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lsrocket26

Downhill Mountain Reviews

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Where are the best places in New England to ride downhill? I've noticed that every mountain i've been to falls into 1 of 2 caterogies. Mountains just in for the $$, without a regard to the sport. Mountains who are in it for the $$ but care about the experience and growing the sport. 

Cares about the sport

Killington - One of the best in the east, really well thought out trails. 3 running lifts to bring you to different parts of the mountain. Lots of trails for all abilities. great community and lots going on. Huge bike shop, with rentals and gear.

Thunder Mountain - Trails designed by Gravity Logic (same company that designed Whistler). Great place for all levels and easily my favorite place  i've been too. Never more than 6 or 7 people in front of you in line.  small shop. The repair shop is great lots of talented workers. The only thing that sucks about this place is the drive down rt 2.

Attitash - Advanced rider only. great trail systems with lots of drops.

Highland Park - Great place for all abilities. Lift system needs to be replaced. Always crowded with atleast 20-50 people in line at one time. Not only do they rent bikes, they are one of the few places that actually has classes to learn how to ride correctly. The shop and lodge are filled with great gear. They sell used downhill bikes at the end of the season if your looking to get one cheap.

Burke - Not many trails but the ones they have are pretty nice, plus you can ride into the Kingdom Trails XC trail system. Great for all levels.

In it for your money

Sunday River - For intermediate to advanced riders, trails aren't great or well thought out. 

Bretton woods - Beginners only. Rents mountain scooters for use on trails. Also the lift system is just a hook your tire hangs on, if you bike is long your tire drags on the ground. No lift lines.

Mount Snow - All Levels - Has about 4 trails. Not worth the trip. 

Sugarbush - Intermediate to advanced riders only. Has great XC trails in the valley, downhill trails are very rooty. Have to walk bike up 3 staircases to get to lift. Rents bikes.

 

Other mountains offering the sport that I know of:

Okemo, Sunapee, & Waterville Valley
 

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28 minutes ago, lsrocket26 said:

Where are the best places in New England to ride downhill? I've noticed that every mountain i've been to falls into 1 of 2 caterogies. Mountains just in for the $$, without a regard to the sport. Mountains who are in it for the $$ but care about the experience and growing the sport. 

Cares about the sport

Killington - One of the best in the east, really well thought out trails. 3 running lifts to bring you to different parts of the mountain. Lots of trails for all abilities. great community and lots going on. Huge bike shop, with rentals and gear.

Thunder Mountain - Trails designed by Gravity Logic (same company that designed Whistler). Great place for all levels and easily my favorite place  i've been too. Never more than 6 or 7 people in front of you in line.  small shop. The repair shop is great lots of talented workers. The only thing that sucks about this place is the drive down rt 2.

Attitash - Advanced rider only. great trail systems with lots of drops.

Highland Park - Great place for all abilities. Lift system needs to be replaced. Always crowded with atleast 20-50 people in line at one time. Not only do they rent bikes, they are one of the few places that actually has classes to learn how to ride correctly. The shop and lodge are filled with great gear. They sell used downhill bikes at the end of the season if your looking to get one cheap.

Burke - Not many trails but the ones they have are pretty nice, plus you can ride into the Kingdom Trails XC trail system. Great for all levels.

In it for your money

Sunday River - For intermediate to advanced riders, trails aren't great or well thought out. 

Bretton woods - Beginners only. Rents mountain scooters for use on trails. Also the lift system is just a hook your tire hangs on, if you bike is long your tire drags on the ground. No lift lines.

Mount Snow - All Levels - Has about 4 trails. Not worth the trip. 

Sugarbush - Intermediate to advanced riders only. Has great XC trails in the valley, downhill trails are very rooty. Have to walk bike up 3 staircases to get to lift. Rents bikes.

 

Other mountains offering the sport that I know of:

Okemo, Sunapee, & Waterville Valley
 

Feel like writing a more details mountain-by-mountain guide? Plans are in the works for detail skiing guides of the same type.

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Add Sunapee to the list of those that care about the sport. That's based on the folks that actually build the trails. I know a few of them and they really are pretty passionate about the sport. They are pushing to build more, bigger, and better trails. The trails themselves are primarily beginner flow trails and all the features are rollable or have b-lines. Even the one "expert" natural trail isn't really difficult. Like the ski area itself, I think they rate their trails based on their primary clientele. Sunapee provides basic lessons and a bike shop with full-sus rental bikes and protective gear. It's really not a bad place to try lift served mountain biking out for the first time. It's also not a bad place to kill a couple of hours if you are in the area and want to try it out. If you have a decent trail bike and a helmet, it'll only set you back $20 for two hours.

You probably already know this, but Killington is also Gravity Logic.

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9 minutes ago, Weatherman said:

I'm eyeing Highland Park to take a few lessons. They have a package that works out to ~$100 per day for full gear rental, ticket, and lesson.

It's definitely worth it. That's how we got started. Just be prepared...it can be addicting.

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15 minutes ago, Weatherman said:

I'm eyeing Highland Park to take a few lessons. They have a package that works out to ~$100 per day for full gear rental, ticket, and lesson.

