VMBA Ambassador, Taylor Rosenbloom, brings us on a tour one of her local Chapter’s: Stowe Trails Partnership and her tips & tricks for a great day out on the trails!
Mountain biking in Stowe has something for everyone! From families to thrill seekers, there’s going to be something that checks each rider’s box. Here’s a little bit about each of the amazing trail networks; all are amazing and geared towards different riders.
For the more old-school style enthusiast, the trails in Sterling Valley are an awesome place to be. Parking off of Sterling Valley Road and riding through the field, past a gorgeous pond, you will find Maple Run, a double track that leads you all the way to well… the other end of Maple Run. If you take the first right off it for a short climb up the Marston Trail, you will get to 8 Bridges. This is a fun, rooty, cross-country trail that can be ridden in both directions. Be sure to count the bridges and try to see if you and your riding buddies count the same amount; I have never come to a consensus on that one! No bike ride is complete without a picture and an ultimate snack spot! In Sterling Valley, the number one spot is definitely the bench at the top of Peak-A-View. I can tell you that the view is breathtaking, but it’s one that you must experience for yourself! On the other side of Sterling Valley Road, you will find Split Rock and Callagy’s. These two complement each other oh so well. Split Rock is a more techy climb and descent, but I promise, techy does not mean no flow. On the flip side, Callagy’s is machine-built and has its own special features. My favorite is the rock face you can ride right up onto as you start riding downhill. This makes for a cool photo op, that is, if you can convince your riding buddy for one!
Nothing beats a family bike ride with the kids. Cady Hill is the spot, and Florence (or Flo for short) is the ultimate destination! With its user-friendly, machine-built climbs and fun, flowy descents, it’s a surefire way to have an amazing family adventure. If you park at the Cady Hill lot off Mountain Road, you will start by heading up the Cady Hill Climb. I promise you the first turn is the trickiest, and at the top, there’s an amazing view and fun chairlift swing, which makes a great snack spot. You can then ride the top of Bears, a quick machine-built downhill pump track to the Cady Hill Connector. After a little more climbing (I swear, honestly, it’s not very much), you will cross a long bridge and then get to Flo. This fast downhill has jumps, rollers, and twists galore, with go-arounds and options for all skill levels. If you’re riding with some little rippers or feeling a shorter ride, you can cut over to Sap Bucket halfway down Flo. But if you’re feeling it, you can continue to the bottom of Flo and choose to take Snake or Charlies back up. The best part about Cady Hill is that everything loops around, and it is hard to find yourself truly lost. At the bottom of Flo, you have two options, Charlies or Snake, and you can’t go wrong with either. But let me tell you why I LOVE Charlies (especially towards the end of a long ride). FOOD! And more specifically, BERRIES! Once you make it up the steepest part of Charlies, there are berry bushes GALORE. To continue on the food trend… (I know, this is supposed to be about the biking, but hear me out.) If you follow Charlies all the way out, you will end up at Ranch Camp and the Backyard, both amazing spots for that post-ride meal, snack, or bevy.
Adams Camp is where you want to head to get the adrenaline going. There are three ways to enter this network, but my favorite is to park at Stowe High School and climb up Pipeline. This winding climb is truthfully fun, and the climb up lets you scope out the cool line on a down tree towards the top of the trail. It leads you to the Trapp Family Lodge property, and the view when you enter the bakery field gets me every time (ps the bakery, or as it’s called, the Trapp Kaffeehaus, is a great place to buy a yummy treat). We then continue to one of STP’s newest additions, Ted’s Unicorn Express or TUX, where you can test your skills on a few skinny bridges. Once you hit Haulapalooza and keep climbing up, you can make a whole Adams Camp Loop, or, if you’re feeling extra sendy, give Serenity and Adrenaline a go with its maze bridges and skinnies galore! Some may say that riding in Adams Camp feels like you’re perpetually climbing, but whether you choose to ride down Cheddar to Haulapalooza or Hardy’s Haul or Shredder to Kimmers, the down will be a blast.
Stay tuned as we hear from all of our VMBA Ambassadors and their recommendations on trails to ride, eat, stay, and more!