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  1. #1
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    Lift Assisted DH Help

    Hey All,
    NH native here currently living in Phoenix, home to the rugged landscape of South Mountain. The boyfriend and I are visiting family in NH and VT in late September... I cannot wait for the cool fall weather and local micro brews.. its been too long.

    I started riding here in Phoenix so I am totally out of touch with which resorts offer the best lift assisted DH trails in New England. We are both experienced riders so trail difficulty isn't and issue. We like a good mix of fast and flowy and/or steep and rooty/rocky. I mostly look forward to tall ferns, dense green forest and moist loom. Sand gets old... Places we love: Trestle, Big Bear, Angel Fire and Sol Vista.

    We are in need of said lift assisted DH trails with full suspension bike rentals. Full DH or freeride is fine. I know that Killington offers what we need but that is too far south considering we aren't renting a car, just relying on help of family and friends and this is a very short trip.

    For reference a resort between the Canadian border and Concord, NH area is good no further west than the Montpelier, VT. Obviously we will travel further is needed but I am in hope someone can provide good info on a resort in that area. So much has changed since I've been home last.

    XC is an option too but I am totally unfamiliar with the trail system, although I continue to hear that is is expansive and growing. Kudos to you all, for building, advocating and participating.

    Thanks for your help!!

    Locals we are down for private shuttles too... we won't share your secret trails!

  2. #2
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    Kingdom Trails/Burke Bike Park.

  3. #3
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    Are you bringing DH bikes out with you? The easiest one from a travel standpoint is Highland - just North of Concord.

  4. #4
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    Yeah, Kingdom Trails/Burke is a good bet, especially if you want some pedally stuff, plus lift-assist.

    Also, check out Highland in Northfield NH. Even closer to the Concord area, and a ton of fun.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by epic View Post
    Are you bringing DH bikes out with you? The easiest one from a travel standpoint is Highland - just North of Concord.
    We are not bringing bikes hence the need for a resort with rentals. Basically looking for a few choices so we can narrow down price, travel arrangements etc. Highland is definitely on the list though. Thanks for the input.

  6. #6
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    Hay SnS, Highlands is great, good trails, rentals, but kind of small and sometimes crowded, and not much loam any more
    but if you are in NH you should hit it up
    Sunday River is also a great place. Lots of trails. Some very steep n DEEP, bigger that Killington
    Burke is killer like others have said
    What town are you staying in? We have some shuttle near by, but you need bikes
    Hit me up with a PM before you head out
    Once you go slack, you never go back!

  7. #7
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    If you like gnar, cross the border and go to Bromont. You can ride a full World Cup DH course there and they have brandie new rentals every year.

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    Highland and Bromont are both the complete package. Highland has sick brand new rentals as part of their demo center, Bromont has a water park... Bromont has a WC course like epic said, and Highland has less vert but the fun factor on their multiple small, medium, and HUGE hit freeride and jump trails is so far through the freaking roof you won't notice that you didn't just crush out 2k vertical.
    EVIL Uprising

  9. #9
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    Attitash will give you something else to consider. It's a little more rocky than Highland, but it is somewhat lacking in demo options and amenities comparatively. If you're able to venture further west, Sugarbush is another option.
    That creep can roll, man.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by vice grips View Post
    Hay SnS, Highlands is great, good trails, rentals, but kind of small and sometimes crowded, and not much loam any more
    but if you are in NH you should hit it up
    Sunday River is also a great place. Lots of trails. Some very steep n DEEP, bigger that Killington
    Burke is killer like others have said
    What town are you staying in? We have some shuttle near by, but you need bikes
    Hit me up with a PM before you head out
    We'll be in Jaffery and West Stewartstown, this is a seriously quick trip 5 days only. It's meant to be a family visit but I desperately want to ride the east. Will have to check out Burke thanks for the tip. Highland being crowded is a concern, thanks for confirming that. I suppose because of our two locations both Highland and Burke are good options.

    Shuttles would be tough because we don't have bikes... Ill quit dreaming about that now. Perfect situation would be to convince the Beau to move back east... It's home and it's the best. We have a great scene out here but for real, I miss the green.

    Thanks for the input!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by epic View Post
    If you like gnar, cross the border and go to Bromont. You can ride a full World Cup DH course there and they have brandie new rentals every year.
    I'm not allowed to cross the border for 7 more years... Seriously sucks. Oh the good old days of being 16 and going to clubs in Sherbrooke... We have friends from AZ riding in Whistler right now... It's lame.

  12. #12
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    Lift Assisted DH Help

    Burke bike park is fun, and a huge line of Norco free ride and downhill rentals, XC as well.

  13. #13
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    So I grew up riding SoMo too, along with GoatCamp, Usery, NRA, and all the other Phoenix favorites. I still come out every year to ride. With as close as you're going to be to Highland you should definitely go there. Think of it as a flow place though, don't go there expecting Angefire, because it's nothing like that. They use their 600' of vert well and build more stunts into 1 trail than anywhere else I've seen, on trails like cats paw and hellion you're hitting 15-20 jumps/stunts in that 600 vert and they come at you fast. I've never been disappointed riding Highland but just know it's not AF. About the crowds, if you're here 5 days try to hit Highland during the week. You'll be good, on Fridays they're open until 7pm and there is almost never a line when I've been there on a weekdays.

