Photo by Alex Klein
A rider navigates the Pro GTS course July 30 at Killington Resort.
By Evan Johnson
RUTLAND COUNTY—From elite-level races high on Killington Resort to neighborhood trails, it’s been a big summer for mountain biking in Killington and the surrounding area.
This past spring, Killington’s Parks and Recreation Department received a $45,000 grant from the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation. The Recreation Trail Program 2017 grant was used to build 5.3 miles of novice to intermediate trails. Alpine Bike Works owner Anthony Accurso said he’s been observing lots of use after a rainy early summer.
“It’s been fantastic, everyone’s been loving them,” Accurso said. “We’re seeing a lot of novices working on the skills you need for bigger, more advanced trails.”
Just north in Pittsfield, Green Mountain Trails hosted two big events this summer including Gnarly Adventure and 6-Hour Challenge as well as an Enduro World Series Qualifier. The top finishers in the Gnarly Adventure qualified for Leadville 100, a challenging 100-mile cross-country mountain bike race in Leadville, Colo.
As part of a $5.5 million mountain bike expansion, Whistler-based trail builders Gravity Logic and Killington Resort are in the process of adding three trails at Ramshead. At the resort’s summer kick-off event in April the resort projected a 33 percent increase in mountain bike visits, or approximately 16,000 visitors annually. Killington’s marketing manager Jordan Spear told the Mountain Times summer mountain bike riding traffic is up 20 percent over last year as of the end of August, putting the resort on track to meeting its goal. “I think we’ll get close, the fall is a strong time for us,” he said.
This summer, Killington hosted a stop of the International Mountain Biking Association’s Enduro World Series and the Pro Mountain Bike Gravity Tour.
On Sept. 24, Killington will host the Eastern States World Cup. The stop is one of three Vermont stops, including Victory Hill, Vt., and Sugarbush Resort in Warren, Vt. The race is expected to attract 250 of the top riders in the Northeast, said Jeff Alexander, formerly Killington’s events and sponsorships coordinator.
“It’s awesome that we’ve become the top destination for mountain biking in the East,” he said.