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As the leaves start to change color and the temperatures drop, Vermont becomes the focal point of not just leaf peeping, but hiking and mountain biking as well. These activities offer so much, for so many. They're all family-friendly experiences, and (in the case of hiking and mountain biking) there are options for all levels of expertise, from novice to pro. Today, we're focusing on mountain biking. At the Turtles' Nest, we have a group of active cyclists who hit the trails hard come fall (and most other seasons, as well). They've dropped some knowledge to help us compile a list of the 7 best mountain biking trails in Vermont.

 

 

Cricket Hill on Rt. 15, Hyde Park

A great area for folks to progress at the sport, this trail series is a great beginner, family friendly option. It includes a small pumptrack as well, so you can get some training in. First time getting out on a mountain bike? Be sure to have the appropriate gear. Get fitted at a local outfitter and sized for a bike that will work best for you (as well as a helmet and pads). We also recommend that you wear bright colors, especially if you're biking in an area with nearby hunting zones.

 

Perry Hill in Waterbury

Perry Hill has solid advanced riding. If you want to really work on your fast and technical downhill, check out Burning Spear trail. Perry Hill is in a vibrant, exciting location. Waterbury is a great town for post-ride brews, views of fall foliage, and quaint New England Charm. Check out Prohibition Pig or The Reservoir to grab some food and beer/cocktails after your ride. There are also great hiking trails in Waterbury, so if you're making a weekend out of it, check out a few different routes up Camels Hump to summit one of Vermont's 4000 footers.

 

Peak a ViewSterling/Stowe

As the name says, do this ride for the view. You get in a great ride and an amazing overlook, all in one. The notch is notoriously known for it's great fall foliage - many classic Vermont fall photos are taken there. 

 

 

Florence Trail, Cady Hill, Stowe

Florence Trail is a great first introduction to downhill riding and professionally designed trails. It truly shows how much pure joy that kind of trail can be. It allows even novice riders to feel a state of flow and gain confidence on their bike. Fast, flowy, downhill - you have our attention.

Also, be sure to grab some food or brews in downtown Stowe afterwards! Hit up Stowe Bee Bakery & Cafe for incredible breakfast sandwiches (house-made biscuits? yes please) after an early morning ride. Looking for some good sandwiches and brews? We're big fans of Doc Ponds.

 

Upper J-Bar off the top of Burke Mountain

Favorite Double Black “hang on for dear life” downhill. Because every once in a while, you need one of these rides.

 

 

Kimmers Trail, Adams Camp

This is a hand built trail with plenty of rocks and roots to ask questions of you as you're riding down it. There is a trail steward who's very dedicated to this trail, so not only is the trail always in good shape, but there always seems to be something new to test yourself on each time you head out there. The trail is also unique in that while it wanders back and forth across the hillside, it keeps you in the fall-line just enough to maintain speed for the better part of the trail. 

Sideshow Bob’s at Killington

Favorite Lift Access downhill trail. Sometimes, you don't want to go uphill - we get it. That's why the trails at Killington are a great option. Lift up, ride down. All in a day's work.

 

 

The bottom line of coming to Vermont for a mountain biking adventure (or any weekend getaway) is that you can always find yourself within an hour's drive of many diverse trail networks. Happy riding!