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Thread: Best XC trails

  1. #1
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    Best XC trails

    My husband and I are coming to the area for a week of mountain biking. We ride XC bikes and like blue & black trails. Trails with a lift are too DH for me, though we rode many of the trails out in Vancouver that are pedal-up only and ride down, so it's not that I don't do any DH trails, just not places that are lift access only and lend themselves primarily to DH bikes. Are Kingdom Trails & Killington all DH, or can a fun XC route be put together at these trails? What other trails are worth a visit? I also was looking at Carrabassett Valley in Maine. Thanks for the advice!

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    Kingdom Trails has over 100 miles of non-lift accessed singletrack XC terrain. I went a few years ago with my son and it was great. They also have Burke Mt lift accessed downhill trails. Tons of info out there...many posts on this forum on KT questions/answers.

    Another VT idea is Millstone - never been but hear it's great XC terrain (near Barre, VT)
    Trail Maps – Millstone Trails Association

    I've skied Sugarloaf and Killington for years but never biked either. I think Killington has mostly lift accessed stuff but Sugarloaf is a growing MTB destination with lots of XC terrain popping up (50+ miles) accessed by Cross Country routes a ways away from the mountain...
    https://www.trailforks.com/region/ca...valley/trails/
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    Kingdom Trails are your best bet for XC trails in Vermont. They're not super technical, easy to pedal fast, extensive and quite fun. Downsides? Its crowded. Expect tons of people and clogged trails if you're riding during peak summer and fall times. I prefer to ride there extremely early in the morning and get my miles in before the masses show up.

    Killington has some great XC trails off the main mountain and there is also Green Mountain Trails nearby. Excellent riding that will keep you busy for a couple of days but not nearly as much mileage as Kingdom Trails.

    You may want to check out the long list of other areas to ride around Vermont. Stowe/Waterbury area, Millstone, Hinesburg area, Ascutney.....the list is goes on.
    Central/Northern Vermont is your best bet for being at ground zero for all the trail/XC riding you'd ever want. I'd be happy offer more insight considering I live here.

    Carrabasset Valley in Maine is another amazing ever growing network. Remote, rugged and really incredible trails. It is in the middle of nowhere requires some effort to get to but worth it.
    Vermonter - bikes, beers and skis.

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    I would disagree about KT being your best fit. It's miles and miles of ambiguity. Lot's of intersections. Lots of trail that seems just like the last dozen miles of trails. The place has a lot going for it, but for folks looking for intermediate and above trail riding I feel like a lot of the KT will be boring after an hour or two. Yes, there are some more technical trails there, but for reference, my son at 6 years old rode and had fun on the double black diamonds in the Darling Hill section. If you're looking for a "Scene", to hang out in the lot near your van and groom you mustache KT is THE place.

    Less used areas of Stowe/Morrisville.

    Waitsfield.

    Millstone.

    If you never have been, Perry Hill is worth a trip. Again, hit this place at off-hours. It's crowded and the trails a blown out, but the terrain is amazing.

    Green Mountain Trails, Pittsfield might be the best fit for you.

    STAB in Ascutney.

    There's maybe 250 miles of trail listed there excluding KT.

    Have fun exploring.

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    So many great places to ride now in VT and NH. It's actually overwhelming...

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    If you have never been to KT you should go and experience it at least once. It is about the combination of trails and community. It really is one of a kind for us here in the northeast.

    As for crowds, the trail system is big enough to absorb many riders. Some trails(3 Ts and Siderwinder) are more popular and will have more riders. But it is very easy to avoid the crowds by picking the right time and trail(Pastore, Coronary area and White School area). Lot's of riders seem to ride in the afternoon so mornings are best.

    We were there for the 4th and had no problems with crowds.

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    Used to be that going mountain biking was all you had to do to avoid the crowds....that was kinda the point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveVt View Post
    Used to be that going mountain biking was all you had to do to avoid the crowds....that was kinda the point.
    Bingo.

    I spend all winter dodging crowds skiing, I don't want to do it on my bike.
    Vermonter - bikes, beers and skis.

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    Easy to avoid crowds both on snow and on dirt in NE. For great XC riding check out Bear Brook state park near Concord NH. I find it much more rewarding on many levels than places like KT.

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    Those crowds are the reason we have such a crazy abundance of incredible bike designs and components to choose from, hundreds of miles of quality singletrack in northern New England, booming participation in youth mtb leagues, a plethora of bike fests, abundant clinics and events for women, and an impressive number of great DH parks.

    And yet, I ride my local trail network almost every day and almost never see another human.

    @hollyanne99: don't overlook Ascutney.

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    What we actually rode:

    I had meant to come back and thank everyone for the suggestions and share what we did. We rode a few days in Quebec & Maine, and then road Perry Hill, Millstone, Little River State Park, & Green Mountain Trails. We liked Perry Hill & specifically thought S'mores was the best trail of our trip. Also enjoyed Rastaman there. We did not like Millstone. We felt it was a lot of "trials riding" where it's more ride 1 foot, balance, maneuver, repeat. Just wasn't for us. We ended up at Little River SP because we were camping there and it poured that morning. We weren't sure what would dry out well, and it was easy to just explore where we were (and giving that the same group worked on these trails as Perry Hill, we thought we might like them). This was a good choice, and while there are only a couple routes down, we enjoyed the fun after our hard climbing up. My favorite were the Green Mountain trails. Wish I had another day to ride here twice! We took Noodles to Upper Noodles to Luvin' It to the cabin. Hard work, but fantastically designed trails to make climbing nicer. We took Fusters down. My husband loved this route and marveled that this is what MTB is all about! I went up once more to try out my skills on Bubba and was not disappointed. This was exactly what I wanted to cap off my ride here. Only wish we had time to try everything we didn't have time for. Thanks again for the suggestions!

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    A tip from a GMT insider: On your next trip be on the lookout for Rabbit Hole, La Gran Aventura and Gully Washer, a few newish trails that won't disappoint based on your reaction. I also try to fit Zebedee, Labyrinth and Warman into every ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HacksawReynolds View Post
    Easy to avoid crowds both on snow and on dirt in NE. For great XC riding check out Bear Brook state park near Concord NH. I find it much more rewarding on many levels than places like KT.
    Staying in Manchester tonite (Mon) then heading to Montpelier to ride Millstone and somewhere else close Weds. Unfortunately, looks like rain Tues into Weds. There may be a window Tues morning and Bear Brook is close to Manchester. Any 'intel' on which spot to park and a good loop?
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