Climb on in Waterbury

Mason Bixby and Chris Ingram at Perry Hill, Waterbury

The Perry Hill Network in Waterbury offers 15 miles of trails for all riding levels. Just be prepared to climb. And climb. And climb.

This area is located on the side of a significant hill and is accessible via a single main artery that connects to a number of ripping downs. It’s administrated by the state of VT and maintained by neighboring Stowe Mountain Bike Club.

The parking lot and trailhead is on River Road just outside of Waterbury. From I-89 take exit 10 and head southwest down the hill toward the town’s center (0.5 mi.). Turn left onto North Main Street and drive through town (1.1 mi). Enroute you will pass the Five Hills Bike Shop on your right. North Main St. becomes Main and then you’ll want to turn left onto River Rd. Follow this and when it turns into a meadow (0.25 mi.) the parking lot will be on your right.

Park and get your poop in a group because the ascending trail is so brutally steep it has garnered a number of nicknames including “Heart Attack Hill,” and the “Dry Heaver.” It is a sandy old double track (yes, sand) but it leads to some of the best descents the state offers. Follow this trail to your chosen trailhead.

One of our favorites is Burning Spear. It begins at the Perry Hill network summit with a series of small rock spines and roll-overs. As the trail progresses, expect successive downhill double fall-line straight-aways with armored rock and root sections, small launches and tight berms. This is one that you can coast but if you really want to capitalize on the undulating terrain, PEDAL! Because it tops the hill, Burning Spear tends to stay wet longer. If you arrive after a rain day, don’t be surprised if the lower hill rides dry and the upper is closed.

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