Best biking towns in New England- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    Best biking towns in New England

    I've read a number of lists which rank the best towns for outdoor activities, skiing, biking, etc. There are a lot of mountain bikers in this forum who have ridden different places in the region. I thought I'd ask for opinions as to what are the top 5 towns for mountain biking in the New England. I don't have a top 5, but I would put East Burke as #1. Anyone else?

  2. #2
    Gangbusters
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    North Conway NH!!!!!!

  3. #3
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    #1: East Burke, VT -- Everything seems to be planned around mountain biking in summer... The town breaths because of bikers!

    #1 Burlington Area, VT -- The Fellowship of the Wheel as been working real hard to open new riding opportunities. The club is 300 people strong and has been putting great effort to map and show what the area has to offer to the biking community.

    #1 Stowe, VT -- The best trails i've ridden in VT are all in or around Stowe. The SMBC is working hard to open up to mountain bikers but the area is still "not offficially open as a bike town" because you can't find any info and/or maps before taking your trip to Stowe. However, the people in Stowe are open and friendly and they know what epic riding is all about... Stowe has the most to offer... from flowy singletrack to long climbs... add a dirt park and pump track and you've got a great recipe to become the next destination in New England! If Stowe resorts open for mountain biking, expect only good stuff to happen to this town!

    --------------------------------------------------------

    After that, i don't know... Nothing that "feels" like a Bike Town... Waterbury is great... but i consider it part of Stowe... I've yet to visit the Mad River Valley (John, expect an e-mail!) but that will change soon... Jay is the place i call home but the even tough there is tons of riding (enough for 2 days of great riding), the mountain splits the trails from Montgomery and Jay apart... East Barre and Montpelier have great trails also... South of that, i don't know anything! I might make the trip to NH and see what North Conway and such are all about... That could be great...

    At least, the riding community is really growing! That's good news... Everyone is learning from Kingdom Trails experience... and that will really help out everyone around!
    Last edited by BigJay; 07-19-2007 at 10:28 AM.
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  4. #4

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    I have ridden all three areas you mention. I agree, all are very good places to ride. One up and coming area, though not in the top ranks yet, is Cambridge & Underhill. Vermont. The Brewster River Mountain Bike Club has been adding single track miles each year. Last August they had a +30 mile ride, mostly on single track, with some road riding needed to link up sections. The singletrack has expanded this year and a freeride/downhill section is being built. These trails are not far from Stowe. Stowe is on the east (or developed) side of Mt. Mansfield, with Underhill & Cambridge being on the west (undeveloped) side. I look for this area to continue to grow and improve in the years ahead.

  5. #5
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    I would say East Burke is the only realy bike town to speak of. No other town in VT, NH or Maine that I know of caters so much to Mountain bikers, or is driven by mountain bikers. It is the only place close to a Moab or Fruita that we have around here...not to say it is like those areas, just close.

    There are areas all over New England that have great riding, and great bike shops to show you the way, but I haven't found any places other than Burke that have the entire town involved. Not to say, as BigJay metioned, that there are areas that are trying to get there.

  6. #6
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    Northern Greens in general are a great area for all sorts of out doors stuff. Comparing our stuff to the NEK is just a matter of preference. Limited traffic adds value to a trail network IMO, so my favorite bike towns are the ones with great riding and no scene. Waterbury comes to mind, although that has changed alot in the last few years. I would say my favorite area to ride is an area with no town. Snake.

  7. #7
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    Re: Best bike towns

    East Burke #1 Stowe#2 Burlington#3

    East Burke wins because its prettier than than the others IMO!

  8. #8
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    I'd have to assume Burke from what i've seen. Not impressed with Burlington, sorry. Stwoe seem slike more of a ski town. North Conway is a pretty sweet place. The town is full of adventure seekers and outdoor enthusiasts. It's proximity to the presidential and the rest of the whites and Maine is pretty awesome, but the summertime traffic is terrible. Only problem with any of these places is jobs, or lack there of. I live in Portland Maine. I have to say we are pretty lucky. I can be done with work at 5 and be on a group ride at one of many places by 5:30. there are multiple group rides, Rage on Portland, MOAC's MTB group (maine outdoor adventure club), allspeed tuesday thursday and saturday, then there is also Cyclemania, the Bradbury guys and of course the NEMBA Guys/gals. There are bike lanes but there is alot of room for improvment. I did notice that there is now a bike lane on route 26 Washington ave!

  9. #9
    beer thief
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    I'm thinking some of the best places are the ones no one hears about. Plymouth/Rumney, NH is one area that comes to mind. Western MA has a few candidates as well.

  10. #10
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    the mad river valley has some good trials

  11. #11
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    Dovah! 20 min to Mt. A; 30 min to Ft. Rock; 45 min to Lynn Woods; 45 min to Bear Brook; 45 min to FOMBA; 60 min to N. Conway; 35 min to Pawtuckaway. Plus, our only "real" bike shop just went out of business. We've got it all!!!
    RIDE HARD, live easy.

  12. #12
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    Amherst MA - centrally located to a ton of great riding in the Pioneer Valley area plus easy access to the Berkshires.

  13. #13

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    Based on the responses so far: Burke - 5, Burlington -1, North Conway - 1, Stowe - 1, Dover -1, Amherst -1

  14. #14
    Monkey
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    My vote goes to Waterbury, eventhough its not officially a biking town, it's central location makes it a prefect spot.

    Burke is fun, but I would probably get bored after a while if I lived there. It lacks in technical trails, the kind that can be ridden with a bike that actually climbs...

