Mountain Biking Among The Best of Route 100 in VermontJuly 27, 2020
by GO STOWE
Summer is the perfect time to get out and experience exceptional mountain biking in Vermont. That is no exception in the Stowe, Waterbury and Mad River Valley region. With 166 combined miles of world-class mountain bike trails accompanied by Vermont’s craft beverages, outdoor recreations, vibrant events and green mountain landscapes, it’s no wonder this corridor offers the best of Route 100 in Vermont, named one of the Best Scenic Drives in America by INSIDER. Conveniently, mountain biking season extends into the fall. View the area’s fabled foliage driving Route 100 to other mountain bike destinations in the region and while riding the trails. Learn more about mountain biking trails in the region, and how they are maintained to accommodate riders of all ages and abilities for a memorable experience in northern Vermont!
Named a “mountain biking mecca” by The Boston Globe, Stowe features more than 50 miles of premier mountain biking trails that are suitable for all ability levels and are well maintained by the Stowe Trails Partnership (STP). Explore single-track mountain bike trails through forests with scenic views along the way. Brush up on mountain bike skills with a lesson, or take a private tour with a local professional guide and explore Stowe’s hidden gems. Stowe is also home to mountain bike events including the B3 Fest: Bikes, Brews & Beats.
Cady Hill Forest: Cady Hill Forest is Stowe Trails Partnership’s flagship trail network; its diverse terrain, great views, easy access from town and the Stowe Rec Path, and trails that cater to just about any level of rider make it one of the most ridden trail networks in the northeast. Since 2012, STP has constructed almost five miles of fresh single-track in Cady Hill, and has rerouted and rebuilt many smaller sections of trail to modern standards. Cady Hill’s signature trail Florence, built by Sustainable Trailworks, has been named best flow trail by MTBVT.com readers three years running.
Adams Camp: Located just off the northern end of Stowe’s iconic Mountain Road, this trail pod includes portions of the Catamount Trail and Stowe Derby Trail. Adams Camp provides access to a large trail network in Ranch Valley and Mt. Mansfield State Forest while also serving as an invaluable link to the Trapp Family Lodge trails, a 2,600-acre destination with two skills parks, eight miles of expert and intermediate single track, and more than 20 miles of double track through mountains, fields and forests. Ride Hop Over or Lager Lane to the von Trapp Brewery Bierhall.
Sterling Forest: Sterling Forest is unique among Stowe’s trail pods due to its location and remote, back-country feel. The trails, on property conserved by Stowe Land Trust, are challenging, and the setting offers a sense of isolation that can be hard to find these days. The latest addition is Callagy’s Trail, a technical, hand-built trail that’s as challenging as it is fun. It took more than 400 hours of volunteer time and several generous donations to complete the trail in 2017.
With accessible trail heads, dynamic terrain, and interconnected riding networks, Waterbury boasts 66 miles of top-notch quality mountain biking in the state. Whether you’re a first-timer, weekend warrior, or have a growing bucket list of trails, you’ll find rides for every ability ranging from peaceful to adrenaline-pumping. The Waterbury Area Trail Alliance (WATA) maintains the trails and shares maps and information on trail conditions.
Perry Hill: Offering 10 miles of some of the finest trails in the state, Perry Hill is known for classic trails that combine masterfully crafted flow with technical riding to suit bikers of all experience levels. Beginner riders will find plenty of trails at lower elevations for some fun loops. Technical riders will enjoy the significant rise, on-way trails, and rock spines.
Little River State Park: With seven miles of single track trails built by WATA and the Vermont State Parks in partnership with renowned trail builder Knight Ide, this area has it all! Bikers experience a flowing climb and are rewarded at the top with over a mile and half of descent, including fast and flowy berms, step downs, and table tops. Travel on to the adjacent Mount Mansfield State Forest, from which many more miles of shared trails can be accessed.
Waterbury Basin Super Tour: This difficult 66-mile loop starts at Perry Hill and takes bikers along the Waterbury Reservoir and up into Stowe before returning to Perry Hill. With over 8,000 feet of climbing, this route is not for the faint of heart!
Mad River Valley
Further south along Vermont Route 100, the beautiful Mad River Valley is home to more than 50 miles of trails ranging from beginner-friendly to expert-fun. The Mad River Valley trail system is a watershed-wide network of lands and trails created through the partnership of trail organizations, generous property owners, local towns, the State of Vermont, the US Forest Service, and many volunteers. Maintained by the Mad River Riders, these trails traverse local, state, and national lands to bring you “one of Vermont’s sweetest multi-use trail networks.” These trails reflect the Mad River Valley’s love of the outdoors and commitment to stewardship of land and recreational opportunities for current and future generations. These trails are a friendly playground for other outdoor recreation.
Blueberry Lake: The Blueberry Lake trails feature gentle grades, sweeping turns and flowy lines. These six miles of interconnected trails and loops are all at the beginner or intermediate level and the network has been designated as an IMBA Model Trail-Gateway network, so there are plenty of options for family-friendly riding.
Sugarbush: Known for its skiing in the winter, Lincoln Peak transforms into a biker’s playground in the summer. These 37 trails cover 18 miles and have a mixture of challenging descents and high-speed downhill runs, so be aware that even the easiest routes are not for new riders.