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  1. #1
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    Ascutney is AMAZING!!!

    On our annual trip traveling up to Kingdom from Pennsylvania last week, we stopped at Ascutney (Thursday) after my brother in law suggested it, and did a loop from the Coaching Parking area. My buddies and I agreed that whoever built these trails deserves some serious credit, they were simply amazing and the best trails any of us can recall ever riding on... They were so great in fact that we hit it again on Saturday instead of a second day at Kingdom. Grassy Knoll and Ridgeback were incredible...
    There is no question that we will be back soon!
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  2. #2
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    A-Ray, what type of trails? XC, DH, etc? What would you compare them to at KT?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by likeaboss View Post
    A-Ray, what type of trails? XC, DH, etc? What would you compare them to at KT?
    A lot like KT but with a little more technical difficulty and more vertical. Well designed trails though for sure.

  4. #4
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    But part of the reason the trails were so exquisite last week was because they were preparing for the VT-50 race last weekend. I visited a different time and they were still in good shape but I'd imagine riding after they've cleaned up etc it would be even better,,,

  5. #5
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    While the fifty does finish (last three miles) on the STAB trails at Ascutney, most of the race is on trails and dirt roads to the north. Neither of the trails that A-Ray mentioned were a part of the race (it's just that good).

  6. #6
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    I don't think they are anything like KT at all. Ascutney has much more rock and interesting technical features but still great flow. XC at its finest.

    Props to Jim Lyall and the STAB crew for creating this fine network.

  7. #7
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    Have you ever ridden the Millstone Trails in VT? I'm looking for a comparison to Ascutney. Millstone, btw, is great. Not much around them...but the riding itself is sick.
    Lastly, do you have a GPS file of your Ascutney ride to share? Or simply do you recall the trails you rode and the direction? Thanks

  8. #8
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    I do not have the GPS but my buddy Eddie does I will see if I can get him to post it up. We did Escalator, Cloud 9, Southern Belle, Ridgeback, Grassy Knoll, Spaghetti and Meatballs, Lynx, etc... This was XC at its finest, but definitely for the more seasoned rider (in my opinion)... Everything on the "right" side of the map is where we rode, nothing on the race course......
    These trails were NOTHING like Kingdom, but each are equally awesome in their own way...
    Also the riding conditions were perfect... Not too much leaves, and dry, and mid 60's with no humidity. I think my opinion of these trails would change very quick if they were wet
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  9. #9
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    A-Ray, next time hit some of the mellower stuff to the "left", on the map. (Most of that was closed for races when you were here on Saturday - thanks for staying out.) Just because it's not a black diamond doesn't mean it has to be boring. Our most popular trail among all riders is a "greenie".

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the feedback. I want to go and camp and ride there for a night or 2. Heard its a great place to ride.

  11. #11
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    When you guys want to ride here again get in touch with one of us locals.. We have a few good loops in our back pocket that are a mix of everything! I love STAB!
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  12. #12
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    I had never ridden down there until the Vermont MTB Festival back in July (Vermont Mountain Bike Festival at Ascutney). The trails down there really are great. I have KT practically in my backyard but think that STAB could rival things up here with just some minor changes and some marketing.

    I just did the VT50 this weekend. I know that the final 3 miles or so use some of the STAB trails on the mountain but there was some really great single-track on the other side of the valley over the final 15-20 miles of the race. Can any of you local guys comment on what the status is on those trails. The VT50 folks have made it very clear that they don't want us riding the course outside of race day and I wouldn't want to ruin things with the landowners for subsequent years.

  13. #13
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    I think the biggest difference between STAB and KTA is 50,000 riders a year.

  14. #14
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    I've ridden KTA for about 13 years. Perhaps the best way of distinguishing the two is on trail designation; a black trail at KTA is a blue trail at Ascutney. Plus, as compared to the Darling Hill side, there's more a bit more climbing at Ascutney, filled with a boost of adrenaline on the downs. It's an XC rider's paradise. Also, there is no lift-serviced terrain or built up big hits as with KTA. That said, the climbing is very well laid out and enjoyable.

