Killington, Vermont Bike Park

Oct 16, 2010 at 19:27
by Robert Rebholz  

There’s nothing like a road trip to New England in the Fall. The leaves are turning a beautiful shade of red and yellow, fresh maple syrup is on the farmer’s stands and of course it’s the last chance to ride the great resorts of the East Coast.

Read on,


Last weekend we headed up to Killington for a shred of their mountain bike park. I haven’t been to Killington in a few years, but have heard lots of great things from folks who had been there recently.

First off, Killington is a world-class mountain. The accommodations and restaurants on-mountain are second to none. I was highly impressed with our stay at the Trail Creek Condominiums arranged through Killington.com. It was a two bedroom with an awesome kitchen, living room and even a fireplace!

There are two great bike shops at Killington as well. We stopped in at True Wheels and Killington Mountain Resort’s bike shop to check out their programs. True Wheels sells and rents Specialized and the Resort has a massive fleet of Kona’s. The resort has an awesome special for beginners, which includes a lesson. Make sure you ask for our man Jon Lamb for instruction.

Jon Lamb
Jon Lamb

Vin and Jason
Vin and Jason

Vin Quenneville and Jason DiDomenico from True Wheels hooked us up with two local shredders, Luen Proft and Matt Lareau, to show us around the mountain. Lu and Matt know the mountain like the back of their hand and are super dialed on the techy race lines.

“Killington has two faces,” Matt explained as we hopped in the gondola. “One side of the mountain is more for trail bikes and is super flowy. The other side has the super gnarly terrain.” “We like that side!” Lu exclaimed!

We started off with a few mellow runs and I was very impressed with the trails. The resort has started the beginning of an excavator trail that has lots of cool little hits on it. “The resort has the excavator for a month next summer,” Matt explained as we ripped the trail. “Next year they will expand the jump trail even more.”



The trails were definitely nice on that side of the mountain- very flowy, perfect for a 5 or 6-inch trail bike. There are lots of man-made berms as well as some great natural features.


After a quick bite of lunch, we were back on the gondola heading to the gnarlier side of the mountain. “We’ll take you to the race course first,” Lu offered.


This past summer Killington hosted a Gravity East Race to rave reviews. The course is extremely fun, yet challenging. There are plenty of rock gardens, big berms and of course some classic East Coast off-camber root sections.



Lu and Matt knew all the hot lines, so we followed them as tightly as we could. It was awesome tailing them as they drifted corners, blasted the rock sections and hit all the jumps perfectly.

Before the last run, we took the time to check out the amazing views from the top. There were tourists from all over the world who had come to Killington just for the terrific foliage. For me it was mostly a red and yellow blur as we slashed down the trails.

Words and pics, Robert Rebholz
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76 Comments

