Ascutney Mountain Resort is located six miles off I-91 in Brownsville, VT. The area has been maintained by the Sport Trails of the Ascutney Basin (aka STABâ€¦seriously) since 2007 and it boasts classic, serpentine single-track with the occasional rock roll down gem.
Erik Schutz was our guide for the day and heâ€™s been working on the trails here since their inception (along with Jim Lyle, who Erik says has put the lionâ€™s share of work into the area). There were seven of us, including Pat Kell of the Vermont Mountain Bike Association, and we were looking forward to exploring the area. Little did we realize Erik was a frigginâ€™ Lance Armstrong and he had to practically tow our fat asses back to the parking lot after a four-hour, 14-mile excursion through 80 percent of the trails on offer here.
Ascutney. Bring your lungs.
And get a map as well; theyâ€™re only $5 and you can find them for sale at the Paradise Sports Shop (www.paradisesportsshop.com ) in Windsor or the Brownsville General Store in Brownsville. Alternatively, you can get them on STABâ€™s web site if you pay the $20 annual membership fee. (http://www.stabvt.org/Trails/Maps.aspx)
Hereâ€™s a list of our favorite trails at Ascutney:
The Grassy Knoll: Stunning scenery through spacious ironwood glades on fun, flowy rock roll ups and roll downs.
Rock and Roll: This is a brand new lollipop trail off of Lynx and itâ€™s still so loamy, itâ€™s silent â€“ you donâ€™t get that â€œchang-chang-changâ€ from juddering over roots and rocks like you do in most of Vermont. Itâ€™s also got a young feel to it â€“ instead of avoiding the rocks, thereâ€™s lots of fun roll downs on them. And thereâ€™s tonnes of potential up here â€“ just a few transitions and this place could go huge.
Pass the Buck: When this trail reaches the double track, step off your bike, walk left for 40 feet through the trees and come out at the top of a waterfall with an amazing view.
Chase: If youâ€™re an avid DHer, this trail is for you. Lay off the brakes and pump track it.
Falls Trail: More great scenery on a horseshoe-shaped trail in a ravine with a waterfall centerpiece.