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  1. #1
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    Craftsbury Outdoor Center Trails?

    We're headed up to Northern Vermont in a few weeks for our annual camp/bike excursion and our in-town guide is researching new places for us.

    He mentioned Craftsbury which I had never heard of. A search didn't produce much at all and really nothing in the last two years. Some posts from 2015 said the system was improving.

    MTB Project said "It's a great mix of challenging, technical sections with roots and rocks galore to super fast and flowing machine-built sections with jumps and other obstacles to try."

    That sounded pretty enticing for what we like to ride (roots and rocks). Has anyone ridden it recently?
    AreBee

  2. #2
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    Ive ridden there a few times this summer. Its not a destination spot, but if you are in the area it is definitely worth a visit. There is a great mix of trails from old school rooty/rocky to flow. $5 day pass I believe, and the Outdoor Center is a non-profit that does a lot for the sports community, primarily nordic skiing and rowing. Definitely check it out.

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    Really sweet. Go there.

  4. #4
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    That's great. Thank you both for the info.

    I see on Trailforks that if you rode just about everything it would be a ride of about 9 miles. That's about our usual ride each day. Seems like a nice mix of advanced to beginner. This year, we're a group of 5 guys ranging from mid 40s to early 60s in age. What we ride in CT is 80% technical rooty, rocky climbs and descents. A few bridges, small drops and features, but no hucking.

    We're planning on Cady Hill day one, which we really enjoyed last year. Day two would be Craftsbury and if we haven't camped too hard, Sunday could be Hinesburg or Millstone.
    AreBee

  5. #5
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    This time of year there is more trail open in the Craftsbury area than what is shown on Trailforks. Some of the trails are located on the property of a kids' summer camp, meaning they cannot be ridden while camp is in session. This time of year, provided there is not a wedding going on at the camp, you can add another few miles to your ride (with a mile of dirt road to get there). There is also some trail at Sterling College, up on Craftsbury Common, that is a mix of old school hiking trails and modern cedar bridges. It is a worthwile add-on for someone looking to ride absolutely everything in the area.

    If you're coming on a week day, ask in the office to speak with someone from the bike program and they can give you a more personalized ride recommendation.

    (Full disclosure: I work at the Outdoor Center and run the bike program there.)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by east_coaster View Post
    This time of year there is more trail open in the Craftsbury area than what is shown on Trailforks. Some of the trails are located on the property of a kids' summer camp, meaning they cannot be ridden while camp is in session. This time of year, provided there is not a wedding going on at the camp, you can add another few miles to your ride (with a mile of dirt road to get there). There is also some trail at Sterling College, up on Craftsbury Common, that is a mix of old school hiking trails and modern cedar bridges. It is a worthwile add-on for someone looking to ride absolutely everything in the area.

    If you're coming on a week day, ask in the office to speak with someone from the bike program and they can give you a more personalized ride recommendation.

    (Full disclosure: I work at the Outdoor Center and run the bike program there.)
    Inside information! Just what I was looking for!

    We will be headed up on 9/14, so maybe we try Craftsbury on Friday 9/15 to get the additional trails. Is there a complete map available that shows them? Can you tell me a little bit more about the terrain?

    Much appreciated! Thank you for the insight!
    AreBee

  7. #7
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    Unfortunately we do not have a map that includes Hosmer Point and Sterling College, just the core trails at the Outdoor Center. Sterling's trails are new and have not been mapped, while the HP trails are closed so often that mapping them would probably be more harm than good. On midday on a Friday someone from the bike crew should be around so we could tell you how to get to HP. Otherwise, there are many Strava routes/maps that show the HP trails. There's not so much that just poking around would be frustrating.

    The terrain at the Center is a mix of buffed machine-built trail and old school tech. The northern end of the network is machine-built with berms, rollers, the occasional small jump, and tons of beginner-to-intermediate woodwork. The south end is largely hand-built and old school, with rooty trails through cedar swamps and fun technical descents. Similar to Kingdom Trails, though we have more ledge and less sand than in East Burke. And less traffic, so the roots are less exposed.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by east_coaster View Post
    The terrain at the Center is a mix of buffed machine-built trail and old school tech. The northern end of the network is machine-built with berms, rollers, the occasional small jump, and tons of beginner-to-intermediate woodwork. The south end is largely hand-built and old school, with rooty trails through cedar swamps and fun technical descents. Similar to Kingdom Trails, though we have more ledge and less sand than in East Burke. And less traffic, so the roots are less exposed.
    This sounds right up our alley. We'll put this on our "Definite" list for the trip! Much appreciated!
    AreBee

