Cyclists' Access Revoked to Parts of The Kingdom Trails

Jan 13, 2020
by Ed Spratt  
The best town ever East Burke VT is surely in the running. Get yourself to the Kingdom Trails and sample the goods

Access to parts of The Kingdom Trails in Vermont has been put in jeopardy as three major landowners have revoked access to the bike trails.

The network of trails, which is one of the biggest in the Northeast of the USA, has been established for 25 years but in December three of the landowners that control some of the private lands that the trails are built upon decided they would no longer allow cyclists to have access to the land.

The whole area that the trails are built upon is currently owned by 97 different private owners but the three that have made this decision own land which holds a number of the more popular trails which are found off of Darling Hill Rd.

A map of the trails which will be closed off to cyclists following the recent decision from the landowners which was posted to the trails Facebook page.

bigquotesWe fully respect their decision, as it is their private property and they have the sole right to determine the use of their land. We are beyond grateful to each of them for allowing Kingdom Trails access over the past 25 years and continuing to allow Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, jogging, and horseback riding. Kingdom Trails

Sadly at the moment, it looks like the ban only applies to cyclists with the reasoning seeming to revolve around the increased traffic in the area and the concerns the landowners have over the safety of other users of the land.

The best town ever East Burke VT is surely in the running. Get yourself to the Kingdom Trails and sample the goods

The North Star Monthly found that the Kingdom Trails had seen a nearly 50% increase in mountain bikers from 2016 to 2018. In 2018 they saw 137,000 trail users.

bigquotesKingdom Trails understands the concerns for the pressure and stress the continued strong growth in trail use and area visits has put on landowner’s properties as well as the roads and small villages where trail access exists. While the success of the trails has brought meaningful economic benefit to the area, challenges and tension points exist around traffic, congestion and pedestrian safety of residents and visitors alike. Kingdom Trails

This will no doubt be a huge blow to cycling in the area but there are still plenty of trails to ride in the network and Kingdom Trails are being proactive in their response to the news. As in July 2019, they received a USDA grant for a Network Feasibility and Infrastructure Study which will look at building a welcome centre for visitors, increase parking options and how they can tackle the large numbers of riders on the trails.

bigquotesThis study will be completed by the end of season 2020. In the meantime, we continue to strive toward mitigating congestion and creating a safe community. Kingdom Trails is working collaboratively with the Town of Burke to reconstruct East Darling Hill Rd. The project consists of new subbase, drainage and asphalt, plus a 5-foot bike lane for uphill cyclists. Additionally, KTA purchased two parcels of land adjacent to the road. This acquisition will secure a critical trail connection for KTA, ensuring that trail users will be able to have an off-road option instead of using East Darling Hill Rd for both uphill and downhill bicycle travel, avoiding a dangerous conflict between cycle and car, increasing the safety of our community and visitors, drivers and riders.

We have also worked hard to spread and disperse trail traffic through new trail development. These new trails are directed well off Darling Ridge headed to East Haven. The Flower Brook connector trail was built this summer to discourage trail users from biking along VT 114 from downtown East Burke to East Haven. KTA also works side by side with the OneBurke committee, exploring options to extend trails to the Burke Town School and possibly West Burke. A similar goal is our work with the Lyndonville Select Board, building a trail to connect to the potential new Lyndon Green Space where the old town garages currently are. These efforts would not only relieve congestion on Darling Ridge and East Burke, but broaden further economic opportunities to our neighboring towns.
Kingdom Trails

The best town ever East Burke VT surely is in the running. Get yourself to the Kingdom Trails and sample the goods

Stay up to date on the developments at Kingdom Trails here.

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364 Comments

  • 457 7
 This isnt the issue. As someone that lives local to the Kingdom this was our fault and it is deserved. The land owners are horseback riders and have had repeated altercations with cyclists on their own land. Direct quote from one of the landowners: " Imagine a stranger standing on your front lawn and telling you to f*ck off". The mtb community was irresponsible with what was given as a kind gesture and we need to act better. This is why we cant have nice things.
  • 33 0
 This is what I heard, if it's really true, god damn the riders are assholes. I'm not a local, but I've never seen anything like that during my many trips up there... so even though I never underestimate peoples stupidity, I am still a little surprised.
  • 19 3
 Let's get that right: "some mtbikers were irresponsible...". I don't belong to a community who does not care about other users -- or these bikers don't. Either way, each of us has the duty to act responsibly and respectfully since every move we make on shared trails impacts other users' perception of mountain bikers. And we know that just a few bad words or a bad attitude can become a deal breaker, like it has in KT. I am really pissed off to hear that is the reason why those areas will be closed, but I am confident that the team there will find great solutions so we can keep on enjoying this amazing network of trails.
  • 40 1
 @cool3: it is unfortunate but it only takes a few to reflect poorly on the whole. We need to address the selfish macho attitudes biking seems to attract even if its not all of us, because it reflects on all of us.
  • 22 1
 It really is a shame that there are more than a handful of us that are so disrespectful it leads to this. I hate to say it, but along with meeting some of the best individuals in the community at KT, I've also run into some of the worst. Having lived and ridden all over North America I've never had experiences with other riders being as rude as some are at KT, and that includes extremely crowded days in Whistler and squamish. I feel for the locals here that thrive off the Mtb community and may suffer from the economic backlash because of this.
  • 51 102
flag mnorris122 (Jan 13, 2020 at 6:19) (Below Threshold)
 Idk, every side has two stories. I completely understand the owner's perspective of being told to fuck off your own property, but knowing how so many equestrians behave on shared use trails, I can also completely understand telling one to fuck off.
  • 5 13
flag CantClimb (Jan 13, 2020 at 6:20) (Below Threshold)
 Illegal trails also....?
  • 18 51
flag woofer2609 (Jan 13, 2020 at 6:20) (Below Threshold)
 Clearly a situation where the landowners yelled back "You damn kids! Get off my lawn!"
  • 23 1
 Riders who act that way regardless of trail ownership or access issue are in the same boat as those who steal bikes. Their behavior has stolen away the trust and respect that decent people on bikes earned and deserve. I think it's great the sport is growing, but EVERY rider needs to realize the impact of their actions and act appropriately.
  • 3 0
 @Berickson: You're right, and this idea extends far beyond just the MTB scene.
  • 2 0
 @HaydukeLives: Well said! Couldnt agree more.
  • 18 7
 @mnorris122: you're response makes you sound like one of the disrespectful users that never yield right of way at KT or insist that all double track should be one way so your entire group can ride side by side instead of chatting three trail single file or are you one of those that refuse to follow the rules of the road while on the public streets?
  • 36 0
 What a blow this is. Based on @Berickson 's post, the land owners were well within their rights to deny access. The thing that really bums me out though is I'm guessing that very few riders (myself included) had any idea they were riding on private land. This most definitely does not excuse people acting like a-holes, but I think if the KTA folks in the Welcome Center had been like, "LISTEN, you're riding on private land today," the level of sh!thead-ery might have been lower and this could have possibly been avoided. Seems like we're all learning a lesson in a very painful way. Ugh.
  • 28 84
flag mnorris122 (Jan 13, 2020 at 6:41) (Below Threshold)
 @lifeofloon: Lmao, I just expect that horse riders won't flip their shit and accuse me of being the problem when we meet on the multi-use trail and their massive animal with the potential to kill both of us gets a little jumpy due to totally normal sounds created by other trail users. Sorry my brakes squealed when I had to slam them on thanks to you taking up the entire trail, maybe if your beast almost bucks you thanks to that you shouldn't be riding it on on said trail.

And I'm just talking about the behaviour of the humans, don't even get me started on the deposits left behind or the damage thanks to hooves (though ofc if the land owner wants to shit up and destroy their own trail, that's well within their rights.)
  • 42 1
 @mnorris122: well in this case the only story that counts, is the one of the land owner. So people should bite their tongue.
  • 14 64
flag mnorris122 (Jan 13, 2020 at 6:44) (Below Threshold)
 @privateer-wheels: I realize that, but how are you supposed to know if the person who may or may not be being a dick to you is the landowner or not? Sometimes humans escalate confrontations, that's the way it is.
  • 76 8
 @mnorris122: yup you do sound like part of the problem. I've been riding Kingdom Trails since the second or third year they opened and your attitude is becoming the prevalent attitude among those heading south to ride. Just because you bring money down to spend in the community doesn't mean you should forget your respect and common courtesy at home.
  • 39 0
 @lifeofloon: so right......why not respect the fact that someone is enjoying the outdoors, just like us, but maybe not on a bike?

Here's a horrible idea......If someone is disrespectful why not be the better person and be kind back to them and maybe change their opinion of you and what your doing? Maybe they will react differently next time.
  • 36 1
 @heyjohnp if you don't know you're riding on private land at KT, you're blind. It literally states it everywhere.. Even if you happen to be ignorant towards your surroundings this isn't an excuse to be an a*shole to anyone...
  • 34 3
 So I guess the landowners finally learned enough French swear words after all these years.
  • 4 0
 @smithcreek: "descendre ma pelouse!"
  • 18 1
 Agreed -- and I think we should be very much worried about the ripple effect on other landowners due to the consolidation of traffic in other parts of the network. The only way KT is going to work is if FAR fewer people ride there (so it's good that outlets like Pinkbike, Singletracks, etc are talking about it). The part of the network that is gone is the true core and center of the system -- the 3Ts on the west side and Pines / Riverwood / connectors on the east side. It looks like it is going to be very difficult to reasonably connect rides on either side of D Hill -- for example from Coronary over to Sidewinder on on the west side, or Rim/Ridge over to Kitchel on the east side. It is probably the most common loop in the area to link the 3Ts, sidewinder, heaven's bench, rim, ridge, pines, kitchel. And bigger loops almost always include some version of that within it. That is not possible now.

So I am not sure I agree with the take in the article that: "This will no doubt be a huge blow to cycling in the area but there are still plenty of trails to ride in the network . . . "

This is going to be a huge blow to the network, full stop. It is going to put a huge amount of pressure on places like Moose Haven, which is already a cluster. I saw a fight in the parking lot last year when a local tracked a down a pickup truck that blew into the lot way too fast. I don't think the East Haven locals like the riders at all -- and this is going to increase that tension. Same will be true of other areas in the network.

It may be true that KT can expand into other areas within the system in the future to release the pressure -- but if it is going to sustain 150K riders that expansion will have to be major. And I don't see that happening anytime soon.
  • 40 0
 @mnorris122: Well these aren't typical "shared use trails". They are only "shared" in the fact that those horse people who own the land were nice enough to share it with bikers. When that's the case you don't get to tell anyone to f*ck off no matter what they are doing because its their property.
  • 22 1
 @mnorris122: On their own land? That you need their permission to use? Seems like only an idiot would do that.
  • 7 1
 @mnorris122: correct, we are but simple humans. We do not have self control or civility, and must act in whatever way feels right in the moment
  • 17 0
 Glad commenters have highlighted the real issue here, not sure why Pinkbike didn’t dig deeper and report this better. Outside mag did a good feature on this as well, but painted mountain bikers as irresponsible, which might be true. This is a growing problem on our local trails as well. Not very many horses but a lot of dog walkers and bikers sending it next to them. I’ve seen other bikers get mad at dog walkers and be rude... it doesn’t help our case of keeping trails open. If you want to ride fast, ride during the slow times, sending it on a Saturday afternoon you’ll be bombarded with a lot of people. Why not go early in the morning or late at night with lights? I get it’s not always possible but it’s like people getting frustrated there’s traffic during rush hour.
  • 1 0
 @mnorris122: not in relation to this article as I have no idea what the circumstances are but in general a lot of those issues regarding those riders are true
  • 25 12
 hah. I love how the first thing I thought of was f-ing ebikes. Mountain bikers. We are so arrogant. We think we are "welcome" and do good for all these places we've intruded upon over the years.

We are smug and arrogant enough to think that even though only a few years ago, even the most basic MTB was despised in the forests, that suddenly we are beloved. And now...we've doubled down on our arrogance to think that other trail users love us so much and we make so much money for these "communities" that we can stuff an electric battery motor in a mountain bike and the world will still welcome us with open arms.

