Mad River Riders’ Expert Mountain Biking Loop


Mad River Riders’ Expert Loop Challenging/Expert: 8.25 mile loop, +/- 2087 vertical feet The route consists of: Revolution (1.2 miles/425′ up/60′ down), Dana Hill Rd (.75 miles/530′ up/30′ down), Clinic (1.3miles/511′ down/150′ up), Busternut (.8 miles/397′ up/64′ down), Dana Hill Rd (.25 miles/32′ up/76′ down), Enchanted Forest (.25 miles/ 170′ up), Cyclone Connector (.5 miles/167′ down/49′ up), Cyclone (2 miles/812′ down/274′ up) and Revolution (1.2 miles/425′ down vert/60′ up).

This classic route with a brand new flowy connector serves up a heaping plate of the Mad River Valley’s toughest technical riding and tastiest rolling terrain. The Revolution trail will officially open in late May 2013 and links the Camel’s Hump State Forest trail network to American Flatbread/ Lareau Swimhole and to Waitsfield Village via the Mad River Path.

Revolution is designed as an intermediate trail with mainly moderate pitches and a wider, smoother tread. Many thanks to the landowners; the Laskovskis, the Featherbed Inn and American Flatbread/ Lareau Farm Inn, and all of our volunteers and donors, especially Walt Silbernagel, John Cole, Sean Flynn, Green Mountain Valley School and Woods-CRW for making this trail possible!

The Revolution trailhead is just past the far corner of the parking lot, at the edge of the big play field. Climb steadily on a wide trail, cross several streams, roll up a series of bermed switchbacks, then ride a final traverse and short downhill to the Dana Hill Rd intersection. On the opposite side of the road is the bottom of the Cyclone trail, which is generally ridden as a downhill. Turn left and climb steeply on Dana Hill Rd. Please be quiet in this area to respect the landowners along the road. Dana Hill Rd is one of the most difficult “roads” in the region. Not recommended for driving, it is a steep Class IV dead-end single-width route, with lots of muffler-eating waterbars (jumps). Traffic is light (almost non-existent) and generally slow, but be mindful of approaching vehicles and horses.

Climb 3/4 of a mile then when the pitch mellows, look for a left turn onto Clinic, marked with a small white blaze. Descend through a series of rock, root and dirt challenges, until a double stream crossing and the beginning of the climb to Busternut. Traverse and generally climb to the GS intersection. Expect tight, old-school features, with moderate exposure in a few spots on Clinic, Busternut and Cyclone. Learning the lines helps the flow, but the terrain is often unrelentingly challenging. Be prepared.

At the Clinic/GS/Busternut intersection, go left on Busternut and climb, sometimes steeply, winding through a series of old stone walls, until topping out on Dana Hill Rd. Turn right and generally descend Dana Hill Rd for 1/4 mile. Enchanted Forest and Cyclone Connector are a nice flowy intermediate palate-cleanser, with a few stream crossings and enough tech to keep everyone happy. Although it is a fun loop, if you are feeling tired or pressed for time, you can skip this section by staying on Dana Hill Rd.

Turn left onto Enchanted Forest and begin climbing a wide rolling trail through tall pines. After a challenging stream crossing, turn right onto Cyclone Connector at a large intersection. Descend on a flowy trail. After a wide stream crossing, the trail will start to gently climb. Look for the left to Cyclone, a narrower singletrack, at the top of a little rise, a few feet above the Dana Hill Rd intersection. The top of Cyclone is equal parts climb and descend, with lots of technical rock to chew. The middle and bottom become more gravity-fed, but there are little ups all the way down. After a long bridge, and a few more turns, cross Dana Hill Rd and enter Revolution directly on the other side of the road. Climb for a short bit and then it is a fun flowy finish to American Flatbread.

Trail Managers: The Mad River Riders and the Vermont Mountain Bike Association build and maintain these trails on state land, but they are also open for other non-motorized uses such as hiking and snowshoeing.