EAST BURKE- The sport of mountain biking is rapidly evolving throughout Vermont, as its network of trails continues to grow throughout the Green Mountain State. So much so, in fact, that beginning in late June, Kingdom Trails is offering a chair-lift service for mountain biking, along with the addition of a downhill bike park at Burke Mountain Ski Area in East Burke.
"Collaborating with Burke Mountain to offer a variety of downhill mountain bike trails for all abilities, will keep us as a premier mountain bike destination," CJ Scott said. Scott has been the Kingdom Trails Association Trail manager for nearly a decade.
The Sherburne Express chair lift will give bikers (and their bikes) rides to the top of the mountain from the Burke Base Lodge, and will give riders easier access to four, re-routed and improved cross-country, single-track trails and a new jump trail dubbed Knightslayer. The jump trail features world-class step-ups, table tops, step-downs and rollers.
The Kingdom Trail Network consists of five trails which can all be accessed by the Shelburne Express, including the downhill bike park. The multi-use trail system was recently voted as the best trail network in North America by Bike Magazine, and has also been recognized by Yankee Magazine as a favorite New England destination.
The trials include a beginner trail, two intermediate trails, a most difficult trail and the advanced (Knightslayer) freestyle trail, and has the distinction of being the most extensive network of biking and hiking trails in the state. Operation hours are Saturdays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays and holidays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The collaboration between the Kingdom Trail Association, Burke Mountain and the Vermont Mountain Biking Association (VMBA) to offer these bike trails for riders of all levels, makes this location a premiere destination for bikers throughout the state. In fact, it only builds upon the already strong reputation Vermont possesses as a mountain biking destination.
Rutland's Pine Hill Park is another local biking and hiking destination (see this week's story about the park) which now ties right into the network of trails, and now recognized as an award-winning biking destination.
In Killington, mountain biking is recognized by the Department of Tourism and Economic Development , and plays an active role in the town planning of summer events and activities.
In fact, mountain biking in Vermont has become so popular, that the VMBA was recently recognized on the House floor in Montpelier as a base for sustainable trail construction and a foremost advocate for Vermont's outdoor, non-motorized recreation.
To learn more about some of the exciting biking opportunities in Vermont, visit the Vermont Mountain Biking Association at www.vmba.org. Also visit Kingdon Trails at www.kingdomtrails.com and Pine Hill Park at www.pinehillpark.org.