  15. #15
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    I would have to go burlington too. countless places to ride within a 30 minute drive or a 40 minute ride from downtown proper. Plus, the in town riding is great, just have to be on the right bike and you can do a 2 hour ride on many a singletrack and path ride. 700c fixed gear for that! Plus 3 microbreweries in town!

  16. #16
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    Wonder where things would be if Randolph VT did not fall off the map....that area was suppose to be the original destination trail area in VT...too bad there was some good riding down there

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    Randolph had a lot of potential. It just didn't develop it. I guess there wasn't a hard core of mountain bikers in the area to drive things forward.


    TOWN : VOTES

    East Burke, VT : 5
    Burlington, VT : 2
    Stowe, VT : 1
    North Conway, NH : 1
    Amherst, MA : 1
    Dover, NH : 1
    Waterbury, VT : 1

  18. #18
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    Good job! East Burke, VT......

    reminds me of fruita and moab as someone else mentioned. Though it is true that sometimes the places with no scene can still have great riding...its the energy from great riding and so many other riders that makes East Burke so fresh. Heading up thursday to ride for a few days, can't wait.
    There are two paths you can go by but in the long run........

  19. #19
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    That's true. But the single track is not that misty if there are alot of users.. I like trail that is less travled. Somehow it feels more like a powder experience then a groomer experience. NEK is beautiful, and a much nicer town the Stowe. So I don't really call Stowe a great biking town. There is some great biking here, and the pump track and DJs are sweet and gettting sweeter by the moment. And on that note, I always felt like Johnson has some potential. Great legal Dirt Jumps, nice little town, great white water, some descent climbing, just no single track....

  20. #20
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    I am totally biased, but the Mad River Valley is my choice. Between Moretown, Fayston, Waitsfield and Warren, there are easily 50 miles of non-lift-served bike trails, most of it connected somehow. Not even naming the whole list, there's Dennyland/ Wu Ledges, Techtown/ Moretown School, Camel's Hump SF, Phen Basin SF, Tucker Hill, Eurich Pond, Old Center Fayston, Sugar Run/Chase Brook and now downhill at Sugarbush too, with more mileage being added weekly. Plus you're close to Waterbury, Stowe, Chittenden County and Killington. And Randolph. And Barre. And Rochester. And Bolton.

    Our only issue is not enough super easy trails. The Mad River Path should really be continuous and then everything would be covered, end to end. Say it with me. Techy singletrack. Lung busting climbs. Rock spines. Berms. Bridges. Tech. Speed. Flow. Jumps. Big views. Swim holes. Tech. True slickrock. Rock walls. Huge maples. Ahh ...

    John

  21. #21
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    Yup.














































    you're bias!

    Actually just rode the CSF stuff for the first time. Some of it is truely epic.

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    Montpelier?

    Quote Originally Posted by atkinson
    I am totally biased, but the Mad River Valley is my choice. Between Moretown, Fayston, Waitsfield and Warren, there are easily 50 miles of non-lift-served bike trails, most of it connected somehow. Not even naming the whole list, there's Dennyland/ Wu Ledges, Techtown/ Moretown School, Camel's Hump SF, Phen Basin SF, Tucker Hill, Eurich Pond, Old Center Fayston, Sugar Run/Chase Brook and now downhill at Sugarbush too, with more mileage being added weekly. Plus you're close to Waterbury, Stowe, Chittenden County and Killington. And Randolph. And Barre. And Rochester. And Bolton.
    And that is also the problem with the MRV... 30 minutes from everywhere. No doubt a fabulous biking destination, but it was the TOWN (or lack of one) that I had trouble with when I lived there. Montpelier doesn't have the volume of trails that MRV or Stowe has but there is plenty to keep me busy. Most rides depart right from town (my door) with no driving neccessary. I bet I put more miles on dirt every summer than I do on my car. All my daily errands can be done by bike. I still make it to Waterbury and Millstone once a year though. So I'm not an expert on any of the other places mentioned but I thought the fact that I don't feel the need to ride anywhere else might be saying something. The only thing we are missing is a brewpub.

  23. #23
    GreeneDog
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    Easton, MA

    All the mentioned area are no further the 30 mins from Easton or are in Easton.

    Borderland state park
    Stone Hill College
    Stoughton Town Forest
    Ames Noweel State Park
    Wompatuck State Park
    Vietnam

    These areas off some of the best/epic single track and freeride areas anywhere.
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  24. #24

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    Here are some of the things I consider for a great biking town.

    1) Great trails. This only makes sense, without a large and well thought out trail system, you can't have a great mountain bike town.
    2) Good local bike shops. A great bike town has one or more bike shops where you can buy, rent and get repairs and service. The people who work there need to be both riders and good mechanics and have a love of the sport.
    3) A core group of riders and trail builders. In order to both build and then maintain trails, you need a hard core group who are willing to put in the time to make the riding we all want to do, possible. This usually means an active mountain bike club. Most clubs I am familiar with have this core group who are out there week after week doing the hard work that the rest of us enjoy.
    4) A supportive local government and private landowners who allow trails on their property. A town with a bike path, bike lanes, one that allows trails on town land and local property owners who give the OK for trails on their land, are signs of a healthy bike environment.
    5) Bike culture. When I go into town and see many people riding bikes on the streets and roads, a lot of cars and trucks with bike racks, stores that have bike racks outside are all signs of an active biking culture.
    6) A mix of biking options. Some towns that are fortunate enough to have lift served mountain biking, bike parks, dirt jumps, along with single track. These add to the whole local biking scene and create a diversity of biking options.

  25. #25
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    cwfish...Are these Montpelier trails hidden?? they never seem to come up as places to ride when talking with other ridders. Most people I have talked to say there are some trails, but limited and not all that technical.

