The Best East Coast Adventures: Mountain Biking

East Burke, Vermont

East Burke singletrack

East Burke singletrack    Photo: Bicycle Geography/Flickr

The most extensive network of mountain-bike trails in the Northeast sits in the backyard of East Burke, a tiny village in Vermont’s wild Northeast Kingdom. Cross-country is king here: the well-maintained Kingdom Trails roll across green pastures and ascend ridgetop pine forests; easy doubletrack passes by farmhouses to link up with steep singletrack barely wider than your handlebars. Each piste in the 100-mile maze is named, mapped, and rated by the non-profit Kingdom Trails Association. Set out from one of multiple entry points ($15 fee), and ride flowing singletrack like the iconic Sidewinder—a beautifully sculpted trail that twists between 100-foot-high walls. Experts: try the combo of Upper J Bar to Burn ’em Down (accessible via the toll road on Burke Mountain) for a 2,300-foot descent. If that’s not enough, head to the local ski hill: Burke Mountain added lift-accessed riding in 2010 ($30), with a high-speed quad that drops riders into flowing intermediate runs like Jester and double-black affairs like Knightslayer. Which, by the way, is also the name of a killer stout at Trout River Brewing Company in nearby Lyndonville. Pick up a rental at East Burke Sports (hardtails, $30; full-suspension, $60) and crash at the Inn at Mountain View Farm, which has out-the-door trail access (doubles, $155).

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