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  1. #1
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    Visiting the White Mountains in a few weeks

    I'll be staying in Jackson in late June, what's the best AM trails around? I've heard Red Tail is good, and I'll likely make a trip to Highland.

    Also, what's the best/nicest bike shop in the area, I'm gonna do a little backpacking want to find a safe place for my bike, I was thinking of asking a LBS in the area for some help...Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Red Tail is ok. I wish I could say more but for all the hype.... According to a few locals that I chatted with, there is much better riding to be found but is not well marked or very easy to find. In fact, even Red Tail is kind of tricky to find. We also discovered a brand new and completely insane DH trail off of RT. I would strongly recommend avoiding this little gem unless a true DH gnarfest is your thing. Don't get me wrong, I love park riding (i.e. Highland) and this is NOT that.

    To get the true RT "experience", ride Hurricane Mountain road to the lot at the top and pick up RT from there. IMHO though, I would shuttle it if at all possible. There is little to be gained from that road climb. Again, just my opinion.

    To my knowledge, Red Jersey Cyclery is the only game in town. Real nice guys and I'm sure they would be happy to help with storage arrangements and route finding (get their map).

    Note- There is a little trail called Sticks and Stones just off the North/South road on Artist Falls road. While that trail is fun it's only 2 miles and can be done in 15 minutes. However, the surrounding area (around the power lines) looks like it has some nice riding. In fact, you can do a loop off of Black Cap mountain (accessed from the same trail head as RT) and connect to that system. As far as I can tell though, you can not connect RT to the power lines.

    NC to Highland will take about 90 minutes but WELL worth the drive. If you're going to be in town for a while, you can also get to Kingdom Trails in about 90 minutes. I did KT, NC and Highland last weekend and it made for a fun few days.

  3. #3
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    Based on your name, I'm assuming you are from PA? In which case I would plan to hit Highland on your way there or way back.

    Doesn't Attitash have lift service trails? That's only 25 minutes from Jackson.

    Kingdom Trails is definitely worth the drive.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the responses, sounds like if I do Red Tail and want more I can explore around sticks and stones. I'll have to ask the guys at Red Jersey what they recommend. I was also looking around and saw some trails off Bear Notch Road, are they

    I've heard Attitash is rough DH, so I'm not sure I'd be up for it.

    and yes, I'm from PA, but it's a long drive and doesn't make sense to hit Highland on the way, I was thinking I'll just take one day and drive down and back. I'll probably devote about two days to riding (one at Highland) and then maybe a morning or two, my whole family will be up with me so it isn't necessarily a bike trip.

  5. #5
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    Ahh, well in that case, if you want lift service Free Ride style terrain hit Highland on one of your days away from the family. If you want buff single track with some killer natural descents and a full day of riding and exploring...Kingdom Trails should be your one destination.

    Typical Highland trails...
    Hellion at Highland Mountain Bike Park HD - YouTube

    Typical KT trails...
    Kingdom Trails - Sidewinder - YouTube

  6. #6
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    You could do Millstone as well. It is a pretty straight shot from North Conway. 112 out of Conway (Kancamagus Hwy) over to 302 West. Probably take you about the same amount of time to get to there or KT. Similar set up to KT as it is all signed out and there are great maps available at the trail center. I rode there for the first time last weekend. Super fun and very technical.

    Also, I can't remember what the trail is called but I remember seeing a thread on here about a new trail that just opened that begins at the back of the Flatbread Pizza parking lot in NC. The pics I saw look cool.
    2011 Trance x1

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  7. #7
    MC MasterShake
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim_from_PA View Post
    Thanks for the responses, sounds like if I do Red Tail and want more I can explore around sticks and stones. I'll have to ask the guys at Red Jersey what they recommend. I was also looking around and saw some trails off Bear Notch Road, are they

    I've heard Attitash is rough DH, so I'm not sure I'd be up for it.

    and yes, I'm from PA, but it's a long drive and doesn't make sense to hit Highland on the way, I was thinking I'll just take one day and drive down and back. I'll probably devote about two days to riding (one at Highland) and then maybe a morning or two, my whole family will be up with me so it isn't necessarily a bike trip.
    I'm from MA but get up to the Conway area a couple times a year on family trips and sneak some rides in. Red Cycle Jersey is the shop to go to. There are some other locals on this board that have shown me some solid riding in the area but I would have no idea even how to get to them again.

    RT trail is pretty fun. I like getting their early in the a.m. and climb that trail (It was actually built as a climbing trail) to the top. Then explore the top of the mountain for a bit and come back down RT. That'll give you about 1.5 hours at an easy pace. I heard there is an even better trail going down that parallels RT but I haven't found it yet.

    Sticks-n-Stones is short and only fun if you add on other things. RJ Cycles could probably get you a good loop coming from there.

    The Nam trails are off Bear Notch Rd. and are not that great. It's pretty rough, rooty, raw riding with some bad mud pits. We camp right off those trails every summer with the family so I hit it a bunch out of convenience but I wouldn't go out of my way to ride it.

    Highland is a MUST. I recommend going during the week if you can to avoid the crowds. KT is worth the journey if you have the time, but it doesn't sound like you do. Millstone is kind of meh in my book.

  8. #8
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    Great suggestion and I would agree. If I had it to do over, I would definitely ride RT up. At the top, turn right on to the Black Cap trail and stay left at the fork to hit the summit. Very rocky with lots of cool stuff to play around on. Great view too. That would make it much more worthwhile and you can avoid the mind numbing road ride up Hurricane Mountain road... Just watch out for folks coming down RT.

  9. #9
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    There is no need to leave no co. Ask for some routes and map at RJ.

  10. #10
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    Awesome! thanks for all the tips everyone

  11. #11
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    There is new singletrack (I rode it with my son about 2 years back) at the bottom of the Red Tail trail. We rode the new singletrack up and then rode the Red Tail trail down. This gave us a good loop and kept us off Hurricane Rd. We parked at the bottom of Hurricane Rd in a small lot. The trail was behind the water tank.

  12. #12
    beer thief
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    Bill (woodyak) has it right as usual. The Red Tail "experience" is not to ride Hurricane Mountain Road but either to ride up RT or the parallel Kettle Ridge and down the other. We are currently working with Cranmore on a trail easement for KR and other trails. The Black Cap Connector is an old school chundery descent and is a classic in its own right, but is definitely not for everybody. We hope to make significant changes in the BCC trail layout in the next few years.

    There is a big network of trails on both the east side (Stick & Stones area) and west side (Echo Lake/Moat area), either of which you can spend a long day and not touch it all. White Mountains NEMBA recently signed an agreement with the Town of Conway to maintain and help manage the east side trails, so these should be mapped and signed within the next year.

    Best bet is to post on the chapter web site (link below) and hook up with a local tour guide. Some guides have been known to provide food, beer and accommodations for complete strangers.

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