InnSide Scoop: Kingdom Trails (Volume I)
There are so many reasons to love our quaint corner of Caledonia County. Whether you make the trip to East Burke annually to enjoy the fall foliage, earn your turns at Burke Mountain, or tear up the trails at KT, the Northeast Kingdom has a LOT to offer.
With trail access to KT just seconds from our front door, more often than not, you will find us spending our spare afternoon or evening on our bikes. Kingdom Trails features 100+ miles of world-class single track and we can't get enough of it. The trails, the view, the flow - nothing beats a weekend spent on Darling Hill!
CASH: My favorite KT trail (such a flippin' hard choice!) has to be Black Bear. I love going early in the morning. I can't think of a better way to start the day than a slow and steady climb up, chatting with friends, and listening to all the birds. There's usually nobody up there so you have the whole place to yourself! I typically do a few warm-up laps up top, near the gazebo, before doing the full pull down. It's such a leg burner, but really keeps you on your toes with so many twists, turns and berms on the trail. For the entire 2-mile descent, I have a permanent smile plastered on my face! I've ridden this trail dozens of times, and my pinnacle moment was actually encountering a black bear halfway down off the side of the trail - epic!
Another favorite is Emma's Sanctuary. For the masochist out there, you can technically make this a climbing trail, but I highly recommend you ride it down! Fast, flowy and built into the side of a gully, this 3/4 mile trail makes for some fun riding that isn't for the faint of heart. At the end of Emma's Sanctuary, connect to River Run for the climb back out of the gully towards Burklyn/Wood n You.
AMANDA: To echo Cash, this was a hard choice! Kingdom Trails offers some of the best riding in the US, and having to choose a favorite is akin to choosing your
favorite child (or bike!). While much of Kingdom Trails is defined by its smooth gorgeous flow, I find myself drawn to some of the more 'traditional' New England tech trails, like Moose Alley. Moose Alley offers some true New England riding. Coming in at 2 miles with 700+ feet of descent, you get a little bit of everything on this ripper. Rocks, roots, and a heck of a lot of fun. This trail is 100% worth the climb plus it offers some amazing views of Burke Mountain and the surrounding Green Mountains!
For a nice and relaxing warm up, I'm drawn to Pastore Point Loop. After climbing up to Darling Hill via Uptown & Herb's, I think everyone's natural inclination is to head south and follow Darling Hill towards the heart of the trail system; the Hub, Heaven's Bench, Sidewinder, etc. I like to climb to Darling Hill and head north (right), dropping in at Harp and picking up
Coronary and Coronary Bypass, eventually ending up at Pastore Point. This is truly one of the most gorgeous views in East Burke. You'll find yourself on a high ridge line overlooking a bend in the Passumpsic River. Surrounded by gorgeous evergreens and enjoying an incredible vantage, this place is a hidden gem!
We hope you enjoy these recommendations and look forward to seeing you out on the trail. #RidewithGratitude
Amanda + Cash