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New England’s Outdoor Magazine | JULY 2016


DIRT PACK Austin Beard, age 11, airs it out.



Be first down the mountain again.

BE YOU AGAIN. THE RIGHT SPORTS MEDICINE PHYSICIAN CAN HELP. Our physicians provide comprehensive sports medicine care, no matter how complex the injury. Patients receive a course of treatment that’s ideally suited for them, built around the most advanced options available—whether operative, non-operative or a combination of both. So, if you live in the Burlington area, make an appointment with The University of Vermont Health Network’s sports medicine specialists at UVM Medical Center. To make an appointment, call (888) 974-9783.



NEW ENGLAND’S OUTDOOR MAGAZINE ON THE COVER: Austin Beard airs it out at Killington last fall in the Vittoria Eastern States Cup. He finished 12th in the 18-and-under category. Photo by Jeb Wallace-Brodeur.


Angelo Lynn -


Lisa Lynn -


Evan Johnson -


Shawn Braley -


Sue Halpern & Bill McKibben


Dr. Nathan Endres, Dr. David Lisle, Dr. James Slauterbeck —University of Vermont College of Medicine; Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation


In late June, the Dirt P.A.C.K.'s Austin and Carson Beard stood tall on the podium at the MissoulXC race in Montana. Photo courtesy Kelly Ault.

Brian Mohr, Oliver Parini


Christy Lynn -


Ben Hall | (603) 717-5496 Greg Meulemans | (802) 366-0689


10 Feature



New legislation may change how we think about recreation.

Vermont's first family of mountain bike racers is about to put the West on notice.

Come for the Vt. Mountain Biking Festival, stay for the swimming holes, golf and farm-fresh food.


7 Great Outdoors


Summer's here. So are dragon boats and Raftapalooza.

If you're looking for the perfect staycation, pack your tent and canoe and follow these

Dave Honeywell | (802) 583-4653 Lisa Razo -

Vermont Sports | 58 Maple Street Middlebury, Vt. 05753 | 802-388-4944

Vermont Sports is independently owned and operated by Addison Press Inc., 58 Maple Street, Middlebury, Vt. 05753. It is published 9 times per year. Established in 1990. Vermont Sports subscriptions in the U.S.: one year $25. Canada: US funds, please add $5 per year postage.


Putting a Value on the Outdoors

It's A Wet and Wild World

8 Health

The Hidden Killer

Why are so many athletes suffering blood clots? A U.V.M. expert explains.

Meet the Dirt P.A.C.K


Rolling on the River

paddler's trails.



Get River Ready

Here's all the gear you need for a weekend on the water.

Adventure Town

What's Up in Waitsfield?


Race & Event Guide

The Best Summer Events

Our favorite festivals, plus running, swimming, biking, triathlon and obstacle course races.


Speak Up

A Swimming Hole in Every Town

How to save our swimming holes.


ADVERTISERS! The deadline for the Augusts issue of Vermont Sports is July 15. Contact today to reserve your space!





n mid-June, on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, President Obama stood in Yosemite with a group of fourth graders. That’s what presidents do. But what he announced next caught everyone’s attention: every fourth grader and their families would have access to National Parks and historic sites for free. (In Vermont, that would mean the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park.) Sure, it’s the type of feel-good move politicians do in their final terms. And the President did so while the White House touted the fact that this administration has protected more land and water than any previous one, 256 million acres, to be exact. (To put that in perspective, Grand Teton National Park is 321,000 acres.) But what didn’t get much play were the economic reasons behind these moves. According to the White House, in

