On June 12, 2024
Arts, Dining & Entertainment

Vermont Bikepackers hostsBeginners’ Community Campout

 Friday, June 14 at 8 a.m.to Sunday, June 16 at 8 a.m.—GOSHEN—A free, fun, off-road ride and campout in the Green Mountain National Forest in Goshen. The event will be based at the Blueberry Hill Outdoor Center, 1288 Goshen-Ripton Rd, Goshen, which has been reserved for the weekend to offer this event free of charge for participants. The Outdoor Center provides access to the Blueberry Hill network of trails, the Vermont Long Trail, The Catamount Trail, and the Moosalamoo National Forest Trails. There is ample camping space and the convenience of campground amenities. 

The goal of this event is to combine off-road biking and camping to serve as a comfortable introduction to bikepacking. Blueberry Hill will serve as a basecamp where day rides will leave from, and camping will be available on both Friday and Saturday night.

Saturday morning will start at 8 a.m. with an introductory workshop to answer questions about bike setup, how to pack bags, etc. Participants will be encouraged to load up their bikes to try out different setups – and volunteers will be on hand to help with DIY set-ups.

Then riders will set off mid-morning. The route will be a loop that consists of gravel roads, forest roads, and some double/single track. There may be sections on pavement that connect to other trails, and other sections may require hike-a-bike. There are several options for resting mid ride. The main ride is 30 miles with ~3,200 ft of elevation gain, and an option to cut it short about halfway through. There will also be an option to extend for those looking for more miles.

Riders will return to Blueberry Hill to reconvene and share stories over dinner and campfires. Another optional ride is planned for Sunday morning.

This event is for those new to bikepacking and/or looking to expand their skills and competencies in this activity. The atmosphere will be supportive and non-competitive, with the goal of sharing bikepacking and creating a safe and inclusive opportunity to engage in off-road riding on a loaded bike. You bring your bike, gear, food and self-supported riding skills and we’ll bring the community and camaraderie.


Should we plan to be fully self-supported?

Yes, we might have some snacks on hand but plan to be fully self-supported. Blueberry Hill Inn across the road will be serving pizza for a fee the night of 6/14. Nearby towns such as Brandon, Ripton, and Forestdale have stores if backup supplies are needed (though the hours may be restricted for stores in Ripton and Forestdale).

Are we biking with our sleeping gear or leaving it at Blueberry Hill?

No, feel free to leave supplies and food at the BHOC. There is space inside the outdoor center for gear to stay dry. Additionally there is a drinking water tap available.

What’s the parking situation?

Parking is available on site, but we encourage folks to carpool, or even bike to the event!

What level of amenities should we expect?

There are bathrooms and water on site, parking is on site at the Blueberry Hill Outdoor Center, there is a drinking water tap available and there is space inside the outdoor center for storage.

What should I bring? How should I pack?

If you don’t have items in this list that is OK! The goal of this campout is to learn about bikepacking. Bring what you have and learn from your peers on what setup works for them.

A bike suitable for the route. The routes use significant sections of forest trail, and gravel bikes may face intermittent sections of hike-a-bike. This route is best for larger gravel or mountain bikes with tires at least 1.75”/45mm wide. We don’t recommend road bikes with slick tires. If you’re deciding between tires that might be too small vs. too big, we’d encourage you to err on the side of too big. You’ll be more comfortable, and this is definitely not a race!

A helmet. All riders are required to wear a helmet at all times when riding their bikes during this event. 

Clothing, repair tools, equipment, food and water to ride self-sufficiently along the route.

Overnight gear and food for up to 2 nights of camping. This can be packed on your bike or stored at the Blueberry Hill Outdoor Center.

What if there is inclement weather?

Be prepared for all kinds of weather, including temperatures ranging from 40 to 80 degrees fahrenheit, potential precipitation, and possibly some wind. 

Insect repellant is encouraged.

Are there re-supply locations? How much water should I bring?

Please arrive prepared with the food you need for the event, including meals to prepare at camp. You’re welcome to team up with others to cook in small groups.

You’ll need 2 days worth of ride food, 2 lunch(es), 1 dinner (2 if camping on 6/14), and 2 breakfasts. 

We recommend you carry 1-2 liters of water capacity during the ride. Blueberry Hill has a tap available for riders to use to top off their bottles. There will be water sources such as streams and lakes throughout the ride if you have means of purifying your water!

Resupply: The outdoor center will have water available to top off. There are some stores in bordering towns but would be a little bit of a trek to get to. The Blueberry Hill inn is across the road and does offer meals.

What is the service like in that area?

Cell phone service can be spotty and is not guaranteed.

A satellite tracker (such as a SPOT or InReach) is not mandatory but is nice to have if available to you.

Download the ride files ahead of time and ensure you can use them without cell phone service, or on your GPS device (Garmin, Wahoo, etc.).

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