Sure...come barrel down a quiet dirt trail and startle my family. I love seeing you out here. Oh...now you can zoom up on me from behind on that electric powered one? That's even more exciting. Hope to see more of you on my hike or my horseback ride.

Seriously...that's actually so many people's mentality. Naive...on knobby tires. #yourecoolwerecoolitsallgood
  • 24 0
 @krka73: There's a pretty good article over on Outside that includes an interview with a KTA landowner that backs up this reasoning

www.outsideonline.com/2407740/mountain-biker-behavior-trail-access
  • 4 0
 @bcoleman3: Thanks for the link!
  • 29 1
 @blowmyfuse: is correct. Among mountain-bikers there is no shortage of ignorant entitled sphincters. We are our own worse enemy
  • 15 0
 @leelau:

And this is a global phenomenon....I was riding in Finale Ligure for a few days after Christmas. I had a flat tire and decided to walk back to the campground since I found it too cold to fix it. I had all the tools with me, btw.

Of about seven groups of riders who passed me, two groups stopped and asked if I was ok or maybe needed help. Two.

And in the Alps it is worse, so bad that I like to say "mountainbiking is the new golfing".
People buying the latest bikes and kit without having any idea about the biking culture or even decent behaviour.
  • 7 0
 As the sport grows this is becoming more of a problem. Some people new to riding are taking for granted the existing access and have an entitled approach to things. Some, not all, but it only takes a few bad interactions to lose trails. We struggle with this out west and the best approach we have found is continuous education at trailheads. Keep telling people that land access is based on partnerships with lots of other users and interested parties. Some of our trails are based on partnership with hikers and equestrians, other trail systems we struggle to make the partnership work. Short story is, just be nice to equestrians and other trail users.
  • 4 0
 @leelau: it’s a human thing. Unfortunately there is no arsehole entrance exam available.

This is crap news and I’m sorry to those riders affected.
  • 1 0
 @heyjohnp: If you need a reminder on how to behave when no one is looking, well, reap the whirlwind. Also, psychology experiments.
  • 4 1
 I heard it originates from a parking issue in front of one of these land owner’s property. They used to be okay with it until the entire area exploded with riders.
  • 1 0
 @HaydukeLives: c'est la vie
  • 7 14
flag 5afety3rd (Jan 13, 2020 at 9:52) (Below Threshold)
 I blame the Mass-holes and New Yorkers
  • 3 9
flag 5afety3rd (Jan 13, 2020 at 10:06) (Below Threshold)
 @kamsbry: exactly my debate against ebike (most are new riders, and from vastly different reasons for trail access, the few ruin for the many)
  • 11 2
 This, happens everywhere, it is not the masses of MTBers, but the few that spoil it and this is what I try to tell the eMTB haters---that we have always had an 'asshole' problem, its not specific to eMTB.
  • 1 0
 double post
  • 5 2
 @stikmanglaspell: I do't think you understand just how small the town of burke is, 10 years ago, no problem parking anywhere. no people line the streets, the explosive popularity in the souther urban areas of CT RI, Boston, NYC, Urban NJ, Buffalo.. drives hoards of riders to kingdom, their flow trail design attracts it, most of the trails are pretty easy, all are fun. Plus lift access at Burke and other area close buy, it makes for a great road trip.It's been great for the economy there. But perhaps now is the tipping point. I grew up at the jersey shore and most residents there are at a sever frustration with people from the urban area completely taking over during the summer months, but again it's a big part of the economy for most beach towns, so it's a necessary evil. My old local spot there has also exploded and police are ticketing for illegal parking. In kingdom/Burke, most residents there have been there long enough to remember their quiet, logging and ski town, I understand their frustration with outsiders. Mtn biking is mostly friendly people, but there's also douche bros who see cool place on the internet and act like fools just like they do when to the "go down the shore". The few ruin it for the many, too bad there's too many few now.
  • 9 0
 @lifeofloon: its funny because i used to ride with people just like this that were aggressive to others on the trail. it was so embarassing that i had to stop riding with them due to no fun being had. shit, mtn bikes will be rude to other mtn bikers, so what's stopping them from being rude to non mtn bikes? makes no sense. this alpha anger doesnt seem fun, so i dont know where people get it from. job? wife? general anger at the world? then they get surprised when the owners say "alright GTFO then". then more huffing and puffing on pinkbike. this downward spiral of angst is selfish and serves nobody.
  • 27 0
 The lesson here should be: Don’t tell ANYONE to f’ck off on the trail cause you never know who you might talking to.

Up near Mt Hood they shut down a “new” trail system (this was 10 years ago) that was in a “trial phase” on Portland electric company property cause a four dumb asses were riding DH, drinking beer and screaming & yelling like banshees as they rode. Then “some old guy in a white truck” politely told them they weren’t supposed to be drinking and carrying on like that. Well you guessed it- they told him to f*ck off and “go home old man” and the trails were shut down permanently 48hrs later. Turned out the old guy was the district manager of the electric company.
  • 11 10
 Before I even read your comment I guessed that this was a horse related issue. Definitely a knucklehead move on the bikers part but at the same time I've never met an equestrian that doesn't have a huge chip on their shoulder when it comes to bikes. Age old disputes die hard.
  • 10 9
 @stikmanglaspell: I'll completely shoot that theory down friend. Here in WNC, we have exactly 1 loop that is e-bike legal. It is in the middle of a Cherokee Indian Reservation almost 2 hours drive from ANY mountain bike trail system in Western North Carolina. Every single other trail is on U.S. Forest Service land. Every shop here sells eBikes successfully, and they're selling more eMTB's every day. Obviously, they're NOT buying them to drive cross country to BLM land daily.

If I tallied the percentage of eMTBs ridden on illegal trails in WNC up, it would be almost 100%.
If I talled the percentage of MTBs ridden on illegal trails, on the low end 5%, Saturdays at 11am 10%.

That makes eMTB riders in WNC 90-95% more 'a*shole' than MTB riders. So yeah, here...eMTB=sphincter Wink
  • 33 1
 @Mic173:
I build and maintain trails locally and have been sworn at by mountain bikers several times while working on the trail they are riding. I blocked off a steep rock roll because it was covered in thick ice and very dangerous, there was an alternate line so no problem. Two riders approach and one of them came at me and wanted to throw down. I had a kid ride over the branches I had used to block off the area I was working on (unfinished trail) then get all f*cked off because I wrecked his flow.
People don’t get it, trails are given to us to use because of someone’s kindness or hard work. There has been a huge increase in ridership and most of the new school dudes are douches.
  • 2 0
 Hopefully one positive that comes out of this is that riders will be better informed when they encounter hikers or equestrians on KT trails. I don't think enough of us had in mind before that any non-riders we encountered using KT trails may well be landowners.
  • 8 0
 @Yaan:

Sad but true. The self-entitlement is slowly wrecking biking culture I fear.
  • 3 0
 @Phillyenduro: who cares if non-riders are landowners or not? We don't have specific rights to trails over any another user group that entitles us to be dicks to them. Do people really not research the new places that the they ride at? It really doesn't take much researching to learn the ins and outs of how KT came to be possible.
  • 13 1
 That sucks.

Our local trails rely on almost 100% private landowners, and it really is a challenge to make sure that a few a*sholes don't ruin it for everyone. While I firmly believe that as a whole, mountain bikers are nicer people than the general population, there's nothing preventing terrible people from getting bikes.

I also had a couple of recent interactions that made me think of how difficult it can be for us to maintain positive relationships with the non-biking-community, even with the best of intentions.

This summer, I was out riding on some trails that are on private land, and came across someone in a pickup harvesting firewood. We live in an area where you're allowed to collect firewood on state land, national forest and timber company land with the proper permits, but this was on property owned privately by a family, and I'd heard they'd had some recent issues with people misusing their land. So, my initial thought was to give the firewood harvester an earful. But, at the last minute I caught myself and figured I should at least start off the conversation without making an accusation.

Turns out, it was the landowner, and I'd nearly chastized a landowner for doing things on his own land, acting like I owned the place. Instead, I had the chance to thank him for letting me and others ride there, and ask if I could give him a hand.

Then just last week, I was driving along a county road that's the main access to one of our most popular MTB trailheads (and also happens to be a main access road to my house). I was going well under the speed limit, in my lane, and saw a couple guys on mountain bikes coming around the corner in the opposite lane. One of them furiously motioned at me to slow down, like there was some kind of hazard up ahead.

I slammed on the brakes and slowed to a crawl, assuming that maybe there was a group ride coming around the corner riding against traffic, or a downed cyclist or something.

Turns out, there was nothing. Just a mountain biker, riding on a county road, and deciding that it was his obligation to tell motorists that they're not going far enough under the speed limit for his comfort level.

That one gave me pause too. I actually recognized the rider, a nice guy who does tons of good work for the local trails. But it also made me think, "if I didn't know who that was, and didn't care about mountain biking, I'd just be annoyed that mountain bikers were clogging up the road and acting like they owned the place."

TL;DR: Some people are intentional a*sholes, and sometimes, it can be easy to be an ass with the best of intentions. We'd all do well to keep in mind the way we're seen by people who don't care about our passion the way we do.
  • 1 0
 @Radioface: That's exactly what I was thinking.. Going down from Coronary Bypass to Sidewinder, and then up on the other side from Jaw to Kitchel, you would have to ride on Darling Hill Road both ways? I cannot imagine they will let people do that as it would put a ton of cyclist on the road.
East Haven is great, but it's far from the core center of the network.
  • 3 0
 @Yaan: that's f*cking sad. whenever I encounter trail builders on a ride, I stop, have a chat, and thank them for their work. I always feel bad that I'm just riding thru and not helping out. how do people not understand that, like anywhere else in the world, if you're cool to others, others will be cool back (most of the time). Funny thing is, new mtn bikers probably get this culture from watching pro's or other videos, but ironically, pro riders are some of the nicest people i've ever met, are excellent stewards of the sport, and treat people with respect.
  • 3 0
 @cuban-b: Yeah - it is quite sad that some are just aggressive entitled folk who take challenges personally like it is the end of the world to them. Instead, chill, be polite and know that riding is not just about sending it.

On the trail one can feel the presence of certain behaviour / people coming up from behind without having to see. It is a case of pull to the side and say hello as they fly by in their strava induced trance.
  • 6 0
 Trails are freedom. Respect all users.
  • 6 0
 Mountain bikers are easily the rudest and most inconsiderate trail user out there, even to fellow mountain bikers at my local trails. Its gotten progressively worse over the past 5 years.
  • 3 0
 fyi- in contrast... my mtb rides over the years have intersected with a fair number of horse riders. i’ve had exactly zero problems.@Dustfarter:
  • 4 0
 @c-woj: I concur. I've ridden the east coast from Pisgah up to KT and have had multiple interactions with equestrians and every interaction has been civil and polite from the downhill ride where we came up behind them with our loose trail dog to the lone rider and horse who had got turned around in my local trail system to just yesterday when we met a few horse riders on the trails in the Sanoran Preserve out here in Arizona. Perhaps it's the attitude that I treat them with the respect I would like to receive or I've just been lucky. I like to think it's the former and not the latter.
  • 2 0
 @blowmyfuse: Not quite sure what kind of experiences you have had with mountain bikers on the trail but you used broad strokes painting that picture. I will tell you that does not sound like the circle I ride with. I have had a few incidents with hikers and horseback travelers that believe that the trails belong exclusively to them and their sole use. Not sure where they get that idea but the response from them was unprovoked and uncalled for. I ride with the utmost respect for other travelers safety. If people want to get all bent out of shape about what there "idea" of trail use is, then there is not much I can do at that point. Regarding ebikes, they have a place for those that cannot access trails without them. I speak of those that are physically impaired or older in years that otherwise cannot ride. And finally, I don't really care if I am loved by others on the trail. I only ask for respect from others as I have given them.
  • 7 1
 Bikes and horses are fundamentally incompatible unless both the equestrian and cyclist go far out of their way to accommodate and understand each other on the trail. Even then, the horse may still lose its shit (pun) and potentially injure the rider if thrown. In the end the cyclists need to yield to the equestrians to mitigate the horse flip out uncertainty factor.

The equestrians are at the risk in these situations and I can see how a seemingly endless stream of cyclists creating tens if not hundreds of these interactions in a single trail ride on their own land can ramp up the tensions. Add in overt disrespect every week or so and I can see how we get to this situation.