2015 more than 305 million people visited America’s national parks—an alltime record—with visitors spending $16.9 billion in local communities and supporting an estimated $646 billion outdoor economy. Even better, the White House announced that going forward that $646 billion will be measured as part of our Gross Domestic Product. That's where I just shook my head. Seriously? Why has our outdoor industry never been counted in our GDP? After much lobbying, the Department of the Interior finally agreed in April to start measuring the impact of outdoor recreation on our economy. Up until now, GDP has taken into account all sorts of industries that rely on our natural resources, but not the

one that is most intimately tied to their preservation: outdoor recreation. Imagine if we could place as much value on protecting our forests, lakes and rivers as we do on extracting oil and coal? And not just for the intrinsic benefits nature provides (habitat protection, flood mitigation, carbon sequestration) but also because getting more people active in the outdoors simply makes good economic sense? In Vermont, we know how much outdoor recreation means. Even in this lean snow year, skiing brought in roughly one-third of the state's tourism dollars. According to a 2016 study from the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing, we have nearly as many out-of-state visitors (550,000) to our state and public campgrounds as we do

residents of Vermont (626,000). Add to that the Vermonters who make their living building and marketing outdoor gear and apparel and we can start to see why recognizing the outdoor industry makes sense. For the most vivid illustration of this concept do one thing: go to the Kingdom Trails. On June 18, more than 1,000 riders came to the Kingdom for the New England Mountain Bike Festival. That was a 40 percent increase over last year’s event. Annually, 80,000 riders plunge more than $16 million into this region of our state. The Kingdom Trails are not the product of EB-5 money or a big resort, or really of any one person. They are the collaboration of 62 private landowners who worked together to invest in the outdoors. And that didn’t take an act of Congress. —Lisa Lynn, Editor


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A fundraiser to support the Kelly Brush Foundation's mission of sports after paralysis and ski racing safety 6 VTSPORTS.COM | JULY 2016

Dragon boat racing may look like fun but its getting to be a serious sport in Vermont.




his summer, in addition to the usual weekend armada of kayaks, canoes, motorboats and sailboats, you’re likely to see two strange sights on Lake Champlain.

On July 23, watercraft of all kind will congregate off Thayer Beach in Mallet’s Bay for the third annual Raftapalooza. Then, on Aug. 6-7, the waters off Burlington will churn with teams of serious dragon boat racers. Here’s how to join the action. RAFTAPALOOZA 2016

Two years ago, Milton’s Jeremy Dewyea got a big idea. He’d been taking his speedboat around the country doing poker runs (you pick up a card at each stop) and then joining in big raft-up parties after the events. Inspired, he called some friends in the band Justice, built a pontoon for them to perform on, sent out a note on social media and Raftapalooza was born. Last year, the event drew more than 200 watercraft—ranging from a floating picnic table to speedboats to inner tubes. The Colchester police and U.S. Coast Guard lent a hand and, in the words of Justice’s Scott Guptill, “it was one rocking party.” This year, the event is scheduled for July 23 and already more than 2,000 people have indicated they’re attending. “We’re gonna need a bigger raft,” Dewyea notes. Visit Raftapalooza 2016 on Facebook for details.


On Aug. 6-7, keep your eyes peeled for a spectacular sight: long, narrow boats packed with crews of up to 20 flying across Lake Champlain, their oars hitting the water in perfect synchronization as drummers on the prows keep the beat. Dragon boat racing started in China nearly 2,000 years ago but this summer it could very well become your new favorite water sport as Malia Racing is looking to get some new rowers. After a series of free Tuesday evening rowing sessions in June, called “Try-it Tuesdays,” Malia hosts two “bootcamps” at Burlington’s Community Sailing Center that develop the strong core, back and arm muscles needed to propel the boat. The next session runs from July 27-Aug. 17, with a race on Aug. 20 in Hartford, Conn. The cost for the program is $99 and includes on-water sessions, race entry

A table for 10 sets sail at Raftapalooza. Photo courtesy JusticeVT

and a weekly workout guide. Coach Liisa Reimann has been involved with the sport since 2005, when a boyfriend convinced her to be a substitute at a fundraising event in Burlington. She’s now raced in world championships and is married to the club’s other coach, Almer Rivera. “It’s visually spectacular,” she says, describing festivals in Montreal where up to 100 dragon boats compete with spectators lining the shores. “It’s also a sport where no one person is the star of the team. You’re in a group of people with a single goal in front of you.” Suzanne Monzel of Monkton, practices with the team throughout the year—on the lake when the weather allows and then indoors in the winter at a specialized training facility in Montreal. Her first piece of advice to aspiring racers: “Just don’t call it paddling" she says with all seriousness (say