    Hell I have Waterbury right in my back yard and can ride those trails everyday...but that gets old and it is fun to branch out and try other areas, meet other riders, and have some fun.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by biggearss
    cwfish...Are these Montpelier trails hidden?? they never seem to come up as places to ride when talking with other ridders. Most people I have talked to say there are some trails, but limited and not all that technical.

    Hell I have Waterbury right in my back yard and can ride those trails everyday...but that gets old and it is fun to branch out and try other areas, meet other riders, and have some fun.
    ...and that's why you should and come ride in Jay/Montgomery!

    I'll probably be there this w-e... You should come up!
    ADSVMQ :: Quebec mountain bike trail advocacy group www.ADSVMQ.org

  27. #27
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    You always pick the bad weekends...helping a friend put a new roof on his garage Sat and then Sunday we are having a big trail day in Waterbury.

    What other weekends are you going to be there? When are you taking your trip to NH?

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by radair
    I'm thinking some of the best places are the ones no one hears about. Plymouth/Rumney, NH is one area that comes to mind. Western MA has a few candidates as well.
    Yay for Plymouth/ Rumney!!

    I thought the folks in Conway did not clip bolts though....

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    Quote Originally Posted by radair
    I'm thinking some of the best places are the ones no one hears about. Plymouth/Rumney, NH is one area that comes to mind.
    Plymouth on up to Franconia, NH...lots of great riding.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by elsinore
    Yay for Plymouth/ Rumney!!
    This was a wild ass guess on my part (sort of). I went to Plymouth yesterday and was totally impressed. I would encourage people who ride the same areas every week to pull out a topo map, find a local, or get lost and have an adventure.

    My next stops are Franconia & Littleton...

    Quote Originally Posted by elsinore
    I thought the folks in Conway did not clip bolts though....
    HA, just another internet myth!

  31. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by biggearss
    cwfish...Are these Montpelier trails hidden?? they never seem to come up as places to ride when talking with other ridders. Most people I have talked to say there are some trails, but limited and not all that technical.

    Hell I have Waterbury right in my back yard and can ride those trails everyday...but that gets old and it is fun to branch out and try other areas, meet other riders, and have some fun.
    They certainly aren't mapped out but I wouldn't call them hidden. Its not destination riding either. Some are more technical than others. Alot are very actively maintained, some areas are pretty raw. Its easy to put together a 2-3+ hour ride with some dirt road connections. Now you can almost loop all the way to Adamant and back on singletrack, for example, with some fairly techy sections along the way.

    I'd love to branch out more too, don't get me wrong. Until my kids are a little older, my riding windows are short. So when I get 2-3 hours to ride, I have a hard time loading up the car and driving somewhere when I could be pedaling. I feel fortunate to have such diverse terrain and have urban conveniences right at my door without being dependant on a car. But if I did want to drive 30 minutes to ride then the options more than I will probably exhaust in my lifetime.

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    Radair.....where did you ride in Plymouth yesterday?

  33. #33
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    Trails that you have to drive 30 mins to can't be considered part of the biking town. A biking town has trails that are right in town. With that in mind East Burke is by far the best, if not only, true biking town in New England. We just got back from Monkeyfest and all the lots were constantly full of bikers. 95% of the thousands of people there were there to mountain bike.

    If you include all the trails in driving distance I would have to rank my town of Sutton, MA pretty high. An hour west is the Holyoke range, and hour (or so) east is north and south shore of Boston, and hour (or so) northeast is southern NH, an hour south is Arcadia in RI, and an hour southwest will get you to most of the great riding in CT. Plus there are about a dozen or so of great places about a half hour away (Nam, Rayburn, Singletary, etc.). Central MA is in the middle of all the great trails in southern NE.

  34. #34
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    Never been to Stowe Huh? I ride from my door 3 days a week and seldom get bored. It may not be as packaged as the KT, but that makes the trails better IMO. We got everything from 1/2 hour lunch time romps to 6 hour tours. DJs, pump track, rec path, epic road and tour bike riding.....an active club. I am happy to tour folks around. We put alot of time in and love to should strong riders the goods.

  35. #35
    stoneblender
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    If you are looking for trails right out of town or out your door, the Mad River Valley again delivers. From Waitsfield, there are three major areas, Dana Hill, Dennyland and Center Fayston that leave from Rt17, Rt100 or East Warren Rd. Moretown has two areas, Warren has parts of the Mad River Path, Eurich Pond and Sugarbush, Fayston has Phen Basin, Chase Brook/ Sugar Run, Fayston School, etc. All of these places are connectable through dirt and trail, with only minor pavement.

    Burke is awesome and I usually make it up there for a few rides each season, just to remember what it's like to climb in the middle ring. I haven't done much in NH, ME or MA, so my perspective is undoubtedly skewed. But the thread is asking for opinions, so ...

    John

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveVt
    Never been to Stowe Huh? I ride from my door 3 days a week and seldom get bored. It may not be as packaged as the KT, but that makes the trails better IMO. We got everything from 1/2 hour lunch time romps to 6 hour tours. DJs, pump track, rec path, epic road and tour bike riding.....an active club. I am happy to tour folks around. We put alot of time in and love to should strong riders the goods.
    IMO Stowe as more options then East Burke... I'd move to Stowe anyday... where i wouldn't even consider moving to East Burke... Stowe has some real epic rides as well as quick town loops... And you got tons of riding an hour around... So it does make for a great biking town!
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  37. #37
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    I've been to Stowe many times and rarely see any other bikers there. Not that there isn't great biking there, it is just not a biking town. Just because a town has biking doesn't make it a biking town. Like was said earlier, a biking town is filled with bikers, has shops, and restaurants that are bike friendly, and has amazing singletrack that surrounds the town. East Burke fits that perfectly. I know it must be hard for you to admit it living in Stowe, but the Kingdom Trails are by far and away the best biking in VT, New England, the East Coast, and possibly the whole country.

