Exploring Vermont's Class IV, "Ancient Roads"
- May 10, 2019
- Jonathan Rutherford
The “Ancient Roads” of Vermont: Class IV Vermont town and state roads
Definition of a Vermont Class IV road:
A Vermont class IV road (or highway) is a road that is not maintained by the town or state, and can be in any state of disrepair. While these roads are not maintained, any legally registered vehicle may travel on them unless otherwise posted.
The Vermont Class IV road system is truly an amazing resource we have here in New England. These roads offer access to old historic sites, beautiful waterfalls, and awe-inspiring vistas. Depending on the condition of the road, they can also offer a challenge to the 4x4 enthusiast. Many of these roads have been left unmaintained for so long that Mother Nature has attempted to reclaim her grasp on them, which in turn creates a challenging environment for vehicular travel. Often when traveling these roads, one will encounter fallen trees, large boulders, or impassible water crossings. To travel these roads, one must be prepared with the proper equipment, proper knowledge, and a deep level of respect for the access we have to these ancient roads.
The topic of access is very important to note, and the message of respect must be passed to the new explorer. In order to keep these roads accessible to the 4x4 enthusiast, a strict code of ethics must be adhered to and passed on!
The code is as follows:
-Utilize the town maps which can obtained through the Vermont Agency of Transportation website. Always confirm a road is open to vehicular travel before driving on it.
-Never drive on private land without landowner’s permission
-Be a steward of the land, and pick up any trash you see.
-Clear the road as you go, utilizing a chain saw to clear any fallen trees or brush.
-Get trained on the Tread Lightly practices, and use them.
-Travel in small groups of vehicles, and maintain a low visual impact when near privately owned land
-Support the local economy
To conclude, the Vermont Class IV road system is truly a remarkable resource for 4x4 enthusiast in New England, but access should never be taken for granted!