The Best Sports Towns, Trails & Camping in Vermont: 2019 Black Diamond Awards

Each year, we send out a survey to find the best in Vermont’s outdoors. The best ski areas, shops, bars, brews and restaurants and more. To see all the 2019 Black Diamond Award winners click here: 


You could chalk Burlington’s win as “Best Sports Town” in our 2019 Black Diamond Awards survey up to sheer numbers—nearly 9 percent of Vermont’s population lives there. But when you factor in all that’s going on there (the Burlington Surf Club went in last summer and a new 160-slip marina and Petra Cliffs’ new climbing gym will open this year) it’s hard to argue that this isn’t the best sports town in the state.

But Stowe, with its ever-expanding bike trails, hotels such as the Trapp Family Lodge, Edson Hill and Stoweflake and places like Piecasso, The Matterhorn and Doc Ponds, where the food is as good as the music, is a close second.

Kingdom Trails remains the king of mountain biking and fat biking with more than 500 showing up for Winterbike, a festival of fatbiking held the first week in March. But with its build-out of 32 miles of downhill runs, Killington Resort has moved into second with Waterbury’s Perry Hill trails (located just outside of town, Joe’s was named best trail) a close third.

Best Sports Towns 1. Burlington, 2. Stowe, 3. Waitsfeld/Warren, 4. Killington, 5. Manchester

Best Mountain Biking: 1. Kingdom Trails, East Burke, 2. Killington Resort, Killington,  3. Perry Hill, Waterbury, 4. Cady Hill, Stowe, 5. Pine Hill Park, Rutland

Best MTB Trails: 1. Joe’s, Perry Hill, Waterbury,  2. Florence, Cady Hill, Stowe, 3. Evolution, Waitsfield,  4. Dead Moose Alley, Kingdom Trails,  East Burke, 5. Chandler Ridge, Salisbury

Best Camping Area/State Parks: 1. Little River State Park, 2. Green Mountain Reservoir, 3. Moosalamoo National Recreation Area 4. Grand Isle State Park 5. Groton State Park

Best Gyms 1. Petra Cliffs, Burlington. 2. MetroRock, Essex 3. The Edge, Burlington, 4. Pico Sports Club, Pico 5. Vermont Sun, Middlebury’

Featured image: Fatbiking at Kingdom Trails. Photo courtesy Kingdom Trails


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