*Test* Local Mountain Bike Rides
The following mapping effort couldn’t have been conceived without those who first paved the way for us with their (literal and metaphorical) rakes in hand and backs-a-achin. Thanks to all who continue to support mountain biking: The Lopper Wielders, Bike Advocates, Town-Meeting-Sitter-Throughers, Petition Signers (the good kind), Frame Builders, Wheel Truers, GPS Users, Trail Blazers, Google Earthers, Flat Earthers, Melvins, Woodchucks, Wannabes, Adult Male Supporters, Tokers, Uncle Todds, Harmonious Voices in the Maelstrom, and of course, the Riders (most likely you).
This page is dedicated to Rob Douglas, one of those voices.
Trails Within 40 minutes of the shop
(these are all free, no ticket required)
This is not meant to be a complete list of the trails in the Upper Valley, but it is a big chunk of the trails that no one will get upset about if we tell you where they are. If you know of some others that we should add, or see some inaccurate info, please let us know. These are ordered roughly from south to north.
The Pinnacle is one of the most well developed Mountain biking areas in the Upper valley, with signs and everything. The top of the Pinnacle is over 1300 (Coit Summit is 1590 ft) feet so there is some pretty good vertical. This link takes you the Team Pinnacle’s web site which has lots of pics, a very good map, as well as all the info for the various races in the area. Super fun stuff.
This town park in Claremont has a bunch of good mountain bike trails stuffed into it. This is not an all day ride area but it makes a great after work ride with some good technical terrain. The park has modest vertical (350ft) but there are a couple of fun downhills including a sweet new flow trail that does down from the top. Beginner friendly but fun for all. Here is a PDF telling about the park and has a map:
The STAB club has done a ton of work in the Windsor and Brownsville area to develop and maintain legal mountain biking trails. A number of their trails are featured in the VT 50 race. These are among the finest trails in the northeast with over 700ft of vertical and more flow than most other areas. Info about the club and trails are here. They print very nice weatherproofed trail maps that we have for sale at the shop. http://ascutneytrails.com/
Cornish Town forest
The Cornish Town Forest is laced with over 8 miles of superbly-designed singletrack. Almost all the riding here has a very robust technical flavor that is best appreciated with your pinky out. Solid balance and good bike handling skills will help. The network has been carefully laid out with Vedder- approved Evenflow and each of the trails is blazed consistently with its designated color. If you enjoy technical riding with lots of natural rock obstacles, this is your rock Garden of Eden, but there are a number of very fine downhills as well. http://www.uvmba.com/Cornish
This area behind the Plainfield school features 12K of groomed XC trails in the winter, plus an abandoned alpine ski area, so this place has it going on all year around. Besides the XC trails there is a bunch of singletrack with quite a bit of vertical for a modest footprint so there are some very fine downhills. Parking is at the Plainfield school and there is a map on the kiosk at the trailhead. UVMBA has a picture of that map here: http://uvmba.com/Frenchs-Ledges
Great news, after many years of unofficial trail use the Upper Valley Mountain Bike Association now has responsibility over much of the trail network as of the end of 2014. There are information kiosks at the most commonly used entrances, the “Nature Walk” entrance across from the Cemetery on Pine Tree Cemetery road and the trail head behind Dartmouth Hitchcock. The trails are signed to match the trailhead maps so it is now easier to navigate as this is a big network of trails (over 50 miles) with a little bit of everything and it keeps getting better every year. Most of the trails are on the more technical side for sure, so it’s not a great place for beginners but it is by far the most used trail network in the area due to it’s being right in town. You can get over 400ft vertical in one climb/descent so it’s got vertical as well as miles.
Hartford Town Forest
Another relatively close riding area is in Hartford VT. It is not super developed or big but like most areas around here there is a dedicated group of riders that ride and maintain these trails so it is good riding for sure. Note that some trails are for foot traffic only. To get to the upper parking lot where most people ride from: take route 4 to Center road to Kings Highway to Reservoir rd.
Oak hill is a oft visited XC ski area but has in recent years become home to a number of very fine singletrack Mountain biking trails as well. Check out the map at the link below. The singletrack trails have the classic rocks and roots New England feel to them but nothing over the top, and there is a recently added skills part and flow trail thanks to the work of Dartmouth students.
Some popular trails between 1 and 2 hours away
Everybody has heard of the Kingdom trails (not Free) by now, it’s around 1:15 from the shop up in East Burke and deserves its reputation as a top notch place to ride. Many miles of great flowy singletrack, lots of vertical and great views.
Millstone Trails (not Free) in Barre Now with 70 miles of trails, the word is starting to get around about this great area. Memberships are very inexpensive with scenery like nowhere else. Check out more info here:
Pine Hill Park (Free) It is less technical than most VT/NH rides so it’s great for less confident riders, but because of it’s great trail flow it’s super fun for just about anybody. The switchback climbs take the sting out of the vertical and the multitude of berms make for a insanely high grin quotient.
Green Mountain trails (Free) in Pittsfield VT is one of the newer hotspots in the area. Lots of super flowy switchbacky machine built terrain makes for a great ride and something you don’t find everywhere.
Lift Service areas within 2 hours
They have had lift service mountain biking for many years, there’s nothing like doing 2000ft vertical runs till your arms fall off. Downhilling is hard work. There are a great number of XC trails there as well. You don’t need a downhill bike to tackle the lift serve biking, but it’s a lot more fun with at least a dual suspension “trail bike” with an “all mountain” ride being better. The trails off on the K1 Gondola are for the most part not highly developed trails like at Highland, it’s just old school goodness. In past years we really only recommended these trails for experienced riders, but Killington has been building a bunch of new trails off of the Snowshed lift that are much better for beginners and still super fun for experienced riders, so everyone can have a good time.
This lift serve area is open for biking only, they are closed in winter. Highland is world famous as it hosts international events like the Claymore Challenge. Although they have some regular style singletrack trails down the mountain, they are more known for their sculpted or built up trails with huge berms, jumps, and bridges. This is not a wonderful place to bring your brand new to mountain biking friend, though they do have a cool green trail from the top which is great.
Now you can go up the the Northeast Kingdom and not be out of place with your DH bike. Several sculpted trails down from the High speed lift plus the bike park make for tons of fun.
New for 2015 is the Evolution Bike park at Mount Sunapee. They will be continuing to build sweet flowy trails throughout the summer.