Autumn Riding in New England - Photo Epic

Nov 8, 2017
by Yeti Cycles  













In northern New England when the days grow shorter and the air begins to cool, nature reveals one of its awe-inspiring spectacles. The leaves of the deciduous forests transform from summer green to a kaleidoscope of colors. Maple, beech, birch, oak, gum, and willow, paint the hillsides their unique color ranges as far as the eye can see. The moment is fleeting as the leaves accumulate covering up the trails and signal the inevitable arrival of winter. It's that combination of sheer beauty mixed with the desire to get the goods before it's gone that motivates people to flock to the more rural corners of the Northeast in autumn. With the cold of winter all but staring you in the face, it’s time to find a place for one last ride.

The journey began in northern Vermont just a stone's throw from the Canadian border. A region covered in mountains and thick forest, unspoiled from human inhabitants. It's possible that more people live one city block than the entire 1.3 million acres of the Northeast Kingdom, and that is the way many Vermonters like it. The area is home to numerous adventure opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts including fantastic fishing, hiking, world-class craft beer, and of course mountain biking. The best way to experience this decidedly rural region is to get off the interstate and ramble.













Eastern Harvest
Time to gather together for dinner as the sun sets in Charlotte

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As a mountain biker, It's all about The Kingdom Trails in East Burke. A small ski town where more than 60 private landowners have come together with the Kingdom Trails Association to develop a network of singletrack that has become legendary across the country. From the outside looking in, you'd never expect to find such variety of words-class trails nestled into the quaint and quiet hillside dotted with farms that break up the vast expanse of forest. From the fast and flying trails to the old-school tech, there is something for everyone here. It's the kind of place where time seems to slow down a bit. One that takes you back a few generations to a time when life was a bit more straightforward, and a whole lot less hectic. After a day of shredding in the hills, you could wander back into town and pick yourself up a set of antlers, a bearskin rug, or pair of antique wooden snowshoes. Or partake in the modern amenities and sample an assortment of the local craft beers on tap, grab a burger at one of the farm-to-table food trucks, and chat about the days ride with the some of the few dozen fellow riders and friends you've yet to meet.












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About an hour drive east from The Kingdom Trails though picturesque Crawford Notch, and below the infamous summit of Mount Washington, lies the small town of North Conway. A burgeoning mountain bike scene has grown here in the heart of the White Mountains. No stranger to recreation and traditional tourism, already well known as a world-class rock climbing and hiking region, but mountain biking has seeming flown under the radar here. It's surely not for lack of trails and enthusiastic riders, as there are some of the best gems in the region tucked away in the hills surrounding the town. The locals have focused on quality trail building and advocacy more than publicity. Through this humble approach, the lore has spread slowly by word of mouth. It's a difficult place to ride without some insider knowledge, but if you spend the time to explore the area, you just might be rewarded handsomely. It is a place of endless unspoiled scenery. With layers of mountains as a backdrop and foliage that seems to wrap around the hillsides and go on forever.












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Just off the doorstep of Lake Champlain is rapidly expanding Richmond Trails Association. The trail system is a collaboration between outdoor enthusiasts, a public ski area, and the town. It grew out of an underground scene that started on Cochran's ski hill, as a family of ski racers and mountain bikers began to share a love of carving turns. The network has expanded tenfold in what seems like the blink of an eye.












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Cochran's ski hill is not only a mountain famous for the Olympic skiers from which it gets its namesake, but also for being the source of one of Vermont's other famous exports - maple syrup. Throughout the fall, riders wind their way up and down the hills below a canopy of colorful leaves and a spiderweb of pale blue sap lines. With it taking nearly ten gallons of sap to yield just one quart of sweet golden syrup, you can bet those lines are flowing just as fast as the wheels below. Adjacent to the ski hill in all directions of the nearby woods, you will find some of the region’s grade A dirt served fresh. The good stuff. The stuff that you can feel roosting you in your shins and calves as you carve through a turn while offering up just the right amount of traction. With new lines popping up all the time, and near-constant trail work, you can ride here a few times in a single week and see little tweaks and refinements going on at all times.












