Your Family’s First Mountain Bike Trip

Mountain biking sounds like one of those “extreme sports”. And for many people it is. It’s a fast paced, hair raising, possibly bone breaking experience. They like it that way! I am not one of those people.

Why would I write about mountain biking on the TRAIL FAMILY blog? Mountain biking is kind of like skiing. There are trails to fit everyone’s skill level. In fact, the trails are rated just like ski slopes. You don’t have to take your family careening down a mountainside to enjoy a mountain biking experience together. 

All of us at our cousins’ house in Vermont

Our TRAIL FAMILY took a trip to northern Vermont this summer. We had some fantastic adventures together. One of which was our first foray into mountain biking. I want to share an important thing we learned along the way to make your first family mountain biking experience as monumental as ours. 

It’s off to the bunny slopes for us! Sort of. The first mountain bike trail you and your family should visit wherever you are in the world is the “pump track”. This is basically the bunny slope of the mountain bike world. It is a practice track that has many of the features that you will find out on the real trails. There are sharp turns, moguls, and transitions from dirt to wood path. You and your family can safely practice navigating these features before you hit the real trails. 

The pump track at Powers Park

The first pump track we visited was at Powers Park in Lyndonville, Vermont, only a mile from where we stayed with family. The track was short and the features were close together. We found that this actually required more technical skill to ride because there was no recover time between navigating the challenging sections. We decided to look for another track.

Our true mountain bike destination was the Kingdom Trails in Burke Vermont. These trails are made possible by over 90 private landowners and offer over 100 miles of mountain biking. It is constantly growing, changing, and improving. If you live nearby or are planning a trip to New England, we definitely recommend this destination!

Tim on a more challenging run on his own. Notice the black square on the sign.

The Kingdom Trails has two pump tracks. One is located near the trail office where you buy your passes. We bought our passes, saddled up, and headed to that pump track. This track was much more beneficial. It had longer stretches of straight path in between the challenge features. We all took several rides around the track and were having a blast. It was great to see the girls grow in their confidence in handling their bikes. 

Our true mountain bike destination was the Kingdom Trails in Burke Vermont

When we felt like we could give the real trails a try, we headed to a trail head on Burke Mountain. We mostly stuck to the blue circles and squares (aka the beginner trails). But there were still plenty of challenges for us at our skill level. We had a blast and can’t wait to go back again! 

Making our way on the real trails.

At the top of the mountain, there is another pump track, a bike shop, and food truck. I took a rest while Tim and the girls rode this other track a few times around. We headed back to Tim’s cousin’s house tired but incredibly happy!

A sumptuous food truck hot dog!

Expand your horizons when it comes to cultivating your TRAIL FAMILY lifestyle. Get out there and try new things! Where can you mountain bike near where you live? Is there a pump track by you? What other ways can you hit the trail that is outside of the box?

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