Bolton Valley Mountain Biking: A Beginner’s Take

If you’ve skied at Bolton anytime in the past 15 years, I’ve probably sold you a ticket or a season’s pass. Despite living and working on the hill for the last decade and a half, I rode my first mountain bike trail at Bolton Valley last night. It was rough! To be honest, it was only my second day on a mountain bike ever, and Bolton is rugged. I took my time and even hopped off the bike in a few spots as I worked my way down Broken Bridge. I made it down in one piece, only to almost fly over the handlebars at the bottom of Wilderness when I saw Jake, our MTB Director, and yelled “I made it!!!!” (note to self…mountain biking is no joke…. Stay focused!).

Seeing that I survived, I went back for more. Second run, and I was already feeling improvements in my riding.

Bolton’s trails are not necessarily welcoming for beginners. They are rocky and root filled, with lots of twists and turns. Definitely not like the hard packed, perfectly groomed, gently banked trails that I had the pleasure of riding on my first day on a bike, last week at Killington.

Not yet at least!

Long known as terrain only for the gnarliest, Bolton is opening its arms to beginner and intermediate mountain bikers. Jake and the crew are working with Gravity Logic to develop safe, progressive trails for all levels right here in everyone’s favorite backyard. So, while the current terrain at BV is challenging, and may arguably make me a better mountain biker, I personally cannot wait for some buttery berms on my favorite mountain.

Photo by Bear Cieri