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With the canopy of colors gone and the trails buried under cover of leaves, it signaled our time to go. But as seasons change and snow covers these woods in the coming months, skiers will share in the same thrill of carving turns.



Presented by: Yeti Cycles
Eastern Harvest
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Words and Photos: Dave Trumpore
Riders: Nate Hills, Jay Memmelaar, Adam Morse, Alisha Darin, Brooks Curran
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More Than Myth







Must Read This Week

93 Comments

  • + 62
 bangers! such great riding out here in the northeast!
  • + 45
 Best set of photos I came across on pinkbike yet! Never had so many wallpapers from a single post...
  • + 11
 @jzPV: PODs for yearz
  • + 7
 @jzPV: Those Berms!!!!!
  • + 31
 Great article - thanks for writing it! Your photos are awesome! I'm the mom of the trail builder of some of those Richmond trails - any chance you could get in touch with me and I could buy one or two of those photos from you as a present to him? Let me know how I can reach you. Thanks!
Betsy Cabrera
  • + 6
 Betsy, we met Andrew and Dana out there while we were shooting! My name is Adam and I live in Burlington, talk to Callie or Jim to get my contact info.
  • + 2
 Let them know AC/DC is a fantastic trail!
  • + 2
 Ran into them on Skullys a while back, nice guys and great work!
  • + 15
 Nice job everybody! I'm glad to see you enjoyed in North Conway. More trails are in the works!
  • + 11
 Terrific shots. I'm conflicted, though, on Kingdom Trails. Tons of flow and scenic, but almost zero technicality. You could comfortably ride almost everything on a hardtail or a even a fully rigid. Kingdom is raking in the money from trail-use day passes; I hope they use some of that money to build some more technically challenging trails
  • + 5
 I'd echo that. I rode it for the first time this summer, and I was a bit disappointed on tech, although still very fun on flow. Their black diamonds or doubles in most cases are definitely rated 1 higher than they should be. More rock, more wet roots, more gnar! BTW these photos are excellent, and bring back some nostalgic feelings of Vermont, especially in the fall.
  • + 17
 "Tons of flow and scenic, but almost zero technicality." Kinda of the point of the place and the main reason it is so popular...
Friends and family return every year cause the attitude isn't gnar.
  • + 5
 @cartoon: Variety is the spice of life.
  • + 8
 If you want tech, go to Victory Hill! only 20 minutes from KT, way more fun IMHO. The coil shock on that pic above at KT is waaay overkill, lmao.
  • + 15
 We counted kingdom Trails as Darling Hill (mellow and flowy), Victory Hill (a bit of everything), and Burke Mtn (more rowdy)... Feeling that that whole are is what is more broadly referred to as the Kingdom Trails these days.
  • + 11
 Go ride KTA's Dead Moose Alley, J-Bar or similar trails. These are some of the most technical routes in VT. KTA wins because they have something for everyone.
  • + 11
 Just ride faster.
  • - 6
flag papaonessa16 (Nov 8, 2017 at 8:37) (Below Threshold)
 Agreed. I was very unimpressed!
  • + 10
 apparently you haven't ridden burke mt? DH trail, Freeride, Jbar? Oh, your talking technical XC? well then just go to about any trail system in new england and you can have at it... people go to KT to ride buff XC... people go to burke mt to ride technical "mountain" bike trails...
  • + 4
 Sounds like the next time I go I have a few different loops to try. Regardless, KTA is an amazing story of trails being incorporated in a very private property dense area. Growing up in Vermont, we didn't have that and just dug our own trails. The trails were still awesome, just was hoping for a bit more granite rock style terrain.
  • + 10
 All of you need to just keep exploring there. 120+ miles of trails there, did you ride all of it? The upper mountain has very challenging terrain that might even host an Enduro World Series race one of these days and victory hill is the perfect blend of the super techy upper mountain stuff and the darling hill cruiser stuff. Everyone just stop bitching and ride your effing bikes!
  • + 1
 That's what makes it awesome. There's probably nowhere else in New England you can find miles and miles of flow like that. If you're looking for tech then Kingdom is definitely not it, but I always have a lot of fun riding there.
  • + 3
 @tmcp1127: Try the stuff on Burke Mtn... Plenty on steep tech trails up there.
  • + 2
 Victory is covered under the KT pass, so it's fair to lump them in together. Victory is tough enough for everyone. Plus, if you get hurt there, it ain't gonna be easy to get out. The scene itself is reason enough to visit.
  • + 3
 I don't think it's bitchy to let people know what the trails are like. I love Kingdom Trails but if you are coming from far, there may be other places you'd enjoy more. That's not an attack.
  • + 6
 @Adamrideshisbike: It's not exactly accurate information though. It is a network of over 120+ miles of trails, and the above assessments of it being easy and boring are being offered without riding the trails on Victory Hill or Burke Mtn. Yes the trails on Darling hill are more flow and fun at the expense of being overly tech, but there is plenty of rowdy stuff in the other parts of the network. Only two photos in this story are from the Darling Hill area, the rest comes from Burke Mtn or Victory Hill.