Hopefully some type of compromise can be reached to at least connect both sides of the network. Give the bikes separate right of ways to pass through, let equestrians have peaceful, low stress rides on their land.
  • 10 1
 @atourgates: "While I firmly believe that as a whole, mountain bikers are nicer people than the general population".

We'll have to agree to disagree there.

Respectfully
  • 5 0
 @cuban-b:
I’ve run into many appreciative riders and excellent human beings and had solid offers to help. I could also write a book on sh*theads, it only takes a few and they leave a more lasting impression. Some riders don’t figure out the only reason we met was because I built the trail they are on.
  • 8 0
 We are the only trail users who treat public trails as a racecourse so maybe move off the trail and say hi to hiker and bikers! They came before us and will be here after we get banned from all the trails!
  • 7 1
 @Yaan: I see you're also in NV.

One thing I was taught as a beginning builder in NV was "keep your expectations low. You won't be disappointed". I do feel that is a realistic attitude to take. Any other attitude sounds whiny or lecturing (you did not come off as sounding like that btw).

One "funny" story told me by PD (the PileDriver of Boogieman). He was sawing away on Corkscrew. While he was deeply engrossed in his work he looked up to see a rider almost straddling his trail tools and looking really pissed off. The guy started lecturing him about how you trailbuilders should do your work at times when you know people aren't riding so you don't get in the way. This was 15 years + ago.

While I'd like to say that attitudes in NV, Whistler, Squamish etc have changed; oh no they haven't. Even a cursory engagement with the bike communities in any of the Sea to Sky and Lower Mainland region will show that there's enough attitude out there that it's better for any self-respecting builder to simply keep their expectations low.

Cheers to you.

And sorry to Kingdom Trails riders for this massive digression.
  • 6 0
 @mnorris122: maybe just don't be a Dick in the first place.....
  • 7 0
 @ginger-wheels: that was my thought too, when reading mnorris122 comments.

Like, you (not you specifically) are a guest on these trails. When in doubt, assume anyone and everyone is a land owners. Be respectful. If you encounter someone who's a dink (on horse, bike, whatever), smile, nod, and move along. Not worth causing issues for everyone else. The whole 'all humans escalate conflict' rubbish doesn't fly with me, and clearly it didn't fly with KT, and now a great many riders have been robbed by an arrogant few.
  • 1 0
 @CamNeelyCantWheelie: Sadly, I agree. In a big, diffuse trail system with few interactions, horses and bikes can easily co-exist, but with thousands of riders a weekend? I'm not trying to excuse bad behaviour, but it's easy to see how some mountain bikers got the feeling that KT is a mountain bike trail system, not an all non-motorized user trail system. Seems like a bit of a planning/signage/education failure to me.
  • 1 1
 @c-woj: Whereas equestrians/the like have been illegally shutting down my closest mtb trails recently, so, yeah... Gotta go with @Dustfarter here, ditto what he said
  • 1 0
 @smithcreek: thank you.
  • 5 6
 You know who I see acting like a dick on the trails? Road bikers who happen to have a mountain bike.
  • 2 2
 The one time I went to KT some 50 year old dude called me gay for riding a turq color yeti. I didn't even say one word and he was giving me all the hate he could offer. After seeing that and a few examples of total blatant racism I look at the whole north east differently. Not a fan. Maryland and Penn were pretty cool.
  • 3 1
 @schmichael325: did you offer him a free dental exam?
  • 1 0
 Every mountain biker did this? Why not ban the people being jerks.
  • 1 0
 @sourdiesel: better reading article, thanks
  • 1 0
 @orastreet1: impossible to regulate that with the resources KTA has
  • 7 0
 Picture this...a world where equestrians become obsessed with KOM's & PR's on Strava.

Whoa....Nelly!!!
  • 2 0
 I'm guessing it was accumulated irritation, something that seemed a good idea at the time grew way beyond expectations and the possibly few bad encounters, combined with the invasive summers introduced a festering which finally came to a head with a decision. I doubt the outcome would have been any different without what I assume would be a small minority of bad actors.
  • 1 0
 @Mic173: used to be every rider would stop to see if you needed help.
  • 1 0
 This is upsetting news. I’m canceling my trip to Kt this year. Thinking of heading to NC.
  • 2 0
 I think everyone that signs up to ride at KT should be made to read and sign the above article or similar. You’d think it wasn’t needed, but look at where we are. @bcoleman3:
  • 3 6
 @Bigskybound: yeah...ebikes. They belong in that bike lane in commuter towns. Not on WNC singletrack trails where they are specifically banned regardless of physical ability.
Steven Hawkings can't have a quad Segway to roll up Mt. Everest just because bad stuff happened to his body. The outdoors is free. But the ability to access is stops at the abilities God gave, not Duracell.
  • 4 2
 free the horses, hang their owners. End equestrian slavery
  • 1 1
 @blowmyfuse: cool story
  • 2 0
 @Berickson: Yes, people can be dicks, everywhere, every situation, the fewer the better, and it's a shame. But I doubt any amount of politeness would have overcome the impact of 150,000 visitors descending on one's property every summer. The mere existence of that many strangers is enough. Human nature being what it is, what seemed like a good idea at the time became way too successful and any irritants, however slight or not, grew to the breaking point and probably well beyond.
  • 2 2
 @blowmyfuse: Really, NO ONE should be able to ride them on single track? EVERYONE who wants to ride an eBike should be relegated to "that bike lane in commuter towns"?! Do you honestly believe that?!
  • 3 1
 @blowmyfuse: also, god doesn’t exist
  • 2 0
 @cuban-b: he doesn't realize there are people out there on eBikes that need them, who ripped 100 times harder than he does on a MTB and have been injured riding or otherwise. Or he just believes they don't have the right any more to use the same trails we do - even when some of them contributed more to MTB than he will in 10 life times.
  • 1 0
 @privateer-wheels: but i love it when strangers try to dictate my life choices
  • 3 1
 @privateer-wheels: mountain bikes have become far easier to ride over the years. I see ebikes as another step in that progression. I'm not saying they're for everyone, but if we going to be closed minded about progression and development we should still be on rigid bikes with poor gearing.
  • 2 0
 @Duderz7: Agree. I think with proper education and etiquette there is no reason MTB/eBike can not coexist on the vast majority of trails out there.
  • 3 3
 @privateer-wheels: Yup. I do believe it. It's motorized. A Prius isn't a eAssisted boxcar.

The decay of the body is time and hardship. It is not a license to put more power to the ground in the National Forests. Without a line in the sand between "I made all that power myself with my body" and "Duracell helped"...then all we are going to do is add bigger and bigger batteries for bigger and bigger injuries and then we're gonna add a little more here and there and then a quadrapeligic is gonna take his quad 4" wide tired electric bed right up through the heart of whatever forest anyone ever cared about to the pinnacle and do quadrapelegic donuts on the pinnacle of all the pretty places.

All this stuff doesn't "incrementally" increase. It multiplies. Drones. OneWheels. Man..you can't go 5 minutes inside the forest here without it sounding like the middle of a shopping mall.
  • 2 0
 @Mtbr1975:

I teach my son and have a core group of riders sharing this belief. MTB is more than a bloody hobby. It is like surfing, a way of living and appreciating nature and fellow humans.
  • 1 3
 @Mic173: It's all fun and games until Anthony Kiedas & the dude from Cyborg knock you down and beat you up for stepping on their turf.
  • 3 0
 @blowmyfuse: So guys like Paul Basagoitia shouldn't be able to ride the same tails as the rest of us? They should just give up their love of riding on two wheels in the woods? For real, you believe that?!
  • 4 0
 This is the cynical industry spin. Market e-bikes to everyone, but, when any riders call them out for endangering our trail access, shout them down with you-hate-old/disabled-people lines.
  • 3 0
 @Phillyenduro: No doubt that not all trail systems can support e-bikes. But certainly some can. I think discretion, education, and etiquette needs to be used. Not banning all ebikes and all riders using them on all trails. I just can't support blatantly ignorant single sided views - i.e. ebikes belong in the commuter lanes only.
  • 3 0
 oh please, e-bikes threaten trail access just as much as being a douchebag does.
  • 3 4
 @privateer-wheels: So now we're using levels of pity to determine where we get to travel and how in this world? So since we all like Bas & enjoyed his riding pre-injury, he is supposed to get a pity pass on trails that are in areas sensitive to damage from non-motorized vehicles, aka bicycles, and get to take a heavier version with "assist" into the woods?

What about Doug Henry? Give him a self balancing bike that propels itself to the top of a trail? You're desensitized to what nature and wild places are. You live in Toronto? A metropolis of steel and pollution and waste. Please don't lecture the world about where someone who has a disability deserves to go to. Even they don't need your self serving righteousness.

If I get hurt in a car accident tomorrow, I'm entitled to NOTHING!
No battery operated wheelchair.
No remote control car to take me to the doctor.
No ebike to get my bum knee up the climb
For crying out loud...it's all excuses to do what you WANT, not what is RIGHT for the trail system and the forest. It's just you want to use some guy's disability and loss as an excuse to have the option to not have to pedal as hard or to get to pedal further or pedal faster.
And stop pulling Bas into this. He's not in your inner circle and you aren't his savior.

@cuban-b you are trolling. Hope you catch one...
  • 4 1
 @blowmyfuse: sorry I was trying to refrain but your just a douche troll right now. I feel very sorry that you hold this incredibly ignorant viewpoint and I pray that you never end up with a life changing injury. I'm happythough that we live in a world where you WILL be able to still enjoy the outdoors even you think otherwise if that fate ever befalls you.
  • 4 1
 @blowmyfuse: you are out to lunch, and clearly looking to hurl insults. I'm not lecturing the world about where anyone should or shouldn't go. I'm challanging your opinion alone here. Did you not see the "@blowmyfuse"? Just having a discussion with you dude - chill out. Where does all the hate come from?

I was born and raised in Newfoundland. Lived there for 33 years. In terms of nature and wild places, I don't think you have any advantage there. I've spent a great deal of time in communities small and large, Brevard and Asheville included (I'll be back in May), and I've traveled all over the world elsewhere. You?

It's not about a pitty pass. It's about equality. He is one example that you clearly can't argue, as there you go on the attack again. I'm not looking to be anyone's saviour, not be anyone's friend thanks. Looks like I have blown your fuse - you are true to your name. Continue with your tantrums on your own, you clearly aren't capable of having a sensible discussion or shifting your perspective like a rational person.

@cuban-b You definitely found a troll.
  • 2 0
 @blowmyfuse:

I have no idea who the people you mention are .... but I have ridden at enough places worldwide to tell you that trails and dj spots and local dh tracks are nothing like Jaws and Mavericks.
So far decent and respectful behaviour and a shovel (no dig no ride, eh?) have been opening doors.

You come of quite bitter and angry. No reason.
  • 1 2
 @Mic173: that was a joke, not anger. It was a scene in the movie Point Break. You've not seen it?
  • 2 5
 @privateer-wheels: you literally sound like a JP Searles YouTube video telling me how much better you are cuz you're just so woke. "you clearly aren't capable of having a sensible discussion or shifting your perspective like a rational person." All that sentence says to me is that I won't bow down to you or agree with you and since I'm unwilling to change my view point to match yours you're better than me. have fun being one of the sheep in the world that just hugs all the bunnies.
  • 3 2
 @cuban-b: fact: a douchebag is more likely to buy an ebike than a traditional bike.
  • 3 5
 @blowmyfuse: preach! You’re not the troll, these nannies are.

Since were talking about riders with injuries, let’s bring up Scotty Cranmer, the dude went from being one of the best bmx riders of all time, to near death bed and severe loss of nervous control. 10 months post injury, he rode his bike with nothing by gravity to help. He still struggles with riding, he knows his limitations, and pushed them as his body allows. He uses regular bikes to work on his strength and coordination. It’s 3 years post injury for him now, and since he can’t ride how he used to, he helps others hone their skills, not going out and proving he can take an ebike somewhere into some situation he knows his body wouldn’t allow, he understands the dangers of if he fell again and listens to his body.

