Vermont's 5 Most Popular Trail Networks According to Trailforks Data

Oct 19, 2021
by Brice Shirbach  
What the Green Mountain State lacks in square mileage, it more than makes up for in its sheer volume of mountain bike trails. Famous for its rural and rustic beauty, as well as its embrace of outdoor recreation, Vermont is home to some of the best riding and riders anywhere in the United States. Though it missed out on being a part of the 13 original colonies (it was the 14th state admitted in 1791), it may very well be at the top of the heap in terms of best states for mountain biking. The state is loaded with trail organizations and advocacy groups, as well as a number of other 501(c)3 associations focused on trail development and access.

We wanted to see which networks in the Green Mountain State were the most popular, and so we headed to our sister site Trailforks to get the intel. Trailforks is a trail management system for riders, builders and associations and it aims to provide the very best tools to inventory, maintain, promote and showcase trail networks. By using the Trailforks ridelog feature, we were able to take a look at which trail networks across the state are the most ridden. While this is an accurate representation based on user input, this is not a list of favorites or "best trails" per se. It is a direct reflection of Trailforks usage, and if you want to ensure that your own riding has an impact on lists like this, you can do so by connecting your Strava account to TF, or by simply using the tracking feature in the Trailforks app itself. This information can make for some spirited conversation, but more importantly can be leveraged by trail associations in their advocacy efforts.



Kingdom Trails is an enormously popular trail network located in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. There are over 100 miles of off non-motorized recreational trail, the overwhelming majority of which are built on private land. The trails are well known for their flowy and playful nature, and are built and managed by the Kingdom Trail Association (KTA), a 501(c)3 charitable organization, which was established in 1994 by a group of visionary residents and business leaders in the area. Their goal is to encourage recreational use of the Northeast Kingdom that is ecologically sensitive and promotes the natural beauty of the region. Burke Bike Park is adjacent to the Kingdom Trails, and while a lift pass is required to use the lifts, there is some connectivity at various points between the Kingdom Trails and the bike park trails as well.

Kingdom Trails mountain biking trails

NEMBA Fest 2016




Cady Hill is located in the heart of the venerable mountain community of Stowe. There are close to 15 miles of trail, with a vertical drop of just under 400 feet from top to bottom. Cady Hill Forest has a variety of single track trails, most of which are permitted for mountain biking, and well-used for that purpose. The area is heavily forested with two vantage points having great mountain views, and furnished with special green chairs. The trails are on 320 acres owned by the Town of Stowe, with a conservation easement held by Stowe Land Trust providing perpetual public, outdoor recreational use of the property; protecting biological diversity, important wildlife habitat and natural communities; and providing opportunities for timber management and harvesting of timber and non-timber resources. The Stowe Trails Partnership is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, managing and maintaining over 35 miles of trails on public and private land throughout Stowe.

Cady Hill Forest mountain biking trails

Photos from Local Flavors Stowe VT




Killington Bike Park is located along the spine of the Green Mountains in the town of Killington. It's built off of the state's second highest peak, and is the largest lift-served bike park in all of New England. Featuring three high-speed lifts serving well over 30 miles of trails, Killington Bike Park has terrain suitable for everyone. There are three unique mountain areas make up our gravity-fueled bike park-
Snowshed: Home of our beginner terrain with plenty of intermediate trails to keep you busy once you get the hang of it.
Ramshead: Home of our signature freestyle trails and intermediate and advanced terrain for bikers who've graduated from Snowshed.
Killington Peak: We've been offering classic New England trails featuring plenty of rock and roots for over 25 years off Killington Peak.

Killington Bike Park mountain biking trails

Photos from Let Em Eat story in Killington Vermont.




Mount Ascutney stands high above its surroundings in Brownsville, VT and is home to 45 miles of mostly XC-oriented trails located at its base. Starting in August of 2006, members of Sport Trails of the Ascutney Basin, now the Ascutney Trails Association, began building trails more amenable to mountain biking, trail running and back-country skiing. The trails are open to the public with an extensive signing system and maps sold at Brownsville Butcher & Pantry, Holiday Inn Club Vacations at Ascutney Mountain Resort, and local bike shops. Since its formation in 1967, ATA has been stewards of the summit-bound hiking trails along with the state park personnel. In its new incarnation, Ascutney Trails Association manages trails for mountain biking, hiking, trail running, and backcountry skiing on the mountain and the surrounding towns. This includes keeping the upper slopes of the former Ascutney ski area open for backcountry skiing, stewarding many, many miles of private MTB trail networks and starting in 2021 building non-motorized multi-use trails in the Weathersfield Town Forest, accessible from the Swoops & Loops Trailhead.