“rowing” instead). “That’s an entirely different sport. Here, if someone calls it ‘paddling’ you have to drop and give 20 push-ups.” Even though she’s been with the team for about a year, Monzel says she enjoys the bond that rowing with a team has brought her. “I just met them in August but I feel like they would carry me anywhere if I needed them to,” she says. At the Aug. 7 event (part of Stand Up for the Lake) off the Community Sailing Center in Burlington, teams of rowers will raise funds for Dragonheart Vermont, a dragon boat team for breast cancer survivors. Malia Racing also plans to hold demos on Aug. 6. “Many people know dragon boat racing as a fundraising event,” says Reimann. ‘We’re pushing now to raise its status as a competitive sport.” For more information, visit www.






e keep hearing news about elite athletes developing abnormal blood clots. In 2015, retired Portland Trail Blazers’ legend Jerome Kersey died at age 52 of a pulmonary embolism (PE) about a week after minor leg surgery. Miami Heat star power forward Chris Bosh had a PE in Feb. 2015, and missed the rest of the season while undergoing treatment. He was sidelined again in 2016, reportedly, after a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurred in his legs and he missed the NBA Playoffs. Star forward Steven Tampkos from the Tampa Bay Lightning had a DVT in his arm veins. Perhaps the most well-known athlete to experience a blood clot is the tennis icon Serena Williams who had a life-threatening pulmonary embolism (PE) in 2011 after a foot injury and cross-country air travel. Why would these super-healthy people get blood clots? Here’s why: Abnormal blood clots can occur in the leg and other veins. This is called deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. It causes pain, swelling and sometimes color change like red streaks. DVT can also be present without any symptoms. Sometimes when there is a DVT, pieces of the blood clot break free and travel to the lungs—a pulmonary embolism. This can be deadly. But when caught earlier on, these types of blood clots can be treated with bloodthinning medications—anticoagulants. This problem is serious: These types of clots occur in up to 900,000 people each year in the United States and about 100,000 people die from them. That's more people than die from breast cancer, AIDS and car accidents combined. About one or two middle-aged people in every 1,000 gets blood clots each year. The rate is lower in younger people (about one to two in every 10,000.) So, just by chance, athletes could get clots. But there are special risk factors that athletes should look for:


Obesity is a risk factor for these abnormal clots. Most pro athletes aren’t obese, but research suggests that larger people, like those who are taller or have bigger legs, are at risk. This is because the ability of blood to flow up the legs is more problematic for bigger people. So for some athletes, especially basketball players who tend to be very tall, risk might be higher. Athletes who use their arms heavily, like paddlers, tennis players, baseball pitchers and basketball players, are at risk of clots in their arm veins. These clots can occur when a structure at the base of the neck (next to the shoulder) called the thoracic outlet is narrowed. The vein, artery and nerve supplying the arm has to pass through this outlet, which is lined by muscles and bony structures. For athletes, especially those using their arms alot, the muscles can get large enought to contribute to the narrowing of the outlet. In this situation, repetitive injury to the vein that goes through that narrowed outlet sets the stage for a clot to form. These clots can cause swelling and pain of the arm, and sometimes numbness. Like leg clots, they can travel to the lungs causing pulmonary embolism. Anticoagulants can treat this and often surgery can open up the outlet so that clots might not form again. Injuries are a major source of risk for clots, especially leg injuries that result in leg immobility afterwards. The worst example of this is a leg fracture with casting. However, minor injuries can also increase the risk somewhat. Surgery greatly increases the risk of blood clots for a period of

Pro tennis players (as well as athletes who build significant arm muscles) may be at risk for blood clots.