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    If I counted right, East Burke is the favorite, but the comments about the different towns have opened me up to new areas to ride that I might not have considered before.
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  39. #39
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    Um....this must be a troll.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodsguy
    .....but the Kingdom Trails are by far and away the best biking in VT, New England, the East Coast, and possibly the whole country.
    If you believe this you really need to get out more.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by BassChop
    Radair.....where did you ride in Plymouth yesterday?
    We started at Keniston Woods/Fox Park and then crossed the river and rode the Gyroscope. All fun stuff. Then we went down to Franklin and rode the new trails at the Franklin Falls Dam.

  42. #42
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    Glad someone said it.

    I have the best of both worlds, I live in Waterbury and work in Stowe....so it is easy enough to ride from work to hit the trails in Stowe or head home and roll out to the trails in Waterbury.....Hell just getting out and riding the trails any where you can, it's all about riding.

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    I give Starksboro a Vote. It has a lot of the more primitive stuff I like. The kind of trails that feel like Fresh tracks on thousands of acres of undeveloped land. Its close to everything so I can get my single track fix and then come home to trails still in the root band that don't get all muddy even in the rain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by atkinson
    If you are looking for trails right out of town or out your door, the Mad River Valley again delivers. From Waitsfield, there are three major areas, Dana Hill, Dennyland and Center Fayston that leave from Rt17, Rt100 or East Warren Rd. Moretown has two areas, Warren has parts of the Mad River Path, Eurich Pond and Sugarbush, Fayston has Phen Basin, Chase Brook/ Sugar Run, Fayston School, etc. All of these places are connectable through dirt and trail, with only minor pavement.

    John
    You've got the biking covered. Its beautiful and epic. No arguements there. Now you just need a town to go with it. Then it can be called a mountain bike town. Waitsfield is a couple of strip malls split by a highway. Its not a cycling culture. Its 4 wheel commuter culture.

    I used to live on Joslin Hill Rd. I loved riding Center Fayston/Phenn Basin. The rest wasn't exactly out my door. It may not be very far on rt. 100 and rt. 17 but there were times when it sure felt like it.

  45. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by radair
    We started at Keniston Woods/Fox Park and then crossed the river and rode the Gyroscope. All fun stuff. Then we went down to Franklin and rode the new trails at the Franklin Falls Dam.
    Nice..Gyro is wacky and fun. I will have to check out the stuff down in Franklin.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveVt
    Never been to Stowe Huh? I ride from my door 3 days a week and seldom get bored. It may not be as packaged as the KT, but that makes the trails better IMO. We got everything from 1/2 hour lunch time romps to 6 hour tours. DJs, pump track, rec path, epic road and tour bike riding.....an active club. I am happy to tour folks around. We put alot of time in and love to should strong riders the goods.
    What are you talking about? Stowe's not that great.

    The locals ride too fast (up and downhill). And have an agressive, techy, stylish way of riding their bike. Something like Bob Hannah mixed w/ a BMX trail rider from the Pittsburgh area and a cyclecross rider from Norway. And they are pretty friendly to people from other areas including Jersey.

    The DJs and pump track are convienient and should really be hidden in the woods at a secret spot w/ cables locking up the runs. I have to bring my son along as there are smaller stuff there he can ride and he likes.

    The singletrack is all tight and twisty and you have to pump and use a bunch of body english. There are rocks on the side of the trails in weird spots that make me go in the air. They have this roller coaster feel to them and they get my heart going too rapidly.

    Not to mention, the town has a rec path. So my wife makes me take a bike ride w/ our kids so we can stop at one the restaurants.

    I don't know what I'm going to do when I go there in a couple weeks.

  47. #47
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    Judging by this thread, East Burke is where it's at. And I have a house 30miles from the town and never heard of it? Crazyness. I will have to check out this East Burke one of these upcoming weekends...
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  48. #48
    memento mori
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    Groton MA.And if ya don't know,now ya know!!

  49. #49
    stoneblender
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    For a slightly different perspective on Waitsfield, aka two strip malls and a road, from the Boston Globe.

    http://www.boston.com/travel/article...its_a_natural/

    http://www.boston.com/travel/article...n_this_valley/

    John

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    Can you hop on you bike to pick up takeout without the food getting cold, or needing a shower by the time you get back?

    My perspective is as a biker. Montpelier, Stowe, Burlington have many similar cultural and historic attractions that are within comfortable biking distance. Neither article makes any reference to the bike friendliness of the valley. This is a BIKING forum after all.

    I love the valley. Its just not the most bike friendly place I've ever been to. That's all.

  51. #51
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    If you live in the town of Waitsfield or Moretown or parts of Fayston and Warren, yes you can hop on your bike for take-out, same as Stowe. Are there more restaurants in Stowe? Sure, but that doesn't make it less of a car town. Burlington is altogether different, but its trails are also further away from town, so you may be able to get food on your bike, but you usually get in your car to hit serious trails.

    I posted those articles because you called Waitsfield 'two strip malls separated by a highway." This statement has nothing to do with biking either. Every town or region has its drawbacks and you're correct in your criticism on some levels. We do live in a car culture and the Valley definitely needs the Mad River Path to fully connect it, but otherwise, it's a great place to live and ride.

    John

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    Good boating down there too!

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    Good boating down there too! An the skiing doesn't suck.