For Example... www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLqwtuAebeU
  • + 1
 @manchvegas: we're talking about the upper section, which is incredibly rowdy. You're thinking of the lift access bike park, which is almost as far from rowdy as you can get.
  • + 1
 Check out Ascutney
  • + 1
 I was just gonna post the same thing. Plenty of tech at Victory Hill, and it’s not that far from Kingdom Trails.@fuledya:
  • + 2
 @drs140t: I haven't gone to VH yet myself, was going to on my last KT visit but couldn't get my friends to head over there. Finally got one buddy to hit Ascutney with me and we loved it..plus it's an hour less to drive, no jumps or stunts though. VH looks awesome after seeing the race post on Pink bike..place I need to hit. WE have a few great places here in CT as well..
  • + 2
 @mbiker35: I second that for CT having plenty of options. It’s making me lazy to visit new places with so many options 30 mins each direction.
  • + 2
 @nyhc00: I grew up in CT so know what you mean. And also have the same "problem" in VT with too many good memories laces close by that it's hard to travel and explore elsewhere.
  • + 1
 You guys killed it!
Wish I could have made it to hang a little while you were in town thanks for the amazing photos @davetrumpore:
  • + 2
 @jtayabji: So glad Victory is being enjoyed. Our private trail system is NOT at all covered by a KT Trail Pass. We're a private company that has invested tons of effort and money into trailbuilding. The trails were free of charge in 2017. We are very grateful for all those who made gifts to our donation box in 2017 and participated in our fundraising events like the CircumBurke and Victory Hill Enduro. See you in 2018.
  • + 1
 @victoryhillmtb: I've heard great things about your trail system over there, look forward to hitting it up next season.
Where is your donation box at, I have no problem helping out the cause.. I do when I hit Ascutney also..
  • + 2
 @cartoon: I get plenty of Gnar at home, but we all love KT for what it brings. The people, trails, leg burning long rides and of coarse camping and drinking...
  • + 1
 @manchvegas: Yes to all of that...
  • + 1
 @thebigheezy: As I'm reading this thread I'm asking myself why anyone wants to bitch about throwing a leg over their seat and riding ((((ANYWHERE))). I like even bouncing my bike around in my own driveway...
  • + 1
 So thankful for what you have built over at Victory Hill, I absolutely love riding there - 4 days a week! @victoryhillmtb:
  • + 5
 I had no idea you could ride Cathedral ledge? Although I've snuck up there on my sled in the winter...I've heard great things about the trails in North Conway. Couple that with the DH at Attitash-sounds like a great weekend trip.
  • + 7
 Amazing shots of riding during fall in the eastern US. Plus good plug in for Yeti Bikes.
  • + 3
 Fantastic photos! New England really does look like my part of old England but so much bigger! We went to Killington for a Ski trip when i was younger and had a brilliant time, I'd love to go back with the bike.
  • + 2
 Just gonna leave this here...

