This legendary trail system offers over 100 miles of trails and is one of the most highly recommended areas for mountain biking in New England. Named Best Trail Network in North America by BIKE Magazine.
Kingdom Trails resides in East Burke, a small town nestled in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom and about an hour-and-a-half outside Burlington. Locals began this trail network in the 80s and in 1994 started the Kingdom Trails Association to maintain the land. This network of trails travels across the property lines of 55 private landowners, all of whom have given their permission for their land to be used as a trail system.
What Makes It Great
The trails are broken down into two areas, Darling Hill, which offers a variety of XC riding for all levels from twisty, tight singletrack to doubletrack and cart tracks, and Burke Mountain, which is for more intermediate and advanced riders looking for technical and steep downhill routes. The land that Kingdom Trails sits on was once a glacial lake that left behind sand without a lot of rock so riders will find smooth, fast and flowy trails. The sandy base also makes for good drainage keeping the trails dry when others in the area are wet. In reading about the trails it was often mentioned that the trail architects and builders wanted to give riders the feeling of skiing along the trails.
Riders will find more than 100 miles of trails with up to 1800 feet vertical. The trails are non-motorized and multipurpose but, the majority of people come to East Burke for the riding.
There are so many options here that riders can ride for a day or a weekend on different trails each day. With tens of miles of trails there is something for everyone from twisty, tight singletrack to bermed and smooth downhill, doubletrack rolling hill climbs or extremely steep and technical. And there are always new trails being built and continuous revamping and upkeep of the older ones, which keeps it fresh. These routes will leave riders of all levels wanting to come back for more.
The landscape of forested trails, pasture land and beautiful countryside create a picturesque setting not to mention amazing views of Willoughby Gap. The Gap is defined by Mount Pisgah on the east and Mount Hor on the west both rising up to surround Lake Willoughby, a landlocked fjord more than 300 feet deep in some spots. It has been named a Natural Historic Landmark and can be viewed beautifully from the Kingdom Trails.
In addition to the riding, the town and people of East Burke make this spot special. They have embraced the trail system and its riders creating an extremely welcoming atmosphere. Pop into the Kingdom Trail Association office in town for advice on rides, check out gear at East Burke Sports or grab an after-ride craft beer at Mike’s Tiki Bar.
Who is Going to Love It
The better question here is “Who’s not going to love it?” There is nothing to not like about this town, the vibe and, of course, the trails. Riders looking for a variety of technical and twisty and smooth and flowy, you’ve found your spot. Riders looking to ride for days and not get bored, you’ve found your spot. Riders looking for the fun ride in a picturesque setting flaunting spectacular views, you’ve found your spot. It’s epic.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Main summer time parking is located in a field behind the Welcome Center. After you enter the village and pass the yellow Northeast Kingdom Country Store building, look for red signs and follow them to the parking area. On weekends, we also recommend parking 1/4 mile south of the village near the Burke Storage Units, located on the right side of Rte. 114, or at the newest parking location next to the Stepping Stone Spa on Darling Hill.
Riders can also park at The Inn at Mountain View, which requires a $5 fee which all goes to support the Rescue Animal Sanctuary (no recreational vehicles or large vans at the inn.)