The Mountain Bike Life

On our drive up to NEMBAfest my friend and I planned to stop and check out a place called Millstone Hill. Not many riders I’ve met know about this little gem. Nestled within and around an old rock quarry technical singletrack abounds. These unique trails offer amazing scenery over diverse terrain. Why are the Millstone Trails so unique? I am glad you asked.

Located in the middle of central Vermont’s historic Quarry Lands is the Millstone Hill Touring Center. The Millstone Hill crew has created over 60 miles of trails for non-motorized fun including hiking and biking in the summer and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter.

The view from my tent. Photo courtesy of John Ruiz.

The view from my tent. Photo courtesy of John Ruiz.

Millstone Hill also offers trail side lodging for all pricepoints. The Lodge is a historic barn with five rooms and full breakfast served. The farmhouse is an 1830’s brick cape, has four rooms and sleeps up to ten people. The Cottage has a full kitchen, sleeps up to nine people and has an outdoor shower. And finally camping which is the least expensive and some have access to an outdoor shower and Granite firepits. Since we were only sleeping overnight we chose the campsite route. The weather was perfect, a little cold even, so perfect for sleeping in a tent. The best part is that you can ride to the trail head from anyone of these, no need to drive.

Outdoor seating by the lodge. Photo courtesy of John Ruiz.

Outdoor seating by the lodge. Photo courtesy of John Ruiz.

Javier and I arrived here at 6:30p. We set out tents up behind the lodge, got on or bikes and set for a ride. Earlier we stopped in at the office to get day passes and a map. $10 for each pass and $16 for the campsite. The map we were given had a predetermined trail highlighted so that’s what we rode which made it much easier than trying to figure out a route to take.

This is one of 50 abandoned quarries that have filled with water. This bridge was just recently added too. Photo courtesy of John Ruiz.

This is one of 50 abandoned quarries that have filled with water. This bridge was just recently added too. Photo courtesy of John Ruiz.

The trails here are awesome. Fast and flowy single track mixed in with rocky and rooty sections. The rocks and roots add to the technical difficulty of this area but not to worry, they have trails here for all levels. From beginner double track to black diamond trails. There are lots of man-made features here too. The extra effort that was made to incorporate as much of the surrounding rock as possible really shows. Be warned, there is a fair amount of climbing to get to where you want to go. But really, it’s Vermont…I expect it! The views will more than make up for the climbing.What we rode was labeled intermediate but some of the more technical sections were bordering on black diamond. We ride for about two hours. We cut some sections out since it was getting late. We made it back to the campsite just in time to see the sunset. The view was spectacular.

A perfect way to end the day. Photo courtesy of John Ruiz.

A perfect way to end the day. Photo courtesy of John Ruiz.

We got changed and headed out for something to eat. It was late but there’s not much around as far as restaurant’s are concerned. The Hannaford supermarket had nothing hot so we headed over to McDonald’s for a chicken sandwich and a hot apple pie, love those things. After that we headed back to camp for a good nights rest. We are both tired and tomorrow is another day of riding.

I love riding stuff like this, and here there's lots! Photo courtesy of Javier Perez.

I love riding stuff like this, and here there’s lots! Photo courtesy of Javier Perez.

A couple of cool facts about Millstone is that the trail network is one of the driest in Vermont and that the large grout piles naturally cool the surrounding areas around them. So if it’s been wet…and hot, this is your best bet for a good ride.

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If you’re looking for a great place to ride on your way to the Kingdom, you should check this place out. I’d even go as far to say that now this is destination spot and there is plenty of riding to fill several days. So what makes these trails unique? Is it the amazing scenery? Is it the trails that offer such diverse terrain? Is it the naturally air conditioned trails? It’s all these things. They all offer a unique mountain biking experience that will have you coming back year after year. Here there truly is something for everyone.

To find out more visit Millstone Trails and Millstone Hill

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