  • + 7
 you bet! and just to think- Killington just got about 14 inches of snow the other day!
  • + 12
 Wet Roots and Rocks! puts the mountain back in mountain biking for those of us that can appreciate it. Bring on the snow because this is one of the best year-round mountains in the northeast!!
  • + 2
 Raise a glass to that!
  • + 2
 I learned to ride at Killington; once you know where to look it has so much awesome terrain tup
  • + 1
 i wish there was trails like this in southern cali.. or if there are i hope i find them haha
  • - 4
 I've said it before and I'll say it again - Killington is terrible. I'd rather not ride my bike than pay to ride their "trails." There's absolutely no trail work that goes on there. It's a complete farce and them marketing that place as "Kona Groove Approved" adds to the lie.
  • + 1
 i sumwhat agree there are 3 good trails there and the race course is ok but thats it they should have visited sugarbush way better in every way
  • + 13
 I respectfully disagree. There is trail work that goes on there but its minimal. This is actually the reason I like the mountain so much. Its just pure unadulterated gnarly trails. If you want crafted pretty-boy trails they have other places for that. If you you like blasting through some of the roughest woods around - they have that. I can see how one
might not "prefer" that sort of riding. To say its flat out "terrible"??? You rather NOT RIDE?? Are you serious about that? No, they dont have big jumps or many wooden structures, but they have some really great steep rocky trails that are blast. To each his own. You can stay home and watch TV, Ill go hit up Killington any day.
  • + 7
 Reks I agree that it's easy to get stuck on boring-ass trails if you're just exploring but they've been doing some serious work over the past few seasons, and plan to double their effort next summer. Also, they got permission from Burton to use the Stash Booters as MTB jumps-- those things have the potential to be the biggest jumps on the east coast! The park isn't perfect but the people who work there know that better than everybody else and are working to bring it up to destination status. They have one of the best mountains and lifts on the east coast, now it's up to them to make it the Whistler of the East.
  • + 1
 Having ridden at Killington once two years ago and then again extensively this season, the improvement is massive. It's hard to beat the vertical, too. Most days I'm completely toast by the 6th run. But if the rocks and roots bog you down, then get faster at them. You can't be a good rider if you just choose to avoid the rough trails, and at K-ton, even the rough trails have flow.
  • + 3
 If you can flow on Killington trails then you can flow anywhere!
  • + 2
 You be the judge:
Trail #18, top and bottom sections
On my Giant Reign no less.
  • + 3
 doesnt look tooo rocky, I ride kicking horse though..
  • + 1
 love trail #18. ive got some footage of killngton that ill put up as well soon
  • + 0
 its not ricky at all im not saying sugarbush i premire or anything but thats wat rockier. trail 18 and i think 32? are the only dificult trails there
  • + 1
 uhhhh not at all dude. ever try the race trail? 34? 7? 24? theres a lot
  • + 1
 when do they close?
  • + 2
 and as for the amount of work theyve been putting in, it isnt the mountain crews fault. i was there for a week during the summer and talked to the guys in the shop a lot and they said that they would be right up there building if they could, but this past year they just didnt have the resources and the financial dedication required to build world class trails. the mountains investors and owners are still kind of stuck in the winter side of the mountain and havent necessarily discovered the potential the mountain has. so no investors, no money. no money, no resources. no resources, no trails. just wait a year or two more and you will retract your statements. its still a young mtb mountain so dont expect world class quality when they are still relatively new to the scene. that being said, its still an amazingly fun mountain and shouldnt be disregarded p.s. John Lamb is the MAN!
  • + 1
 potthead- trail 18 is one of the smoothest, flowiest trails there. If you want rocks, look elsewhere (Trail 3, for instance, in addition to most of the trails on the ramshead side of the park).
It's just tough waiting for them to build sick trails because it's such a huge mountain with a fast gondola! I would build trails there for free!
  • - 4
 Darkstar--- "steep?" "gnar?" at Killington? Have you ever ridden anywhere else? I haven't seen anything at Killington that I would consider very gnarly... and definitelynot anything steep... unless maybe you're on a 15 y/o xc bike. I'd much rather ride some tech XC trails than waste time in Killington riding that garbage. Out of the half-dozen or so parks I've ridden in the East since moving out here, Killington is easily the worst. Also, I don't own a TV
  • + 5
 reks-Killington isnt a "park". its a real northeast MOUNTAIN for MOUNTAIN BIKING. how exactly does riding a 15 y/o xc bike change the angle of the Earth? hmmmm. If you wanna ride parks go ride parks, they exist for people like you, and will leave the sweet trails at Killington more open for the rest of us. congrats on not owning a tv...want a cookie?
  • - 5
 Funny you should use quotes like that, because this is copied directly from their website: "Killington’s Kona “Groove Approved” Mountain Bike Park offers the ultimate summer lift-served mountain biking experience." So if they're going to market themselves as a mountain biking destination with "challenging big-bike downhill and freeriding trails" - again, their words, not mine - they should actually deliver by investing a little more in trail building and design.