That’s how to overcome an injury or hurdle, with a sound mind and the strength to keep pushing. Not using a motor to push you.
  • 2 0
 @blowmyfuse: oh....sorry, my apologies....I just know the old movie and in that one the Red Hot Chili Peppers are knocking down Keanu.
  • 2 0
 @5afety3rd: i see more douchebags on regular bikes than e bikes. like this thread.
  • 2 0
 @blowmyfuse: cool man. no point arguing with you bro. you dont want to buy an e bike, you dont have to. leave the rest of the civilized world to make their own decisions. thanks bye!
  • 2 1
 @Mic173: he's projecting - he fancies himself as some trail authoritarian out to patrol all the trails of the world just like jesus did in the fictional bible. "dont take my wave, bruh, you ruined my flow, bruh, i want to punch someone now due to my anger and lack of ability to reason with other humans."
  • 2 1
 Just saying... you have to have a license for scooters, cars, besides fishing/hunting, all kinds of things, yet nothing about ebikes? Open to everyone able-bodied delicate natural areas yadayadayada, there should be education, responsibility, and perhaps licensing.
  • 2 1
 @cuban-b: Being a blasphemous arrogant boor isn't helping your case of trying to take the "high ground" and stating the other side is projecting.
  • 2 0
 @mtbikeaddict: how can i be blasphemous when god doesnt exist? lol. ok so if he's not projecting, then he's just being a genuine jackass. cool.
  • 2 2
 @5afety3rd: sooooo, what kind of ebike did you get?
  • 2 2
 @5afety3rd: Appreciate it.
  • 1 5
flag blowmyfuse (Jan 17, 2020 at 11:07) (Below Threshold)
 @cuban-b: @Mic173 was trying to talk about mentality on the trails as a rider being amicable in a similar manner as surfers.

My brain went to the scene in Point Break where poor Johnny was just trying to catch a wave and got beat up. It made me imagine a newbie rider running into heavy duty thug mountain riders similar to the guys on Point Break. Just some mountain biker minding his business enjoying the trails..then BOOM. Ethnicaly diverse thugs jump him and beat him up...but it inspires him man!!! He doesn't quit. Bum knee and all...he surfs. I mean rides. "
  • 1 2
 @cuban-b: you can see me? creep
  • 1 4
 @lifeofloon: so what type of assist does a parapelgic get and what part of the outdoors can they go to? You can't allow someone with a minor injury that limits pedaling ability like a bad heart or injured spine into the woods with an assist but say that a parapalegic can't go right?

What about someone missing use of both arms and one leg? What kind of assist to do they get? Or do they not get an assist onto the mountain bike trails? You're giving an assist to the guy with a spinal injury or a badly crushed leg right?

What about the quadrapelegic? You gonna tell them they can't go but the parapelegic and the others can? How are you gonna get them on the same trail?

You have to allow all of them? They all would need an assist right?
Answer that.
  • 2 0
 @5afety3rd: you take everything on internet literally? Mouth breather. LOL
  • 3 0
 @blowmyfuse: you lost me when you blamed all your fears on the “ethnically diverse.” Such a cogent argument.
  • 6 1
 @blowmyfuse: this quote of yours you used didnt seem like @privateer-wheels was attempting to make you bow down to anyone, it was about being open to something you may not have, at first glance, have thought of.

Most of your comments you're attacking, insulting and judging peoples point of views vs your own, doing the exact thing you're advocating not to do, but to them. You're the one seeming generally unliked here (based on tour comments down votes) maybe try to lighten up. And stop calling people out for having an opinion. I could definitely read less about you in this thread and have a better day.

--- insert next massive raging, I'm better than you, comment here... ---
I'm not going to care.
  • 1 2
 @ripper171: but when we say we don't care, it's caring.

Sort of like in an argument, the last one to speak loses...oh, wait....did I lose?
Wait...we were competing?
Crap...I.....
....just....
................keep...............................
............................................................typing?
  • 155 5
 'lets get more people into the sport', they said. 'it'll be great', they said.
  • 23 53
flag flipoffthemonkeys (Jan 13, 2020 at 5:10) (Below Threshold)
 more ebikes!
  • 37 5
 @flipoffthemonkeys: Ebikes are not allowed at KTA. It is not an issue in this subject.
  • 39 16
 people are not friendly these days, I remember when you couldn’t help but to stop and have a chat if you ran into another mountain biker on the trail, whereas nowadays you’re seen as a psychopath if you even acknowledge another mountain biker on the trail. It’s only going to get worse as the population continues to balloon well beyond earths carrying capacity and more people move into the middle class...oh well it will all end soon enough. ; (
  • 12 1
 @jfcarrier: Really? Because I saw a few of them last year...
  • 2 0
 @cool3: some other comment said that there want much in the way of patrols going on, and the passes to ride there weren’t being enforced...
  • 17 0
 @unrooted: ummmm, wut? I rode yesterday just outside Denver and talked to a few other riders and said howdy to at least a dozen that I passed. Everyone was pretty cool.
  • 21 0
 @texag: I guess California just sucks then.
  • 5 4
 @unrooted: The world population is projected to decline
  • 35 17
 @unrooted:

its the french Canadians
:shrugg:
Tap & die /3
  • 8 7
 @Ayyggss: Yeah right ...
  • 20 14
 @Ayyggss: ...im glad someone said it!
  • 13 2
 @unrooted: Coming from the midwest where everyone on a bike (road and mtb) said hello: Yes, CA sucks with politeness. Rarely does anyone say hello to me first, and very frequently other riders will neglect to say hello back to me. Pretty disappointing. We're all in this together.

(Granted, nobody says hello on the streets, either.)
  • 2 4
 I hope you are kidding.. although sometime I find that there is more and more stupid people here, I am grateful to see that they mostly stay home to comment stupid things in Facebook or Twitter.

That being said, it's sad to see what is happening at Kingdom Trails. Is this going to affect the economy for this small town during the summer?
  • 8 3
 @Mitchemous: yeah...in the year 2100, if we make it that long before one of the idiots we elect blows up the entire planet.
  • 10 1
 @unrooted: I kinda ride to get away from talking to people. I mean, I'll nod and give a wave, but it's not like when I'm jogging I stop and talk to other joggers either. And what exactly is this "middle class" people keep talking about? All I see is wage stagnation and increasing costs associated with most things needed or wanted in life.
  • 1 0
 @texag: we’re you just talking about where in Texas you were both from?

@woofer2609: middle class is thinking that $4kUS is an entry level bike.
  • 2 0
 @unrooted:
Come to Tennesse maybe
  • 2 0
 @LS3VER33: Tennessee is very nice, maybe after I retire. . . with a California Pension. . .
  • 1 1
 @Authimini: Whoops! Meant to UP vote, accidentally clicked down...
  • 8 0
 @iliveonnitro: what’s with all the CA hate? I’ve been riding in Nor Cal for 10 years and other bikers are always nice and easy to talk too. Sometimes they talk too much! Lol
  • 2 0
 @Mitchemous: The world population is projected to reach 10 billion by 2050. That would be an increase from now.
  • 2 0
 @texag: Green Mountain?
  • 2 0
 @COnovicerider: Yep! up the fire road and down Rooney valley (stopping for all the people climbing up ugh) then a small segment of box o rocks. Trails are in good shape.

@unrooted : We don't have to ask, I just assume anyone I meet in CO is from Texas. ;-)
  • 2 0
 @texag: nice, man. I used to live at the base of Green and rode it often. Not a bad place to ride that is very convenient. Enjoy!
  • 1 1
 @texag: Where were you riding just outside Denver that wasn't muddy and closed?

I find most people on trails to be friendly, but maybe that's because I'm courteous and friendly. There are always unfriendly people no matter where you are or what you're doing, but they're a minority.
  • 1 0
 @texag: Nevermind previous question.
  • 3 0
 Social media and declining sense of empathy/polarization as a much larger contributing factor than amount of people in the sport.
Also, acting as if you or anyone has control of "getting people into the sport" in a statistically significant way is foolish.
  • 1 0
 @cole-inman: I dunno about all this getting people into the sport being the problem, I’ve met plenty of a*sholes who have been riding much longer than me
  • 2 0
 @allredbikes: I said sucks with politeness. I love living in NorCal. The only time people really say hi or are polite is when we're at the top of some unsanctioned trails, dry heaving from having to climb up a small mountain. We're a small group of very like-minded riders, though.
  • 52 0
 This isn't purely about increased numbers of riders on the trails. and it's a bit cringeworthy to read that summary here. It's about the sense of entitlement that riders occasionally bring to the trails, and unfortunately it manifested itself in multiple interactions between some landowners who granted trail easement, some of which choose to ride horses, and mountain bikers giving them grief on their own private property. If we're going to bring that kind of audacity to the very people we should be thanking for allowing us to ride bikes on their land, then we shouldn't be surprised by this. Hopefully this is resolved sometime soon.
  • 1 1
 Well said. Nice pics, too.
  • 3 0
 @Phillyenduro: haha these are oldies! I wish they would have asked for some new ones! Wink
  • 5 23
flag nurseben (Jan 13, 2020 at 8:30) (Below Threshold)
 Umm, actually it is about the increase in the number of riders on the trail, this is the problem in most sports: we love our environment to death.
  • 10 1
 Always entertaining when some dude who has zero idea what he's talking about starts explaining things to someone who actually does.
  • 5 2
 @Phillyenduro: Good luck with regaining access, it's gonna take as much or more effort to regain land owner respect than it did to get their respect in the beginning.
  • 38 0
 There is a lot of misinformation in this thread, so I will try to clear a few things up:

1. It is important to note that KTA has not released ANY information about closures aside from land owners names. The map shown were was made by someone on the internet using State of Vermont Tax Maps. We do not know which trails will actually be closed.

2. The KTA has also not released specific info as to the justification the landowners gave (if any). There has been lots of speculation about it. People have guessed that it was poor interactions with trail users, too much traffic (on the trails and in the town) and the desire to potentially sell their land. While it is likely that it is a combination of these (and more factors) we still do not know the actual root cause.

3. KTA land owners do NOT receive any incentive for hosting trails. They may get tax breaks through the VT Current Use Program, which gives a property tax break to landowners with 25 acres or more that pledge to manage the land for timber, agriculture, and/or recreation. The KTA does not contribute financially to land owners.

4. It is unclear if the closures are temporary or permanent. Unfortunately, KTA has not provided further comment on the issues.

I hope that Pinkbike is able to contact someone at the KTA and get more of the story, but thus far it seems that we have all been left in the dark. It is understandable that the KTA wants to protect the privacy of the landowners, and it should be made clear that this is private land, and that the land owners are well within their rights to close and open it as they see fit. What should be happening, which is not, is PR outreach by the KTA to help riders understand what is happening. The black-hole of information has only lead to speculation and conjecture, and is hurtful to the community. The KTA needs to own the mistakes that have been made and help riders understand what they can do better to prevent further closures.
  • 2 0
 "People have guessed that it was poor interactions with trail users" This is true.

My father and I have been riding in Burke for the past decade. We always stay at one or two of the inns downtown, and have developed friendships with the inn owners as well as a handful of other locals.

We've been in direct contact with a few of these people and the story is the same: an equestrian was confronted on a trail, on her own land, by a mountain biker who told her she wasn't allowed to use the trail. Words ensued. A horses' ass was slapped.

Having seen how the average trail manners of Kingdom riders has slid in the past few years, I am sadly not surprised this happened.

It also breaks my heart, as the Kingdom has been such a wonderful experience for me and my family.
  • 37 1
 Respect to the landowners. They let us cover their properties with terrific singletrack and then let a bunch of hooligan strangers ride on their property, for 25 years. They're not mountain bikers themselves. They gave up enjoying their own beautiful land in peace, so that we could ride there, so that we would come and spend our money in their dying global-warming ski town. I'll miss Troll Stroll and Tap & Die and even Burrington's, but Kingdom and East Burke and NEK is still something special. Hell, I'd ride Black Bear and Moose Alley all summer if I could. Thanks to those three families for being so generous for so long, and thanks to all the others who let us continue to enjoy using their properties.
  • 32 0
 Our sport is growing, and as private land owners make these decisions from sea to sea, we will "lose" land and access, and it isn't going to stop.

