Kelley Stand Road between East Arlington and Stratton is more than just a scenic drive in southern Vermont. This beautiful dirt road through the Green Mountains offers incredible access and options for hiking, camping, mountain biking, and sight-seeing.
Three years after Tropical Storm Irene washed Kelley Stand Road away in 2011, the road reopened to traffic in September 2014. If you’re in southern Vermont during foliage season, put Kelley Stand Road on your must-list. (I recently wrote about great Vermont fall drives, before Kelley Stand reopened).
Kelley Stand Road runs along the Roaring Branch river and crosses into the Green Mountain National Forest and the town Stratton before ending at Route 100 in West Wardsboro. You’ll find many opportunities for hiking, including access to Stratton Pond along The Long Trail, as well as trail loops around Grout Pond and Somerset Reservoir.
History and Beauty Along Kelley Stand Road
Closed in the winter, the road originally served numerous logging camps and early settlements during the 19th century. Kelley Stand Road is also where Daniel Webster’s spoke to 1,600 people at an 1840 Whig rally. A historic marker commemorates the spot along the road in Stratton.
While visiting my mom in southern Vermont last weekend, I traveled along Kelley Stand Road on two separate occasions with my young daughter Phoebe — once from East Arlington and once from Stratton. It had been several years since I had been on Kelley Stand Road, and I wanted to experience the drive from east to west, and west to east.
As I drove, I saw people mountain biking, hiking, fishing, and taking photos. It was a beautiful weekend, and I realized I really wanted to get out of the car. So did Phoebe.
Eventually, we stopped to visit Grout Pond, a beautiful, 1,600-acre recreational area in the Green Mountain National Forest that’s open for camping, fishing, canoeing, and hiking. We had been driving for a while, and Phoebe needed to stretch her legs and have some fun. She was thrilled to go down to the little beach at Grout Pond, throw sticks and leaves into the water, and gleefully run into the pond with her socks and shoes on (the only shoes I had packed for her). I chatted with some folks who were sitting nearby, and we all enjoyed the view and the autumn glow of late September.
In the fall, I love to drive around to see all of Vermont’s beautiful foliage. But nothing beats being outdoors with your loved ones in the wonderful Green Mountain National Forest.
**If You Go: From Route 7A, take East Arlington Road to Old Mill Road to Kansas Road. Turn right onto Kelley Stand Road. To access the road from the east, take Route 100 to West Wardsboro and head west on Stratton-Arlington Road, which eventually becomes Kelley Stand Road. Kelley Stand Road is closed in winter. (See Map)