several weeks. The risk is greater for orthopedic than general surgery. In 2013, NBA star Anderson Varejao’s great season with the Cavaliers was cut short when he developed back and chest pain from a PE shortly after surgery on his quadriceps. His case proved that this condition doesn’t have to end a sports career; Varejao apparently had a finite treatment with anticoagulation and is back playing for Golden State. Genetics plays a role for athletes. Kimmo Timonen, four-time NHL All Star with the Philadelphia Flyers developed a leg DVT and PE in 2014. He had experienced superficial clots (in veins just under the skin) previously, which we know is a risk factor for DVT and PE. He was found to have protein C deficiency, a genetic condition that lowers the body’s ability to stop formation of clots.. Birth control pills increase the risk

Clots occur in up to 900,000 people each year in the United States and about 100,000 people die from them. That's more people than die from breast cancer, AIDS and car accidents combined.

of clots in women. This risk is highest in the first year of use and among older women who are on the pill. The risk continues until the pills are stopped. Long travel also slightly increases the risk of clots, and often pro athletes travel a lot There are no medical guidelines yet on the best treatment for athletes so we customize treatment recommendations the same way we do for non-athletes. If the blood clot was limited to the arm veins or triggered by surgery, trauma or immobilization, usually three months of anticoagulation treatment is adequate. Professor of Medicine and Pathology, Mary Cushman, M.D., M.Sc., is the director of the Thrombosis and Hemostasis Program at the University of Vermont.

Eds. Note: A version of this article was originally published on the University of Vermont HealthSource blog, medcenterblog. Follow Dr. Cushman on Twitter @MaryCushmanMD




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Carson Beard rocks through a root-filled course in New Hampshire's Highland Bike Park on his way to winning the Triple Crown Enduro Series last year.


t’s June 17 in Missoula, Mont., and Austin Beard of Middlesex, Vt., is gearing up for the next day's race. The MissoulaXC course is described as “pure evil”—a 5K trail built for UCIsanctioned, World Cup-style cross country mountain bike racing with steep climbs, bermed corners and gaps. “I’m psyched and excited but kinda scared, too,” says Austin in a phone interview. “I'm not really sure what it


is: Will I crash? What will happen? It's all those things.” Last November, at the finals for the Triple Crown Enduro Series in New Hampshire’s Highland Bike Park, Austin had had a good race, securing second overall for the series. After the race, while doing a few party runs, he took a jump and crashed, landing him in the hospital for three days with a lacerated spleen and concussion.

Since then, he’s gone on to race in California's Sea Otter Classic, a Root 66 race series opener and four Kenda Cup East series races in Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusets. In the next two months, he’ll compete in four races (two are multiday) across the country, from Missoula to Mammoth, Sun Valley to Snowmass, including the USA Cycling National

Championships. In total, he expects to do almost 20 events this year. Traveling and racing alongside him will be his identical twin brother, Carson, his father, Phil Beard and his mother, Kelly Ault.


ustin Beard is 12 and a half years old, an identical twin, and the “A” in the Dirt P.A.C.K. — the nickname of Vermont's first family

Geared up to go downhill fast, Carson and Phil ride the lift at Mountain Creek Bike Park, N.J. at last fall's King of the Mountain Enduro. Both went on to win their age groups.

of mountain bike racing. Sponsored by the Northfield, Vt. bike shop, Bicycle Express (as well as Darn Tough, Julbo, Shimano, Stan's No Tubes, EasiGrip. com, Schwalbe and The Alchemist) the family has become a regular fixture on the Eastern mountain bike race circuit, with all four competing in both crosscountry and enduro format events. “This is the only family with an operation of this level that I’ve seen on any racing circuit,” says Noah Tautfest, owner of Bicycle Express, and himself a professional racer who finished 12th at last year’s Canada Cup. “What they’re doing this season is insane. They are all really strong, they are really passionate about the sport. And,” he adds, “it’s the boys who are pushing the parents. They just can’t get enough of it.” This past winter, on Thursday nights, the Dirt P.A.C.K., and as many as 15 other members of the Bicycle Express Racing Team would gather at the Beard/Ault home in Middlesex to do a round of indoor training. It was a who’s who of Vermont's Cat. 1 and pro racers. “The boys would be right there keeping up with us,” Tautfest recalls.


