By Sasha Yakovleff
Most Eastern mountain bikers have heard of Kingdom Trails, the nationally-ranked trail system located in the quintessential New England village of East Burke, Vermont. What you may not have heard about is Burke Bike Park, a lift-accessed rider's haven on Burke Mountain, right in the heart of the Kingdom Trails network.
Burke Bike Park opened in fall of 2010 and has been quietly growing ever since. The park is operated by Burke Mountain Resort and boasts a high-speed quad, full retail shop and riding school, restaurant, and immaculate trails maintained by the Kingdom Trails crew.
What separates Burke Bike Park from its competition is its smooth, rock and root-free magic dirt. This is hard to find in New England and Burke Bike Park takes full advantage of this natural asset through excavated trails including Knightslayer, Jester, and the new beginner-oriented Roly Grail.
Knightslayer is an advanced jump trail featuring tabletops, hips, step-downs, step-ups, turkey tails, endless berms, and the largest wallride in New England. This beauty was designed and built with influence from pro rider Kyle Ebbett, and his vision shows in its creativity and smooth layout.
Jester is an intermediate flow trail full of different lines, rollers, berms, low-angle jumps, and even a transitioned bridge at the bottom. Jester is perfect for those looking to improve fundamental skills, learn new lines, and challenge the whole riding crew in one way or another.
Roly Grail was built this past spring by an IMBA crew and combines gradual grade pitches with small and large berms, rollers, and features that can be rolled or jumped based on ability. It is an ideal introduction to downhill terrain for new riders or cross-country riders exploring the gravity world.
Some other trails in the bike park include Black Forest, Enchanted Forest, and J -Bar. If you can make your way to the mountain's summit you also have access to Upper J-Bar, Freeride Trail, and DH Trail; all of which offer world-class true downhill filtering down