Additionally, riding an older XC bike (with a presumably steep head angle and long top tube) tends to be more difficult on steeper terrain than using a contemporary downhill bike. So it doesn't necessarily change the trail gradient relative to the bike, but may relative to the rider. The TV comment was directed at Darkstar in response to his comment: "You can stay home and watch TV"

Judging from your comments, it's evident that you haven't spent much time riding challenging, technical downhill terrain. I assume that by saying "ts a real northeast MOUNTAIN for MOUNTAIN BIKING" you're insinuating that it represents "raw, technical" downhill riding. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sending people down fire roads and a poorly marked maze of mostly flat and rutted-out trails and charging them money isn't "real mountain biking" it's simply a crappy ski resort trying to recover revenues that have been lost in shortened winter seasons. It's a pretty sad excuse for DH. The best trails don't require lift passes. They're built by friends and accessed by shuttle. I haven't found anything like this in New England. So if Killington is "MOUNTAIN BIKING" to you, you can have it.
  • + 4
 Thanks man, i'll take it!

If you have a problem with Killington's marketing and image i would advise you to talk to them about it instead of bitching about it on PB. It will actually accomplish a goal and give you a sense of accomplishment, ever had that before? It feels great.

Judging by your comments you've only ridden an xc bike on the fire roads, just sayin.
I personally stay off the fire roads. maybe thats just me.

couldnt agree more that the best trails are built by friends. My friends and i have fun building and riding together, and generally dont get into semantics like this.