    Burke- Again awesome flow trails on the lift served parts of burke, but the reason I drive 3 hours to get there is the J-Bar, Free Ride and DownHill trails that come off the very top of the mountain. You can shuttle these and rent a bike right at Burke, they mainly have Norco available. Great stuff from the top, about 2100 vert of descending and free ride challenges even the best or riders. This will give you more of a big mountain feel, but not quite as chunky as the WC course at AF.

    Mountain Creek- I'm sure from NH this is probably way out of your driving range, but Mtn Creek is off the charts fun. The chunk here is on par with angelfire and with about 1100' vert you get more of a big mountain feel than Highland. Great combination of very technical world cup style gnarly dh stuff along with flowier trails with tables, ramps, and lots of wooden drops. Great park!

    I haven't been to Sunday River yet, but I'm going in 2 weeks. Happy to report back on that one later.

    Other places to consider, but I haven't been to them personally-
    Sugarbush, Killington, Attitash, Mt. Snow, Waterville Valley, White Face, Plattekill.

  14. #14
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    I rode Highland a few Saturdays ago...I assume that is when it is most crowded. Honestly, I never waited more 5 or so minutes in line and I got probably 20-25 runs in 4 hours with a couple 15-20 min breaks in there. If you go mid-week and ride all day I think you'd be all set.

    It is a lot of fun riding there. I would suggest renting one of their freeride bikes as opposed to a full DH. You really don't NEED an 8inch bike there unless you plan on hitting the biggest, gnarliest lines. Plus all the trails have an A and B line so you can avoid some of the bigger hucks (the ladder drop through the woods near the top of the lift on NE Style comes to mind). I'd def check it out considering your location.
    All good things in all good time

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizzaboom View Post
    I rode Highland a few Saturdays ago...I assume that is when it is most crowded. Honestly, I never waited more 5 or so minutes in line and I got probably 20-25 runs in 4 hours with a couple 15-20 min breaks in there. If you go mid-week and ride all day I think you'd be all set.

    It is a lot of fun riding there. I would suggest renting one of their freeride bikes as opposed to a full DH. You really don't NEED an 8inch bike there unless you plan on hitting the biggest, gnarliest lines. Plus all the trails have an A and B line so you can avoid some of the bigger hucks (the ladder drop through the woods near the top of the lift on NE Style comes to mind). I'd def check it out considering your location.
    Ha, 20-25 runs,exaggerating a little?
    Once you go slack, you never go back!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by vice grips View Post
    Ha, 20-25 runs,exaggerating a little?

    Sorry, it was 5 hours (noon - 5). And no that isn't an exaggeration. 4-5 runs an hour is quite doable.
    All good things in all good time

  17. #17
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    the lift takes 13 mins, how fast are riding down?
    Once you go slack, you never go back!

  18. #18
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    Sunday River in Maine has some pretty wicked DH stuff. I am amazed that there are actually riders that can handle some of the crazy rocky stuff. They have rentals right at the base lodge. Decent places to stay/eat in Bethel. I think the bike park is only open Thur-Sun though.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by vice grips View Post
    the lift takes 13 mins, how fast are riding down?
    LOL, I guess I could be off. But I'm pretty positive it was 4-5 runs an hour. It doesn't take long to ride down Happy Hour or NE style....or even Cat's Paw for that matter.
    All good things in all good time

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nail Every Trail View Post
    Sunday River in Maine has some pretty wicked DH stuff. I am amazed that there are actually riders that can handle some of the crazy rocky stuff. They have rentals right at the base lodge. Decent places to stay/eat in Bethel. I think the bike park is only open Thur-Sun though.
    I really have a soft spot for SR, its got so many trails. and like you said some nasty ones Tango and Crash is one of my favs!

    I have never rode the xc/am riding there, Has anyone?
    Once you go slack, you never go back!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizzaboom View Post
    LOL, I guess I could be off. But I'm pretty positive it was 4-5 runs an hour. It doesn't take long to ride down Happy Hour or NE style....or even Cat's Paw for that matter.
    I know what you mean when there is no one in line and your just banging out runs, you get a ton of hot laps. I have been there for special events when the mountain was closed but the lift was runnning(only a few riders on the hill maybe 15) and trying to bang out as many runs as we could, we couldn't do more than 4. Threshold is the fastest way down the mt, when they were racing it Moody did it in under 2 min! That's crazy fast!

    Have you done the the new NE style? Looks sweet.
    Once you go slack, you never go back!

