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  1. #1
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    Winter riding in Vermont

    I am heading to Burke for a week of Skiing 2/10-2/17. Thinking about bringing our bikes. Does Kingdom trails allow bikes in the winter? Although probably not packed down enough.

    Are there any decent spots for winter trail riding with packed trails?

    We ride on Fire XC pro tires which have great snow traction but no spikes or fatboys.

    Praying for powder. Otherwise it would be nice to ride.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    we're riding solid bare dirt in the Burlington area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by murph62903 View Post
    we're riding solid bare dirt in the Burlington area.
    ...and where might that be? I would be very happy to be able to ride on some dirt this week. After last night's Superbowl, I need cheering up.
    "Gone are the days we stopped to decide where we should go. We just ride." - Robert Hunter

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    The east side of Darling Hill has a number of singletrack trails that have been packed out well enough for fat bike use by a couple of us. If things harden up you *might* be able to ride skinny (less than 3.7") tires out there. That's a bit of a long shot though.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Winter riding in Vermont-img_0392.jpg  

    Winter riding in Vermont-img_0390.jpg  

    Last edited by BurkeVT; 02-07-2012 at 05:13 PM.
    -Chris

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    Quote Originally Posted by BurkeVT View Post
    The east side of Darling Hill has a number of singletrack trails that have been packed out well enough for fat bike use by a couple of us. If things harden up you *might* be able to ride skinny (less than 3.7") tires out there. That's a bit of a long shot though.
    Are the trails of KT available for use in winter? Wondering since I thought many of those trails were on private land and the owners only made available to KT during the summer. Would really like to get up there for some winter riding, especially if I ever get a fatbike this winter.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BurkeVT View Post
    The east side of Darling Hill has a number of singletrack trails that have been packed out well enough for fat bike use by a couple of us. If things harden up you *might* be able to ride skinny (less than 3.7") tires out there. That's a bit of a long shot though.
    I don't suppose that E. Burke Sports rents fatboys. I will have to give them a call.

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    sunny hollow in colchester and in burlington Ethan allen park/behind bhs. Please ride in the morning when the trails are still hard. 50/50 on the need for studs, I've been riding without, buddies are using studs.

  8. #8
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    I made a pair of studs with about 6 bucks of 3/8 inch screws from lowes, and I've been able to ride all winter. Sunny hollow/camp j is definitely icy without studs, but doable. The studs greatly add to the ride though just through the sheer ability to not have to 'ride scared' all the time. It's been pretty icy in the trail bed where snow was packed down, rained on and refrozen. The center of the trail is definitely the iciest area in the woods.
    i smell a rat-Patrick Henry

  9. #9
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    Kingdom Trails opened for winter users sometime around mid-December. KTA is a four season destination. Last year the "season" pass price was raised to $75...for the year. Now when you buy a pass you are buying summer and winter access.
    Last winter we experimented. I suppose we are experimenting this season as well, now that I think about it. Whatever the case, last winter we ended up on groomed XC trails on our Fatbacks up at the Dashney Center for much of the winter due to heavy snow. By early January the snow had gotten too deep on the singletrack for the two of us to keep trails packed and open. I even went so far as to snowshoe pack some trails in an attempt to keep riding singletrack. Eventually, it became futile. The KTA staff were ok with us on groomers, as it was only two of us and they were genuinely intrigued with us. As we geared up for this season, Tim discussed the possibility of snow mobile packing some of the disused XC trails on the mountain for us, so as to avoid any possible user conflicts on the XC ski trails, but it has not been an issue this year as we've been able to keep the singletrack on Darling Hill rideable all winter so far.
    Yes, the trails are open to KTA users in the winter. You can ski, snowshoe or bike. No motors. If you don't have a season pass, you should pick up a day pass at the Dashney Center, as the main KTA office doesn't keep regular hours in the winter. Call KTA. Let them know you are interested. They need to hear from more folks interested in riding here. The more folks who inquire, and then actually come up here to ride, the more likely that KT will start to actually channel some resources into trail use and promotion.
    At this point, we have a number of east side Darling Hill trails rideable: Herbs, upper Kitchel, Beat Bog, Leatherwood, Riverwood, East Branch, Lower Widowmaker, Bill MacGill, Heavens Bench, Ridge, and Pines. Of course the VAST trail runs through the middle of all these trails, serving as a connector.
    It's been a true blast so far this winter. We see no one on the singletrack. Paradise...all to ourselves. If you come up, simply be respectful of the groomed trails, none of which are located on the East side anymore. If we actually start to get riders up here in the winter I believe KTA will likely open up some if not all of the groomed stuff to bikes. Bikes are in the DNA in Burke, after all.
    You might also consider attending the event that KTA is promoting on their Facebook page. It's on March 10 and will be a blast. Depending on the weather and snow coverage, there could be a relay event, group ride and possibly some bike park action.
    And yes, inquire about fatbike rentals at EBS. I don't think they have them, but it's worth a shot. A few calls and few more pugs on bike racks in their parking lot could lead to their investing in a fleet of fatties in the future.

    edit: Winterbike Event Link WinterBike | Facebook
    Last edited by BurkeVT; 02-07-2012 at 05:24 PM.
    -Chris

  10. #10
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    Thanks for all the scoop, Chris, hope to be able to try out your singletrack soon from Barre - how often can you do that in a VT winter.?!?!?!! Where's the Dashney Center... I checked the website & saw price info on passes, but not the location. I didn't make it up last bike season, but went a few times the year before.