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    I agree with John, though the valley and society is car driven, you must make decisions on how you want to live and how you want to pursue your recreation. Living in Burlington is great, I get to ride my bike to work year round, I can ride to get food, ride to some good trails, or make the 15-20 minute drive to outstanding trails. Where if I was to live in the Valley I can ride to work, get some food, and amazing trails. It comes down to how you want to live your life.

    This whole tread started out great, but it is coming down to bickering. We all live in new england, land of the endless ride and stoke. We live in the best biking community in the country, with multiple trail associations, NEMBA, class 4 roads, single track and soo many great people who love to ride. Every town is different, which makes them unique. Go ride some new trails.

    j.

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    I don't mean to snipe. But to be the best biking town, a place should have it all.

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    Like Stowe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveVt
    Like Stowe.
    Yeah. I think I agree.

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    Nobody has it ALL, not even Shtowe, as much as I love the place and the people. Listen, I didn't put down any other town, I'm just promoting my own. If you like your's better, great, tell us why, but don't try to beat up some one else to make your favorite look better.

    Stoke only.

    The lift-served today was sweet. Perfect temps, bright sun, bony dry and fast. I heard a lot of whoops and hollers. And we got two more routes cut in Eden. Lower Birdland is probably going to get weedwacked tomorrow and then we'll start looking at the benches and berms to connect all the rock drops. Forest Service approval should be coming soon for the long singletrack next to Domino and Lower Domino, too.

    The MRR networks are riding sweet too. Cyclone is in particularly good shape and you end up right next to several bars and restaurants and a bike shop. Very convenient.

    John

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    I'm pretty new to mountain biking but I really like my town, Dover, NH. There are so many trails to go visit in the area. I've been killing myself at Blue Job lately and been having a blast. There are local trails (location undisclosed but it's near the seacoast) a few guys at work built to ride while at work. Fort Rock is awesome and it'll be a while before I can say that one is mastered. I still havn't been to Eisenglas(I can't spell any of these right), Masabesic, Pawtuckaway, Kingman Farms or Bear Brook. So many!

    I also found a great shop to deal with (Tri-City Bicycles in Rochester). It's a small one-man shop but the guy that runs it (Mark) is very helpful and an avid mountain biker himself. It seems like when I'm ready to commit more to the sport there are larger organizations I can join (Nemba) that are very active in the area.

    Maybe once I've worn out the trails in my area if that ever happens, I'm gonna have to head over to VT.

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    Cyclone is a great trial. Like Snake meets Waterbury.

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    Sounds sweet John. I definitely have to get back over there soon.

    I put my town out there and took criticism for it. I expect that when I stick it out there as a candidate for being the best. But look at my post. I called your town epic and beautiful. Stoke I said I love the valley. Stoke I said I used to love living there and riding there. Stoke Things have come a long way over there and you deserve alot of credit for it. Stoke

    Perry Hill was great this weekend too. Humbling. But great.

    When I say Stowe has it all, I mean it has all of pedarmac's criteria he is looking for in a biking town. That's why, based on my knowledge, its my nominee.

    BTW: I'm not the only one on this forum or in this thread guilty of less than 100% stoke. Last post, promise.

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    Ok here's my vote.....Nasuha NH and this is why. We're near some of the best and most versitile places to ride.
    Mines falls...in Nashua a great after work place to ride, really flat but some fun spots to hit.
    Yudicky farms...also in nashua not a lot of milage but has some wicked wooden structure that sill challenge even the best rider.
    Carlisle Ma about 20 min. out.......there's a state park there that we just discovered and it has some real fun up and down single track that at times can be real real technical. Also it has a ice cream stand so when you're done riding you can get a treat.
    FOMBA Auburm NH about 30 minutes away........Probably some of the most fun single track in the state(in my eyes). Its run bye riders for riders. The trail system is so fun you must check this one out.
    Bear Brook state park about 45 minutes away allenstown NH......need i say more. Its just awesome
    Lowell Dracut State park.....20 minutes away........This one is a diamond in the ruff. Wow what a trail system. this place has it all.
    Lynn woods.....35 minutes away........This place is legendary in the local mtn bike community. It has it all nasty down hill to XC trails and kellys roast beef is not far away, for a after ride meal.
    Theres so many more that i could go on for hours. Oh and Nashua also has a skate park that they allow bikes on, so if you also have a street mtn bike setup you can hit the skate park as well. And the best thing is that Hudsons skate park is like maybe a half a mile away form nashuas.

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    From reading the responses, it seems that riders are often bias towards where they live. One reason is that they know of all the great places to ride in or near where they live, where those of us who might just visit, would miss out on all the riding options that the locals know about. Just by reading the responses, I've learned a lot about trails I've never knew existed. I am somewhat bias towards where I live for the same reason, as a local, I know about miles of riding that non-locals don't. New England has a miles of great trail rides, that are just not well known outside the local areas. Finding them is the challenge.

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    I am going to go out on a limb here and give Bangor a slight nod. Not for "the best" bike town. There is one hell of a cycling culture up here with 100 miles(no one really knows) of singletrack and great people. My opinion comes from the perspective of actually living here rather than a very cool spot to visit like East Burke and the other spots mentioned. We do have something magical up here. I won't say the best as that is a heavy handed statement.
    I am immune to your disdain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PutAwayWet
    Dovah! 20 min to Mt. A; 30 min to Ft. Rock; 45 min to Lynn Woods; 45 min to Bear Brook; 45 min to FOMBA; 60 min to N. Conway; 35 min to Pawtuckaway. Plus, our only "real" bike shop just went out of business. We've got it all!!!
    Ummm Dover, NH a bike town????
    Let me see, if it was a bike town how come the local bike shop went out of business?
    If you have been to Dover you can LOL w/me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by defconfour
    What are you talking about? Stowe's not that great.

