Downhill Thrills Year Round: Vermont Ski Resorts Embrace Mountain Biking
There’s more than one way to get down the rolling hills and steep faces of Vermont’s mountains. Mountain biking in Vermont rounds out yearlong downhill thrills at ski resorts across the state. Riders can enjoy anything from rigorous single-track and intense bike parks to rolling scenic trails and beginner downhill courses.
Explore biking options at resorts in Vermont:
For the second year in a row the Burke Mountain Downhill Bike Park was voted the Top 5 Bike Parks in the Northeast Region by MTBparks.com. Neighbors to the world-class biking at Kingdom Trails, the 18 single-track and slope-style trails encompass terrain for all level of abilities. Riders can enjoy free mountain biking Monday through Thursday (ride at your own risk, no lift-serve) while Friday through Sunday the bike park opens for non-stop lift-served shredding. Visit www.skiburke.com for complete details and to view a trail map.
With over 35 miles of rugged single track, rock gardens, switchbacks and machine-built berms, hips and jumps, the Killington Bike Park is a great place to shred the brown pow this summer. The Snowshed Express Quad and the K-1 Express Gondola will be joined this summer by the Ramshead Express Quad, carrying riders and bikes to the top of the mountain for gravity-fed, adrenaline-pumping descents down nearly 3,000 vertical feet. Bike Park Season Passes mean unlimited access to Killington’s trail network and six new Gravity Logic-designed trails on Ramshead Mountain, plus discounts on summer lodging and new deals on biking and lodging at Mountain Creek in New Jersey.
Mount Snow Resort
Mount Snow Bike Park offers miles of singletrack and freestyle terrain for all skill levels, including the longest lift-served beginner mountain biking trail in the east. Before heading out, take some time to learn the basics, or get tips to improve your riding with a guided tour or group clinic. The First Lift Program will run riders through the basics of downhill and get them comfortable with the gravity driven sport. http://www.mountsnow.com/biking/
Okemo Mountain Resort
The Evolution Bike Park at Okemo debuted last summer with lift-served mountain biking and several miles of trails from the top of Okemo’s South Ridge Quad. More trails are planned with design and construction by Christian Robertson and the team from the Evolution Bike Park at Crested Butte. “As the trail network grows,” said Robertson, “there is an opportunity to create lines through forests and utilize the natural rock to offer fun and challenging riding experiences. The long-term goal is to allow a wide range of ability levels to enjoy the progression of resort mountain biking and create a venue to host premier mountain events in years to come.”
The Quechee Club
The Quechee Club, located in the village of Quechee Lakes, VT is well known for more than 10 miles of extensive wilderness trail systems well suited for mountain biking. The Club’s Recreation Department offers a single track excursion throughout the summer.
Smugglers’ Notch Resort
The mountain biking experience at Smugglers’ Notch Resort continues to expand, with a comprehensive focus on supporting all ages and abilities to best serve the resort’s family visitors. Smugglers’ offers entry level and skill development programs, as well as more advanced clinics. Summer 2016 is the first full season for the resort’s onsite shop for rentals and programs and an expanded training area that includes two features parks for learning adjacent to a pump track. Programs include park sessions, a family clinic, group or individual skills sessions, a women's clinic and a session for ages 3-6 on Strider bikes (small bikes designed without pedals to promote balance and coordination at an introductory level for this age group). Mountain bike campers (ages 9-17) develop their skills and participate in a weekly race and parade. Resort visitors can choose to enjoy trails onsite or access one of many nearby trail networks on their own or through a guided tour. www.smuggs.com; 855-581-5906
Stowe Mountain Resort
Stowe has a vibrant mountain bike culture with a world-class multi-use trail network, managed by the Stowe Mountain Bike Club (SMBC), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, supported by and engaged with the local community.
Stowe has over 30 miles of maintained mountain bike trails, which is one of the most extensive and vibrant networks in the Northeast. In the last year alone the SMBC has invested over $70,000 building two new trails in Cady Hill Forest, ‘Flo’ and ‘Snake,’ reworking the Charlie’s Trail, rebuilding the bridge on Tony’s trail and updatingsignage at all the trail kiosks. Visit - http://www.stowemountainbike.com/.
Sugarbush offers twenty miles of lift-served downhill, cross-country and freestyle mountain biking terrain leading to the base of Lincoln Peak. In addition, the Vermont Mountain Bike Association has connected nearly sixty miles of mapped trails to Sugarbush's own trails including technical trails throughout the Valley and less technical terrain at Blueberry Lake. Sugarbush is hosting the Vermont Mountain Bike Festival from Friday, July 22 to Sunday, July 24 and it is packed with hosted rides, downhill access and more.
Trapp Family Lodge
Trapp Family Lodge mountain bike trails will be open from May until late October or early November. The progression of trails is perfect for first-timers or anyone looking to develop skills and confidence gradually. We offer mountain biking skills lessons, guided trips on and off property, and a rental fleet of bikes from children's cruisers to full suspension bikes. http://www.trappfamily.com/mountain-biking.htm
Woodstock Inn & Resort
The spirit of adventure is alive and well at the Woodstock Inn & Resort, and guests will find new things to do at every turn. Here, guests can wander miles of mountain biking trails with gradual singletrack and doubletrack trails nearby that are suitable for all ability levels. Mountain bikes are available at the Woodstock Athletic Club. www.woodstockinn.com