Tag Archives: Kingdom Trails

On the Snow: Burke, Vermont

rapha arcteryx ski bike bruce rychlik burke vermontRapha 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 owner racestock sports ski shred helmet slope sidePJ 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.

kathy herde burton snowboard bonfire plaid bikeKathy Herde is mad about plaid!  Bonfire ensemble, head to toe, to ride her Burton snowboard one day after riding her Surly Pugsley fat bike at Winterbike.

bogner one piece ski suit red edelweiss luxuryIt 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.)

camels hump sunset burke mountain vermont northeast kingdom ski areaCamel’s Hump, Vermont’s third highest peak, seen through a hazy sunset from the top of the Mid-Burke Express.

burke mountain vermont ski area snow report sherburne express quad base lodge Last weekend was a good one at Burke. . . I am ready for another!  Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend.

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On the Snow: Burke, Vermont

lilias ide dps skis flylow color powder snow purple seafoamLilias Ide, all-around ripper and Program Director of Kingdom Trails, on her DPS skis for a fresh snow ski day!  Love all the color of DPS and Flylow gear.

astis mittens peak performance jacket pants swedenMaryanne in her pretty Astis Sacagawea mitts and Peak Performance kit.

astis erling mitts mittens rossignol experience burke vermontMe keeping warm in my Astis Erling mittens.

sacha mcguire skhoop skirt snowboard burke vermontSacha McGuire snowboarding in her colorful and cozy Skhoop down mini skirt.  Local Northeast Kingdom retailer, Village Sport Shop carries Skhoop.

burke mountain ski patrol mallory cody chain saw husqvarnaMallory and Cody of the Burke Mountain Ski Patrol cleaning up the trails with a Husqvarna.

vintage rainbow ski sweater burke mountain j bar ski liftRetro rainbow ski sweater working the retro j-bar lift.

burke mountain ski area lift mechanic operations cabelas transalaska boot Lift mechanic Chris swears by Cabela’s Trans-Alaska III Pac boots for warmth during long shifts on the mountain.

snowboard ski vermont 802 smith goggles helmetFull-on Green Mountain State park style.

nike snowboard jacket native patternLove the zing of this unexpected color combo and a unique Nike jacket.

spyder ski race suit julia mancuso squaw valley trail mapBurke 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.

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Yellow: Darling Hill Road

burklyn mansion darling hill road east burke lyndon vermont yellowxburklyn concert barn darling hill road east burke vermont yellowxburklyn concert barn darling hill road east burke vermont yellowxhorse barn darling hill road east burke vermont yellow

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.

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Kingdom Trails: XC Ski

inn at mountain view east burke vermont kingdom trails ski bikeApproaching The Inn at Mountain View Farm.

burke mountain darling hill inn at mountain view east burke vermont kingdom trails ski bikeBurke Mountain Resort in the distance.

cross country nordic ski kingdom trails east burke vermontBeautiful, bare deciduous trees in winter always remind me of Sabra Field’s woodblock art.

darling hill east burke vermont kingdom trails xc cross country ski bikeHeading home.

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.

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Transitions: Seasons, Sports, Circumburke, Burke

east burke lyndon town line vermont darling hill mansionFor 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.

kingdom trails east burke vermont darling hill fox river runAs 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!

circumburke 2013 vermont mountain bike trail run victoryThe 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.

circumburke 2013 start kirby ridge road belmont stock farm vermontThe mass start up on Kirby Road at the Belmont Stock Farm:  bikers, runners, supportive spectators and cows.

circumburke mountain bike trail run challenge vermont shredly shortsMe, pre-ride, looking tired, cold and a little crazy.  I can’t say enough about Shredly shorts – the DH Knickers are a bit longer and perfect for late season riding.  Photo by Herb Swanson

mark tucker circumburke salsa mukluk fat mountain bikeMark 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.

winter-darling-hillAs 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!

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Village Sport Shop: Shredly in the Kingdom

shredly carrie tomczyk village sport shop lyndonville burke vermontCarrie Tomczyk, Village Sport Shop owner, still comfortable in her Shredly KC shorts at a post-ride dinner.

shredly-shorts-christineChristine Bengtson in Shredly Nikoli shorts being a pretty rad mom – riding a backup bike so her daughter could pedal her new Santa Cruz Tallboy!

shredly mountain bike shorts village sport shop vermontShredly adding a punch of color to the racks at Village Sport Shop.

village sport shop lyndonville vermont bike shredlyJust a little bit of the women’s gear available at Village Sport Shop.

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.

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MTB: Kingdom Trails

burke mountain darling hill summer bikeBurke Mountain in all its summertime glory from Heaven’s Bench off Darling Hill Road.

kingdom trails east burke vermont bike darling hill cows farmThe girls welcoming riders to the Darling Hill trails after the climb up from the village.

bike kingdome trails burke mountain vermont barn summerView of the mountain from route 114 via White School.

bike kingdom trails east burke vermont kirby connectorDefinitely worth that pesky paved hill climb for one of the quietest and prettiest loops in the network.

ski bike burke mountain academy warrens way summerWarren’s Way race hill, green not white.

burke vermont love bumper stickerDirty window; fantastic sticker!  Anyone know where to buy these?

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!

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On the Trail: Shredly

shredly mountain bike shorts kingdom trails vermontxshredly mountain bike shorts kingdom trails vermontKingdom Trails network in East Burke, Vermont is riding a bit wet and a lot humid but Deanne Eagle looked cool in her full kit of Shredly women’s mountain bike apparel:  Ashley peacock shorts, Monte Carlo jersey.

More about Shredly coming soon. . .

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