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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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?
 

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IMBA Canada
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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!

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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!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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Paste eater
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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!
 

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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!!!:thumbsup: :skep:
 

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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...
 

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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!
 

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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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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
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
 

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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.
 

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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....
 

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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
 
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