Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Blueberry Lake Trails: First World Problems

I'm getting really fed up with the beautiful scenery too.
This is getting ridiculous.  It's getting harder and harder these days to go anywhere in Vermont where you can pull your bike off the back of your car and not land on some fantastic singletrack.

It was a blustery day last October and my buddy Dave was visiting.  We had already blew up our legs with two long days of biking at Kingdom Trails and were headed over to Middlebury to visit family and explore the TAM.

Our goal was simple:  do the trip in a couple hours without getting way-laid at one of the mountain biking meccas in Central Vermont.  We went to great lengths to resist the immense trail system in Stowe.  We flew by Perry Hill in Waterbury and tried not to even think of Millstone in Barre.  We even forbid the mere mention of Green Mountain Trails in Pittsfield.
I could see my reflection in that singletrack.

As we rolled into Waitsfield we averted our eyes to avoid seeing any signs of the Mad River Valley trails.

But we made the mistake of stopping at Clearwater Sports in Waitsfield, where the owner told us stories of brand new buff singletrack above the village of Warren at Blueberry Lake.

Only recently constructed, tales of their bermed corners and playful rollers were too much to resist.

With our reserves of self-restraint depleted we reluctantly drove up the hill and unloaded our bikes surrounded by the emerging colors of Fall.  We were greeted by perfectly spaced switchbacks as we rolled into the woods and started our climb up to the top of the hill.

While compact, the trail system provides a couple options for climbing and descents.  The trails themselves, somewhere between single and double track, provide enough space for passing folks headed in the other direction, as well as give beginners a measure of comfort while rolling through the woods.  At the same time they are not so wide as to deprive you of that "speeder on Endor" feeling that draws us to wooded singletrack.  Much like Pine Hill Park in Rutland, they were baby butt smooth with sculpted turns and occasional features to keep the descents interesting.

As we were there on a weekday late in the season, we had the place to ourselves.

While this is the perfect place to take a beginner, it was also pretty enjoyable for a couple seasoned fogies like the two of us.  We whooped, laughed and smiled our way back down to the car.  While only big enough for a couple hours of biking, it was still worth the trip.

Best of all, we were able to run these trails and still make it to Middlebury in time to explore the TAM.  (More on that later...)

Great, now I have another "must visit" place on the list when travelling to Vermont with my mountain bike.

We were so disappointed with ourselves.

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