Good stewardship is only part of it, and continuing education doesn't absolve a landowner from potential issues.

As a landowner myself, I completely understand the move here, and as a mountain biker, it hurts.
  • 9 0
 Yep, this is the problem I see with any growing outdoor sport. People get into it, but they don’t understand the venue the sport takes place in and what it takes to maintain said venue. Trails don’t just appear, there’s no garbage collection on the trail and land use isn’t always a right. You need to know the particulars of the land you’re riding on, figure out who’s in charge and if they need an extra set of hands on the dig day, figure out if building a jump will erase a decade of progress when it comes to access rights, and generally just respect the land and the other users. Growth in a sport’s popularity can be a blessing, but more often than not is turns out to be a curse.
  • 5 1
 I'm a landowner with purpose built trails, I bought my land with the idea that I wanted to have trails out my back yard, but I'm not going to advertise them to the public, nope.

I used to work as a city planner. Coming a from community planning background, I was totally into integrating community uses into planning, including trail access across private land. This was never really accepted by the community. Twenty years there has been significant movement on this front, BUT, I wouldn't be surprised if land owners change their mind; I was just visiting my ole stomping ground and the increase in rider use is significant.

If we were talking about walkers/hikers, I guarantee there would be no issues, but bikers are a different breed. Bikes go faster than any other use and they tend to be less gracious. It's an attitude that's pervasive and it's not going away anytime soon.

So, yeah, totally not surprising.
  • 5 0
 I have Moto trails that go around our 500 acre farm. They could easily make for amazing cross country trails that are in the middle of Florida, where any great riding is appreciated. I would never open it to the public because of the small population of shitheads that bring their entitlement wherever they go
  • 2 0
 Where I live there are no trails on private land, so be nice and enjoy the fact that there are any landowners who allow public access
  • 3 0
 @Mntneer: Especially in FL.....
  • 2 1
 I think everyone gets the whole private land ownership bit...what I find quite hilarious is Vermont isn't exactly lacking for undeveloped land, and despite it clearly being a HUGE stimulus for these sparsely populated areas, they are still scrambling to build trails on private land. Just look at what Ireland is doing...investing like $300M in MTB tourism by building trails all over the country. Vermont as a whole needs to get its act together and INVEST in MTB, and stop worrying about 'horse' people.
  • 1 0
 @SvenNorske: yeah people think a mtb is expensive lol
  • 26 6
 "We are beyond grateful to each of them for allowing Kingdom Trails access over the past 25 years and continuing to allow Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, jogging, and horseback riding."

Nice sarcastic side-thump!
  • 31 22
 Banning bikes and allowing horses is a weird decision. Hooves destroy hiking paths more than bikes, and people complain about dog owners not cleaning up their mess, but huge piles of horseshit in the middle of the road seems to be mainly ignored.
  • 14 0
 @Upduro: I totally get these land owners. the amount of traffic in the trail system would feel like a total invasion of privacy. there is easily 10x the amount of traffic from initial inception of the trail system. The benefit for the land owners is minimal.
  • 61 0
 The issue is not trail sustainability, it's about the attitudes and lack of personal responsibility brought by many of the cyclists recently.
  • 46 0
 @Upduro: word on the street is the owners have horses, and MTBers confronted the owners telling them to get off of the trail, pretty much a nail in the coffin for us.
  • 17 0
 @Upduro: These landowners own horses.
  • 9 0
 @Smokee9000: great band. Saw them on the Warped Tour in '05. Man I'm old! Rock on.
  • 9 0
 @Mohawkmatty: If true (not doubting you, just commenting), this is exactly the way to be met by closures, LEO involvement, and worse.
Respect goes both ways, and while bikers deserve spaces, disrespecting a tax-paying land owner on their own turf is kinda really STUPID.
  • 18 0
 @Upduro: The kicker was the landowners were the horseback riders. So when some allegedly ungrateful mtb rats told the owners that horses don't belong on mtb trails, that stirred the pot enough for them to revoke mtb access specifically. It's their land, after all. I am always considerate of the fact that anyone on the trails could be the potential land owner, for this exact reason.
  • 6 2
 @Mohawkmatty: sounds about right. there's always some "monster bro" who doesn't get it.
Also, none of the above (Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, jogging, and horseback riding) carry the speed or momentum that MTBs can.
  • 8 0
 @iduckett: You're exactly right. Where we live (and own land) we share a tract of land that abuts ours with our neighbors, and our horses mingle with theirs due to there being no fence and it being beneficial to do so. We have a written agreement, and there's no dispute because we both know what's going on.
Imagine me saying to the majority owner next door "Hey, get your horses off our land!" While ours roam in their space.
Respect with intelligence, bottom line.
  • 6 0
 @iduckett: Oh man, that's 100% on the bikers then. You can't expect to hassle others, the land owners nonetheless, and still be allowed to use the trails. Sucks for the rest of the riders there, but I understand their reasoning.
  • 13 1
 @OllyR: I tend to believe it's not the "Monster Bro's" that are the problem. They tend to welcome every opportunity to stop and take a breather. In my experience, it's more the lycra-clad, garmin-wearing, strava segment-chasing crowd who won't yield the trail under any circumstance because they are in "zone 4", and who are chasing Strava-glory. nothing else matters to this group.

I'm no saint myself, and I can (evidently) fall into the trappings of tribalism, but I try to be respectful and friendly most of the time. I think that is the attitude in most places, most of the time, but for whatever reason, Kingdom seems to attract people with me-first attitudes. I wonder if it isn't a little bit because people pay to have access, and therefore feel entitled to an expected experience? The mix of private landowners offering up their land for free and paying customers might not be the most sustainable mix? who knows... just speculating.
  • 6 0
 @slyfink: I was at KT for a day on Labour Day weekend last summer. The place was an absolute gong show, completely overrun. The overcrowding led to conflict, and the lack of etiquette did not appear limited to any single type of rider.

I agree with your statement on the paid trail pass potentially contributing to a sense of entitlement, combined with overcrowding that results in people fighting for the experience they want to have rather than cooperating.
  • 6 0
 @Upduro: It's actually a very wise decision by the land owners because it reduces the number of users by a factor of hundreds, while still allowing low impact use like hikers and runners. Not many hikers or runners would miss the bikers.
  • 18 1
 Sadly with a 50% increase in cyclists there becomes more road traffic, risk and litter for the land owners to worry about.
I doubt the Nordic skiers leave innertubes around trail heads and rubbish at the same time having various near misses with horse riders and walkers. I see it all the time in the local forest to where I live and it'll only be a matter of time before this happens which is a real shame as there will be no one to blame but the riders.
  • 17 1
 this is partially on the kingdom trails, I personally know some landowners (not the ones who pulled out) and they have been getting frustrated with the kingdom trails organization because while they got crushed by taxes, the kta refused to give any financial support to help them stay above water with taxes
  • 15 0
 Let me set the scene at KT every weekend from May to October. Turquoise Yetis as far as the eye can see. Patagonia trucker hats and puffer coats on everyone no matter the weather. Ironic hipster mustaches everywhere. It’s a marketers wet dream.
  • 14 0
 I serve on the board of a charity and have found that the number of people willing to offer advice on social media is 1000x the number of people who will show up and work. My advice for everyone: be the one who shows up and works. No excuses— We’re all busy.
  • 15 0
 If they are concerned with the amount of traffic there is now, just wait until the EWS comes to town in August.
  • 4 0
 Yeah, I think it will be worse than NEMBAfest....

I go up at least once a year (usually more), but not sure I'll be going this year. And I know a lot of people who are thinking the same way.

Feel bad for the people who have taken out loans to build all those new cabins!
  • 1 0
 @krka73: The most adamant anti-growth advocate is the last person to get his building permit approved. They knew what was there, probably even affected their decision to buy where they did.
  • 11 0
 "This will no doubt be a huge blow to cycling in the area but there are still plenty of trails to ride in the network and Kingdom Trails are being proactive in their response to the news."

Huge blow for sure, and it will definitely have the landowner's desired effect. None of the riders I know that make the trip on a regular basis are planning to return. KTA missed their opportunity to be proactive a long time ago. They have been all in on marketing and low effort on protecting the experience for years. In my trips over the last several years I've never seen any sort of trail patrol and while I would never ride without one, enforcement of trail passes and other rules is an open joke.
  • 7 2
 Trail patrol ain't gonna do shit...
  • 21 9
 The quebexicans continue to wreak havoc on New England... we need to build a wall! No... a giant berm that sends them towards BC instead!
  • 8 2
 Fuck that, we don't want more people visiting here, getting our trails closed.
  • 7 0
 You welcome to ride in Québec and we will happy to show you that we have good people. There some idiot but it's like anywhere else.
  • 2 0
 @Peat13: Thank you, planning on it. There's a growing sickness in this country, I'll leave it at that, but don't judge us all on it.
  • 9 0
 I went to KT last year, and as a very novice rider I loved that place so much. My favorite trail was tap and die… And honestly looking at the map, most of the greatest trails will be closed according to that map… Its really sad because it is such a good place to bike, the campgrounds were great too.
  • 11 2
 Couldn’t have been a “real” mountainbiker that insulted the landowner. All the “real” mountainbikers are down at the Tiki bar in their enduro gear knocking back micro brews and talking about their Sprinter vans. The insult must have come from a family with small children or an older retired couple. That appeared to me as the two distinct KT users groups. Sad.
  • 1 0
 Amazing how many "real" mountainbikers are down there midday too.
  • 9 0
 Side note: This is probably a minority opinion but I don't understand the hype and popularity of the Kingdom Trails. Great for beginners but boring for more advanced riders. There's distance and flow but there's almost no technicality or obstacles to challenge a rider.
  • 4 0
 Use the campground as a base, ride at Burke Mtn, Victory Hill or that new section just down the road (can’t remember the name)
  • 4 0
 @ahauck: Unfortunately Victory, which is by far the best riding in the entire area, is closed. I don't know the state of it right now but I've heard it is unlikely it will ever be open for legal riding/building ever again.
  • 6 0
 @ahauck: Moose Haven! which is also awesome.
  • 5 0
 @Dudeclimbsrocks: Victory Hill is actually very close to reopening in 2020......check out the website. victoryhillmtb.com
  • 5 0
 @0gravity I definitely hear you but one of the good parts about KT was to link all of the sections and areas up such that the challenge was one of endurance. There aren't a lot of places where you can go out and get 50-60 miles in on terrain like that -- without doubling back on yourself once. ANd now the ability to do that is pretty shot with the core of D Hill taken out.

If you want some spice -- start at the top of the toll road and hit Rude Awakening (named after Richie Rude) and Upper J-bar. If you do those first you can easily get a day with 50 miles and 7K vert with some decent features and tech at the start.

I'm sure you've seen:
www.tetongravity.com/video/bike/richie-rude-blows-up-a-brand-new-trail-for-red-bulls-raw-100
  • 9 0
 Sad... But, respect to the land owners choice. KTA will not be the same. I have no doubt that the trails will live on and hope the land owners decide to open their land once again to riders.
  • 15 1
 Why not throw the landowners a slice of the revenue? 137,000 visitors x 2 or 3 days each on avg. x $15/day, should provide a bit of money to each landowner, maybe based on the number of miles of trails crossing their property.