I'll make a suggestion at this point, lets all ride whatever we want and try to have fun.
  • + 7
 reks--I am curious as to the last time you rode Killington. 5 or six years ago I might have agreed with your opinion -- but the mountain has stepped up since then. The "Kona Groove Approved Park" comes from when they going to build a slopestyle/dj park with the help of John Cowan. That, of course, did not materialize. They have, however, built a solid network of trails plenty steep, gnarly, and worthy of a DH bike. The whole north side of the mountain, about half of the 40 miles of trails Killington offers, I wouldn't venture into without my race bike. Saying that Killington is, "Insulting that is represents raw technical terrain" is a false statement. Killy has a few man made sections of trail with flow, but you will not find A-line in whistler, or Hellion in Highland at Killington. You will not find a "maze of mostly flat and rutted-out trails." You will find the roots, rocks and burly terrain shown in the pictures taken by Rob Rebholz in this article. The trails are, indeed, raw and natural. Killington is closed for the biking season, but I invite you to come next season, send me a PM, or stop into the local shop to track down a local, and enjoy what Killington has to offer. You will not be disappointed, unless of course, you bring your 15 y/o XC bike.
  • + 2
 reks you are entitled to your opinion, I just hope that in a couple years when Killington has (hopefully) transformed itself into a true world class MTB "Park," you will be willing to give it another change and change your mind. Until then, have fun at Highland/Plattekill/wherever you prefer to ride.
  • + 1
 u idiots! i was saying there is NO rocky shit there and yes i have tried the race trail i do the gravity east series so i have been there b4
  • + 4
 reks............you really sound like you have not been there. At least not in several years. The fire roads are still there, but there are also very steep, yes, "gnarly" trails. I dont know where you used to live, if it was out west Im sure the mountains were pretty good, but you dont have to act like a snot and call Killington "garbage" when you clearly haven't been there recently. I dont want to argue this anymore. I encourage you to check out Killington again, if you dont want to waste your time, your loss.
  • + 2
 i dont even know why we're still discussing this. all you need to do to prove reks wrong is look at the second to last and last pictures. reks i dont know what youre riding but it must be beyong world cup level to make killington look flat in your eyes. youre stuck behind your untrue opinion and are too full of pride to admit that youre wrong. basically everything you stated about the mountain can be proved wrong just by reading the article again. you truly are a stubborn, whining little bitch
  • + 2
 reks has no idea what she's talking about,but please by allmeans stay off my beloved ktown dh.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Such a great mountain. Accommodates riders of all skill levels. The Gravity East course was such a blast to ride. Cant wait to shred some powder gnar there this seasons. If you like east coast riding, go check out Killington!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I have to agree with thatspychotic , the improvement this year has been massive . Lets not forget that Canyons in utah sucked quite a bit of money from Ktown when they were part of the same company. Ktown can now keep it's money here and hopefully make improvments winter and summer here. I hope the race this season showed them what could be . Ktown has the vert and size to be the "whistler of the east" , and they are open all week!
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  • + 3
 Pro photographer making it look good? Have you actually ridden Killington my friend? Those shots are fairly accurate Wink Killington is super technical, go check it out, such a great mountain!
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  • + 1
 Went to Hiland during the July forth weekend. Fun as always. But runs are short. Then by chance ended up at Sunday River for the last day. IMO Sunday River is the hidden gem of the Northeast. Mixes super gnarl NE terrain with new sculpted trails like Hiland offers except it is 3 times it's size (at least). The best thing is there was only 20 people on the whole mountain. They have a dedicated group of locals who trail build along with a couple of year round staffers who put their time in during the summer weeks. Their work is really starting to show.!!!! Tango and Crash baby! do yourself a favor and consider a trip there one weekend next year. I spent most of my summer there this year over Hiland!! I asked alot of people at h-lnd if they knew any status on K-ton. And nobody had any info. Thanks for the Killington update. My Sunday River discovery makes me wonder what else in New England I am over looking. Dark Vermont Maple Syrup, Fresh sweet cream butter over a Butter milk Waffle... Heeeeeeey!
  • + 1
 Thanks for the heads up on Sunday River. Burke Mountain in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont also started running the lifts for bikes toward the end of this season, which is a great addition to the expansive Kingdom Trails system already in place. The lift service terrain is limited to the lower half of the mountain for now, but there is also an auto road to the summit of Burke for self-shuttling the trails off the top or using the IdeRide bike shuttle service when it runs. The summit trails are where you will find the steep, rocky, rooty, gnar - which is a drastic contrast to the smooth XC style trails the Kingdom is known for on the other side of the valley. When Burke opened the lifts they unveiled a new machine made jumptrail called Knight Slayer that is similar to Hellion at Highland. Hopefully signs of more good things to come.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Killington has some great steep rocky and rooty trails! It's a great place to go ride. They are in a National Park so they are somewhat limited by that in what they can build. It has to remain all natural. I ride Platty and Diablo on the regular, Killington is not as build up them but still has plenty to offer. There are lots of easy trails and some great steep challenging trails there. It sounds like you have not ridden there in a long time or you didn't find the Ram's Head side of the Mtn.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 nothing is better than maple syrup. well that and biking, naturally
  • + 9
 yah canadian maple syrup is better, and riding in canada haha
  • + 7
 I have to try biking there, already a fan of syrup Wink
  • + 1
 Upper Peninsula of Michigan has some damn good maple syrup too, and fall colors.
  • + 3
 VT syrup is the best hands down
  • + 2
 It's a shame most people don't know the joy of what real maple syrup tastes like. Instead they eat that fake corn syrup junk. Canadian maple syrup is the nectar of the gods.
  • + 1
 you are correct sir
  • + 1
 The article is wrong about the maple syrup being fresh at this time of year. They tap the trees in Spring, and boil the sap down then, too. There's a good shelf life to it, so it will still taste fresh in Autmn.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 riders...if you haven't been to killington in the last few seasons and think it sucks, don't comment. The place has changed big time and we don't need you spreading misinformation, however true it may have been a few seasons ago.

The transformation to a quality bike park is underway, it has gotten sooo much better in the last 3 seasons. Management is slowly opening it's eyes to the fact that FR is a fast growing market, they have been scoping the stoke at Highland among other places. I'm fairly confident they will allocate more resources for the 2011 season (I hear that they will actually have heavy machines for at least a month) to trail building. They have for the most part only one guy who does the trail work, and due to insurance they can't accept volunteer workers.

