Kingdom Trails, cross country skiing, fat bikes, northeast Kingdom, Vermont
- PO Box 204, East Burke, VT 05832
Kingdom Trails (802-626-0737; www.kingdomtrails.org) in northeastern Vermont is a multiple-use trail system that caters to non-motorized trails year-round with opportunities for all levels of ability. Located in East Burke, VT, Kingdom Trails maintains over 10 kilometers of trails groomed for skate and classic skiing, all situated on fantastic terrain in a beautiful setting. The region is known as a mecca for mountain bikers and has been attracting fat bikes in the winter.
Kingdom Trails was voted as the BEST MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAIL NETWORK in North America by Bike Magazine in their annual Reader's Poll, the Editors' Choice in the 2011 edition of the Yankee Magazine Travel Guide to New England, and named BEST OF NEW ENGLAND by Boston Magazine Travel & Life. And these trails are great for XC skiing, too!
The Nordic Welcome Center is on 2079 Darling Hill Road in the Granary Building at the Wildflower Inn. The center functions as the information and pass purchase center as well as the Winter Operations Office (winter phone 802-626-6005). The Nordic Center hours are 8 AM - 4 PM. There will be 8 Fat Bikes for rent at the center. Access to the Darling Hill trails is on Darling Hill Road across the street from the the Wildflower Inn and Juniper's Restaurant.
The West Side Darling Hill Trails offer a vista looking out at Willoughby Gap as you tour by historic barns, quaint inns, and majestic Victorian houses. The East Side Darling Hill Trails will be packed singletrack for Fat Biking and Snowshoeing and there are about 30 km available. Day passes are $7 for youth 8-15, and $15 for adults 16-69. 7 & under and over 70 are Free. Click here for Kingdom Trails Ski Conditions. There is a nearby sledding hill and ice skating rink. The Winterbike Event will be held on March 1 and there are plans to host demo days for XC ski, snowshoe, and fat bike. A snowshoe triathlon will also be scheduled. Check the Kingdom Trails website for updated info on events.
Dashney Farm (formerly Burke XC) is another network of trails for skate and classic skiing that are owned by Burke Mountain Resort.
Rental equipment available locally at East Burke Sports (802-626-3215) on Route 114 in East Burke and Village Sports Shop in Lyndonville (802-626-8448). Click here for Accommodations B & B Options in the region. Special rates for Kingdom Trails members at the Wildflower Inn, which also has breakfast and lunch available during the winter.Kingdom Trails Year Round Membership is $75 for an individual. $150 for a family. Day passes to ski anywhere on the Kingdom Trails are $7 for youth 8-15 and $15 for adults 16-69. 7 & under and over 70 are Free.
The mountain biking popularity at Kingdom Trails has naturally led to an interest in fat bikes also known as snow bikes. This equipment is specially designed for riding on packed snow-covered trails. The snow bike trails are often packed by snowshoers but bikers must deem the trails suitable for riding. Watch for signage and Internet alerts regarding trail availability for snow biking on the Kingdom Trails.
Winter Fat Bike Riding Etiquette
• Must be a member or day pass holder of Kingdom Trails. Do not ride if the XC ski trails are posted for skiing only. The Kingdom Trails home page will indicate if the trails can handle bike traffic. East Darling Hill is always open for winter biking but please park only at the Children's Theater on Darling Hill or at the Dashney Nordic Center. Fat Bike rentals will be coming to the area soon.
• Be a good trail citizen. If the conditions cause you to leave ruts that will impede skiing, leave the trail – don't just keep riding because the rules say you can. Spread the word about snow biking, make it fun, keep it safe.
• Be an ambassador for the sport – stay polite, educate other bikers, discourage bad behavior, follow the rules, and we'll all have a good time this winter. Today, it's ok to use any type of tire, but when the Nordic Trails are open and running, Purpose-built Snow Bikes only! Tires must be wider than 3.5″ and tire pressure must be less than 10 psi.
• Bikes yield to all other users. Use the snow mobile trails as little as possible, be careful of crossings. XC skiers don't have brakes, so bikes are responsible for staying out of their way. Watch skiers' poles. They can be fragile and expensive
• Do not ride if the snow is too soft
• Give skate skiers a wide berth • Do not ride in the classic ski tracks
• As a general rule, if you have to get off and push your bike, the snow is too soft and you absolutely shouldn't be on the Nordic trails. If you leave a rut, it's too soft. If you are leaving a trough deeper than an inch or are having a hard time riding in a straight line, it is probably too soft to be on the Nordic trails.
Directions from the North or South: Take Interstate 91 to Exit 23. Take a right onto Rt 5 through Lyndonville for two miles. Bear right onto VT route 114 (follow Burke Mountain signs) for four miles through East Burke Village and take a right onto Mountain Road. follow 1.3 miles take left onto Dashney Road and follow 1 mile to end to the Kingdom Trails Nordic Center.