  9. #9
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    "The terrain at the Center is a mix of buffed machine-built trail and old school tech. The northern end of the network is machine-built with berms, rollers, the occasional small jump, and tons of beginner-to-intermediate woodwork. The south end is largely hand-built and old school, with rooty trails through cedar swamps and fun technical descents. Similar to Kingdom Trails, though we have more ledge and less sand than in East Burke. And less traffic, so the roots are less exposed. "

    This is a perfect description. We rode there Saturday morning and banged out the "yellow loop"....once we found where it started and figured out which arrows we were following it was pretty easy to navigate. Some decent double track climbs mixed in, some on grass which can always be a good burn for the legs. Loved the techy stuff at the beginning......the rest was also pretty fun riding. Will definitely be back.

    Nice work.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by River19 View Post
    "The terrain at the Center is a mix of buffed machine-built trail and old school tech. The northern end of the network is machine-built with berms, rollers, the occasional small jump, and tons of beginner-to-intermediate woodwork. The south end is largely hand-built and old school, with rooty trails through cedar swamps and fun technical descents. Similar to Kingdom Trails, though we have more ledge and less sand than in East Burke. And less traffic, so the roots are less exposed. "

    This is a perfect description. We rode there Saturday morning and banged out the "yellow loop"....once we found where it started and figured out which arrows we were following it was pretty easy to navigate. Some decent double track climbs mixed in, some on grass which can always be a good burn for the legs. Loved the techy stuff at the beginning......the rest was also pretty fun riding. Will definitely be back.

    Nice work.
    I see an updated closure map showing trail closures for logging.

    https://www.craftsbury.com/assets/PD...17-Logging.pdf

    We're headed up there during the weekend of September 15-17. What are the chances it's done by then?

    UPDATE: We called the center and the closures in the map are current. No telling if the trails will be open by the 15th.

    Really bummed out. We're going to have to find a Plan B, Day 2 ride.
    Last edited by Arebee; 08-29-2017 at 11:39 AM.
    AreBee

  11. #11
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    Perry Hill in Waterbury is very good. Hinesburg is also well worth the trip, especially if combined with Carse.

    Don't be bummed out, there are loads of great options all over the place.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by radair View Post
    Perry Hill in Waterbury is very good. Hinesburg is also well worth the trip, especially if combined with Carse.

    Don't be bummed out, there are loads of great options all over the place.
    Yeah, I know, but we thought it was the perfect blend of what we were looking for.

    I think Hinesburg will be in the running for our Plan B, possibly Millstone too. Hinesburg's description worries me as it says it has few options for beginner or intermediate riders. We all fall into the latter category.
    AreBee

  13. #13
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    Try Cady Falls in Morrisville. It's not huge, but it must have as much trail as Craftsbury does.

  14. #14
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    Anyone, how old are the MTB trails at Craftsbury?
    I was there ~12 yrs. ago and all they had were XC ski trails (or I was just in the wrong place).

    Thanks,
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    Fleas, the trails in question are all new since you were here 12+ years ago. We still use XC ski trails to connect singletrack, but the majority of our riding is on singletrack.

    Unfortunately the logging that was scheduled to be completed by September 15th is taking longer than anticipated due to the incredibly wet week we had last week. We will be opening more trail as cutting allows, but we are concerned with rider safety while there are trees falling in the woods.

    Keep an eye on Welcome to Craftsbury Outdoor Center » Craftsbury Outdoor Center for more info about openings. We are hoping to open another few miles by the weekend.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by east_coaster View Post
    Fleas, the trails in question are all new since you were here 12+ years ago. We still use XC ski trails to connect singletrack, but the majority of our riding is on singletrack.

    Unfortunately the logging that was scheduled to be completed by September 15th is taking longer than anticipated due to the incredibly wet week we had last week. We will be opening more trail as cutting allows, but we are concerned with rider safety while there are trees falling in the woods.

    Keep an eye on Welcome to Craftsbury Outdoor Center » Craftsbury Outdoor Center for more info about openings. We are hoping to open another few miles by the weekend.
    Thanks!

    -F
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  17. #17
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    We rode the trails while on vacation this year. They are a great set of trails and a good break from the over used and crowded Kt trails.

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    How did your weekend go, OP?

  19. #19
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    Looks like the majority of Craftsbury is either open or open under caution. We missed it by a week.