    The locals ride too fast (up and downhill). And have an agressive, techy, stylish way of riding their bike. Something like Bob Hannah mixed w/ a BMX trail rider from the Pittsburgh area and a cyclecross rider from Norway. And they are pretty friendly to people from other areas including Jersey.

    The DJs and pump track are convienient and should really be hidden in the woods at a secret spot w/ cables locking up the runs. I have to bring my son along as there are smaller stuff there he can ride and he likes.

    The singletrack is all tight and twisty and you have to pump and use a bunch of body english. There are rocks on the side of the trails in weird spots that make me go in the air. They have this roller coaster feel to them and they get my heart going too rapidly.

    Not to mention, the town has a rec path. So my wife makes me take a bike ride w/ our kids so we can stop at one the restaurants.

    I don't know what I'm going to do when I go there in a couple weeks.
    I dont get it? Do you like the Stow experience or not? Your public profile says it is your fav stuff but this post sounds like you do not like it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodsguy
    I've been to Stowe many times and rarely see any other bikers there. Not that there isn't great biking there, it is just not a biking town. Just because a town has biking doesn't make it a biking town. Like was said earlier, a biking town is filled with bikers, has shops, and restaurants that are bike friendly, and has amazing singletrack that surrounds the town. East Burke fits that perfectly. I know it must be hard for you to admit it living in Stowe, but the Kingdom Trails are by far and away the best biking in VT, New England, the East Coast, and possibly the whole country.
    I would agree with you on the Burke area being a bike town. If it were not for the Kingdom Trails the town would close for the summer...lol But the place is nowhere near the best in the land. I go w/Radair...you need to get out more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by B Rad
    I would agree with you on the Burke area being a bike town. If it were not for the Kingdom Trails the town would close for the summer...lol But the place is nowhere near the best in the land. I go w/Radair...you need to get out more.
    That is exactly why it is a biking town. The whole town is all about biking.

    Does Bike Magazine get out? For 2009 they voted the Kingdom Trails "Best Trail Network in the US". And Sidwinder "Best Flow in the US".

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodsguy
    And Sidwinder "Best Flow in the US".
    This statement does not get less ridiculous the more times I hear it.

    I think what there is of Burke is a bike town...but it's also a postage stamp that in the end would require you to frequently own and use a car. Although the trails there are extremely nice they're also mostly weak sauce. If I lived in town unless there's a big local stash I'd soon find myself traveling.
    Last edited by bad news; 09-15-2009 at 04:27 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bad news
    This statement does not get less ridiculous the more times I hear it.
    I agree!!!

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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by woodsguy
    That is exactly why it is a biking town. The whole town is all about biking.

    Does Bike Magazine get out? For 2009 they voted the Kingdom Trails "Best Trail Network in the US". And Sidwinder "Best Flow in the US".
    With so many trails that have better flow and character how can sidewinder be picked as the best? Oh yea, vote. Voting is over rated. President who? Sidewinder is a blast but I think flow is not what it does. It goes down with a hard g-out at the bottom and back up. Repeat Repeat Repeat Repeat Repeat. Makes me think of a Gerbil on a wheel. I will admit doing laps on it though. lol Don't you think voting just one place or one trail BEST is a bit hideous. On Darling Ridge My vote would be for many of the other trails that have superior flow and can actually hold the interest of a more diverse biker for a while. You know like Tap and Die, Webs, Old Webs, Herbs, Or for a great combo Heaven's Bench to Ridge then Rim and finish down East Branch.....Wahoooooo! Back to voting, the people who know of much better riding, say in many areas like Colorado,Oregon and Washington state have no chance to win a vote in a contest like this for 2 BIG reasons. One is the amount of Easterners far out number the people who live where the better riding is and Two they are not going to tell you the better trails as you know too much traffic wrecks trails. That my opinion and you know what is said bout opinions.
    Last edited by B Rad; 09-26-2009 at 09:43 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by atkinson
    Nobody has it ALL, not even Shtowe, as much as I love the place and the people. Listen, I didn't put down any other town, I'm just promoting my own. If you like your's better, great, tell us why, but don't try to beat up some one else to make your favorite look better.

    Stoke only.

    The lift-served today was sweet. Perfect temps, bright sun, bony dry and fast. I heard a lot of whoops and hollers. And we got two more routes cut in Eden. Lower Birdland is probably going to get weedwacked tomorrow and then we'll start looking at the benches and berms to connect all the rock drops. Forest Service approval should be coming soon for the long singletrack next to Domino and Lower Domino, too.

    The MRR networks are riding sweet too. Cyclone is in particularly good shape and you end up right next to several bars and restaurants and a bike shop. Very convenient.

    John
    Riding waitsfield today. First of the season. Stoked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by B Rad
    I dont get it? Do you like the Stow experience or not? Your public profile says it is your fav stuff but this post sounds like you do not like it.
    Other than the 6+ hour drive up there that I can only do a couple times in the non-snow months, it's fine. Actually, to be totally honest, I like it a lot. I have had a lot of real good bike rides up there since I started riding in that town in '94. I wouldn't mind living a season up there and help get the town DJ's real dialed and sprinkle in trail rides in between dig sessions to get the full deal.

