The Whites are well known for summer hiking. But sometimes it’s nice to step out of line and trade in your hiking boots, pump some adrenaline, and ride. Mountain biking is still fairly new in the North Country, which means the trails are generally quiet, even on peak weekends.
Parker Mountain Trails, known as PRKR MTN, serves up 22-miles of consistently challenging riding. A hand-built network in Littleton, NH, PRKR MTN trails will leave you sweaty, humble, and drenched in accomplishment. Every time I step away from PRKR my legs (and ego) are lined with bruises, yet my heart screams bring it on! Each ride makes me more technically proficient, and the view from Linda’s Lookout is worth every inch of the climb. PRKR is also working to expand its beginner network, and has a new pump track that’s a fun challenge for the whole family. The Littleton Bike Shop is right down the street, and no ride is complete without a visit to Schilling Beer Company, the brewery that put Littleton on the map.
New to the mountain biking scene this year is Bethlehem Trails Association (BTA), just next door to PRKR MTN. While BTA is less than a year old, it’s already in the process of developing and mapping a few trails for the 2018 season. BTA intends to offer a bit of everything from double track with mountain views to entice beginners and families to single track switchbacks weaving up and around the many mountain peaks central to downtown. With Rek’-lis Brewing Company, the Colonial Theatre, and a number of local shops and restaurants right in BTA’s backyard, Bethlehem will soon be a fantastic place to ride, sip craft beer, and fill up on dinner and live music without having to so much as move your car from its parking spot!
Last, but certainly not least, no mountain biking tour of the northeast would be complete without a trip to Kingdom Trails in East Burke, VT. Kingdom is where the crowds are, but they gather for a reason. Downhill flow trails like Kitchel and Troll Stroll leave you giddy like a child hopped up on birthday cake, and the ridgelines looking out over layers of rolling farmland make every ascent (even the one up Darling Hill) worth the tears. Set aside time to soak in the view from Heaven’s Bench, and be sure to kick back post-ride at Mike’s Tiki Bar with nourishment from neighboring food trucks.
The North Country isn’t just for hiking anymore! See you on the trails!
North Country transplant and BTA board member