Carl Craft

Carl Craft

Carl Craft

I started riding my bicycle in the woods when I was about 8 years old.  My dad got me a classic BMX bike, ironically it was black and yellow just like the WRAT logo colors, and I immediately got it out into the woods and ride-aways near my house.  I’d be out there for hours, building ramps and jumps and berms.

These days, my mountain bike is black and red and I ride it on the trails of Allaire State Park, Hartshorne Park, and other fun local spots.  For about a decade or so, I’ve heard of a place in Vermont that had a hundred miles of linked mountain biking trails called “Kingdom Trails“.  I always wanted to make a trek to this area but the distance (almost 8 hours by car) and my life hadn’t allowed me the chance.  Well, 2023 was the year that I seized the opportunity, and – holy moly – am I glad I did.

My favorite ski film producer, Warren Miller, has a famous line that he put in every one of his ski films, “If you don’t do it this year you’ll be a year older when you do.”  

What I found at Kingdom Trails were super cool and welcoming people, a lifestyle of fitness and bicycling, pretty good restaurants, fantastic local beer, and the best network of mountain bike trails I have ever found.  I’ve ridden a lot around here in my local Jersey Shore stomping grounds and enjoyed every muddy moment but this trail network is totally sick.  I’m not even sure the pictures on this page do it justice.

What is “Kingdom Trails”?  KT is a network of connected mountain bike trails in and around the town of East Burke, Vermont.  A few years ago some mountain biking enthusiasts met with local landowners and convinced a lot of them to allow mountain biking trails on their land.  The trails would be maintained by the KT organization, a non-profit, with the goal of attracting crazy mountain bikers like me to the area; thereby supporting the local economy.

They claim to have over one hundred miles of connected mountain bike trails set over two or three ridges in an area of Vermont called, “The Northeast Kingdom“.  The trails are really well marked with signage similar to a ski area.  They have a pretty sick app, part of the Ondago system, so it’s fairly easy to find your way.

Here are a few short fun facts from my summer trip.

I stayed at the Wildflower Inn.  Comfy bed, a little outdated; but comfy bed.  Great sunsets and an on-site bike shop with a bar out the back window.

I stopped by a few local restaurants that I enjoyed including this one, this cool market made a killer club sandwich, and this one was okay, and this market had a good local beer selection.

My favorite local brewery was Frost Beer Works.

And, I hope to be back one day because I barely got to half of the hundred miles of trails during my short stay.

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