    I haven't experienced too many other VT towns to say which one is the best bike town but Stowe has a lot of bike stuff going on. Maybe I was a little cloudy in that post so I try again why I think Stowe's a pretty good bike town:

    • A full DJ park in the middle of town. Many of you could care less about DJ's but I like to ride different things. Having a legal DJ spot is a ton of work just to get it going not to mention keeping it up. Plus a place like this is a great way to get the younger ones into bikes - more than likely they won't be too keen on typcial XC trail ride.
    • 3 bike shops, not including a few more with rentals and small parts for sale. And 1 of them being one of the coolest shops I've been too in recent times (iRide).
    • There is a bike path that runs through the main road in town that follows a river and has many stops to restaurants, stores, and there's even a fun "hidden" jump tossed in. So what if most of the people on the bike path are on rentals and are pedaling at an easy pace. They are on a bike.
    • I could be plenty happy riding the trails within bike riding distance of the center of town for a season. And that's the sh!t I know about. I'm sure there is even more local only stuff.
    • The local riders are skilled on a bike and with tools fixing trail. Any one can get miles in on a mtn bike - it takes a real rider to be able to give up a ride day to go move dirt.

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    north conway-sorry rob



    now, i'm not even factoring in that i'm a skier 1st who spends all of his free time on snow from early nov to early mid july on the best terrain and oftentimes snow in the high whites of nh. vermont get's more snow, but it sure don't last into july as the most perfect of corn and let's face it, the terrain in the green mountain state is pretty small in comaprison.

    now let's get onto the bike part. what i do when i'm waiting for it to snow again. north conway is tops for riding in my book for many reasons that most folks couldn't even fathom is there, which makes it even better.

    i laugh at all of the east burke responses. i used to own a home there just down the street from the inn at mountain view and rode there all of the time. i even cut some of the trails that so many enjoy. i definitely chose east burke for skiing over biking any day of the week. most vermont, "hardcore" skiers don't know what they are missing coming over in the summer to ride when they should be coming over for storms in the winter.

    back to north conway, there's more going on and more to do in general than most anywhere else. another thing is that n-con and nh in general is that it is a bit more real and far less pretentious than the foofy state to the west. everytime i go into a store or cafe there, i wanna spit on someone or something.

    rog

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    LOL @ Sidewinder as best flow, Cool trail, but flow, come on! Worthless article in that magazine.

    LOL @ East Burke being the best place to live n ride. Gr8 place to visit n ride.

    I would look at towns like Burlington, N Conway, Portsmouth... Riding is close enough, and the towns have life to them, life beyond trying to understand why frenchies are taking a break smack dab in the middle of the trail.
    beaver hunt

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    sarcasm is SO lost on the intraweb.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snowdrifter
    LOL @ Sidewinder as best flow, Cool trail, but flow, come on! Worthless article in that magazine.

    LOL @ East Burke being the best place to live n ride. Gr8 place to visit n ride.

    I would look at towns like Burlington, N Conway, Portsmouth... Riding is close enough, and the towns have life to them, life beyond trying to understand why frenchies are taking a break smack dab in the middle of the trail.
    Let's not generalize about a whole province full of people. Plenty of anglophones camped in the middle of the trail squeexed into too much lycra huffing down chocolate brownie cliff bars too....

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    Dave, Sorry man, but the place is rife with lack of trail etiquette, and the predominent user group at KTA is well, Queebs. They bring positives as well though. Lot's of girls in spandex, speaking a foreign language, HOT DAMN!
    beaver hunt

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by B Rad
    Ummm Dover, NH a bike town????
    Let me see, if it was a bike town how come the local bike shop went out of business?
    If you have been to Dover you can LOL w/me.

    Agree 100%. I live in Exeter and can get to all of those spots in less time, except No Conway- add 30min. My vote is Exeter. You can get to Fort Rock from downtown on a bike. Also the shops in the area are all in business and have weekly shop rides. Oh, and I pedal 30 yards and I'm in the middle of the Fort Rock trails. That's why I moved to Exeter and the house I am in. The other thing too is that you don't have to drive far to go anywhere. This may not matter to some people though. I would love to live in Stowe or East Burke, but my wife would not join me. I am also 1 hour from Highland Mountain if that's your thing. Jackson NH should be on the list, or is it considered too close to No. Conway?

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodsguy
    Trails that you have to drive 30 mins to can't be considered part of the biking town. .

    So Moab is not a biking town?
    beaver hunt

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    durham, nh is a honorable mention. good urban biking at unh, and unh owned xc trails. 30-45 min to fort rock, bear brook, pawtuk and rye airfield. doesnt have the best local trails but if you dont mind taking a short drive theres places all around it

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    Quote Originally Posted by snowdrifter
    Dave, Sorry man, but the place is rife with lack of trail etiquette, and the predominent user group at KTA is well, Queebs. They bring positives as well though. Lot's of girls in spandex, speaking a foreign language, HOT DAMN!
    Don't want to start flamming or anything... but just look at numbers. WCAX made a story a couple of weeks ago with Kingdom Trail numbers. 40% of their "customers" (members) are from Quebec. You're bound to find loads of people speaking french and since it's sounds a lot different to you, then you notice it more.

    I think it's more of an "urban attitude" that stands out... sorta like when you can spot someone from NYC or Boston at the resort in winter... nothing wrong with that... it's just the urban vibe... and compare to the laid-back Vermont vibe, it's bound to make some sparks!
    ADSVMQ :: Quebec mountain bike trail advocacy group www.ADSVMQ.org

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigJay
    Don't want to start flamming or anything... but just look at numbers. WCAX made a story a couple of weeks ago with Kingdom Trail numbers. 40% of their "customers" (members) are from Quebec. You're bound to find loads of people speaking french and since it's sounds a lot different to you, then you notice it more.

    I think it's more of an "urban attitude" that stands out... sorta like when you can spot someone from NYC or Boston at the resort in winter... nothing wrong with that... it's just the urban vibe... and compare to the laid-back Vermont vibe, it's bound to make some sparks!

    Hi BigJay, my bad, nothing against our friends from the North, it's just them usually sitting in the trail, giving me a stupid look You are right though, I've also came across M*******s pulling the same stunt It's universal.

