmore, VT; Colebrook, NH; Oquossoc, ME; Bethel, ME; Conway, NH; Woodsville, NH
Sanctioning: RUSA & ACP
Cue Sheet: Preliminary cue sheets available to registered riders. Final and official cue sheets available at the ride start.
Registration: Register Online or Postal Registration (Editable PDF)
Online registration ends at 11:45pm on the Wednesday before the event. Should you miss the cut off you can still join us for the event by filling out the day-of-event registration form and bringing it with you to the start 30 minute early. There is a $10 surcharge for DOE registration.
The North Country 600k is a challenging ride which passes through the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, Northern New Hampshire & Western Maine. This ride includes several major climbs and some twisty, fun descending! This ride travels through rural Northern New England- riders will need to be prepared for limited or no services between controls and high quality lighting is recommended – close encounters with moose are a very real possibility! Riders will pass through many small, picturesque New England towns looping northeast from Montpelier to Maine and back again, crossing the White Mountains along the way.
The 2013 version of the North Country 600k features a new route! The 2013 version incorporates some of the same roads as previous versions of the route did, including roads in the area of Lake Willoughby, Dixville Notch and Kancamagus Pass. However, the route this year runs in a clockwise direction, a change from previous years. It also explores a few new areas, including the ride up to Height of Land in Maine and the ride over Kinsman Notch.
The following description provides a preview of the route:
Montpelier, VT – Westmore, VT: After the first short, steep descent from the start, the route climbs gradually following the Winooski River & one of its tributaries, Kingsbury Brook, upstream. After passing through Woodbury, the route passes from the Winooski River watershed to the Lamoille River watershed & a short descent into Hardwick follows. After passing through Hardwick, the route follows the Lamoille River upstream & climbs gradually to its headwaters on VT-16. VT-16 then follows the Barton River downstream into the town of Barton. A moderately steep climb ends just before reaching the north shore of Lake Willoughby, a glacial lake framed by Mount Pisgah to the east & Mount Hor to the west. The route then heads south along the picturesque east shore of Lake Willoughby, with the cliffs of Mount Pisgah rising dramatically above the lake.
Westmore, VT – Colebrook, NH: After reaching the south shore of Lake Willoughby & the location of the first control, the route reverses direction & heads north back along Lake Willoughby. Before reaching the north shore, a right turns takes riders up the first big climb of the day on unpaved Hinton Hill Road. A short, steep descent leads into the village of Island Pond. After leaving Island Pond a long, gradual descent brings riders along the Nullhegan River as it makes its way to the Connecticut River in Bloomfield, VT. Riders should experience warm temperatures while passing through Bloomfield unlike the New England record low temperature of -50˚F which was set here on December 30, 1933. The route then heads north & upstream along the west shore of the Connecticut River before crossing into Colebrook, New Hampshire.
Colebrook, NH – Oquossoc, ME: It’s difficult to get lost on the next segment of the route as there are only three turns over the next 58 miles & one of the turns is into the control in Oquossoc! Immediately after leaving the control in Colebrook a long, steady climb ensues as riders make their way up to Dixville Notch. On the left just below the notch is The Balsams Resort, Lake Gloriette & the village of Dixville Notch, which traditionally casts the first presidential ballots in the country. After cresting Dixville Notch a short, steep descent soon becomes more gradual as the route makes its way toward Errol, NH. After passing through Errol, the route turns north and soon crosses the border into Maine. The ride along this section of the route features rolling terrain along remote route 16.
Oquossoc, ME – Bethel, ME: A long climb begins almost immediately after leaving Oquossoc and ends near Height of Land. Height of Land is a pull off on the right side of the road with a view back over the route just traversed & the many mountains & lakes in the area. A very nice, long descent along the Swift River brings riders into Rumford, ME. After passing through Rumford the route crosses the Androscoggin River & follows quiet, relatively flat roads to the sleep stop in Bethel.
Bethel, ME – Conway, NH: A few miles after leaving the sleep stop riders will pass through Bethel and will then head into rolling terrain punctuated by a few steep climbs. Quiet roads pass through Waterford & Sweden before reaching Lovell. Riding along the old course of the Saco River riders make their way to North Fryeburg, before crossing the border into New Hampshire. The terrain is fairly gentle as the route approaches the next control in Conway.
Conway, NH – Woodsville, NH: Shortly after leaving Conway, the route heads up the Kancamagus Highway following the Swift River upstream. The climb steepens near the top of Kancamagus Pass, the highest point on the brevet at 2,855 feet. Most riders will likely reach the top of the pass near dawn and will hopefully have a chance to enjoy the nice views. Due care should be taken at a steep switchback shortly after beginning the descent into Lincoln along the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River. After passing under Interstate 93 & over the Pemigewasset River riders will begin the climb up to Kinsman Notch, following the Lost River upstream. On the west side of the notch the Wild Ammonnoosuc River leads riders downhill to its confluence with the Connecticut River in Woodsville, NH, the location of the penultimate control.
Woodsville, NH – Montpelier, VT: At slightly over 41 miles the final segment is the shortest of the ride. After crossing the Connecticut River & the border into Vermont, riders begin the ascent up US-302 following the Wells River upstream. This climb features two peaks separated by a short descent & is the last significant one on the route. After cresting the ridge of the Granite Hills, a nice long descent, along the Jail Branch River ensues with the possibility of nice views of the Green Mountains. The final miles of the route are along quiet roads which bypass the bustle of downtown Barre. There are nice views to the west along this stretch with rolling terrain punctuated by the occasional steep climb. The route then turns onto US-2 & follows the Winooski River downstream into Montpelier. After leaving downtown Montpelier there is one final short, steep climb before reaching the finish.