  22. #22
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    I have ridden most of the stuff at Sunday River, aside from the craziest DH stuff. I am not a downhiller. The xc stuff is pretty rugged. Many times it is wet,muddy and slimy.
    I like to ride up Keep it going and then pick my way around some of the blue/green trails on the map. I'll take a lift once in a while so I can ride Tango and Crash, Easy Tiger, 229 etc. I don't have a downhill rig.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nail Every Trail View Post
    I have ridden most of the stuff at Sunday River, aside from the craziest DH stuff. I am not a downhiller. The xc stuff is pretty rugged. Many times it is wet,muddy and slimy.
    I like to ride up Keep it going and then pick my way around some of the blue/green trails on the map. I'll take a lift once in a while so I can ride Tango and Crash, Easy Tiger, 229 etc. I don't have a downhill rig.
    What bike are you riding?
    Once you go slack, you never go back!

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    Stumpjumper fsr, handles it OK.

    I am in the process of building up 2 new bikes, Banshee Paradox hardtail 29er, and I am going to build up a Niner Rip9.

    I'd love to ride more DH stuff, but I've mangled my knees pretty badly and it's not a great idea. Just riding xc/trail stuff is great for my knees.

    So at SR I ride the mountain, Gould academy xc trails and some stuff by Mt Abrams.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by vice grips View Post
    I know what you mean when there is no one in line and your just banging out runs, you get a ton of hot laps. I have been there for special events when the mountain was closed but the lift was runnning(only a few riders on the hill maybe 15) and trying to bang out as many runs as we could, we couldn't do more than 4. Threshold is the fastest way down the mt, when they were racing it Moody did it in under 2 min! That's crazy fast!

    Have you done the the new NE style? Looks sweet.
    Yeah, the new NE Style is awesome. I don't have the sack (or the bike) for the "A" line but it is still super fun. Moody is an animal, doesn't surprise me. Do you live in the Campton/Thornton area?
    All good things in all good time

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizzaboom View Post
    Yeah, the new NE Style is awesome.
    This. It sure as heck is, so fun. Here's the grand re-opening vid Highland put together for NE Style to get errbody pumped!

    EVIL Uprising

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizzaboom View Post
    Yeah, the new NE Style is awesome. I don't have the sack (or the bike) for the "A" line but it is still super fun. Moody is an animal, doesn't surprise me. Do you live in the Campton/Thornton area?
    plymouth
    Once you go slack, you never go back!

  28. #28
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    Highland is fun, but I don't think I could ride there more than a couple times a season without getting bored - after a few hours, every piece of trail starts to feel the same as the last. My kid loves it though, and if you're into dirt jumping too, they've got a ton. Fantastic place to bring beginners and kids, or if you need a fix of groomed/manmade stuff of all shapes and sizes.

    Sunday River on the other hand, never gets boring to me. The best way to describe the difference is that Highland rides like a park, SR rides like a mountain. There are no 'gimmes'. And the Tower Trail is like nothing else around.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Sunday River on the other hand, never gets boring to me. The best way to describe the difference is that Highland rides like a park, SR rides like a mountain. There are no 'gimmes'. And the Tower Trail is like nothing else around.

    I managed day last fall at SR, and a few of you SlapHeadMoFo guys gave me a good tour of the place.

    It kicks ass! Favorite of the east coast spots I've been to so far, just wish it wasn't a six hour drive for me!

    Finally got to Highland this summer - liked it very much as well, but SR is more the kind of stuff I like.

    In the end, get yourself to whichever one you can manage to from where you'll be staying, as you'll have a good time either way.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by scrublover View Post
    I managed day last fall at SR, and a few of you SlapHeadMoFo guys gave me a good tour of the place.

    Oh, right on. That definitely helps first time there. Place can be a little funky to get around, and there's some trails you want to make sure you're on your game for. Luckily if you hang around the cooler at the bottom of the lift a little, you can usually run into somebody happy to show you around. Pretty sociable bunch up there.

    Shout out next time you head back up.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nail Every Trail View Post
    I have ridden most of the stuff at Sunday River, aside from the craziest DH stuff. I am not a downhiller. The xc stuff is pretty rugged. Many times it is wet,muddy and slimy.
    I like to ride up Keep it going and then pick my way around some of the blue/green trails on the map. I'll take a lift once in a while so I can ride Tango and Crash, Easy Tiger, 229 etc. I don't have a downhill rig.
    FYI - Easy Tiger is gone (they cut in a new terrain park area). T&C is the only way down to 229 now.

  32. #32
    Te mortuo heres tibi sim?
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Oh, right on. That definitely helps first time there. Place can be a little funky to get around, and there's some trails you want to make sure you're on your game for. Luckily if you hang around the cooler at the bottom of the lift a little, you can usually run into somebody happy to show you around. Pretty sociable bunch up there.

    Shout out next time you head back up.
    Will do. Not too far from my in-laws, and I owe you guys a few beers!
    Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper

  33. #33
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    I did the two ESC Enduro races at Killington this summer and had a blast! Most of their trails are a nice mix of tech and flow without being too steep to require a DH bike.
    In the summer I build trails: www.sinuosity.net
    In the winter I build these: www.fatbikeskis.com

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