Mountain biking in Vermont is quickly gaining notoriety as trail building continues to grow across the state. Fortunately, for guests of Stowe Mountain Lodge, the Stowe area offers some of the very best mountain biking in Vermont.
Identifying the best rides can be challenging, as local riders all have their individual favorites. Riders of every level can explore a wide range of opportunities accessed off of Mountain Road. There are 50+ miles of trails in the area and it is easy to find a quick 45-minute ride or longer rides for the true adventurer.
We offer a review of the primary rides in the area. Trail maps can be purchased at the retail shop at Stowe Mountain Lodge or from local bike shops, which include AJ's Ski and Sports, iRide and the Skiershop.
Stowe Town Loops: These trails are for Intermediate/Advanced Riding, which offer limited elevation gain and technical options. Riders will encounter roots, rocks, boardwalks, bridging and high-speed flowing single track.
Location: Across from AJ's Sporting Goods and Skiershop. The trail ends at Mountain Road across from Town & Country Resort. Circling back through the loop will extend the ride.
Adams Camp: Adams Camp offers well maintained trails with a steady uphill undulating climb and moderately technical downhill on ‘Kimmer’s Trail’. Reversing the ride will provide a faster, flowery downhill with a more technical uphill.
Location: Primary Access is off of Ranch Brook Road just off Mountain Road. One can ride from the Lodge or park at the Matterhorn and pedal in or drive up the dirt road and start the ride at the bridge. Note that Ranch Brook Road is an old Class 4 road so riders may prefer to bike in instead.
Cady Hill Forest Trails: The Cady Hill Forest property consists of 320 acres with approximately 11 miles of single and double track trails. This trail network provides important connections to trails in Macutchan Town Forest, trails extending east to Stowe High School and south to Shaw Hill Road in Moscow.
Location: Parking is located across from Town & Country Resort. Trail access can also be gained from the parking area behind Iride off Mountain Road and from the end of Cady Hill Road.
Cotton Brook: Cotton Brook offers rides for either Beginners or Intermediate/Advanced riders. Beginners have two options:
1. Ride through the meadows on logging/access roads starting at the intersection of Nebraska Valley Road. From the first parking lot, head toward the road and into the field on the right side. Riders will find beautiful meadows to ride through and with some exploration will find a walking path that leads to some local swimming holes.
2. Ride the dirt road. Approximately one mile in is a smaller parking area with a road to the right that is gated. Take the left and ride down to the canoe access point where there are also some beautiful meadows. Intermediate/Advanced riders up for a steady 5 mile climb should access Fire Road by following the dirt road out and continue beyond the gate. This is not a technical ride. However, it provides a fantastic workout on a fire road through picturesque forests. There is a fast single track descent that will bring riders back on the left side.
Location: Access at Cotton Brook Road off of Nebraska Valley Road. Parking is on the right.
Sterling Valley: A variety of easy to more challenging rides are associated with the Sterling Valley Network. Maple Run Road: Easy, dirt road out-and-back ride. Do not go beyond the intersection with Billings Road. Split Rock Trail: A 45 minute to one hour intermediate ride. 8 Bridges Trail: Slightly easier than Split Rock with less climbing. Sterling Valley: A 1.5 to 2.5 hour solid intermediate ride. Ride the 8 bridges trail, circle back and take the Split Rock Trail. Lauren's Loop: An advanced trail with climbing and technical segments.
Location: The Sterling Valley parking lot is well marked with a large sign and is located at the very end of Sterling Valley Road, just after the left turn onto Sterling Gorge Road.
Waterbury/Perry Hill: Intermediate to advanced. There are 4 marked loops in the network; you should expect a large climb from the start.
Location: The trail starts halfway down the Ice Arena road in Waterbury. A parking lot is located on the right hand side of the road. Traverse the railroad tracks and pass under the interstate, then head up to the trail network.
Trapp Family Lodge: Trapp Family Lodge trails are excellent, well-maintained trails ideal for the beginning rider. Trapp's offers 1 mile intermediate single track, 5+ miles of intermediate/expert single track, and 20 miles of beginner to advanced double track. Please note there is a trail fee to ride this trail network.
Rental bikes and guided rides are also available.
Location: Visit the Outdoor Center at the Trapp Family Lodge.
Additional Mountain Biking Resources:
Stowe Mountain Bike Club
The Stowe Mountain Bike Club is a chapter of the Vermont Mountain Bike Association. Working closely with the Town of Stowe, the Club consists of a dedicated group of riders committed to trail advocacy and protection, to ensure the sustainability of mountain biking in the area. 50+ miles of trails are maintained almost exclusively with local volunteer efforts. This VMBA club is the driving force behind the world class riding in Stowe. Visit Stowe Mountain Bike Club for more information as well as current trail conditions.
Vermont Mountain Biking Association
The Vermont Mountain Bike Association (VMBA) is a nonprofit statewide organization serving as the voice of mountain biking in Vermont. Comprised of 23 unified chapters, the association carries out its mission, which is to ensure the sustainable future of mountain biking in Vermont and to promote its position as the premier riding destination in the Northeast by serving as the central hub for advocacy, education, and event support through numerous partnerships.
VMBA strives to provide healthy, family friendly and sustainable mountain biking opportunities and orchestrates the delicate balance between state agencies, private landowners, chapters, riders and their amazing partners. As a unified community, Vermont is host to the best mountain biking culture in the country.