Ascutney Trails mountain biking trails





Pine Hill Park offers 16 miles of single-track trail spread over 325 acres of terrain offering some of the very best mountain biking, trail running, hiking, walking, snowshoeing, and geocaching in the central Vermont region. Pine Hill Park is attached to the Redfield and Carriage Trails for a total of 26 miles of riding. Pine Hill Park is owned by the City of Rutland, Vermont and is stewarded by the Pine Hill Partnership, a non-profit volunteer organization formed to manage the trails for the enjoyment of all who love the outdoors. Trail construction and maintenance is conducted by volunteers who have donated tens of thousands of strenuous man-hours. All of the dirt digging, shoveling, bridge building, and signage has been entirely donated by volunteers coordinated through the Pine Hill Partnership.

Pine Hill Park mountain biking trails

East Bound Down Killington Vermont


Posted In:
Travel Trailforks



80 Comments

  • 35 4
 And then there is Cochran's in Richmond VT, arguably better than Kingdom and definitely better civilization nearby. Yea, I'm longtime friends with the creator, but seriously, it's absolutely in the top 5.

Killy is fun, but I'm not sure a DH only park really should be in this list. Just down the road is the Green Mountain Trails network which also should be in the top 5.

Cady is fun but very small. Good for a late afternoon ride when you get into town.

Ascutney is legit. And just next door is the new/old enduro stuff at Arrowhead in Claremont.

Kingdom, meh, especially after the loss of all that terrain. Middle of nowhere and really far from anywhere. Like I said, Cochran's and the neighboring trails rivals it, closer to everywhere, and real civilization.
  • 4 0
 Totally agree about Killington and KT. Used to make an annual weekend trip to KT, and after the last one in 2019, I was pretty much all set due to the large crowds (pre-covid, of course) and some of the trails just being really rutted up. Then they lost all that land and it made the decision to check out some other parts of VT easy.

Was up in the Killington area a couple weeks ago and rode GMT on Friday, Killington Saturday and Ascutney on the way home Sunday. All were great!
  • 27 1
 Shhh noo it bad, cochrans is bad, wouldn't recommend riding there ever.
  • 11 2
 And yet no one has mentioned Millstone. Oh wait, never mind. Don't go there. Barre be scary.
  • 2 0
 When we go to kingdom, we exclusively ride Burke & Moose Haven. Makes for some much more exciting riding. The stuff in the valley is pretty “meh” once you’ve done it
  • 7 0
 In case you missed it on your way to the comments section...

"By using the Trailforks ridelog feature, we were able to take a look at which trail networks across the state are the most ridden. While this is an accurate representation based on user input, this is not a list of favorites or "best trails" per se."
  • 5 0
 @thebigheezy: This is the comments section, the common sense section. Give us numbskulls a break and let the armchairs rock.
  • 12 0
 @rclugnut: LOL! Nah, nothing in VT actually gets crowded. Even on holiday weekends. So many places to ride along the 91 and 89 corridors that it all filters. Now, you want to know crowded? Try Demo in Santa Cruz on a weekend. Holy crap, it’s like the L train at rush hour. I’ve never experienced anything close in VT in over three decades of riding. Heck, couple weekends ago I was in North Conway NH and once you got off the hiking trail to the actual MTB stuff, there was barely a soul. New England really is MTB heaven.
  • 2 0
 @scott-townes: I thought a bunch of it has been closed for repairs for a while? Rode it last year and was fun.
  • 1 0
 @thebigheezy: Yep, totally missed it. But I think I am in good company?
  • 5 0
 Ascutney.... it's so beautiful, but it's like they built the trails to be about as xc-ish as possible. Your planned descent route will hereby get interrupted every 5 seconds by a climb.
  • 1 0
 @Phazz470: I think it's because they only have access to terrain up to a certain elevation so to make trails longer they have to traverse vs. going just up or down. Would be so rad if they could get trails off the top.
  • 4 0
 Wait until next year when the border opens and ebikes are allowed. KT is going to be an absolute disaster. But everyone should ride there instead of blowing up all the other great spots in VT.
  • 1 0
 @bigwheels87: Ahh, I didn't know that. Still worthwhile to go for a beautiful chill ride, but definitely not an enduro type location. Oh well.
  • 3 0
 @Chuckolicious: Try Kingdom Trails on a Canadian holiday (when the border is open). Otherwise I'd totally agree. Super quiet everywhere!
  • 1 0
 @rclugnut: split my coch there once, terrible place to ride..
  • 1 0
 @bonkmasterflex: Ha! Just another reason to forgo it and go to Richmond/Stowe area instead. Or NoCo.
  • 1 0
 @Chuckolicious: I hadn't ridden there in years so I'm not sure. Its so much fun there not to mention some sick quarries along the way to cliff jump.
  • 18 0
 @Chuckolicious: Handy translations from the Vermonter:
"Traffic was terrible" -> I got stuck behind three vigilantes going the actual speed limit on rt 12 and couldn't pass them
"That spot's totally blown up" -> I went for a ride there and saw another person
"The entire human population was at Killington this weekend" -> (in the summer) I had to wait in line for 30 seconds before I got on the lift
"The entire human population was at Killington this weekend" -> (in the winter) No, literally the entire human population was at Killington this weekend, it was miserable
  • 2 0
 @ryetoast: HAHAHAHA! Or, the entire human population was at Stowe this weekend (in the winter) (and only the f*cking old triple was running because "weather").
  • 3 0
 KT can be awesome, you just need to ride off of Burke, Moose Haven, and the Moose Alley section the riding is really good. You just have to avoid Darling Hill. Totally agree on Cochran's, and I'd throw Bolton in the mix as well.
  • 1 0
 @Chuckolicious: for better or worse a six-pack is coming for that...
  • 1 0
 @stoweshred: Ha! But still have to hike to the top of the quad it seems?
  • 32 3
 The fact that Perry Hill isn't on this list confuses me.
  • 4 1
 Rasta man is also confused
  • 10 0
 Bro feel free to let everyone continue to be confused about this
  • 2 0
 In case you missed it on your way to the comments section...

