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Spin Cycle: A Mountain-Biking Mecca
Accessible trailheads, dynamic terrain, and interconnected riding networks have transformed Vermont into a mountain-biking mecca. Whether you are a first timer, weekend warrior, or have a growing bucket list of trails, you’ll find rides for every ability ranging from peaceful to adrenaline-pumping. Waterbury offers bike-friendly accommodations with washes and secure lockups.
For up-to-date maps and information on Waterbury’s local bike trails visit Waterbury Area Trail Alliance (WATA) website. WATA is a proud chapter of the Vermont Mountain Bike Association and is committed to enhancing and maintaining our Waterbury area trails for the benefit of residents and visitors alike.
Little River State Park: Five miles of purpose built single track by renown trail builder Knight Ide, in partnership with Waterbury Area Trail Alliance and the Vermont State Parks. A flowing climb is rewarded at the top with an over mile and half long descent of fast and flowy berms, step downs and table tops! Travel on to the adjacent Mount Mansfield State Forest, from which many more miles of shared trails can be accessed.
Perry Hill: Located on River Road just south of Waterbury Village on the way to the Ice Center, this area is known for classic trails that combine flow and technical riding in sweet harmony. Beginner riders will find plenty at lower elevations. Technical riders will enjoy the fifteen-mile network’s significant rise, one-way trails, and rock spines. The well-maintained web of trails is consistent with International Mountain Biking Association Standards.
One 2.5 hour Perry Hill advanced loop heads through the River Road tunnel and up a short, steep climb up to the main network. Take Permission to the top, descend Burning Spear to Rastaman, and head back to the logging road. Climb back to Joe’s at the top, and flow down the loamy, open-pine Campfire trail. Finish with a high-speed descent back down the Fire Road. To take the challenge down to intermediate, the 40-minute Yellow Loop offers a short blast of some of Perry Hill’s finest terrain.
While not precisely “mountain biking,” the dirt roads of the Waterbury region also present a peaceful opportunity to enjoy the forest, refreshing rivers, and occasional long-range views of Vermont’s mountains and valleys. On the back roads, a mountain bike or hybrid is the ticket to open-air cruising.
Winter or “fat” biking is growing in popularity, but there are some considerations: dress appropriately, ride only on substantial snowpack, and yield to others such as Nordic skiers and those on snowshoes. NOTE: Winter “fat” biking is not permitted on Perry Hill Trails per the State of Vermont.
No matter what the season, round up your riders, get a grip on your trip, check before you go, and have fun creating your own “spin cycle.”