Been looking for lessons myself too. $100 a day isn't bad. Keep us posted if you do a day at Highland. 

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On 5/1/2017 at 3:31 PM, Weatherman said:

I'm eyeing Highland Park to take a few lessons. They have a package that works out to ~$100 per day for full gear rental, ticket, and lesson.

I got started with that $100 at highland too. Just go during the week or be prepared to stand in a long line all day. Also you should now the "lesson" consists of 1 run. Then they leave you.

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On 5/1/2017 at 3:05 PM, 2manyhobbies said:

Add Sunapee to the list of those that care about the sport. That's based on the folks that actually build the trails. I know a few of them and they really are pretty passionate about the sport. They are pushing to build more, bigger, and better trails. The trails themselves are primarily beginner flow trails and all the features are rollable or have b-lines. Even the one "expert" natural trail isn't really difficult. Like the ski area itself, I think they rate their trails based on their primary clientele. Sunapee provides basic lessons and a bike shop with full-sus rental bikes and protective gear. It's really not a bad place to try lift served mountain biking out for the first time. It's also not a bad place to kill a couple of hours if you are in the area and want to try it out. If you have a decent trail bike and a helmet, it'll only set you back $20 for two hours.

You probably already know this, but Killington is also Gravity Logic.

I actually didn't know Killington was Gravity Logic but that explains why I like it so much. My 3 favorites are Thunder Mt, Killington, & Burke (because of KT). I plan to give sunapee, smuggs, & waterville a chance this year. I just hope they don't let me down.

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I got started with that $100 at highland too. Just go during the week or be prepared to stand in a long line all day. Also you should now the "lesson" consists of 1 run. Then they leave you.

Good piece of info. Highland's location is very attractive. I don't think anyone near the MWV has anything remotely competitive for the rookie?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Northeast Mountain Sports mobile app

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5 hours ago, lsrocket26 said:

I plan to give sunapee, smuggs, & waterville a chance this year. I just hope they don't let me down.

I have no idea what Smuggs or Waterville offer. I didn't even know Smuggs had lift served trails. With regards to Sunapee, just temper your expectations. It's not even in the same universe as Thunder, Killington, or Burke, but it is still fun for a couple of hours.

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11 hours ago, xwhaler said:

1st and only time I went MTN biking at a ski mtn was at Attitash about 20 yrs ago. Went over my handlebars and landed on my face. They have some steep, non beginner friendly mtb trails.

Sent from my XT1254 using Northeast Mountain Sports mobile app
 

Attitash is still for advanced riders only. The mountain has lots of drops with no warning. I went there 2 summers ago and had to get off my bike a lot.

They now they have xc trails for everyone but with the all free trails in the valley doesn't make much since to pay for xc.

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20 minutes ago, deadheadskier said:

Is their any benefit to Berkshire East branding their mountain biking terrain separately as Thunder Mountain? Are there other ski areas that do this?

Sent from my XT1565 using Northeast Mountain Sports mobile app
 

None that I know of, but they do have a separate web site for the bike park. Maybe just a marketing thing?

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I went to Mount Sunapee last weekend and while we didn't bike (had the kiddo with us, he can't do dh just yet) I got a good look at the trails and they actually look pretty good. They bought a good lift system (3 bikes in a tray) and the lift that brings the bikes up only serves bikers and disc golfers (no downhill riders or scenic families) The line on a saturday was pretty non existant. They had a fleet of scott rental bikes and dh helmets to rent. Hope to get back sometime in August to try it out. 

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53 minutes ago, lsrocket26 said:

the lift that brings the bikes up only serves bikers and disc golfers

They do use it for zip liners and hikers, too, but like you saw, it's never really that busy. It's also nice that they split the line; bikers on one side, everyone else on the other. Maybe it's just me, but it seems the guy that runs the lift at the bottom tends to give bikers preference over the other users :) The rental fleet is as good as anything I've seen at Killington and better than Highland in my opinion, unless you rent a high end bike. My son and I took a friend of his there a couple of weeks ago, and for the 2-hour rental deal, he got a brand new, full-on DH bike. Word is they are working on an up-only trail for those that want to earn their turns.

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I also noticed he seems to give preference to the bikers. Much better than attitash where you get the evil eye from families waiting to go to use the alpine side.

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Just went back to Thunder Mountain for the first time this season. A little disappointed it took me until the end of August. They changed there lift system around to allow more time to get the bike onto the lift. Great move. They've also moved the bike repair shop to were they rent bikes making it much easier to get to when you have an issue. The parking lot was full but there was never more than 5-8 people in ahead of me in line. I think it's the number of chairs on the lift that seems to keep the line manageable. 

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I really wanted to get back down to Thunder this season but never made it.

We went to Killington this past Saturday and the new trails on Rams Head were open. Blue Magic is the new jump trail. It's very similar to the Gronk at Thunder only longer. It was completely open top to bottom and was riding great. We skipped the other new trail, Krusty, since it wasn't completely open to the bottom. Killington is really making it difficult to go anywhere else given its size, variety, and lack of crowds. Even though the price is going up, I'll probably pick up a pass for next year since it's still $50 cheaper than Highland.

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