So, if you want this place to start featuring more jump lines and berms, and bridges, etc., write to summer management and tell them what you want. They need to know people are going to come to spend money on tickets before they invest. And when they do, Killington will be amazing. We'll have an A-Line in the east. It can happen but like I said management needs tosee the market first.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I'm impressed by those gnarly sections in the last 2 pics for some reason. They seem fairly typical of the New England mountain terrain I ride; there's just not enough of them or they're too short. I guess that's the pro photographer effect making it look good. Show me more pics or vids!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 are you fuck man i was just there in september and 4 trails are fire roads dude there race course is sick ther 30 trails been closed for a while but its one of the best trails ever and ive been to bromount and st anne
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Just heard killington got some snow this past weekend at summit! Great terrain and super friendly personal. Cant wait til next season to rip it up again. Nice to see some NE riding!
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  • + 2
 I always understood Fresh Maple syrop is Produced in the Spring, not the fall. I love that jug though and have consumed many in my time here on earth!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 killington is insanely rocky, but it has some fun trails. the mountain has lots of potential, it just needs funding to expand and build more trails.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 To people that are thinking of going to killington DON'T GO their so called trails are mostly fireroads. I know what im talking about I went there two weeks ago. The trails have absolutely no flow and berms just suck.
  • + 1
 Actually you don't know what you're talking about. I have a condo in Killington and I ride there just about every weekend, so I actually do know what I am talking about. I will agree the berms they have built lately need help, but to say it is nothing but fire roads is absolutely FALSE. Maybe you just don't know where you're going. Maybe you're just looking for jump lines, which they don't have a lot of yet (they are planning to expand the jump linesin the next few seasons). But if you like true tech DH terrain this place is fantastic, trails 7a, 21, 34, 9, 7-11...I could go on and on. And if you can't flow those trails, it's your own damn fault.
  • + 1
 Unless the trais you're talking about arent marked or are hidden I think the(most) dh trails have no flow and that's not my fault beause im an advanced rider. I found myself constantly doing little uphill sections in trails that looked like they were meant for hiking. And I did most of the marked trails. The only true techy dh setions were short and not that fun. The 7a looked like a jeep road with man made rocks put in it. I personally think that Killington was mediocre at best and if you want decentl trails with flow come to bromont qc.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 A fall trip in new england without stopping at Highland?? doesn't sound like much fun at all.
  • + 1
 or Plattekill. fail
  • + 1
 newyork is not part of newengland!!! ahhhhhhh!!! but seriously i cant wait to try plattekill next spring, i just found out about that place.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Those pics capture the true gnar of the East Coast. Great job!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 typical east coast DH! I have to go there next year!
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  • + 3
 I'm jealous of that huge jug of maple syrup.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I wonder who the photographer was?
  • + 1
 nothing like ruining a photo with a gargantuan watermark.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i must have been riding the girly side. to much riding on the access road. should have hook up with a local.next time.
  • + 1
 Stop by True Wheels on the access road for Killington..They will do their best to set you up with a local. Or, shoot me an email, mlareau@burrburton.org, (I'm Matt from the article) and I would love to show you what K-Town has to offer!
  • + 2
 I might have to hit you up on that offer next season! Killington looks great. BTW what's up with all the snow you guys get! I'm for sure heading your way soon to hit the slopes!
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  • + 1
 I ski and board at killington every winter fro the last 9 years but have yet to ride there!... hopefully next summer!!
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  • + 1
 Some pretty good looking terrain out there, those rock gardens look rough as hell!
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  • + 1
 Man I am so bummed I never got to hit up VT for riding when I lived on the east coast. I miss the east coast gnar!
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  • + 1
 Technical,steep,rocky,rooty,fast,muddy.....Gott to love New England !
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  • + 1
 is there dirt jumps line or only some dh tracks??? thks
  • + 1
 You'll find a few jumps here and there but overall not very many. No actual DJ sets.
  • + 1
 Don't go to Killington its really bad trust me.
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  • + 1
 Killington "" Plattekill

flat bars make me lol too
  • - 1
 yeah what a trendwhore, he must be really slow Very confused
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  • + 1
 Best name ever
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