"By using the Trailforks ridelog feature, we were able to take a look at which trail networks across the state are the most ridden. While this is an accurate representation based on user input, this is not a list of favorites or "best trails" per se."
  • 2 0
 @thebigheezy: I did yes, however my point still stands. I wonder how recent this data is? I feel like KT has gotten drastically less traffic in the last few years since the closed down the center of the trail system and french Canadians can't come south and get their XC on. Meanwhile I've been to Perry Hill three times this year and in the middle of a Thursday the parking lot was full.
  • 1 0
 Perry Hill is mint
  • 1 0
 @Boondocker390: Kingdom & Ascutney probably tick up in total volume from being taken as a whole network compared to Cady or Perry which I would call part of networks...
  • 23 4
 Best trails in the state!!! Amazing!!! The other stuff sucks so stay away!!! Gnarly stuff!!!
  • 4 0
 this guy knows! don’t look any further than these 5 recommendations — they’re just so good!
  • 4 0
 Agreed! Don't go anywhere else Wink
  • 24 10
 @Brianpark @jamessmurthwaite
Three nearly identical articles, but I only see one in the Pinkbike feed. Location limited/based articles to track more localized engagement? How's about 3 nearly identical comments asking for some of that sweet promised transparency?

Vermont:
www.pinkbike.com/news/vermonts-5-most-popular-trail-networks.html

Arizona:
www.pinkbike.com/u/briceshirbach/blog/arizonas-top-5-trails.html

Oregon:
www.pinkbike.com/news/oregons-5-most-popular-trail-networks.html
  • 4 0
 Interesting find. 2021 sure is interesting times for content on the Internet. Also, a nice advertorial for Trailforks.
  • 1 0
 @aaronjb: you can see Kazimer's reply on the Arizona article, but cross-referencing your own platforms is hardly ads, just one of the things you do because not doing so would either be cocky or ignorant.
  • 2 3
 This wasn't even an "article". It seems like the words were slapped together using a template and the info straight off of trailforks.

This is incredibly low-effort b.s. not worthy of the PB front page. Even for a trailforks advert this is sad.
  • 3 0
 We've geo-targeted the articles so we don't overwhelm people's feeds, but we're putting together a round up of all the articles linking to all of them in one place which will be live shortly!
  • 3 0
 These stories are geofenced to where they're the most relevant. We've done that for years with lots of regional stories so everyone's homepage doesn't get overwhelmed with local race reports and that kind of thing. I don't remember if there's a button for this but if anyone wants to see every single story just use this: www.pinkbike.com/?local=all

Trailforks and Pinkbike are sister sites (like it says in the intro), we're not pretending to be unbiased in using TF data to pull information these stories.

