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  1. #1
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    looking for any long descents in new england

    I'm looking for a good long descent (shuttle run if it exists) with as much elevation as I can get, I ride trails in mass and occasionally in NH and VT. Love the burke mtn/kingdom trails area.
    After talking with a cousin whos out in montana about an hour long shuttle run they do it has me itching to find anything like that.

    The longest descents Ive done are prob at bike parks which take 5-10 minutes max... so anything in the half hour range would prob feel pretty epic.
    I realize i prob wont find anything quite the same as an hour long descent but i figured id ask the community.

  2. #2
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    looking for any long descents in new england

    Good question. I don't know of any long descents in New England, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. I'm interested to see what others have to say.

  3. #3
    beer thief
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    Lots of options in the White Mtns but not much in the way of shuttles. Red Tail Trail is about 1600' of vertical if starting at the top of Black Cap, Kettle Ridge is the same using the same upper trails. The Black Cap Connector is probably the longest 'descent' in the MWV but there are a few steep climbs on it. Chocorua, Kearsarge North, the Moat Range and many others are legal to ride bikes on but are generally steep, gnarly hiking trails and long pushes up. I prefer riding these in winter when some of the chunder is filled in.

    Other than the AT, any (White Mountains) hiking trails not in Federally-designated Wilderness are legit for bikes. You will seldom find an easy way up though. Too bad none of the big notches offer any decent shuttle runs.

    Probably the longest descent I can think of would be from Burke Mtn summit to the DMA > Moose Alley trails to town.

  4. #4
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    The highest peaks in Montana stretch to almost 13,000 ft. That's double what we have available here. Even if they allowed mountain biking off the top of Mt Washington, it probably wouldn't be more than a 20 minute descent...and bench cutting a trail through that rock pile with a proper grade would take decades and would be just as rocky as the current trails out there.

  5. #5
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    Top of K to the corner of 4/100 is a pretty long run, with a very short safety break it took me well over 20 minutes. I haven't done top o' the Bush to 100 but it's been talked about here before and that's also really long.

  6. #6
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    7 miles(roughly 4 miles of singletrack) 1400 vertical feet.

    Strava Segment | Stowe Mega D

    more of shorter travel trail bike decent.

  7. #7
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    You can do a semi shuttle at GMT. Park at the top of Tweed River drive, short climb up the green trail to the awesome summit, then Fusters > Escalator > Stairs down to the river. You could leave a car across the river to drive back up. It's not pure downhill, but probably 90% (after the initial climb) but takes a good 20-30 minutes even if you are pushing hard and is a kick-ass ride. It's a bit over a 1000' drop over 4-5 miles.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuyler1 View Post
    The highest peaks in Montana stretch to almost 13,000 ft. That's double what we have available here. Even if they allowed mountain biking off the top of Mt Washington, it probably wouldn't be more than a 20 minute descent...and bench cutting a trail through that rock pile with a proper grade would take decades and would be just as rocky as the current trails out there.
    That's true, but you're not descending to 0. you're probably descending to 9,000 or so. Mt. Washington has almost a mile of vert to play with, which rivals even Whistler's vert, but were not really allowed to do anything on it- Strava Segment | Mt. Washington

    Here's the biggest vertical change I could find in Montana, on strava at least. It looks like a road as well, but it at least gives an idea of what kind of vert is out there. It's big but still smaller vert than Mt. Washington.
    Strava Segment | Eddy Peak Rd Climb

    I'm not saying that the east in any way rivals the vert available out west, there's just a lot more access to it out there with all the vastness. But there is a lot of vert to be had out here.... I've done plenty of 30+ min downhill shuttle runs out west and I've done plenty of out here as well. There's stuff to be had here, it's just not quite as readily as available.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
    7 miles(roughly 4 miles of singletrack) 1400 vertical feet.

    Strava Segment | Stowe Mega D

    more of shorter travel trail bike decent.
    this sounds great, especially since im always in the stowe area. any more info on the name of this trail or maps?

  10. #10
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    looking for any long descents in new england

    Quote Originally Posted by chuyler1 View Post
    The highest peaks in Montana stretch to almost 13,000 ft. That's double what we have available here. Even if they allowed mountain biking off the top of Mt Washington, it probably wouldn't be more than a 20 minute descent...and bench cutting a trail through that rock pile with a proper grade would take decades and would be just as rocky as the current trails out there.
    I'd disagree. There is nowhere in the lower 48 where you could get over 10,000 ft of descending. If you ride in Montana you are starting out at around 6000', so in reality the vertical drop folks out west have is not much different than the potential we have back here. There are really only a handful ski areas in North America that have over 3000' of vert as is. Central northern NH is RIPE with potential for world class shuttle runs. It's only a matter of getting permission and building. I actually think our terrain is more suited to excellent gravity trails than just about anywhere in the country.