The Dirt P.A.C.K. at the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, in April, 2015. Photo courtesy Kelly Ault

“And then they would add in their own workouts.” After, Phil often cooked dinner for the whole crew, his treat. Austin wrote on the family blog that he did “a Crossfit workout once a week and some nights I do 50 pushups and 150 mason twists.”

“They’re like mini World Cup athletes,” Tautfest notes. “If you see [world champion] Nino Schurter doing something on his ‘Hunt for the Glory’ video, a few days later I’ll see Instagram shots of Austin and Carson doing it too.”

he twins’ drive, athleticism and training ethic isn’t so surprising if you consider what their parents have done. “I’ve tried about 30 different sports, and for a long time I was really into triathlons,” Kelly says. She raced the Lake Placid Ironman and then moved into XTERRA (off-road triathlons) where, in 2009 she was the Northeast Regional Champion in her age group. Phil Beard had been a regular in the Green Mountain Stage Race. He'd also raced for 25 years in different disciplines—from cross country to dual slalom, downhill to enduro. But soon after the birth of their twin sons, the couple began spending more and more time riding mountain bikes. “I pretty much hung up my running shoes,” Kelly says. Last year, the couple (both now 45) raced Cat 1 in the USA Cycling National Championships for both cross country and enduro. Kelly was first in the cross country event in the 40-45 age group and third in the enduro event, while Phil was fifth in the enduro.


Kelly Ault flows down the course like water, showing the tecnhique that's made her one of the top racers in the U.S. in her Cat 1 age group and a national champion.

“One of my first memories was cheering my mom and dad on at races,” says Carson. He got on a bike at age 2. Carson is sleight and lanky, with a tussle of dark hair, an upturned nose and a quiet, serious manner. His brother looks so much like him it’s easy to mix them up. “I also remember the time we got off training wheels,” Carson adds. “It was really cold and I didn’t want to do it but my brother did so we both tried it.” It’s been that way pretty much ever since. “The boys are competitive with each other but they constantly help and push each other,” says Kelly. “We’re almost always right behind each other,” Carson confirms. “I’m better at the technical stuff but he’s better at sprinting and climbing. But if I’m tired and I see him sprinting, then I pedal harder and faster to keep up.” Who wins? “Whoever is feeling better that day,” he says. A look at the race results shows how


close they were last year: Carson took third in the Vermont State Cyclocross Championships, the Kenda Cup Series, and the Root 66 series and first in the Enduro Triple Crown. In the Sea Otter Classic, Carson, then 11, was 20th (racing against 13 and 14 year olds) and he finished 8th at USA Cycling Nationals in his age group. Austin took first in the Vermont Cyclocross Series and second in the other three events regional events. At Sea Otter, he was one place ahead of his brother; at Nationals, one place behind.


dentical twins, riding identical bikes (Kona King Kahuna carbon hard tails) the boys have a remarkable training advantage: Each has the ultimate training partner: someone just as fast, just as strong and just as motivated; someone who is on the same schedule and at the same races. “We fight sometimes, but most of

the time, we get along pretty well,” says Austin. “Without my brother, I might think, ‘Ok, I can relax’ and I’d probably do a lot less training. But if he says ‘we gotta do this,’ we do it.” At the Sea Otter Classic this past spring in Monterey it was hot and both boys were running low on water. “Carson came up next to me and hoarsely whispered ‘water,’” Austin writes on the family blog. “He put too much maple syrup in his water and became super dehydrated because he couldn't process all the sugar without water. I gave him my water bottle (which had too much sports drink in it) but he didn't care, he drank some of my already rationed water. He was still dehydrated and we had already passed the water station.” Carson fell back and Austin pushed on but, as Austin continues, “toward the end I looked back and he was right behind me.” Racing in the 13- to 14-year-old

category, the two 11-year-olds finished the 15-mile course in 19th and 20th places out of 48. “Nationals, I’m coming,” wrote Austin after the race.