That way, each time a rider is a dick to them, they'll have something else to consider.
  • 3 9
flag mostlyharmless (Jan 13, 2020 at 5:35) (Below Threshold)
 @bishopsmike: I believe the landowners receive a portion of the revenue.
  • 12 0
 @mostlyharmless: I believe the reason that the land owners can "pool" their property into a large contiguous riding area is VT has a public access law for private land that prevents the land owners from being sued if someone is injured while recreating in open private property. If they accept monies then they will not be covered and open to legal liability. I live in the Northeast and ride KT about 4 or 5 times a year. Here are the issues I think: 1) Crowds, parking is not so good at busy times and there does not seem to be investment to fix this issue. 2) No/limited trail patrols, we pay for a day pass/or annual pass just like a ski mountain, why no bike patrols? Perhaps if some the jerks were banned this would not have been an issue? 3) As reported on this blog bikers being rude to horse owners who happened to be property owners, again, no patrol to intervene and ban?
  • 2 0
 @bishopsmike: once they start charging then it becomes a business with increased scrutiny and liability. This is the US after all and we are a sue happy nation. Maybe they already charge, but I didn't see that anywhere.
  • 6 0
 @bishopsmike: Vermont has a landowner liability law which protects them from legal claims if they allow recreation on their property for free. uvlt.org/docs/landconservation/VTLiability.pdf for a brief overview. While everyone assumes that KTA should just pay the landowners and that's the problem, this isn't the case. I would imagine purchasing your own property insurance to cover the activities wouldn't come close to the revenue split that KTA would be able to offer the landowner. That liability law is the main reason these trails can exist they way they have for 25+ years. Yes, I understand KTA started before this was law, but there may have been a couple hundred bikers per season riding defunct nordic ski trails in 1994. That pales in comparison to the 100,000+ visitors the area sees these days.
  • 1 0
 @NEKbiker: Gotcha, thanks for the explanation. Stupid system, but I guess it helps lawyers so...
  • 2 0
 @bishopsmike: may be a misunderstanding- but it's a great system lots of states have (recreational immunity). It's made literally 100s of thousands of acres accessible throughout the US over the last few decades. Many owners of large properties don't mind letting people use the property as long as they don't risk getting sued, and they certainly don't want to run their property as a MTB business. It's designed so that if you want to run your property as a business, then you need to follow the rules that a business owner would have. But if you just open your land up- you are literally immune from close to every cause. You can even put in ramps, stunts, playgrounds, etc. and even if you do a bad job and they're downright dangerous- your usually safe in most states.
  • 4 0
 @NEKbiker:
Yes but there has to be a legal vehicle for KT to provide some kind of liability coverage and also pay the land owners. The whole thing needs to be re thought out. I think they need to way upcharge from the current $15 per person, create an operating entity, pay leases to land owners for trails, and then cover the liability. If Highland Mountain Bike park can send a mouth-breathing downhiller for a free ride on a helicopter strapped to a backboard every week and continue to operate, KT can figure out some kind of liability protection structure. The whole KT needs a fundamental re-think, they need to scale up their operation to handle the 140K riders and also get a growth plan to spread people out over a 20-30 mile area. There does not seem like there was a growth plan there and they need people who have run larger entities providing leadership. They need to think like a real company and figure it out.
  • 8 0
 These owner at KT really should be get a tax break from VT. VT lets owner who use their property for logging, sugaring, and farming get a decent tax break, but somehow KT trail owners are left out. Give these owners a little incentive to continue to let these trails be ridden. A lot of these banded trails are some of the best trails at KT, that I doubt the horse riders are using all of them. Come up with a compromise that some trails are horse use only.
  • 8 1
 Another Facebook post mentioned the landowners in question were harassed by mountain bikers as they were riding horses on their land, which people deduced was the reason they only revoked access for bikers. It sucks but I'm willing to bet they will start building trails ALL around the red boxes shown on the map above. I can see them building bridge river crossings to the east of East Branch and Riverwood.
  • 1 15
flag chacou (Jan 13, 2020 at 5:47) (Below Threshold)
 Tit for tat, seems fairly petty
  • 5 0
 Who's "they/them" and why do you think the other 92 landowners are interested in more trails? This attitude is exactly what caused this...a misunderstanding of how/why the trails there came into existence and how they are sustained.

I am sure the other landowners are much more interested in how KT wants to amend/repair its operational attitude towards landowner inclusion/interaction than they are more trail.

If KT really wants to fix this, they should figure out how to finance buying Darling Hill.
  • 6 0
 @chacou: Not really. If I opened my garden for strangers to have BBQ's and I would be told to piss off by them when walking in my own garden, I'm not sure I would be tolerant of that behavior for very long... It sucks for mountainbikers, but I understand their decision.
  • 2 0
 @Mac1987: From what the locals are posting it seems like there's multiple altercations between bikers and the equestrians. My original comment was in thinking it was a single interaction, which would be very tit for tat. It sounds like this is much more of a failure of the trail management organization and the bike community in not teaching proper trail etiquette and educating users of that trail network on the politics surrounding it's land management. We deal with very similar issues on the front range, only instead of a benevolent land owner we're dealing with cumbersome public land managers.
  • 10 0
 I get it, but it sucks to lose these trails. Tap & Die is so good, and now it's gone.
  • 6 0
 Tap & Die is awesome...
  • 3 6
 Not for nothing, but tap and die is just a bike park trail you have to pedal up. If you like that then just go to the bike park a couple times a year and get your fill.
  • 1 3
 @smithcreek: sounds like you can’t handle climbing
  • 7 0
 Honestly, seeing how some people ride on my local trails, I would shut access down on my personal land as well. Off trail riding, littering, loud and rude behavior, lack of attention and consideration for others. I am shocked that it did not happen sooner.
  • 6 0
 This sucks.

I lived in CT for four years, but never had a chance to visit the Kingdom Trails. I hope that they find a way to resolve this so that everyone is happy.

Unfortunately, I think this is just going to become a bigger problem nationwide. Here in AZ it seems to be getting worse, even with local trail advocacy groups doing what they can. There are just too many users on the trails and altercations are going to occur. If it is true that those riders were yelling at private landowners on their own land...even if they were yelling at other trail users...that is unacceptable behavior.

How do we remedy this? People say that it is just about education, but we know better. Arseholes are going to be arseholes. They will not care about rules or trail etiquette.

I try to be the best trail user I can...I yield to hikers constantly, I say hello and engage them in friendly conversation. I stop, step aside and dismount for horseback riders and again, I engage them in friendly conversation. If a hiker/other trail user does yield to me, I slow to a crawl until I pass them (no one likes to be buzzed). And I sometimes ride...gasp...an eBike! But I just look at it as we are all out there trying to enjoy the trails. And I rarely have a bad encounter. In fact, I even had some equestrians point out a loop I wasn't aware of!

I fear that is all for naught...simply because other trail users can be dicks and it will erase it all. I just hope that the d-bags find another sport to ruin soon and move on from this one.
  • 6 0
 Well when bike manufacturers want to get more people into the sport and sell more bikes, but the mtb access amount stays the same, therein lies a conflict as well. More and more crowded trails leads to conflict.
  • 5 0
 My family owns a lot of land/timberland and my father has managed 400k acres of private timberland as a forester. They are also Cattlemen (and horse people) and work with historic cattle families that range on the timberland etc. So I know many of these people type, I also know the nutty Equine people...who are an entirely different PITA. This sounds like the Cattleman type. While these are my people, they are also uber stuck in their ways and have little patience for people messing about on their land. It seems like an absolute miracle that they even allowed these trails to be built in the first place. My experience is that they have ZERO interest in the MTB crowd and seeing the "Greater Good" the revenue can bring to a less than ideal economic environment (my own family is like this, despite their grandchildren shredding everything in site on the farm). They just want it to be the same and enjoy their land they are comfortable on...I'm guessing as the MTB community became more of a nuisance (traffic/parking is guaranteed a big deal), that there were some good-ol boy meetings and shut it down due to some bad apples and the traffic stuff. A few bad apples so you shut a critical part of the whole thing down? These towns need something to survive...otherwise its like my hometown...its just the old people living out their life (change free!) with little to no new families or kids. The town dies literally. MTBing is no joke for a small economy running on fumes and a lot of towns out West are finally figuring this out...seems insanely selfish to the real locals living there to just shut it down. They could have done a temporary shutdown as a hand-slap/wake-up call or other measures of limited enforcement to send a message. Seems like they took a hammer to something that needed a scalpel. It is America tho...and private land, but even that concept is crappy to a degree. Just another reason to #KeepItPublic. I don't ride well enough to be an UberShredBro, but that attitude does exist and could certainly go away a bit.
  • 5 0
 I'm riding KTA from early 2000. This is the most perfect weekend destination with an awesome network. Landowners and KTA staff will meet and find a solution to maintain 25 years of manduty alive. We should all stay positive in this issue. Cheers guys and see you there this summer!
  • 5 0
 I live in Vermont and fortunately we have many other trails systems to ride. This will only continue with polite, open minded riders who are willing to share the land with hikers, equestrians , and ebikers. We all need to get along and be respectful of each other including property owners. Be sure to say thanks to owners and trail builders.
  • 4 0
 Very true. Also true is the fact KT can't do shit about the actions of the tens of thousands that come through during NEBMAfest and other events. I've been going to KT a few times a year for a while now and those events have exploded. No one can control whatever those thousands of people do. ...in reply to smokee9000
  • 2 0
 I think overall people are saying that they want NEMBAfest to go to a different location for a while and give KT a chance to get their stuff together. I think they need to walk back at least 30% of the overall visitors while they figure it out.
  • 4 0
 135,000 Bikers per year.
Everyone in the local economy is making big $$ off of Mountain bikers and the tourism dollars and nobody thinks to give some financial incentive to the generous land owners? WITHOUT THEM THERE IS NO MONEY

I love mountain bikes, I wouldn't want 135k mountain bikers on my land even if every last one of them was polite and respectful.
Why not lease the land? Give them what they want to keep the trail system intact.
Has nothing to do with multi use trail user conflict and everything to do with mismanagement.
Money makes the world go round.
PAY UP
[Reply]
  • 2 0
 landowners cant make money or else they are liable for the people and their safety.
  • 4 0
 I try to be the most helpful and polite mountain biker I can be, I stop for horses, I give the right of way to hikers and always chat them up. I make sure they have water, ask if they need directions etc. However I’ve also been in situations where the speed I’m traveling is not congruent with the hikers and horse folks I come across. For example I scared the living shit out of some hikers last year and no amount of apologies is ever going to make it better. I wasn't being a dick but I was going as fast as my skills would allow me to go. The trail was wide and in my defense I’ve never encountered hikers there before. They were walking up and talking and I dropped off small ledge (blind to them) pinned. They screamed and scattered, hiking poles went flying. Thankfully no hips were broken! I was never in any danger of hitting them but they simply didn’t expect someone to be traveling at 30mph. My point is we may be reaching the time where we can no longer realistically share every trail. There’s more bikes, the bikes are more capable and all of the riders are more skilled.
  • 3 0
 Losing the 3T's (Troll stroll, Tap & Die, Tody's Tour) is a major hit to the network. Those were some of the best trails in the entire network!

Its definitely unfortunate but understandable decision by the landowners with this type of increase in usage. Admittedly, I do not know much about what kind of coverage they receive for liability, but with this type of usage increase, its understandable they would start to get a bit spooked!

I hope a solution can be found!
  • 4 7
 If you like those trails just go hit up a bike park a couple times a year and get your fill.
  • 2 0
 @smithcreek:

not arguing that there were not other options! I love the park in burke, its fantastic.

However, the option to get a bit of a fast DH trail in while out on an XC ride was pretty great!
  • 15 13
 IMO, KT has done a very poor job handling this situation. They have offered no specifics as to why the landowners chose to leave, which stokes the gossip/rumor fires. It APPEARS, that KT, hasn't done enough to mitigate specific issues with arguably their most important landowner(s) in terms of trail popularity. Yet KT only sites increased traffic as a general issue.
  • 34 1
 To be honest though, as a private landowner you have literally ZERO obligation to state your reasons why.
  • 3 0
 @Dudeclimbsrocks: Agreed 100%. Donated land, period. The landowners can do exactly as they please. My point is that there's a strong possibility that certain incidents led up to this situation and that KT is may have not done enough to mitigate behaviour that the landowners were having issues with.
  • 3 0
 @Dudeclimbsrocks: True, but if three landowners do the same thing at the same time you can bet that the reasons are not private, not a secret and should be easy to discover for the local trail association.
  • 6 2
 @Dudeclimbsrocks: True, these landowners can do whatever they want. But their decision will have a fairly serious financial impact on everyone in the town, so hopefully they shared those reasons. They're not just painting their door a new colour here.
  • 9 15
flag WAKIdesigns (Jan 13, 2020 at 6:09) (Below Threshold)
 @Dudeclimbsrocks: it doesn’t work like that. Nobody really owns anything. No I am not some hippie, each private land owner does himself a disservice if he/she just leaves it out to everyone to what the hell they want with it, but they also do themselves a disservice if they tell people to stay the fk away. Good stewardship involves good communication. Just think for a moment, how many times did you talk to a teacher and he/she told you no for no. How did you respect that? You actually show strength and highly possibly act in your own interest by saying: no but instead I can offer X you in return for Y from your side. If someone wants something from you it is always an opportunity to get something from them. In this way a Private land owner can say: I give this and that area, but since is worth a lot to you, there will be conditions, you’ll maintain it, help maintain other trails, and help me with this and that free of charge. This is how you use your power.

