If you mountain bike in the northeast you have at the very least heard of Kingdom Trails in the Northeast Kingdom (specifically the town East Burke) of the great state of Vermont. Stefan had a weekend free and wanted to do something cool and wanted to do some trail riding, golf, and maybe some camping. I immediately responded Camping + Mountain Biking = Kingdom Trails.
After battling commuter traffic out of Boston we made it to our home base for the weekend, Burke Mountain Campground, at around 10pm.
We were up at 8am and moseyed on down to the KTA office to pick up our passes and inquired where we could get some pancakes. We were directed down to the Lyndonville diner-our biggest mistake of the weekend. Place was okay, BUT they did NOT have blueberry pancakes, WTF. We filled ourselves up with plain pancakes, thick bacon slices, and scrambled eggs, at least they served real maple syrup with the pancakes. Obviously this was way to heavy a breakfast before an all day trail ride. We were on the trail at 11 on the dot… took a while to unpack and assemble all the gear from the suby. We were all dragging some serious ass for about the first hour, I realy thought I might need to orally remove my breakfast from my body.
We started out on vast, and continued onto riverwood, which was a nice scenic single track along a gorge on the passumpsic river. We hopped back onto vast and pedaled through the middle of a wide open field.
From Vast we ascended to the top of sugar hill by method of hike a bike. I was feeling super gross at this point, but fortunately we were at the top and unbeknownst to me the next couple of miles was smooth flowy downhill(for the most part) all the way to the West Branch of the Passumpsic River. We descended sugar hill and continued on via maxilla, jaw, and chapel to the top of Old Web’s which may have been the most fun I have had on a bike up till that point. Switch back after switch back through a sparse pine forest over a fast path of sandy soil and pine needles. This left us in position to drop into the adrenaline rush that is sidewinder. Sidewinder catapulted like a rollercoaster up and down valley walls over a thick black organic soil that highly contrasted Old Web’s.
Once we all made it down, we dug into some orange GU Chomps, procured during a parking lot bartering exchange. If you have ever had the gooey GU packets you would be wary to try the chomps as I was, but they were delicious and were pure rocket fuel.
We immediately sped off down West Branch along the river, but quickly overheated and needed a quick cool down sesh at the river.
We continued along to our next target, Tap & Die via Dry Feet (ironically did not drain nearly as well as the other trails and completely cover all bikes & riders in a nice layer of mud), River Run, River Walk (aka walk your bike up most of the hill), and finally Loop/Bemis (aka Never Ending Blazing Hot Sun Trail of Death).
We passed an old dilapidated barn and took some artsy fartsy shots.
Tap & Die started out fun, but turned into a make it all the way down before I completely cramp up run. The cramping won and I washed out as I was nearing the bottom, the others took a few breaks along the way to avoid my demise.
We were now all spent on the wrong side of darling hill, and low or out of water. We took it slow with lots of breaks trying to find the shade as we climbed back up darling hill and rode back across the Never Ending Blazing Hot Sun Trail of Death, the temp must have maxed out at close to 90 that day. We finished the day off on Kitchel, leaving its full potential for the next day.
Back at the car we enjoyed some well deserved gatorades.
Some more pics from Saturday. Kingdom Trails saga to be continued.