The East Burke, Vermont network of mountain bike trails still rules back East
It’s been more than 15 years since I first ventured out to East Burke’s Kingdom Trails in search of speed. Learning to ride mountain bikes back in the eighties on the slow-speed technical terrain (roots, mud, beaver dams, spleen-busting rocks) of New Hampshire made my skills sharp. But, the one thing we lacked here, and everywhere else in the Northeast for that matter, was fast, buttery track—the kind since made famous by Fruita, Colorado out West. When we heard that boys in East Burke were building a different kind of network—one that was cut on loamy soil, one that wasn’t littered with granite babyheads—we had to check it out. They were the first “flow” trails I ever rode. It ruled. Our mountain bike community in northern New Hampshire made the trip to East Burke a few times a year.
As did many a mountain biker from around the region. In the years since, the word has spread about the Kingdom Trails, but instead of getting overrun and rutted to irrelevancy, the network has only gotten better, with more options than ever before. Nowadays, Burke Mountain ski area is running the lift for the gravity junkies. And the new singletrack on the Darling Hill side is worth a trip. It doesn’t hurt that East Burke sits in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom—perhaps the most mellow region in New England. Get some. —Greg Peruzzi
Visit kingdomtrails.com and skiburke.com for more information. Darling Hill trails are open until October 31, and Burke Mountain trails close October 15. Pick up a map ($3) at the Welcome Center, located at 478 Route 114, East Burke, Vermont.