Preservation and Progress

Greg Durso leads Adam Morse down One Love, a black-diamond ribbon of spiderweb roots at the Bolton Valley Resort. Bolton Valley embraced its preexisting community-built tech trails to successfully bring some of Vermont’s most challenging riding to the masses. NIKON, 1/640 sec, f/5, ISO 2000

Preservation and Progress Northwestern Vermont's Forward Way of Looking Back

In Vermont’s storied mountain bike heritage, the state’s northwestern region holds a very special place.

The mountains and hills around the communities of Stowe, Waterbury and Richmond are home to some of the state’s most iconic trails—many of them built as rake-and-rides in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Since those days, incredible communities defined by resilience and tenacity have developed, expanding and progressing existing networks while carefully preserving the oldtech roots and rocks that gave the area its original character. For the many people who have contributed to the region’s growth, there is a forward-looking commonality that underscores their work. Any conversation about past accomplishments quickly turns to the future, to what is coming down the pipeline. Despite the area’s strong traditions, there is a palpable sense that northwestern Vermont’s vibrant mountain bike scene is just getting started.

On the surface, the community of Stowe offers all the glitz and glamor of a high-end mountain destination, but the trails themselves have been built by generation after generation of dedicated locals, creating a network that is ingrained in the fabric of this bustling ski town.

The nearby Cady Hill Forest has been a hotspot for decades, with a core of enthusiastic riders forging the scene in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Some of Stowe’s bestknown trails, such as Zog’s, Charlie’s and the black-diamond Schween Haus, were built here in the late 1990s.

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