It’s all about the flow, we were told, the flow and those narrow tracks that wind down a slope and let you go really fast. That’s what mountain bikers want, said Lilias Ide, our guide at Kingdom Trails in East Burke Vermont. We saddled up fast, heck, it was 4:30 and the shop closed at six. It was time to get out there, to these trails that Bike Magazine called the best trail network in North America.
We climbed a steep patch of paved road. Not enough to kill us, but enough to make us slow to a crawl, grind down into granny gear, and puff and huff til the road leveled out. Later I remember thinking, this is the best payback I’ve ever gotten from a hill. To be gloriously zipping our way down an eight-inch wide mountainside path, farm fields on either side, a wonderful sailing along experience requiring utter concentration on that spot about 15 feet ahead of me. It was indeed the perfect payback for such a small exertion. Wow, this place rocks!
With 120 miles of trails, and virtually none of them leading to dead ends or full stops, this is the place for mountain biking flow. For that energizing non-stop ride that everyone who has ever sat on a mountain bike is craves. You can get it here, at this fantastic place in Vermont’s far north. Fifteen bucks for a day pass, and wow, the trails so narrow, so consistently flow-worthy, it’s as good as mountain biking gets.
Our adrenaline filled biking gave us good reason to jump into the pool here at the Wildflower Inn, perched atop a beautiful mountain with a 360 degree view of the surrounding hills and countryside. Dinner at Junipers was first rate, from their signature juniper marinated sirloin to my quinoa spinach parmesan cakes with garlic mashed potatoes. Only one day and so much to share and so much ahead. Northeast Kingdom you are indeed worthy of your royal namesake.