    If you see a woman on a blue & white Fatback, that is likely me!

    Our Barre snowmo trails are still rideable & fun, but more icy spots after yesterday's warmup & then overnight freeze.

  11. #11
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    The Dashney Nordic Center is at the end of Dashney road.
    I'll be the guy on the orange Fatback.
    Drop a line if you plan to make your way over.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Winter riding in Vermont-image003.jpg  

    -Chris

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    ^^Thanks!

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    Very nice and good write up, Chris/BurkeVT
    2004 GF Cake 2DLX

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    Quote Originally Posted by murph62903 View Post
    sunny hollow in colchester and in burlington Ethan allen park/behind bhs. Please ride in the morning when the trails are still hard. 50/50 on the need for studs, I've been riding without, buddies are using studs.
    I've been riding throughout the Intervale and over to Ethan Allen Park. Things are just icy or bare ground, so looking so a place with some real snow. No studs and a nasty fall going over the bridge into Ethan Allen stopped my riding a couple weeks back.

    I was thinking that perhaps the riding up in Little River State Park might be good for a local ride with some snow, anyone been up there or perhaps the Moscow end of the trails?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTFargo View Post
    I've been riding throughout the Intervale and over to Ethan Allen Park. Things are just icy or bare ground, so looking so a place with some real snow. No studs and a nasty fall going over the bridge into Ethan Allen stopped my riding a couple weeks back.

    I was thinking that perhaps the riding up in Little River State Park might be good for a local ride with some snow, anyone been up there or perhaps the Moscow end of the trails?
    I have ridden on the snowmobile trails in Little River State Park in the past, it's a ton of fun, but important to realize snowmobiles have the right-of-way in winter. Yesterday I tried to ride Fellowship Ring at Millstone (after talking to Pierre) and the mtb trails are only rideable 1/2 mile in from the snomobile trail, about as far as locals have been hiking. Then they become punchy styrofoam and breakable crust, may be fun on a fat bike but on studded narrow tires it's more walking than riding.

    Are either Mobbs or Saxon Hill OK to ride now or are they closed and off-limits despite current conditions?
    "Gone are the days we stopped to decide where we should go. We just ride." - Robert Hunter

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scharny View Post
    I have ridden on the snowmobile trails in Little River State Park in the past, it's a ton of fun, but important to realize snowmobiles have the right-of-way in winter. Yesterday I tried to ride Fellowship Ring at Millstone (after talking to Pierre) and the mtb trails are only rideable 1/2 mile in from the snomobile trail, about as far as locals have been hiking. Then they become punchy styrofoam and breakable crust, may be fun on a fat bike but on studded narrow tires it's more walking than riding.

    Are either Mobbs or Saxon Hill OK to ride now or are they closed and off-limits despite current conditions?
    haven't been out in a few weeks, but i went down twice in 2 days - once on studs and another on the pugsley.

    pugs was in the HS woods just as you get to the bridge, off camber ice with some powdery snow over it. studded fargo was on the well worn groove between the homestead and the footbridge over to the intevervale.

    fun riding all of it. i really need to knock this cold so i can get out again.


    we were talking about doing a group snow ride up into little river. not sure if conditions will allow it. i've been back in there skiing, bikepacking and camping a few times. would be fun on the pugs or the fargo with studs.

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    BTV conditions


    pugsley and the tree and the moon by mbeganyi, on Flickr

    On the beach. No snow in town. Going to hit the woods tomorrow morning.

  18. #18
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    BurkeVT, I'm planning to head up in the a.m. (Sat.), assuming I still feel motivated. Mssg me if you are going to be riding, & I can call or txt with ETA. I'm pretty slow, but would be nice to meet up at some point anyways. If anyone else is interested, head to Dashney Ctr, see Chris' map below.