  11. #11
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    thanks this also sounds great, what is GMT? know of any maps or info to locate the trails?

  12. #12
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    GMT Green MOuntain Trails - Pittsfield

    There is also good shuttle riding a bit up the valley in Rochester. No I don't have a map.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by elsinore View Post
    Central northern NH is RIPE with potential for world class shuttle runs. It's only a matter of getting permission and building. I actually think our terrain is more suited to excellent gravity trails than just about anywhere in the country.
    You're probably right...below the tree line at least. I keep thinking about the hiking trails, but most of those are centuries old and were not cut in a sustainable manner. Proper bench cutting, grade reversals, and sustainable switchbacks could form an epic ride through one or more of the notches. However it would require a lot of maintenance if it became a popular destination. Perhaps a better approach would be to clean up an existing trail and make it flow better for bikes.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbourne84 View Post
    this sounds great, especially since im always in the stowe area. any more info on the name of this trail or maps?
    the top stuff is mapped and the map can be bought at any local bike shop in stowe. the bottom stuff is tough (read nearly impossible to find) even with the GPS link.

    on the map you take, lauren's loop(old schoolish singletrack decent) to 8 bridges(singletrack) to maple run fireroad traverse kinda of fun though, down maple run make a right on weeks hill road and start looking to the left for singletrack you are not going to see.... honesty PM me and I ll ride it with you.

    there are also 20 minute decents in hinesburgh, carse, and 10 minutes in morrisville.

  15. #15
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    GMT website is below. I can tell you all you possibly want to know about the place since I'm the full time trail bum there. VT Volk's suggestion is good. There's the way I took down today which is riding awesome right now and is the flowiest choice Labyrinth--Warman--Stonewall--Upper Noodles--Escalator--Riverside Run--Crazy Mazie out to Riverside Farm. There's a sketchy, technical slightly crazy way down--Devil's Throat--Upper Bubba--Bubba Trail--Fusters--Escalator, etc. And you can mix and match however you want. I try to keep the general store in town stocked with updated maps as best I can.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
    the top stuff is mapped and the map can be bought at any local bike shop in stowe. the bottom stuff is tough (read nearly impossible to find) even with the GPS link.
    He's not kidding. I live just down the road from where this singletrack takes off from West Hill Rd, and I even miss is sometimes on foot. You're talking about the connector that comes out on Tamarack Rd. right? And then the segment from West Hill Rd. down to the base of Weeks Hill?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by willapajames View Post
    He's not kidding. I live just down the road from where this singletrack takes off from West Hill Rd, and I even miss is sometimes on foot. You're talking about the connector that comes out on Tamarack Rd. right? And then the segment from West Hill Rd. down to the base of Weeks Hill?
    yep.

  18. #18
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    There is a run I do on the north side of 49 on the way to Waterville Valley that gets you about 1200 of vertical and can take a good 15-20 minutes depending on which route you take down. But, and this is a big but...it is a brutal climb. Not possible to shuttle it. The climb takes you to the slabs on Welch Mt. (of the popular Welch-Dickey hike) but not on the hiking trail. I suppose you could cut out a lot of that climb by riding the hiking trail but I'm not sure that is possible on a bike, you'd probably spend a lot of time shlepping your bike instead of riding.

    The slabs are a great spot to hang out for a while to recover before the descent. Great views. Then you head back down the way you came up. The tight switch backs are really fun on the way down. And then it dumps you into a different trail system with 3 or 4 different options to complete the run back down to 49. I usually link up with a few of the XC trails and then make my way to a really fun trail for the final few hundred feet of descent. Nothing is signed though. Most of the trails are on private land (but the land owner is actually the one who built them). PM if you are interested in more details.
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  19. #19
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    looking for any long descents in new england

    Quote Originally Posted by mizzaboom View Post
    There is a run I do on the north side of 49 on the way to Waterville Valley that gets you about 1200 of vertical and can take a good 15-20 minutes depending on which route you take down. But, and this is a big but...it is a brutal climb. Not possible to shuttle it. The climb takes you to the slabs on Welch Mt. (of the popular Welch-Dickey hike) but not on the hiking trail. I suppose you could cut out a lot of that climb by riding the hiking trail but I'm not sure that is possible on a bike, you'd probably spend a lot of time shlepping your bike instead of riding.

