Vermont is well known for its skiing, but when the snow melts the Green Mountain State is a popular destination for cyclists.
Gravel races like Rooted Vermont and The Overland take advantage of the state’s intense climbs. The terrain also makes Vermont an ideal mountain biking destination. Trail networks are growing statewide and each year ski resorts across the state are expanding their mountain biking offerings.
As interest in mountain biking from locals and visitors alike continues to grow, the Vermont Mountain Bike Association and mountain biking stewards across ensure Vermont’s trails are ready to roll.
With so many stellar options, it can be hard to choose. So here are five mountain biking spots in Vermont to add to your ride list.
Ascutney Trails, Windsor
Ascutney Trails is one of the premier mountain biking areas in Vermont, with over 45 miles of trails to explore at the base of Mt. Ascutney. These trails were all hand-built by local riders and the Ascutney Trails Association takes pride in maintaining the system. In addition to the large network of trails that range from beginner-friendly to advanced, the Andrew Goulet Skills Park allows riders to practice their skills before hitting the trails.
There are three main parking areas for the Ascutney Trails. The Ski Tow Road/AOC trailhead is the main parking area with the most amenities available, including restrooms. Riders looking for beginner-friendly trails should park at the Swoops and Loops Trailhead on Route 44A (1825 Back Mountain Rd., Windsor). From there you can pick up the Newbie Loop. Advanced riders may want to head to the West Windsor Town Forest Trailhead where there’s direct access to the most challenging trails.
Killington Mountain, Killington
For a lift-access downhill mountain bike experience, Killington should be on your list. While some ski resorts around Vermont have just started adding mountain biking to their summer offerings, Killington has been refining its mountain biking trails for years. They offer a mix of smooth flowy trails and ultra-technical downhill trails. Riders looking to get some air should check out the Blue and Black Magic jump trails on Ramshead. For those new to downhill mountain biking, Killington offers three beginner trails off the Snowshed chair and a Learn to Ride program.
Bike Park Lift Tickets are $71 when purchased on-site, but you can save some cash by buying them ahead online ahead of time. Online mid-week tickets start at $54 and weekend tickets start at $61. The further out you buy the cheaper your ticket will be. The bike park is open May-October.
Endless Brook Trails, Poultney
If you enjoy fun, flowy descents but don’t mind a good climb, you’ll love Endless Brook Trails. There you’ll find a network of mostly mountain bike-specific singletrack built with killer climbs and even better descents. While this system does require riders to start climbing from the trailhead, the descents are well worth the effort. Once you make your ascent to the top of Hardy’s Hill, you can catch your breath while enjoying the view of Lake Saint Catherine. These trails were made with flow in mind– so even the most technical trails are meant to maintain a fast-flowing ride.
Parking at the Endless Brook Trailhead is limited. If you can’t find a spot, you can also park at the Lake St. Catherine Country Club or pay to park at Lake St. Catherine State Park.
Pine Hill Park, Rutland
If you find yourself in central Vermont, you should check out Pine Hill Park. Owned by the city of Rutland, the park has 16 miles of singletrack to explore. The trails were entirely volunteer-built by local mountain bikers and maintained by the Pine Hill Partnership. Their hard work has resulted in flowy singletrack trails and one of the most popular mountain biking spots in Vermont.
The terrain at Pine Hill Park is challenging and most trails are rated for intermediate riders. There is a skills course that includes some fun features and drops you can warm up on before jumping on the Escalator trail, which will lead you into the network.
Kingdom Trails, East Burke
Kingdom Trails is one of the most famous mountain biking spots in Vermont, and with good reason. Private landowners have allowed the Kingdom Trails Association to create a large network of over 100 miles of recreational trails. Visitors say the trail quality is top-tier. While a majority of the trails are considered intermediate, there is something for riders of all ages and abilities to enjoy. For those looking to build skills, there are two pump tracks, a beginner jump park, and even a balance bike skills park for kids. Kingdom Trails is committed to accessibility and even boasts 53 miles of adaptive mountain bike trails.
You will need to purchase a pass to ride at Kingdom Trails. They offer a day pass, a 30-day month pass, and an annual pass. Kids under 7 ride free.