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Tag Archives: Kingdom Trails
Rapha on snow! More precisely, Rapha on Bruce Rychlik on top of Burke Mountain after a morning skin up. Was thrilled to see this coveted brand of cycling apparel and lifestyle put to use on snow. Combined with Arc’Teryx – it was a technical and stylish knockout.
PJ Dewey of Racestock Sports wears the Shred Half Brain D-Lux helmet in the very Vermont Slopeside edition. The maple sugaring graphics are by Shawn Rice (of Magic Hat graphic design fame), the artist who created the excellent packaging for the Cochran family’s Slopeside Syrup brand.
It was the edelweiss that lured me in – but this classic Bogner one-piece suit reminded me of the German brand’s history in the Northeast Kingdom. In 1973, Willy and Sonya Bogner moved to Newport, Vermont to open a manufacturing facility for their family’s luxury ski apparel brand. I believe production was maintained for more than a couple decades. Sadly, but not surprisingly, Bogner no longer maintains production in the U.S. (Check out M. Miller of Boston for luxury ski apparel proudly made in the U.S.A.)
Camel’s Hump, Vermont’s third highest peak, seen through a hazy sunset from the top of the Mid-Burke Express.
Maryanne in her pretty Astis Sacagawea mitts and Peak Performance kit.
Me keeping warm in my Astis Erling mittens.
Mallory and Cody of the Burke Mountain Ski Patrol cleaning up the trails with a Husqvarna.
Lift mechanic Chris swears by Cabela’s Trans-Alaska III Pac boots for warmth during long shifts on the mountain.
Burke is a ski racing hill. Lucky for me, I love all that goes along with that – including ski racing fashion. Spyder Julia Mancuso race suit featuring trail map graphics of Squaw Valley, her home mountain.
It’s always sunny on Darling Hill Road thanks to the lovely yellow of Burklyn Hall mansion, Burklyn Concert Barn and horse barn. This is no small achievement and a gift to behold considering the intensely gray and dreary moments Vermont weather reliably delivers. Accordingly, these structures shine on glorious bluebird snow days and radiate against the lush saturated green of summer. The yellow hue varies with the weather, from lemon on a sunny day to goldenrod when overcast. In any light, these elegant and glorious structures are icons of a country road that can feel like its own wonderful little world.
Darling Hill Road runs northeast from Lyndonville to East Burke, Vermont. This ridgetop route offers views of Lake Willoughby Gap to the northwest and Burke Mountain to the east. If this weren’t spectacular enough, the heart of the road is anchored by the gorgeous properties of Burklyn Mansion to the south and the Darling Farm (now The Inn at Mountain View Farm) to the north with the Burklyn Concert and horse barns in between. The farm was established around 1883 and mansion completed in 1908 by Elmer A. Darling – an East Burke native educated at MIT who went on to make his fortune in the hotel business of New York City.
Heading south, an arcade of stately trees provides a welcoming canopy to The Wildflower Inn and Vermont Children’s Theater. The serene Stepping Stone offers spa services and bed and breakfast lodging. From high on a knoll, The Chapel of the Holy Family watches over the road. Much of the acclaimed Kingdom Trails mountain bike and nordic ski network is located on Darling Hill, running on either side of this treasured road.
Approaching The Inn at Mountain View Farm.
Burke Mountain Resort in the distance.
Beautiful, bare deciduous trees in winter always remind me of Sabra Field’s woodblock art.
My husband and I feel fortunate to spend our winter weekends, vacations and any other time we can steal on Darling Hill in East Burke, Vermont. The Kingdom Trails we love to mountain bike in summer and autumn are transformed with snow to a serene network of cross-country ski trails in winter.
We are very alpine-oriented and downhill skiing at the resort has always been our first order of business, leaving us little time for much else. However, with lean snow and the ski resort in upheaval – we are re-evaluating how we spend our time. This winter will see us taking better advantage of the trails just feet outside our door and growing our interest in nordic skills, fitness and a calmer, quieter and perhaps (this winter anyway) more satisfying way to play in the snow.
As with mountain biking, Kingdom Trails provides an excellent winter product and experience. The Nordic Adventure Center is now located across from the Wildflower Inn on Darling Hill Road and serves as the hub for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and fat biking trails.
For me, mountain bike season is over. It was fun – a new bike, a few events and a good amount of miles – but I am ready to ski. This year I am realizing how much I value a transition in between seasons and sports. It has been really nice to have a few weeks of down time – time to put away one thing before launching into the next. As part of that housekeeping, I am finally getting around to posting a few photos from the end of the bike season.
As always, my husband, friends and I logged some very pleasant miles at Kingdom Trails. We appreciate all of the work that goes into maintaining such a large, varied and well-ridden network. Thank you KTA and landowners!
The 2013 Circumburke was my first ride around the mountain – it was a great event! At 25 miles, it was long enough to feel like an accomplishment but not too long to turn unpleasant. The biggest challenge came right at the start with the initial climb, the Victory single track was more extensive and fun than I had anticipated, then a long haul out on the “Gold Trail” before hooking back into the familiar Kingdom Trails network. Spots of rain, sleet and snow kept it interesting but totally manageable. I tried my best to look around and enjoy the new terrain and surroundings. Thank you to all who cut, raked, marked and otherwise worked on trails and to everyone else involved who made this very cool day possible!
After passing on this event in years prior because we weren’t really sure what to expect for the course, weather, conditions – I functioned this year as a scout for spouse and friends. I can now give a whole-hearted, enthusiastic recommendation of Circumburke to anyone looking for a longer but low-key (think challenge, not race) end of the season ride.
Mark Tucker rode his Salsa Mukluk, one of a small contingent of fat bikes. He also covered this event much more extensively on his engaging blog – check Single-Speed Slogging for Circumburke recap and photos.
As for Burke this winter, it remains to be seen. Lots of changes with the ski area ownership and nothing much encouraging coming from official communications nor scuttlebutt we hear. So we will wait another couple weeks until we can finally get on snow and see how it plays out. Certainly, we will hope for the best and as always. . . lots of snow!
I had a couple of great Shredly sightings this past weekend while riding Kingdom Trails. Thanks to Village Sport Shop’s dedication to women’s product, the Lyndonville, Vermont specialty retailer is one of the first on the East coast to carry Shredly women’s mountain bike apparel.
I could easily take a picture of something gorgeous or otherwise charming every other minute while mountain biking Kingdom Trails in East Burke, Vermont. But the trails flow so nicely – it’s too hard to stop! I managed to sneak in a few shots from an absolutely perfect summer weekend. As always, Kingdom Trails gets my highest recommendation as a stellar riding destination and experience!