Ok, ok. So it’s not Vermont. But it’s close. Just past White River Junction VT, nestled against the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center campus, is a gem of mountain biking known as Boston Lot (or DHMC Trailhead). Run by the Upper Valley MBA, this is a well maintained, super fun trail system with amazing tech and specifically great rock features. See UVMBA’s website for more info.
We elected to do the “Three Hills Ride,” which can be found on MTB Project here, and encompasses almost 14 miles and 1,600 ft of climbing. To be honest, we cut off the extra loop near the 2/3 point which makes it 8.3 miles and 1,300 ft of climbing. This is not an easy ride, and is both strenuous and technical. Advanced riders only. Once you are out there, there is not an easy way back. The ride starts off on a deceptively easy climb up Westline, then drops right into one of the hardest sections, Rob’s Rolldown and Spiny.
The aptly named Spiny has some amazing features. As you can see above, there are some really cool rock spines that were amazingly well used by the trail builders. They are adorned with trees and roots, giving the trail the feeling as if it has been there forever. Despite this, the trail was easy to follow, and well ridden in.
Despite the technical nature, we found the use of the terrain well thought out and the features well built. Additionally, there was a nice mixture of slow pace, hard to ride terrain with longer segments of more open trail where you could rest and make up some ground. The slower sections seemed well spaced along the duration of the ride.
We were happy to find a few solid drops, this particular one was my favorite: no time to slow down, just have to hit that bridge. Not to mention the approach was difficult. The descents in this trail system are great. For better or for worse, the major climbs were in big spurts up easier trails. The notable exception being Andy’s Trail/Droid to Burnt Northside Climb: we only had one person in our group of four very fit advanced riders make it up nonstop. It’s hard.
At the end of the last climb, keep your eyes peeled for a small trail that offshoots to a nice overlook of the valley you just rode around. From here, it’s a fairly easy ride back to the parking lot. If you’ve never explored this trail system, go. It’s fun, it’s hard, and it’s super accessible. If you only have a short amount of time but want to get a feel for the whole ride, just climb Westline, take a left on Rob’s Rolldown, then catch Spiny. Let me reiterate, the Three Hills route is advanced riders only.
For more info on Boston Lot, check out the Upper Valley Mountain Bike Association webpage.