It was a long drive, but I managed to squeeze in a few miles the first day. It was pretty much what I expected: rolly, rooty, twisty…but with a few more leaves than I expected. I kept putting off a visit to the Kingdom because every time I could go it was raining. This was no exception, only the rain really didn’t show until the third day, luckily after my ride.
I can’t remember the last time a saw a town so abuzz with mountain bikers. There were bikes everywhere. I was surprised how few encounters I had on the trail, but then again there is over 100 miles there. Saturday was a little busy near Darling Hill, but it wasn’t bad.
There is a fee to ride here, even if you aren’t riding the Burke ski area. The fee seemed a little steep to me given the condition of some trails and the number of users. For the money spent (or made) I expected a few more bells and whistles, not to mention upkeep. Some of the money goes back to some of the land owners I believe, who were gracious enough to let some trails go through their property, sometimes pretty close to their house. I will say the shower house and bike wash at the parking area in East Burke are awesome.
I was happy I got to ride the new Roly Grail Flow trail on Burke mountain, but sadly didn’t have time for Jester and others. In the Darling Hill area Kitchel was a blast, so was Sidewinder and Sky Dive…not to mention a few others. Kitchel did have a slowish flat spot about half way down at some rollers, and Sidewinder appears to have seen better days considering its current condition. A study of the contour lines will give you an indication of which direction to do some of the trails, and some have no option asthey are designated as one way.
The only unfortunate event for me was not finding any vegan food in East Burke, other than the grocery store. Other than that, I plan to make the trip again some time as it has plenty of ‘high value’ trails.
more photos here: Darling Hill Trails | Burke Mountain
All the info and maps you need are here: http://www.kingdomtrails.com/
I stopped at a rest stop in Vermont on the way up and they had KT maps, but not current ones. When you pick up your ticket to ride there are maps, usually free.
- day 1: http://www.geoladders.com/show_route.php?route=71384
- day 2: http://www.geoladders.com/show_route.php?route=71398
- day 3: http://www.geoladders.com/show_route.php?route=71419