  19. #19
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    Wow! The riding at Kingdom Trails on the singletrack that BurkeVT (& a friend or 2) have packed down is a - maz - ing ! I spent almost 3 hours enjoying the trails. Moderate grades and swoopy lines make them very winter friendly, at least in such a low-snow year. It took a little while to get used to the narrow trails, since I usually ride the snowmo's, but before long it was like home. A few icy spots, but nothing too bad. I felt a little guilty enjoying them without having packed them down; therefore I hereby crown BurkeVT the winter king of KT. Thanks for your work & sharing! Definitely worth the trip. I met 1 fatbiker, Mike on a white Pugsley. I ended up getting the season pass, not only is it good through bike season, but it is also good for xc skiing for 1 day at a few places, like Trapps. I was having too much fun too stop for pix, but here are a few self-timers I tried:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Winter riding in Vermont-p2111530.jpg  

    Winter riding in Vermont-p2111529.jpg  


  20. #20
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    Congratulations, mtbxplorer. You are, as far as I can tell, the first person to visit KTA with the expressed intent of fatbiking. KTA should frame your season pass application, as it's the first one to be sold to a person who is there to ride a bike in the winter. I hope your visit is the first of many.
    I am totally psyched that you enjoyed the trails. Jeff and I got out there this morning as well and the singletrack was riding fast. Yes, a little more ice than usual, but even after pulling off my Nates and mounting up an Endo & Larry, I still managed to stick to everything. Ridge was off the hook, as some snowshoers came through this week and widened it out significantly. Pines is crazy fun, as has been the case for weeks now, and everything else was riding faster than usual, too.
    I know Mike. He's a local who's been riding forever. I heard he picked up a pug last year, but we haven't had a chance to ride with him yet. Pretty cool to hear of fat bikers running into each other out there. That's a first, too.
    Drop a line (PM) if you plan to come over again. (BTW, did you get my PM last night?) I'd love to catch up.
    -Chris

  21. #21
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    ^^Yeah, Pines was the last trail I did & that was fun. That 1 little droppy part surprised me, since everything else was so smooth. Got your mssg this a.m., so when I heard some disc brakes and caught a glimpse of a bike, I knew it wasn't you, but chased it down anyway to chat. Sounds like the Weds night ski turned into a night ride, fun!

  22. #22
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    Many years ago..

    Quote Originally Posted by BurkeVT View Post
    Congratulations, mtbxplorer. You are, as far as I can tell, the first person to visit KTA with the expressed intent of fatbiking. KTA should frame your season pass application, as it's the first one to be sold to a person who is there to ride a bike in the winter. I hope your visit is the first of many.
    I am totally psyched that you enjoyed the trails. Jeff and I got out there this morning as well and the singletrack was riding fast. Yes, a little more ice than usual, but even after pulling off my Nates and mounting up an Endo & Larry, I still managed to stick to everything. Ridge was off the hook, as some snowshoers came through this week and widened it out significantly. Pines is crazy fun, as has been the case for weeks now, and everything else was riding faster than usual, too.
    I know Mike. He's a local who's been riding forever. I heard he picked up a pug last year, but we haven't had a chance to ride with him yet. Pretty cool to hear of fat bikers running into each other out there. That's a first, too.
    Drop a line (PM) if you plan to come over again. (BTW, did you get my PM last night?) I'd love to catch up.

    I rode in the winter on the Darling Hill trails while staying at the Wildflower Inn. Pre fat bike days, but still very effective running Nokians on double wide (44mm) Snow Cat rims.

    Have been winter riding for almost 20 years in Central VT including many long distance routes that combine VAST trails, packed snowshoe and ski trails, with just a few short dirt road connectors. Try the Dan Smith trail to Jacobs Road and combine it with the "North Drop" from the North St. extension in Montpelier to the MAMBA trail dumping out on Cummings St. Also the long downhill from Molly Supple Hill all the way to Route 12 is a blast given the right conditions.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by angelo View Post
    I rode in the winter on the Darling Hill trails while staying at the Wildflower Inn. Pre fat bike days, but still very effective running Nokians on double wide (44mm) Snow Cat rims.

    Have been winter riding for almost 20 years in Central VT including many long distance routes that combine VAST trails, packed snowshoe and ski trails, with just a few short dirt road connectors. Try the Dan Smith trail to Jacobs Road and combine it with the "North Drop" from the North St. extension in Montpelier to the MAMBA trail dumping out on Cummings St. Also the long downhill from Molly Supple Hill all the way to Route 12 is a blast given the right conditions.
    Wow. An early adopter. I stand corrected. Are you rolling fat these days, or are you still rocking the Snow Cats?
    I wasn't aware of those trails in Montpelier. Generally of I'm in that area I make my way to Millstone.
    Packed snowshoe and ski trails are great. I only wish we had a few more such users here. While the single track is multi-user, it doesn't get nearly enough traffic from skiers of snowshoers to make much of an impact. Yes, there might be a single trail that gets hit, but then they're back onto the groomers and the remaining single track is untracked.
    -Chris

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    Geez, I already had the fat- bug, but now I want a fatty more then ever. Could be this funky winter, but I sure like to ride the KT in winter. I just need to dig upsome $$$. Was leaning toward the 907, but now thinking Moonlander. Hmmm, what can I sell.....

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    Here on BTV I wish KT wasn't so far away. Pugs has not seem any significant snow this year.

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