    Do the do the logging every September? If so, we may have to change the timing up for next year's visit.
    AreBee

  20. #20
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    Arebee,

    We finished up the logging and only have a small section closed (and a slightly larger section needing some cleaning up). We don't log with any regularity - it is as our forestry plan requires and the weather allows. I do not believe the next stand up for cutting would close any trails.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by east_coaster View Post
    Arebee,

    We finished up the logging and only have a small section closed (and a slightly larger section needing some cleaning up). We don't log with any regularity - it is as our forestry plan requires and the weather allows. I do not believe the next stand up for cutting would close any trails.
    Thanks for the info. Much appreciated! Sorry we missed you guys this year. Looking forward to next year already.
    AreBee

  22. #22
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    We were thinking of riding here on Friday. Never been there. Updates as of 10/7 on a Trail Hub indicate some trails that were effected by logging are only partially open? Is that the case?

  23. #23
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    Looks like it is all good now. I rode it last week and didn't have any problems. You should see the new trail going in off of Ollie's Folly! Wow!

  24. #24
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    The logging is all wrapped up and nearly every trail is open again. There are reroutes on Lost Nation Cutoff and part of Upper Bonus is still covered in slash, but you won't miss much there. Definitely recommend coming up to ride - conditions are prime right now.

    The trail coming off Ollie's Folly (mentioned above by epic) is not done, so folks are encouraged to avoid it (walk it and take a peek, but don't ride as some of the features are not complete yet).

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    Just a FWi - I rode there today - yellow loom - I think ~ 13K - my thoughts:

    1. Awesome old school single track with a bit of new machine
    2. Not super tech but not really that easy - yellow arrows keep you on a great single track / direction of flow
    3. I love the layout / maps -following the yellow arrows - really goo loop - had to check map a couple of times, but was a good part of the experience - overall a really well mapped out place
    4. I like that there are arrows to follow - there are a lot of intersections here but a quick look up and you are good to go
    5. Great VT spot - hit this on a SAT & Kingdom on SUN - plus it's really close to Hillfarmstead brewery!!!

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    The general Store in town (the one with the post office) has killer food!

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bowridge View Post
    Just a FWi - I rode there today - yellow loom - I think ~ 13K - my thoughts:

    1. Awesome old school single track with a bit of new machine
    2. Not super tech but not really that easy - yellow arrows keep you on a great single track / direction of flow
    3. I love the layout / maps -following the yellow arrows - really goo loop - had to check map a couple of times, but was a good part of the experience - overall a really well mapped out place
    4. I like that there are arrows to follow - there are a lot of intersections here but a quick look up and you are good to go
    5. Great VT spot - hit this on a SAT & Kingdom on SUN - plus it's really close to Hillfarmstead brewery!!!
    Good summary and I agree based on our ride earlier this year.

    The first 2 to 3 miles come right at you with a decent level of tech and then it drops off in favor of punchy climbs that add some level of "earning it" for the short but fun downhill sections.

    We will be back.
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  28. #28
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    Well, our annual VT trip is right around the corner (October 11-14). Last year we had to e are hoping to try Craftsbury this year. So far things look good with only one trail closure. Wondering if there are any plans to log in the near future that might cause additional closures.
    AreBee

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    No logging on the radar for the fall, just some new trails opening. We've worked really hard to reroute and rework a bunch of trails this summer and things are riding better than ever before. The 14th we are hosting a Vermont Youth Cycling League race in the morning, so that will lead to some trail closures.

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    Quote Originally Posted by east_coaster View Post
    No logging on the radar for the fall, just some new trails opening. We've worked really hard to reroute and rework a bunch of trails this summer and things are riding better than ever before. The 14th we are hosting a Vermont Youth Cycling League race in the morning, so that will lead to some trail closures.
    Thanks for the update! We're very excited to check out the trail system. We will definitely be there Friday 10/12 and maybe 10/13 too.
    AreBee

  31. #31
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    ...
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  32. #32
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    A little over 4 weeks and counting!

    Looks like some work is being done.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bnl4etLFwyQ/
    AreBee

  33. #33
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    With nearly 3/4" of rain in tomorrow's forecast, what is the probability that Craftsbury will be closed on Friday afternoon?
    AreBee

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    I expect they'll be open. Just rode there today, they've done a ton of work, and it looks great.

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    I'm hoping we'll be open. Our trails drain pretty well, though the leaves have started clogging some of the drains. We ask that you use your judgment. Don't ride berms that are soft, try not to braid the trails by riding around puddles, and so on. We'll be out marking a race course and leafblowing some trails (gah! imagine! leafblowing!).

  36. #36
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    Our band of misfits really enjoyed Craftsbury on Friday. Lots of flowy, twisty trails with quick turns and manageable climbs. Well maintained wooden bridges, table tops and of course the Wave. If we knew we would get rained out on Saturday, we would have ridden much longer on Friday. Great to meet the east-coaster as well. We greatly appreciate all the intel.
    AreBee

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