hile to some parents the race schedule may seem like a giant stride beyond being soccer moms and dads, for the Ault-Beard family, traveling and racing is part of every day life. “If anything, Phil and Kelly try to dial it back,” says Tautfest. Both parents have worked in education, Phil Beard as a substance abuse prevention counselor and Kelly is the public engagement director for the Vermont Early Childhood Alliance. She has also worked for the Northern Forest Alliance/Appalachian Mountain Club and as a freelance writer. An avid blogger, she chronicles their adventures riding and racing around the country. “What I love about Vermont is the


chance to be out in nature and the istening to the boys talk about community we have here. If anything, racing or their equipment, it’s that’s what I want to share with my hard to remember at times that kids. On a mountain bike, you get out in they are 12-year- olds and not seasoned the woods and to places you may never pros. see otherwise,” says Kelly. “It won’t be long before they move In the winter, that can mean trading up to Cat 1 racing,” predicts Tautfest. the bikes for backcountry skiing or in The boys can already outpace their otherTHE seasons, hiking and camping. For mom on some rides and have their dad BAD NEWS: VERMONT NOW HAS THE SECOND HIGHEST INCIDENCE OF this summer the family plans to camp in their sights. and visit the West in betweenIN races. LYME DISEASE THE COUNTRY. THE GOOD NEWS: SCIENTISTS HERE ARE "I can’t tell you how many times “We’d never been across country we’re out on a course and I hear, LEADING IN STUDYING TICKS AND HOW THE DISEASE SPREADS.‘Whoaaaaa, that kid just passed me!,'” before,” Austin says.THE “In theWAY Badlands, I saw my first canyon. Wyoming was all says Tautfest. “Already they are the top hillsBY andLISA grass LYNN and in Minnesota, you racers in their age brackets on the East could just see forever.” Coast. If they keep it up, they could be As they travel and race, all four Olympians.” members of the family post on At the MissoulaXC, it certainly blog their versions of looked that way. Phil took fourth in the events and adventures. And all four the Cat 1 men’s Masters division. Kelly are expected to give back to the team placed fifth overall in the Cat 1 open and the community. women’s division. And in the Junior Carson’s and Austin’s versions of boys (age 10-14) Austin was second, teaching a bike safety course to younger just 40 seconds ahead of Carson. kids at Northfield Elementary School Tautfest had been following his are poignantly funny. “Some of the kids team closely. “Yeah, they all killed it were improving by a lot. The next day, Austin makes pretty much any obstacle look easy. in Missoula,” he says with pride. “It’s the kids were a lot faster on the track,” great to see those boys out there using fast. One of the kids didn't even listen me because I'm a kid too. I was wrong. writes Carson. their energy to race bikes instead of Austin writes: “On the first day I The instructor said to take them on a to me and was going around the track sitting home and playing Xbox.” as fast as he could!” lap slowly. The older kids wanted to go thought they would bike and listen to









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6/11/16 8:35 PM


Story and photos by Evan Johnson

Knowing that a 1.5 mile portage was coming at Bellow's Falls, we packed as light as we could (see page 20 for our gear recommendations.). Far right, Katherine starts to scout for campsites, which are tucked into the shores every 10 miles or so.



atherine screamed when she hit the water. Seconds later, I screamed too. The Connecticut River emptied the air from my lungs and flung my eyes open wide. It washed away the coating of grime, sunscreen and sweat that clung to me like a layer of dead

skin. The current was cold, deep and ancient. We gasped and yelled, then laughed and crawled back onto shore for dry clothes, a fire and well-earned dinner. The day had started at five in the morning at home in Addison County and after 15 miles of paddling plus a 1.5-mile portage, taking a plunge into that dark, swift-moving water was too alluring to think twice.


