One sweet country road

11
Jul
2017
Author Pamela Merritt

Red Tavern Road is also known as County Route 14. It might turn into your lucky number.

This 15-mile stretch of country road has a nice variety of views, from deep forest to river shores, with plenty of wildflowers along the way. It has enough winding turns to keep up interest, with some hilly stretches. It is a wonderful ride on a well paved, low traffic road.

easy to find

This road can be accessed off of Route 30, between the Debar Mountain Wild Forest and Titusville Mountain State Forest. At its other end, it reaches St. Regis Falls.

If you wish to drive along Route 30 to reach it, there's a small parking area at the beginning of the road, at Deer River Flow. This is a wonderland of scenery as the river has created broad plains of wetlands. There's also a beaver lodge in easy view of the road.

Long ago, Deer River had a dam built, and now there's some beautiful wetlands and fine fishing.

Yes, there is a red tavern, which the road is known for, but it is a private club now. Likewise, Deer River Campsite is along this road, but they are not open to the public -- only their patrons. Services are available at St. Regis Falls.

After a stream crossing and some houses, the road quickly becomes more remote as I ride deeper into the forest. The coolness seeps over the road even on sunny days, as the deep forest soaks up the sun without heating the air. It is so quiet I can hear if anyone is coming. Until I neared St. Regis Falls, I would hear only birdsong.

There are many forested sections, but each one is different. Some have more wildflowers while some offer steep ridges for extra scenery.

plenty to see

The river pops up again and again as we ride, showing different faces. Sometimes it is a chuckling stream deeper in the woods, while other times it is bold and commands a whole stretch of roadway.

One such dramatic stretch, 8 miles in, is the many-sided attractions of Everton Falls.

Everton Falls is a great mid-point of the ride, with many ways to view them.

I hear the falls, and then the road swings by them downstream. So I walk back to a break in the woods that gives me a closer look. The roar of water is soothing and the tumbled rocks change their tone as I listen from different angles.

This is a pleasant place to take a break and I leave with reluctantance. But this is a stretch with many different wildflowers growing on both sides of the road. I enjoy them for a while, before taking to the road again.

I saw a lot of this kind of contrast: A wildflower in full sun, while just inches away there are ferns in the deep shade.

The next section of road has an area where the forest becomes more spaced out and sunny. This is often a sign that we are approaching a wetlands area, as boggy ground does not retain enough nutrients to support a full forest, and growth becomes skimpy and stunted.

Through the trees, I can glimpse a stretch of low ground, water, and a distant mountain range.

I am rewarded with a glimpse of a distant vista through the trees. Mysterious ridges, a glimpse of where the river wandered, and a mountain range.

fine finish

The next section of tumbled rocks are not set up to be as much of a waterfall as Everton Falls, but this is lively and dramatic all the same.

Another fine river with a tumbled boulders section, and very accessible.

I know I am nearing St. Regis Falls when I come to where the river flows through a flat meadow section. Now there are wild blue flag irises to enjoy along with the other flowers. This is a really prolific wildflower area, because of the abundant sun and water. A most delightful part of the ride on such a lovely day.

Now we are getting iris too, from the closeness of the river.

I also see a bit of traffic ahead as houses appear. I head down a long hill and wind up at a T-intersection with Moira-St. Regis Falls Road, in the heart of the village. A left turn goes to a convenience store with supplies and refreshments.

To our right is the amazing scenery which is a part of St. Regis Falls Scenic Campsite. The scenic part is available to the public along the river, with many views of the St. Regis Falls. This is also a popular plein air painting destination.

The view from the scenic outlook bridge at St. Regis Falls.

The campground is right there, across from the convenience store, with the scenic bridge just a minute's ride further in. Don't miss it.

I hope I have conveyed the many wonderful reasons this is a favorite ride of mine. I hope it turns into one of yours. Want more riding and more river? Continue south and turn left on South River Road at the pumphouse. This goes past the town beach for 12 more miles of stunning river views. This does dead end, so be prepared to ride back.

There's much more biking. Some great dining. Then get a fine night's sleep at your choice of lodging.


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