There’s a lot of fresh dirt in Vermont. In July, it seemed that every other week a ribbon was cut on another new mountain bike trail.
There was a ceremony at Waterbury’s Perry Hill, dedicating a new series of switchbacks that spill into the parking area, in memory of Andy Langlois. Okemo Mountain Resort did a ribbon cutting at its summit to celebrate its new 3.2 mile, 2,000 vertical foot downhill trail (there’s a contest to name it) and the expansion of its Evolution Bike Park.
Perhaps the most exciting: the Rochester Area Sports Trails Alliance announced that it earned a $1,500 grant from the Vermont Huts Association toward creating a connector trail that will link the Green Mountain Trails in Pittsfield to the Rochester area trails. Best yet, Vermont Huts Association will be building a new year-round hut at the trail’s start at the Chittenden Brook Campground.
“Historically, mountain bike trail networks in Vermont look like sphaghetti,” said RASTA president Angus McCusker. “We’re excited to be part of an effort to work towards linking our local communities with an inter-chapter connector from Killington to Stowe. The end result will align nicely with Vermont Huts’ vision of a year-round hut-to-hut trail experience.” RASTA also announced a new 4-mile flow trail behind the ranger station in Rochester. The first half, a 2-mile lower loop, should be completed this fall.
Around the state, north to south, there are plenty of new trails ready to ride this summer. Last fall, Waterbury’s Little River State Park opened a 4.5 mile flow trail. This month, Kingdom Trails expands into a new area between Burke Hollow and Darling Hill roads with a 2.3 mile bermed switchback, Ware’s Davis. The Jay Community Recreation Center has two new trails, Big Boss Man, a directional flow trail, and a beginner dual direction trail, Minglewood.
In Sterling Valley, the Stowe Mountain Bike Club is completing Callagy’s Trail, named in memory of local snowboarder Callagy Ross. In Addison County, Moosalamoo National Recreation Area gets a new flow trail and pump track near the Moosalamoo campground that should be completed this fall. Millstone Trails has been working with Sinuosity to finish a new machine-built intermediate trail, to be named and opened later this month.
At Killington Resort, last August’s debut of Black Magic (pictured at left) and other new trails were just the start. This summer’s projects include a new Blue Magic (a 2.46 mile freestyle jump trail) and Krusty (a hybrid flow trail) as well as shorter connectors – all rideable by fall. The resort now boasts 27 miles of trails, served by three lifts.
Last summer, the town of Killington got a grant of $50,000 to build out its trails and is at work connecting the new trails near Kent Pond to the resort, and ultimately, to the Green Mountain Trails in Pittsfield. Rutland’s Pine Hill Park is adding Jigsaw, an intermediate trail with some rock ride-overs (or ride-arounds.) And in Woodstock, Suicide Six is also working with Sinuosity on developing six miles of a lift-served downhill trail network it hopes to have online by next summer.
One of the newest chapters in the Vermont Mountain Biking Association, Slate Valley Trails, has been working with Hardy Avery and Sinuosity to craft trails in the Poultney/Lake St. Catherine area, including a new one which will be completed in the next few weeks.
Last, this summer Grafton Outdoor Center rebranded as Grafton Trails and Outdoor Center and opened its network to mountain biking. Let’s face it: mountain biking could be the new skiing for Vermont.
Cover photo by Brooks Curran