    Commen Sense seems to be lacking in general at KTA. Trail Cloggers, People riding up trails that should be downhill only. People that don't bother to say hi, or thanks for yielding, it's total Goonsville!
    Regardless, I always have fun up there, gr8 place to visit.
    beaver hunt

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    Quote Originally Posted by snowdrifter
    Commen Sense seems to be lacking in general at KTA. Trail Cloggers, People riding up trails that should be downhill only. People that don't bother to say hi, or thanks for yielding, it's total Goonsville!
    Regardless, I always have fun up there, gr8 place to visit.
    I think it's more of a question that KT is the "one big resort" we have here for XC... And you don't run into all the locals you normally encounter on your home loop...

    Everyone feels "at home" when there however... Everyone think they deserve their share... It's one of the place where you truely are a customer and not a member... I don't think much people get involved with maintenance and building at Kingdom Trails... because if they had great turnout from their 32 000 visitors, there would be no wooded area left to build new stuff!

    People are not "members" of the club... it's a different thing with Fellowship and SMBC where you're not only expected to pay your dues but also lend a hand on trail days.

    But now, i'm drifting away from the subject!

    Weather's been great lately: Let's ride!
    ADSVMQ :: Quebec mountain bike trail advocacy group www.ADSVMQ.org

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    So now itís 2019. How has this list changed? Is East Burke still number 1? If you were transplanting from Oregon and wanted similar riding (long climbs with long descents) where would you want to move?
    Iíve lived in New England before and loved riding Cady Hill in Stowe. I road the Kingdom Trails once and thought they were a little ďmehĒ (Only rode one trail so not real familiar). I like flow trails and love more natural chunky stuff.
    I lived in Plymouth, MA previously and would like to be closer (< 2 hours) from good riding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ripdogg1 View Post
    So now itís 2019. How has this list changed? Is East Burke still number 1? If you were transplanting from Oregon and wanted similar riding (long climbs with long descents) where would you want to move?
    Iíve lived in New England before and loved riding Cady Hill in Stowe. I road the Kingdom Trails once and thought they were a little ďmehĒ (Only rode one trail so not real familiar). I like flow trails and love more natural chunky stuff.
    I lived in Plymouth, MA previously and would like to be closer (< 2 hours) from good riding.
    Mad River Valley fits. Hinesburg/Richmond.
    Haven t been but people like the Victory area near KT. Stowe area has to be on the list still. Pittsfield. Ascutney. Slate Valley growing fast. Depends on where in Vt you want to live, then focus on being near good back yard trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by newmarketrog View Post
    another thing is that n-con and nh in general is that it is a bit more real and far less pretentious than the foofy state to the west. everytime i go into a store or cafe there, i wanna spit on someone or something.
    Bring back rog!

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    North Conway is the closest you'll get to big mountain "western" riding east of the Mississippi imo. Also the building and trail network there has been expanding like mad, so I think it has to bw high on the list for best mountain biking in the northeast. I don't think it upsets East Burke if you include Burke Mountain, Victory Hill, and Moose Haven with KT/East Burke. But the ruggedness factor sure has it nipping at the heals.

    Ascutney is super fun, and I'm really glad to have it relatively local (half hour) from me, but it doesn't have the same trail development to hold a candle to Burke or Conway yet.

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    I was reading back through this thread and was think what is the best NE bike town to visit vs. live in. If youíre visiting you want a large trail network within short pedaling or driving distance. NEK, Stowe, Carrabassett Valley, Conway, Killington are all pretty damn good in that area.

    If youíre living in a bike town you want a variety of trails within a hour drive. Iím preaching to the choir and a bit biased but youíd hard pressed to find a larger variety of kick ass riding than central Vermont. The amount of trails within an hour drive of Montpelier is overwhelming. Iíve been living here a couple of years and ride a lot. Iíve barely scraped the surface of trails and am hugely impressed with every new area. With new trails being built and countless miles of ďunmappedĒ trails, Iíll never get bored.

    A potential downside up here is longer winters and mud season but between fat biking and gravel riding you can easily ride year round.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Vermonter - bikes, beers and skis.

  90. #90
    mtbr member
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    Sep 2016
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    I moved to Brownsville, VT last year; a bit south of VTSession. I can't compare other New England areas since I relocated from PA, but it's pretty great that I can access the 40 miles of Ascutney's trails from my front door. There are tons more trails on the other side of 44 that are accessible via weekly group rides with the local trail organization (STAB). I'm nowhere near skilled enough or fit enough yet to take advantage of all of the great trails around here, so rides are always fun and challenging.

    Killington, Okemo, Sunapee, and Suicide Six bike parks are all within an hour's drive.

    In mud season, it's easy to drive an hour or so south to find dry trails in western Mass. Or you can enjoy the endless miles of gorgeous dirt/gravel roads until the trails dry out.

    There's a great bike shop right in Windsor that hosts group road and gravel rides. The Butcher and Pantry (former general store) has amazing food and great local beer on tap and in the cooler in addition to being a lively social hub.

    Obviously Brownsville isn't a bikey epicenter like East Burke or North Conway. But it's a good place to live if you like biking but don't want to live in a more transient-heavy place like Killington, e.g..

  91. #91
    mtbr member
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    Nov 2005
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    119
    Radair! Franconia/Mittersil doesn't even get an honorable mention? Time for you to come over and ride with me again. We are getting to be so flowey, you now have to really search out for our old techy off camber turns.
    We now have a fully operating brew pub on our trail system, and it's even run by a mountain biker! In my mind that is the absolute minimum requirement for a good mountain bike destination.

    Iron Furnace Brewery, it's worth the visit.

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