Here obviously, someone doesn’t like cyclists or at least cares least about them out of all other user groups. A food for thought how to make yourself more valuable.
  • 2 0
 I think some folks are misreading what the landowners did. I don't think they're singling out riders because they just "don't like cyclists." KT may be nominally multi-user, but it's different. 99.9% of KT users are MTB. So, in practice, "no bikes, yes horses and hikers" lowers the volume of users to a tiny fraction of what it was, while preserving access to the trails on their land for other locals to hike and ride horses.
  • 2 0
 According to their 2018 financials, KTA sees over $1M in membership fees alone. Or at least they did in 2018…..Couldn’t they have tasked somebody in the office to purchase a couple of fruit baskets and a bottle of wine to smooth things over with the equestrian land owners whose saddles are in a twist? Smile

But seriously, KTA needs to move away from the reliance on private land owners and build out trails that will handle the impact and volume of traffic. As others have said, if the land owners want to shut it down, it's well within their rights and they don't have to explain it to anyone.

I don't fancy myself as a tinfoil hat guy, but I'd be surprised if this doesn't get sorted out before the next riding season kicks off........with a financial incentive afforded to the landowners.
  • 3 0
 @50trails: "Move away from reliance on private land owners." No offense intended, but the only reason KTA exists is BECAUSE of private landowners. They all banded together years ago to create the foundation for what KTA now is. How much land out there do you think is actually available to be purchased in 2020? Very simply, KTA cannot purchase land that is not for sale, and if there is land for sale it's unlikely that $1M a year is sustainable for an organization to own that much land. But again, if nobody's sellin' KTA ain't buyin'.
  • 5 0
 @Dudeclimbsrocks: No offense taken Dude, I'm a big boy and you don't have to handle me with kid gloves. I can get along with everyone's opinions just fine. While I may not agree with them, I respect and try to understand them.

Allow me to expand on my earlier post. During my time, I have seen recreation areas sprout up for all kinds of wheeled and non-wheeled endeavors. They thrive for finite time, only die off for many a reason.

"It's too loud, too noisy, too rowdy, too crowed, too much, too soon, too this, too that, too whatever......"

Everyone has gone into developing these areas with the best intentions, but times change and people change their perspective as the days go by.

I 100% get that it was through the generosity of the private land owners that KTA existed. This I never questioned. But one could argue that the owners giveth so they can also taketh away......So I question is how sustainable is this model moving into the future given the failed examples I have seen?

People get old. They get tired. They don't want to deal with traffic. Their kids inherit, take over and don't want to deal with it because they live out of state. The bank takes over and wants to sell for a profit. Someone convinces them to cash out and sell their land. One owner sells and then another. Times and minds change. Others say that profit is being made off their generosity and why aren't they cashing in? Some people move to a quaint little town and feel the gate should be locked behind them......And more often than not, these thoughts and feelings are reinforced or accelerated by external factors. Such as someone standing on your lawn cursing you out while your were out for a summer's stroll.

And who can blame them? I'm sure some of the owners didn't expect the volume of people they'd see when access to their land was granted. Although I have never been, I'm surprised it has taken this long given what I've read about the area and many of the trails proximity to people's personal-space or dwellings paired to the number of events and the overall marketing push the area sees. It's a formula for unintended consequences.

So where or what's the tipping point when other owners follow suit? 6 months from now? A year or more? Or maybe it's never? Which we all hope is the case.

I'm sure the good folks of the KTA have a 5 year plan, or at least I hope they do....So to address your point of, "KTA can't be buying if ain't nobody selling", I never said they should try to buy the landowners out or pressure them into it. That is unrealistic and unfeasible.

So with that, MY 5-year plan would be to solider along the network as it currently stands with the hope of making peace with the land owners if possible. Do this through increasing patrols, pulling passes for bad behavior, investing in signage, rerouting trails as necessary, limiting the number of riders during peak times or in total, exclude bikes from certain days, etc, etc. Any efforts or planning needs to be done with the input of the owners with regular visits with them to monitor progress. The answers are out there and some seem so obvious to me, I can't imagine KTA not doing them already. I'm just unsure to what degree and how they are being executed. I say this because from the bit of research that I have done, many posters who are local or frequent visitors to the area say there is definite room for improvement. And having ridden in numerous states, totaling well into double digits, I can tell you where most land managers fall short is execution. On just about anything.

With all that jazz in place, I'd be proactively looking for an area to start a build out of KTA2. Maybe that place is 50 miles out of town. Maybe it's a 100 miles. Or maybe it is flowing new resources in to existing areas that have more upside potential and less restrictions. Either way, It may mean getting off the beaten path and away from the conveniences of the city. But if you settle into an area that is purpose built, has a footprint that can accommodate swells in visitation, you should have room to grow and hopefully you can control of how the land gets utilized. Personally, I think this breeds more long term success.

Mind you, all of this is a hypothesis from an outsider's perspective, but I don't think that any of it is pie-in-the-sky stuff by any means because I've seen the formula work elsewhere. And finally, congrats if you made it this far..... Smile
  • 6 2
 www.outsideonline.com/2407740/mountain-biker-behavior-trail-access

Great article on OUTSIDE MAGAZINE. Goes into much more detail.
  • 6 0
 There goes the NEMBAFest demo loop.
  • 4 0
 Not a single smug Scottish person?! Usually there's at least one by now, can only assume everyone's still getting going again after the New Year
  • 2 0
 Sadly I don't think we have any entitlement to be smug right now considering the same sh*t that's happening around Inners just now! (not on the trails but rudeness and arrogance towards property owners in the village).
  • 3 0
 @ljs78: dickheads are one of life's great universals unfortunately
  • 4 1
 Laser cats, bring in the laser cats! Where are the bike manufacturers with big money supports.....nothing but crickets, crickets, crickets.....they should do more to advocate trail access since they created these monster!
  • 1 0
 Uh what?
  • 1 0
 Same goes for the snowmobile ind. They don’t kick down squat for Nat’l forest use of the machines they sell and it’s a shame. Other special int groups get madd funding for wilderness groups and that in turn get motorized places closed down or restricted even more all the time.
  • 2 0
 This is a tragedy!!! But I can sincerely understand the private landowners concerns, if indeed there have been a bunch of a-holes mucking about. Which, I'm proud to write is atypical of the MTB community. It's one of the great lessons of history, those who can't police themselves must be policed. Maybe there needs to be a better system in place to weed out and reprimand the few groups of dip shits that want to ruin it for the rest of us?
  • 2 0
 Shame. However, try out Richmond VT. Cochran's is amazing, the new network just down the road is amazing, Perry Hill where you get off 89 is amazing, and you got Stowe only 15 min away with Cady. I always found Kingdom to be kind of XC centric. Too much up&down without much sustained payoff. Town's kind small, and yea, crowded. Richmond/Waterbury/Stowe is hard to beat in riding and infrastructure. And closer for those coming from the south!
  • 6 0
 I’ve heard that the trails in that area aren’t worth checking out. They’re narrow, in the woods, there’s bugs and ticks, and chipmunks that’ll scare you off the trail! There’s even an occasional other rider. Zero stars. Do not recommend.
  • 2 1
 @NEKbiker: Ha! You trying to keep it secret I see!
  • 2 0
 Mt Peg trails down in Woodstock are coming along nicely too. A lot smaller than KT, but very well maintained and enjoyable. Haven't been to Ascutney for a couple years, but my take was it was also good and in need of some expansion.
  • 5 4
 The only place in the Prescott national forest that I have seen ebikes is on the trails that they are banned from. That's why trail access is being limited, because of aholes that can't take the time to read a sign. Half of the riders out there don't know basic trail etiquette, and really don't care. I've had way too many close calls by riders who won't yield to uphill traffic.
  • 3 1
 Really sad I didn't tick this off my bucket list before it disappeared. RIP Kingdom Trails. From what I understand, there are still trails but it isn't a top tier mtb vacation destination anymore.
  • 2 0
 Not sure where you get that idea from. Sure some of the best trails are closed but if you look at the map there are still tons of others. I’m bummed about it too but I’ll still go up there at least once next year as I think it will still be well worth it.
  • 1 0
 Ask yourself what percentage of the trail system has to disappear or be disconnected before people should start rethinking their vacation options. For me it is a 12 to 14 hour drive.Yeah there are still trails but other places start to look more appealing now that it isn't a massive playground of interconnected trails.
  • 1 0
 When I was a kid a local off-road area was privately owned. The owner allowed people to ride there for years and years until he got tired of people SUING him. Yes, people being people look to blame others for their dumb mistakes, and when some crashed and hurt themselves, they'd go looking to get paid.
I can't imagine what insurance cost these landowners in Vermont with 100,000++ mtb riders using their land on a yearly basis
  • 1 0
 Zero from what I understand. Liability doesn't work that way in VT.
  • 1 0
 Human nature seems to stand still, unlike technology and evolution. There was at least one incident in San Diego county on our most well-known trail, the Noble Canyon trail, which has existed for a long time before the advent of mtb's in the 80's.

Typical scenario: a full face wearing, fully armored rider comes up non a group hike or a couple of horses and screams at them for being on "our" trail.

Now, I'm not sure if that kinda vibe makes for similar situations in Kingdom Trails or not, but it's just one of those things about human nature that does not change over time.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I've encountered "localism" in surfing and other activities wherever I've gone in the U.S. ( I don't get around much.)
  • 1 0
 I didn't go to KT this past year. I just didn't have a weekend that worked out. That being said, it has become a shit show on some weekends and NEMBA Fest. Hopefully there can be some reconsideration. There is some good news in New England with lots of trail building all over. I'm definitely looking forward to trying some new stuff this year. Just remember that we are all ambassadors out there.
  • 1 0
 Mountain bikers need to study hunters. Tons of rude idiots that hunt but the are always the "bad apples" in everyone's eyes. Tons of idiots that mountain bikes too but with our sport they represent everyone. I mean ideally people wouldn't be dicks but short of that happening (sadly probably never) more needs to be done to show the bad apples don't represent the whole group.
  • 1 0
 I have never been to KT and I am sad that I cannot experience the entire system as it once was. I am positive the new system they are trying to implement will be amazing too. It is too bad that bikers couldn't learn to share the space. I had no idea that these were shared trails. If I had ever run into a horse I hope I would be warned with signage. I am sure regardless I would be spooked but would never ever lose my cool. I don't see the point. I would be more apologetic if anything. Maybe they will open up the system again in time with a better understanding on the bikers side.
  • 1 0
 I'm a local trail builder and have had to close down trails due to rider riding in extreme wet cond and laying waste to the trails as well , even after being continually asked to respect trails and cond. and don't even get me started on the social media reporting and straving of secret trails. wish riders would wise up.
  • 1 0
 Where I am, it seems that the "Club" (who is not for profit, yes, not for profit. Did they mention to you that they are not for profit, I mean, a not for profit makes the trails......)

Well, seems that their primary function is to disillusion every other person who may possibly use the trails. Horses, walkers, runners, and god forbid...the end of the planet "eBikers" (who I would infer that are all sex offenders and criminally insane by the behavior of some of the local club, oh, not for profit club board members).

If my region is akin to others. It does not at all shock me that land use is being cut off.
  • 4 0
 I would like to thank anyone who has worked hard to promote our sport.
  • 2 2
 So sad! The denied land splits the trail network on its north-south axis from river to river leaving only public road to connect + it takes away the most popular trails. It looks like a calculated way of hurting as much as possible the mountain biking. The number of people biking to KTA will "huck to flat".
  • 5 1
 Buy more value bikes and then spend rest of money on land and land access
  • 1 0
 Sure. You first.
  • 1 0
 Great, you took out the best trails in the North East. And the trails being closed are the ones every ones want to ride. No more troll stroll or tap & die. No point of even going to kingdom anymore.
  • 3 0
 Imagine a beautiful Saturday afternoon in June - Could this landowner guy safety go for a ride on his horse.......?
  • 5 5
 Seriously, mountain bikers, you all need to reassess your needs and priorities:

If mountain biking is your thing, you either need to move somewhere that has better access or show more willingness to travel to ride.

