Sunday River Bike Park
Just found out my niece is getting married in Bar Harbor next Labor Day. Considering extending the trip a bit, and see I can use timeshare points for the prior week at Grand Summit lodge at Sunday River.
So my questions:
Is the bike park worth going there for a week? We'd probably ride both XC and DH. We're a variety of abilities. Kiddo did a week of downhill/freeride camp this summer out in CO and was riding black trails at both Keystone and Winter Park. I assume hell have done another week or two camp next summer before we get to ME. I was pretty comfortable on the green and some blues at Winter Park. We XC most weekends here in Wisconsin ( but all have only been MTB riding for a year and a half)
Is there any kind of bike school there? Loved the class / coach options at Winter Park.
Do we have to use DH bikes there? We all have FS trail bikes (Trek Lush, Jamis 650b1). Thinking we'd bring/ship the bikes rather than renting.
Zip lines, whitewater rafting, hiking all hold some appeal.
Given all that...do you recommend Sunday River? Is there enough of a variety of trails to offer something for everyone?
Hey man, you will have a hard time making a week out of SR. I believe the bike park is only open for the weekends (+ friday or monday). The XC riding in the area is non-existent. Whitewater excellent, but the closest is 2 hours from bethel. There is no DH free ride school at SR. As to the type/caliber of riding. It is mostly beefy new england style DH. Rocks, roots, drops. I am a "trail rider" and when I ride there, I stick to the blue runs (which honestly have a few spots that make me say, "huh, blue, really?". Most ride big travel, but there are guys that ride rigid 29ers too. there is great hiking, fishing, canoeing in the area. If you have a week to burn, you should consider a tour of Northern new england's best spots...there is plenty of great DH, tech trail riding, buff single track. I am sure 50 dummys on here will have an opinion on which would be the 7 best spots. Acadia is great, bring the slicks.
I am a local.
The Sunday River bike park is gnarly. Virtually no XC stuff. All lift served trails. The easiest trail is a fire road down the mountain. Boring.
The easiest green downhill is not really all that easy.
The blues are hard,
The blacks and double blacks are giant boulder strewn death pits unless you are a great downhiller.
Now, if you are a very good downhill rider with a solid DH bike you will have fun. Tons of very burly trails with huge rocks, roots, berms, some bridges, gaps, big drops, fun jump section. It is often damp and slimy.
I am a decent all around bike rider, ride a xc 120mm full suspension bike, and it just doesn't cut it at SR. I would recommend full pads and full face helmet.
It is a fun place to go for a weekend. I wouldn't spend a week riding my bike there though. Other good stuff do, like golf, swim, fish, etc in the summer. There is a fun skatepark in town if you are into that.
There is one locals singletrack zone, but it's just a short race course set up for local school kids. It's only 2 miles long, but it is fun if you like xc stuff.
The town and Sunday River hope to develop a huge parcel of land into a mountain bike zone over the next decade. It is in the works. They just acquired the land, now they need a plan.
Thank you both for the info! Just beginning to plan trip. I doubt we'd be riding everyday, want to explore the region as we've never been up there (somehow Maine is one of the 2 states I've never visited. Alaska other). But being able to add biking to the vacation mix a giant plus. We love mtb, also scenic paths trails, road not as much. Sounds like renting DH bikes would be better if we visit Sunday River? And that the green trail will be plenty hard for me (kiddo loves jump trails, so could see him over on that one too)
Now to decide if there's a better home base for the week. Will continue to explore options, really hope to be able to leverage the timeshare points, looks like several possibilities.
I'll probably be back with more questions. Again, huge thanks.
Quick update...decided to book a condo at Killington. Figure it's a good home base for touring important things like Ben & Jerry's, visiting a friend, and the bike park looks fun. And a bit more manageable for all our skill levels.
Further from the wedding location, but what's a 6 hour drive when you're having fun? Probably start a new thread with many,. many more questions closer to the actual trip. Again, thanks helping me pause and look at other options.
Killington is decent to ride. My brother has a house there so I've been able to ride there a few times. Head over to the Long Trail Brewery for an after ride beverage.
If you can swing a trip up to the Stowe/Waterbury area there are some nice places to ride.
I'll be up at Sunday River this weekend.
Have fun in VT.
There's a good bit of XC in the area. A lot is more double track width as it is snowmobile trail too, but we used to have some singletrack carved in at SR, behind Gould, on Grover Hill and so on. Not sure what Steve & crew have done to the XC stuff at SR in the last 6 years.
Check at Bethel Bicycle for trailheads and rides, but two access points would be Rabbit Road/Platnium road off of 26 South and Reservior Brook/Locke Mountain Road off of the North Road just past Wilsons Ripps.
moving up there soon (from the NH side of the MWV). is the singletrack in the area worth riding, or should I concentrate on North Conway/Fryeburg in the spring?
Originally Posted by fenris
Originally Posted by MB1