    The slabs are a great spot to hang out for a while to recover before the descent. Great views. Then you head back down the way you came up. The tight switch backs are really fun on the way down. And then it dumps you into a different trail system with 3 or 4 different options to complete the run back down to 49. I usually link up with a few of the XC trails and then make my way to a really fun trail for the final few hundred feet of descent. Nothing is signed though. Most of the trails are on private land (but the land owner is actually the one who built them). PM if you are interested in more details.
    In addition to this stuff, you can shuttle the trails off of sandwich notch road off of rt 49. Well, it's kind of a semi shuttle as there is a bit of climbing in between. You can get about 800' out of the way by driving to the trail head up Sandwich. Awesome AM style tour.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by elsinore View Post
    In addition to this stuff, you can shuttle the trails off of sandwich notch road off of rt 49. Well, it's kind of a semi shuttle as there is a bit of climbing in between. You can get about 800' out of the way by driving to the trail head up Sandwich. Awesome AM style tour.
    I was going to suggest this as well, for a shuttle option. As you mentioned there is some climbing involved at various points (notably the LC climb and a few portions on WG), so I wasn't sure that really fit what OP was looking for (sustained descents). But, the descents are more fun and more challenging than the slabs run. And a little less vertical. It is a great ride though and fun to shuttle. If you don't shuttle that climb back up Sandwich notch rode is miserable lol.

    EDIT: after re-reading my post, I realized my original recommendation is a 1200' climb and here I am nitpicking about the few climbs on WG and LC.
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  21. #21
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    looking for any long descents in new england

    You monkeys, there are no rideable trails off of mt Washington in the summer....now in the winter, that's another story. Fatbikers that would like to talk, lets talk. I agree with Adair, in that probably the longest run you are going to get is from the upper mountain at Burke all the way to town level.


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  22. #22
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    looking for any long descents in new england

    Quote Originally Posted by Schott View Post
    You monkeys, there are no rideable trails off of mt Washington in the summer....now in the winter, that's another story. Fatbikers that would like to talk, lets talk. I agree with Adair, in that probably the longest run you are going to get is from the upper mountain at Burke all the way to town level.


    "You're like a Ferrari engine driving a dump truck"
    What are you talking about? Nobody mentioned anything about rideable trails off of Mt. Washington.

    I'd think that the shuttle lap off the top of Burke is one of the longer shuttle runs in the lower 48, never mind the east coast. For certain it is more vertical drop than the shuttle from the top of Squamish...

  23. #23
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    looking for any long descents in new england

    Quote Originally Posted by chuyler1 View Post
    The highest peaks in Montana stretch to almost 13,000 ft. That's double what we have available here. Even if they allowed mountain biking off the top of Mt Washington, it probably wouldn't be more than a 20 minute descent.



    "You're like a Ferrari engine driving a dump truck"

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by zaab70 View Post
    GMT website is below. I can tell you all you possibly want to know about the place since I'm the full time trail bum there. VT Volk's suggestion is good. There's the way I took down today which is riding awesome right now and is the flowiest choice Labyrinth--Warman--Stonewall--Upper Noodles--Escalator--Riverside Run--Crazy Mazie out to Riverside Farm. There's a sketchy, technical slightly crazy way down--Devil's Throat--Upper Bubba--Bubba Trail--Fusters--Escalator, etc. And you can mix and match however you want. I try to keep the general store in town stocked with updated maps as best I can.
    GMT is great. Was up there last weekend and did a similar route. labyrinth, fusters, escalator, noodles revenge. When I finished fusters, I thought "wow, that was a pretty long descent" then I connected to noodles revenge all the way to the bottom and was really happy! No idea how long it was, but definitely one of the longest descents I've ridden. They aren't difficult trails but are certainly fun and are well worth the hour long climb from the bottom.

    Dragons tail to Wolf tree (I think that's what its called) in hinesburg is a good one too, not as long or flowy but more technical sections make it a bit more challenging.

  25. #25
    beer thief
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schott View Post
    ....now in the winter, that's another story. Fatbikers that would like to talk, lets talk.
    Consider me in. I was surprised to see Tuckerman & Huntington ravines are not in the Presi Wilderness. A fatbike run off the summit? Awesome!

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