Burke mountain just wrapped up a stellar season of lift-access riding in the beautiful Northeast Kingdom. A new trail called Jester was opened mid-summer that really helped bridge the gap (no pun intended) between different riding styles and equipment. It was commonplace to see trail and cross-country bikes, 29ers, hardtails, and yes even a dad with a kid carrier and a little tyke in tow.
Jester (or Dirt Surfer as I call it) is another masterpiece from the IdeRide trail crew that has features that are progressive and attract multilevel riding abilities. The trail is wide and has numerous line options. You can go big or just go, whatever suits you.
“Knightslayer” is another favorite that is more advanced than Jester but again still caters to a wide variety of riders and equipment. These trails are buff, smooth, flowing creations that ride like giant pump tracks from top to bottom and are the future or now of the sport at ski areas. And if you like the rougher stuff there are also a couple trails that are strewn with rocks, roots, and more technical natural terrain features. All of this is allowing people to really progress as riders.
This style of flowing progressive terrain widely and “Bike Parks” was popularized by Whistler Mountain in British Columbia and spread like wildfire throughout the world. Close to home in Northfield N.H., Highland Mountain Bike Park has several trails that are like this, which has helped it become renowned as one of the best bike parks in the world. It even holds international freestyle competitions.
Back at Burke Mountain, the future looks really bright with plans for new terrain and new ways to deal with the burgeoning scene growing there. Early in the summer, lift lines were light but by this fall it was commonplace to see hundreds of riders riding the mountain on any given weekend.
So if you are on the fence about “Downhill Mountain Biking,” riders of all and any ability now have the opportunity to try it out right here in beautiful Vermont!