We got pulled into other stuff yesterday but today we'll pull all ~5 of the articles into a single article for the global homepage.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: Thanks for the link and info! I'll try to remember the "/s" next time I'm commenting while sarcastic, I fear I may have been more of a thorn than intended
  • 1 0
 @pockets-the-coyote: how many accounts do you have anyway? Wink
  • 1 0
 @briceshirbach: Just the one, ha, got lucky(?) following the not Robin account when they happened to post on the Arizona article and wondered if there were more, as I dream of traveling
  • 2 0
 @pockets-the-coyote: haha gotcha. Something I should have mentioned as well: this is how you can organize the list in case you want to see which trail networks are the most visited for any given state -
1. Go to Trailforks and enter the state you're interested in
2. Click on the 'areas' tab. (you can also toggle this by specific trail instead...just click the 'trail' tab)
3. Scroll down to the sort dropdown menu and choose "ridden counter"
4. Hit the order dropdown menu next and choose "descending"
5. Every trail region/network will be organized from most ridden to least
  • 1 0
 @briceshirbach: Excellent! I'm probably not the only one that has tried to gauge use by looking when the most recent report or picture was submitted, looks like there are a ton of different sorting options available in addition to ridden. thanks!
  • 11 0
 As a lifelong Vermonter, I've never been to most of these because they're 'probably packed' and/or 'too far away'. We might not have the longest or loamiest trails on the planet, but seems like every podunk town has something worth riding within riding distance.
  • 14 1
 Hey, fellow VT peeps don’t say shit, just let people think these are the best places to ride. We know they aren’t and it’s because we know what they don’t know.
  • 2 3
 Non-Vermonter here, the good shit is not that hard to find, just so you know Smile
  • 2 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: dude you r so sick
  • 1 0
 If you know, you know, don't you know? You know?
  • 11 1
 Locals know the real list!
  • 4 0
 Yep, ranking our trails by Trailforks usage is a perfect way to capture where the tourists go, and judging by this "Top 5" I'd say that's just about right. You don't need Trailforks when you know the trails you're riding, or when they're not on Trailforks...
  • 7 1
 KT has definitely lost some of its luster since they lost that large swath of land right in the middle of the Darling Hill trails because some douche nozzle had to be a jerkoff to one of the landowners. Thanks asshat!
  • 4 0
 I have my cherished spots I'll never talk about here AND I do appreciate and enjoy all of the above. Maybe not as much on a holiday weekend but oh well. So lucky to have the variety of options from my door to no more than 2 hours away. Mountain biking in VT is second to none and I'm glad to share it with anyone stoked to ride. Most of it anyway.
  • 10 2
 loose lips sink ships.
  • 5 0
 Yup, these are all the secret spots the flatlanders haven't found in Vermont
  • 8 0
 Open the borders !!
  • 5 0
 We miss you! Except possibly on Canadian Thanksgiving weekend...
  • 6 1
 YO! ALL YA'LL NEED TO SHUT THE ABSOLUTE F**K UP...

All the trails in Vermont are absolute garbage, or so I've heard...
  • 1 1
 Bentonville is better!
  • 1 1
 @reborn10speeder: So not... B'ville is a weird town with a weird vibe with seriously over-produced trails.
  • 2 0
 @khdmtb: no no no no no, Bentonville is ABSOLUTELY better and everyone should go there instead
  • 3 1
 It's all cows and corn fields and communists. Sure there is mountain biking but you first have to participate in a community potluck and say three mean things about a cop before you are allowed on the trail. Probably best to take your mountain bike "out west"
  • 4 0
 Nice Article, As Mountaincross said -there is much more. You did not Mention----Oh wait, Nevermind JC
  • 5 0
 Mongo sad. Support VMBA.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, not many of those are really in my top 5 spots in VT. But then again I guess it makes sense as it shows the usage of what the average rider is riding. Those of us that live and ride locally tend to look for more expert style terrain. Kingdom still does take the cake for me though but only because of Burke mountain...
  • 3 0
 Slate valley trails in Poultney Vt has a great network and advocacy team
  • 4 1
 not sure how you can have a vt top 5 list without Perry hill.
  • 3 0
 loooove Vermont can't wait to go back when the border opens
  • 2 0
 one day im going to live and retire in vermont
  • 2 0
 Yep, thats it! Nothing better than those 5! Stick to those spots folks!!
  • 2 0
 No mention of Slate Valley Trails… is the author even from the NE?
  • 2 0
 And there's more...
  • 3 0
 Shhhh
  • 5 0
 Vermont sucks, tell your friends
  • 2 0
 @jlevandoski: Vermont absolutely BLOWS. Don't ever come here.
  • 3 0
 There could be, but with this handy Top 5 list, you know all you need to know!
  • 2 4
 Lmao this speaks for who the hell actually uses trail forks data. these are the middle age sad spots. Sounds about right for trail forks users
  • 1 1
 Get back to us when you grow up... I've been riding mountain bikes for almost 40 years. With your attitude, you'll be lucky to make it out of junior high school.
  • 1 3
 Pandemic Park MFer's

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