Don't expect IMBA, government, or private land owners to provide access in areas where private land ownership is the rule, it just won't be sustainable in the long run.

Move West!
  • 2 0
 Too many of our riding brothers are a bit on the arrogant & ignorant side of respect for others and they’re property! Age helps this attitude problem
  • 1 1
 If you see other riders behave like this don't just let it slide. Confront them and make it clear we as a community do not accept this behavior. Personally, If i witnessed this I would have followed them into the woods and at first stop, punch to the face. period. wanna spoil shit for others, get some.
  • 1 1
 NOW we're talking'!
  • 2 2
 But, what if they don't speak your language, or only pretend to not know the language in order to continue their Strava segment?
  • 3 1
 Meanwhile Vermont is trying to get people to move there and are willing to pay people up to $10k to move there and work remotely... This doesnt help it look enticing to me...
  • 1 1
 I've got back into this sport 3 years ago after a long time out, trails and bike tech make it pretty new to me. I've been pleasantly surprised at the amount of generosity and friendliness encountered in the community, to this day I haven't met a douchebag. They exist (obviously) the guys I ride with tell me so, but I haven't met them. Where I ride in MA, I encounter horseback riders, all except one (she's notorious) have been gracious. When I can, I dismount and let them pass. I was, however, riding in Vermont 2 years ago, came bombing down hillside singletrack, turned a corner on that singletrack and nearly crashed into 3 horses, one bucked nearly kicking me in the head and almost throwing it's rider... I did yell at them (I was shocked and incredulous that they were on the trail!). I didn't slow down but I did tell them they were on a racecourse and they're were a sh*t load of riders coming behind me! I still feel guilty about that lack of grace under pressure but I also blame the VT50 organizers for not marking trails on race day and letting the community know the course and what to avoid. I've never done KT and was planning to, sad that a select few have to eff it up. What's heartening is my own experience with the riders I meet and reading these comments. From what I've read, KT association should be reinvesting into the community to alleviate the added stress put on a small community... I'm kinda shocked that hasn't happened, it seems like common sense.
  • 1 1
 I dont here anyone mentioning the true loser and victim in this situation. Our Mother Earth. Its a scientific fact that a properly shralped tire sends shivers of ecsatcy straight to her core and is true medicine and desperately needed at this precarious time. In fact, the entire history and trajectory of progress was aiming for this holy union of off road bikes and earthen trails but it seems some of the technology got a little hijacked by unhealthy pursuits and now threatens our glory so now, more than ever, for the good of the planet and all things wholesome and good, please, go forth and shred
  • 1 1
 I dont hear anyone mentioning the real victim here, Our Mother Earth. It is a scientific fact that a properly shralped tire sends shivers of ecstacy straight to our planets core, this is true medicine and is desperately needed at this precarious time, you see , the entire history and trajectory of all progress has been aiming for this holy union of Earthen Trails and Off Road Bikes, but it seems that some of the technology got a little hijacked a long the way for unhealthy pursuits and now threatens our birthright and glory. So now, more than ever, for the good of all that is good....please: Go Forth And Shred
  • 1 0
 As soon as your "Mother Earth" appologizes for creating the Grand Canyon with water, mountains with techtonics and air pollution with volcanoes I will worry about my tire tracks.
  • 2 0
 @RoadStain: dude, she likes it, she really really likes it. the tires feel good
  • 3 1
 All this means is that everyone from out of state is going to go ride the Stowe area and ruin the trails there.
  • 3 0
 Time to buy stock in VBN!
  • 3 0
 LOL South Park | They Took Our Trails
  • 1 1
 This doesn't affect me at all since I don't live there but after reading the article and scrolling through all the comments I feel the need to write this................ Thanks
  • 3 1
 Oof. the only good trails at KT are gone now
  • 1 1
 yep. no point of even riding there anymore. All that's left is basic trails you can find anywhere.
  • 1 3
 Liability. That’s what these families thought about.
  • 2 0
 Kitchel and Sidewinder beg to differ, but yea, this is a huge hit
  • 1 0
 Does anyone know what, if any benefit landowners receive for allowing the public to use their land is? Tax breaks?
  • 5 0
 No tax break. Really no incentive to let the public use their land.
  • 2 0
 @jbutland: wow. I’m surprised there is none. I really don’t blame them then. I think just a small percentage of residents make money from MTBers. The rest are just inconvenienced. The chaos on Main Street alone is pretty overwhelming.
  • 3 0
 @jbutland: Well, the "incentive" is they went from having a dying town to having a growing town. That makes it more desirable, which in turn makes their property more valuable. Creates jobs, all that...

However, it's not without strings attached. And they just cut their strings.
  • 2 0
 @EdSpin: not only that, the property tax rates in Vermont are very high.
  • 3 1
 @krka73: Your right on this. I don't know the numbers but it's gotta bring a ton of support to the local economy in that area that doesn't have much else going on, other than Burke Mountain. Again, throw these land owners a bone and with at a tax break. BAN Canada as well!!
  • 2 0
 As stated it appears that there is no direct benefit the land owner, Ie, reduced taxes, added services etc. The other issue is that with all the activity and business that KT has brought to the area there has been no visible infrastructure improvements. No new parking areas which could minimize traffic impact to the property owners, no new bike lanes on the Darling hill climbs, which would help with traffic and safety and finally no policing of the trails by stewards. It was commented on that Trail Stewards would not be effective because of the size of the trail network, I disagree, my observation is that less than 10% of the trails have meaningful levels of traffic other than festival times. Trail stewards could easily have monitored the three T's, Sidewinder and the corresponding trails in between. How many times have you ridden KT, non Darling Hill and non Nemba Fest and seen more than a handful of riders out there with you?
  • 2 0
 @healthcare1: only been once, 3 years ago maybe? Saw multiple bikes on almost every trail. Was not a special weekend.
  • 1 0
 @jbutland: haha that’ll solve it!!!
  • 2 1
 @EdSpin. According to some studies done in UP Michigan, mtb’ers typically spend the least on accommodations, dining, and shopping at local businesses.
This isn’t the only place private owners are playing this game, it is happening at Copper Harbor Trails as well.
My assumption is that this is a play for money, and I don’t blame them. I’m both areas the owners were kind enough to allow access, and when groups start profiting and the landowners don’t see just reciprocity, they should do this. The rudeness to horseback owners is possible for the abruptness, but mtb’ers need to pay to play.
  • 2 0
 @deadtime:

"According to some studies done in UP Michigan, mtb’ers typically spend the least on accommodations, dining, and shopping at local businesses."

Interesting. Where might we find a link to these case studies, etc? I'd genuinely like to read them.
  • 4 0
 @jbutland: Excusez-moi, you mean ban Quebec ...

Laughed out loud when reading one of the Trails Rules --> Group size under 10 riders

This is specifically for the endless lycra/racer XCers from that province. WTF !

Never understood why they ride like that strength in numbers ?
  • 2 0
 Sense and courtesy ain't as common as they used to be.
  • 2 3
 A quick look at Zillow shows that land does not seem too expensive in the area. Wonder if they can just buy the homeowners out.
  • 8 0
 Depends on where you live... The median household income for that part of Vermont is less than 48k/year. Now imagine real estate blowing up over the past few years due to second and third homeowners thinking prices were reasonable. Where can the locals now afford to live? Every resort town faces this issue because the tourism industry pays squat to it's employees. "Job creation" is a farce when everyone makes minimum wage and can't afford to own their own bit of land, let alone purchase someone else's. These properties have been in those families a long long time, they won't be sold any time soon.
  • 2 3
 @NEKbiker: yeah, but most riders likely do not live there and are commuting in. Seems reasonable to be able to get enough donations to buy them out for way over market price and transfer ownership to the KT association, or perhaps a rider might just be interested in buying the property for themselves. Then the current owners can use the proceeds to buy more acreage for their horses at market price somewhere else.
  • 12 1
 @dthomp325: "buy the homeowners out" ??? what kind of entitlement is this? the homeowners own and live on the land, sometimes for many many years. theyve been nice enough to grant access for years, now people are talking about "buying them out" wtf are you on mate? put yourself in the land owners shoes for a second and think about how ridiculous you
  • 3 4
 @laxguy: I know several horse people and acreage is everything to them. They maybe amenable to getting an above market price for their property so they can buy more acreage elsewhere. Not saying it's a sure thing or that owners will be willing to sell, but seems like an obvious avenue to try. Landswaps and buy-outs to protect park land happen all the time in the US.
  • 2 0
 In my area the community has been doing just that (buying strategicly located private lands). The strategy has 3 parts.
A nonprofit organization in my area called the Land Trust of the Treasure Valley, The City of Boise, and federal land management like the blm and forest service.

The land trust uses private donations to buy or lease property or obtain easements in strategic place to make corridors for trails. The City of Boise buys land under the parks department and they coordinate with the land trust. They'll sometimes make deals with developers to make sure access remains. Then they all work with the feds so that they can put trails through the access corridors right into and through public land.

There's now something like 200 miles of trail in the system and that connects or is a short hop to probably a hundred more. I just throw that out there because I'm kind of proud that my local community has figured out a more sustainable solution that may work for others. I know that the public open space has been a big factor in the areas growth (so maybe a downside too).
  • 2 1
 @ICKYBOD: yeah, land buyouts and swaps for trail and park access happen all over the US, not sure why I'm getting downvoted for suggesting it be tried in this scenario. Reality is the person who owns the property can do whatever they want with it and if we want mtb access we need to start putting our money up and buying land. MTB scene is now large enough and wealthy enough to buy land on larger scales than in the past, and price per-acre in Burke seems reasonable enough that this avenue should be explored. Even on the individual level, I'm sure there's at least one MTBer out there that might be enticed by having a big house with big acreage and riding out their back door for the same price as a moderate sized condo in Whistler. Plus, there was speculation elsewhere that at least one of the landowners may have made this decision precisely because they want to sell.
  • 1 0
 @dthomp325: youre getting downvoted because you sound like an entitled prick. this is someones land in a extreme rural part of a tiny state, things just don't work like that in VT. look up some history in the area and you'll see its much more complicated than you might think
  • 1 0
 @laxguy: People buy and sell land there just like anywhere else in the US. There are a bunch of active listings of acreage in the area right now on Zillow, including properties that are part of KTA or with access to KTA trails. No harm in making an offer, worst that can happen is you're told no.
  • 1 0
 @laxguy: money talks everywhere regardless of history.
  • 1 0
 @dthomp325: come to VT then and see just what your money does... i promise you its not the same Smile
  • 4 3
 It's Marin County all over again!!!
  • 1 0
 Sounds like a good time for the landowners to open a bike park.
  • 3 1
 strava
  • 1 1
 Makes you realise how lucky we are living in a country with decent land access..
  • 3 2
 no social media keeps trails open.
  • 1 0
 Exhibit A: Friday Fails.
  • 1 0
 sh*t ! the 3 Ts !!!
  • 9 8
 I blame Strava.
  • 2 1
 I agree, but we're strongly outnumbered.
  • 1 0
 Here is a very similar story, involving hikers and horseback riders, mountain bikers, and Strava: www.tetongravity.com/story/gear-tech/strava-speeds-help-mountain-bikers-get-banned-from-california-park.
The speeds of the mountain bikers recorded on Strava was used by the County as justification to ban mountain bikers from the area.
  • 2 2
 Strava has taken the fun out of biking Frown
  • 7 10
 On the bright side, maybe this will mean less business for the Wildflower Inn and Juniper's restaurant, whose owners stopped hosting any weddings so that they wouldn't have to host same-sex weddings.
  • 3 4
 Rumor has it the land owners were riding their 26" bikes and someone on a 29er decided to be a dick about it.
  • 1 1
 and again......more evidence that mountain bikers are punters....... CM!
  • 3 5
 Don't Vote for Sanders!!! I'm not a fan of Trumpet either but no Sanders!
  • 2 4
 Sounds about Merican
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