    As for the trails on the other side of the valley, they are only available for limited use and many, if not most of those trails, are only open for the VT50. While it might be a request by the organizers of the VT50, it is a mandate made by the landowners that are gracious enough to allow for limited use. We've had some riders that have knowingly disregarded landowner requests which can be bad for landowner / MTBer relations and in turn lead to trail closures...and no one wants that (it's happened). Please respect the wishes of the landowners; there are plenty of trails for every type of rider and likely more coming at the STAB trails at Ascutney and in the W. Windsor Town Forest. Enjoy!

  15. #15
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    My take on it is that the trails at KTA are generally smoother and less technical with less climbing. The geography and geology are very different between the two places. I love the rocks and ledge that the STAB trail have.

    What surprised me about those trails on the north side of the valley is that they appeared to be well worn single-track - not something that was cut just for the race. It was great stuff. I'm old enough now that I wouldn't think about riding something if it were going to cause problems, which is why I asked about them.

  16. #16
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    We made the trip from PA for the July fest at Ascutney. What a great time. Trails are very well laid out, flowy and technical with enough climbing to change things up. They are rocky in spots but not too bad. We are use to rocks in northeast PA. It is definitely worth the ride up to enjoy these trails.
    LOVE THE RIDE!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmterry View Post
    While the fifty does finish (last three miles) on the STAB trails at Ascutney, most of the race is on trails and dirt roads to the north. Neither of the trails that A-Ray mentioned were a part of the race (it's just that good).
    The asthetics of riding anywhere last week in VT was petty mind blowing. Where eve you were on your bike lastweeken as the best trail ever. Still haven't made it to Acutney but I sure need to.

  18. #18
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    There are a multitude of trails that STAB has built on private land over the past 15 or 20 years. Many have been closed due to misuse, overuse, ownership changes, etc. Some of these are re-opened for one day a year, for a charity fund raiser, the VT50. Some are open to STAB members and guests, provided that no maps are published and they don't get overused.

    We were excited to get permission to build trails on the Ascutney resort land and the West Windsor Town Forest, where the trail status hinged on our proper management and control, rather than the whims of numerous landowners. And it meant we could invite the general public to enjoy the fruits of our labor. We have plans to continue to expand this network, providing fresh adventures for all riders.

    Local STAB members will sometimes post rides at stabvt.org (or FB) on these private trails. Provided that the groups remain small, and the leader knows the intricacies of trail/landowner status, others may be welcome to join. But please don't go adventuring on a posted GPS route or Strava segment without a local guide. The result could be the loss of that trail to locals who built and maintain it, or the loss of a great race and fundraiser.

    Thanks for your understanding.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbikeski View Post
    There are a multitude of trails that STAB has built on private land over the past 15 or 20 years. Many have been closed due to misuse, overuse, ownership changes, etc. Some of these are re-opened for one day a year, for a charity fund raiser, the VT50. Some are open to STAB members and guests, provided that no maps are published and they don't get overused.

    We were excited to get permission to build trails on the Ascutney resort land and the West Windsor Town Forest, where the trail status hinged on our proper management and control, rather than the whims of numerous landowners. And it meant we could invite the general public to enjoy the fruits of our labor. We have plans to continue to expand this network, providing fresh adventures for all riders.
    Thanks for the clarification.

  20. #20
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    A-Ray, Thanks for the reply. I need to get in there and check them out.

  21. #21
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    For a peek at the foliage peak, below Ascutney's peak, I'd pick this week.
    Ascutney is AMAZING!!!-last-mile-foliage.jpg

  22. #22
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    Definitely agree about the Ascutney trails - went there for the first time last summer and was blown away. When I mention riding at Ascutney people think of dirt roads/double track of the VT50 but of course it is totally different.

    The other place I think is great are the Green Mtn Trails in Pittsfield.
    Last edited by (Tom); 10-10-2013 at 07:22 AM.

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