This year, Mount Snow is introducing something new: the “Green Trail,” the only lift-serviced introductory-level downhill biking trail in the eastern United States.
The Green Trail is a wide, three-mile-long trail of packed gravel and dirt that brings riders from the top of lift nine to the One More Time trail, over to Carinthia, and ending at the main Base Lodge. Construction on the trail ended last fall, and according to Mount Snow communications director Dave Meeker, anyone comfortable on a bike can use this trail.
“It’s really a mellow grade,” said Meeker. “It’s a great addition, and it adds another level to our awesome set of trails.”
The new trail will be used as part of the resort’s First Lift program, which teaches the basics of downhill mountain biking. The program is a 1 ½-hour tutorial of everything from braking to body position. First Lift provides participants with helmets, body armor, a trail pass, and of course, a mountain bike.
“All the other trails are for the more crazy and competitive bikers,” said Meeker. “The introductory trail is great because a ski instructor doesn’t take you on a black diamond trail the first day, this is the same deal.”
Meeker himself admitted he hadn’t ridden a mountain bike in nearly eight years, but after he took one on the trail and felt its suspension and handling, it was like, well, riding a bike. “You never forget.”
The program costs $99 per person for one-to-four riders in a group, but drops to $49 per person in groups of five or more. Mount Snow is trying to make its downhill mountain biking a more family-friendly activity, as well as a group opportunity. Meeker says that bachelor parties are among the large groups that have come to use the trails.
The resort has also teamed up with Danny’s Cycles, a bicycle company based in Connecticut and the New York City area, to bring their road bike clientele on bus trips to try the First Lift program.
This past weekend, Mount Snow hosted a stop on the POC Eastern States Cup race series, and has hosted the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National championships in both 2007 and 2008.