www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhqIV1IwoSk
  • + 5
 One does not truly experience Cochran's until they get dropped chasing Jimmy up a climb...
  • + 5
 Whoa, there are other places with granite slab riding than Squamish.. That's totally our thing.
  • + 6
 New Hampshire is the granite state! And Vermont has its fair share of slab. The beast coast has plenty of things for Bernard Kerr to stoppie down.
  • + 1
 whoops double post
  • + 3
 Gotta admit... The people of Yeti seem to genuinely understand the spirit of mountain biking. Some of the promotional material put out by other companies has me wondering if they even ride bikes at those companies.
  • + 4
 It's a good time to be alive and riding a yeti here in the EAST!!! #TEAMGRANITEMTB
  • + 2
 Awesome pics, folks. Best time of year to ride, for sure. That pic with the granite slab drop-off made me pucker - just a bit.
  • + 1
 Amazing, beautiful. Top notch work. A pure joy to watch, I felt like I'm almost there. And those Yeti bikes... possibly the only company who went overseas that remained unique.
  • + 4
 Biking, Photography, and Fall foliage, at its finest!
  • + 4
 I like these stories, less words and stuff
  • + 3
 We have a great scene going on in the North East and great trails thanks to those with the passion to build them..
  • + 2
 I love living in the Northeast. So underrated, yet the riding is some of the best anywhere. Great photos, think I'm going to go ride now.
  • + 1
 Im curious though, there was never a bike trail from the top of cathedral ledge in North conway did they make one or were you guys just playing on the granite up there?
  • + 1
 I live in Park City, Utah originally from North Conway...you just made me want to move back. Beautiful place, not crowded, not dry as hell, i'm over utah
  • + 2
 As a Vermonter living out in Washington, this has me missing my native land fiercely.
  • + 1
 Being from ‘old England’ I can see why it’s called ‘New England’ beautiful Autumn ( not fall ) colours and stunning photos!
  • + 1
 TBH, I saw a post for an East Coast & Yeti...I came looking for another video of Richie tearing up Mountain Creek...

Pretty pics, tho.
  • + 2
 Incredible photos, here I am living in Bend and I'm missing the east coast and all it's great tech riding
  • + 4
 #Beastcoast.
  • + 1
 The one and only thing about New England that I miss is New England (and fearing for my head dropping under maple lines) Great pictures.
  • + 2
 Good lord Nate that cliff is massive. Don't die please.
  • + 2
 This photographer knows whatsup. Great work.
  • + 2
 I need to get out of California.
  • + 2
 North Conway looks awesome, in search of a guide
  • + 2
 Yes! VT state of mind is perfect!
  • + 2
 Holy hell @davetrumpore , such good shots!
  • + 1
 SO COOL that they went to check out my farm! Haven't been up there in a while, but Jericho Settlers Farm is the place to be!
  • + 1
 mmmmmmm Home! i miss it ????????
  • + 1
 Nothing to see at Victory. NOPE Wink
  • + 1
 I wonder if Boston Lot will ever make it on pinkbike
  • + 1
 Great stuff! Already looking forward to next year!
  • + 1
 There are enough POYs here for a few decades, great stuff!!
  • + 1
 Wow! Seems like "epic" does not even begin to cover it
  • + 1
 Nice job Dave. Great photos!
  • + 1
 I love articles like this
  • + 1
 That jump into the water looks cold. Great post.
  • + 1
 Beast coast for life baby!
  • + 1
 Man what a beautiful country... you guys are so blessed!
  • + 1
 Awesome photos of a beautiful area. Nice!!!
  • + 1
 UNREAL. need to hit that area with my yeti ASAP
  • + 1
 Looks like NE.
  • + 1
 Hell YEAH!!
  • + 1
 A Photo EPIC indeed!!!
  • + 1
 heaven on earth!
  • + 0
 Nice, but all those pro athletes must be thirsty without backpacks?
  • + 1
 Sweet pics.
  • + 1
 FAVE ALL THE PICS
  • + 1
 F**cking beautiful!
  • + 1
 I'll have a rum and coke

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