e awoke at dawn that morning. Katherine and I had awoken. We cooked our food and packed it into mason jars, strapped

a canoe to the roof of my Subaru and packed three heavy-duty dry bags with all the other supplies we would need. We drove an hour across the state before Route 103 ended and turned onto a dirt road. Herrick’s Cove is a boat launch on the Connecticut four miles north of Bellows Falls. While Katherine stuffed produce into one of the drybags, I left a note on the dashboard of my car saying we’d be back the following day. It was 10:30 when we shoved off and we had 30 miles ahead of us. Travel for me means the freedom to explore,

push myself or simply just drift and do what comes naturally. But travel by boat is an experience unlike any other and when done properly, you’ll never want to travel any other way. Growing up near Brattleboro, I explored the coves and islands at the Connecticut River’s confluence with the West River, learning navigation by compass and glassing the tall grasses on the riverbanks for herons and other bird life. Over the years, it has become a symbol for me of solitude, comfort and time. The river, which stretches from its headwaters in Quebec, is New England’s longest and flows about 410 miles through four states and drains 7,000 square miles of watershed into Long Island Sound.

King George II designated the Connecticut as the border between Vermont and New Hampshire. Long before him, its explorers were native Americans and, later, Dutch traders, the Puritans, anglers, bird watchers, motor boaters and, now, me. As we paddled away from the shore with the sun in our faces, the wind gusted in the reeds and I breathed a sigh in satisfaction. After the morning’s sprint to get to the river, we were finally here, paddles flashing, sunlight dancing in our eyes. We took the first few minutes to find a pace and get ourselves in sync, then the rest of the morning passed in easy paddling. The river was narrow and the water fast. There were no bugs and the wind


stayed behind us as we glided past fields and 19th century farmhouses. After 100 yards, we were moving fast downstream; by 200 we were flying.



I’ve heard the true test of a relationship is an extended period of time in a twoperson canoe. I’d argue the true test is how you portage a boat. The sign for the portage yelled to us from the shore like an exit sign on the side of a freeway. We were in Walpole, N.H. In a field, wind tossed laundry on a line. A UPS delivery van inched alongside the road. Downriver, just a quarter mile from where we stood, a 643-foot long hydroelectric dam churned water through turbines. Formations of concrete and frayed ends of thick cable protruded from murky water, grotesquely weathered remnants of an age when the rivers was a driver of transportation and commerce. In 1772, the Vermont state legislature chartered the construction of a canal at Bellows Falls. By the time it was finished, the United States was a country and the canal was the first in North America. The canal was one of six built on the river to bypass dangerous rapids and falls. It allowed for continuous movement of freight and passengers until highways and railroads improved in the late 19th century and use of the canal declined. The canal was integrated into a hydroelectric dam in the 1920s, the same dam that we were now about to portage around. Experienced paddlers can hoist a canoe above their head and balance it from the middle while they hike. After peeling off our life jackets and sorting our gear, we realized we were hardly ready to attempt such a performance. Our portage would require us to cross streets and negotiate sidewalks and shoulders of roads next to fast-moving traffic. However longer it would take, a team effort seemed best. We stumbled across the grass toward the sidewalk with the canoe gripped awkwardly, trying different positions until Katherine discovered one that worked: “Your HEAD, Evan. Put it on your HEAD!” The next hour followed in a slog through pouring rain with the seats of the overturned canoe propped on top of our heads. The driver of a tiny Toyota pickup with a red Mad River Canoe sticker on the back issued a thumbs-up


After 15 miles on the river and a frigid swim, Katherine warms up the fire at Windyhurst campsite.

as we stumbled over cracked sidewalks and through knee-high grass, the rain soaking our pants and shoes. One-anda-half miles never felt so long. During the day, clouds had formed overhead and now rain pounded the hull. The light, musky smell of river and mold filled my head, a smell that conjured memories of my first campouts as a child with an ancient five-person Eureka tent and a massive yellow lab. The canoe acted as an echo chamber and Katherine and I could talk easily despite the roar of nearby traffic. Being in front, my vision was restricted only to what was three feet in front of my . To see more, I had to lift the canoe above my head like a champion weight lifter, which sacrificed ease of carry in favor of visibility. As I felt my way along the pavement, Katherine’s voice echoed down the length of the hull. “Sidewalk ends in twenty yards… make that thirty… pothole on your left... take a break in five feet.” We passed rotted train cars, rusting on the tracks, liquor stores, laundromats and the barren riverbed where the river once ran before it was diverted for the construction of a hydroelectric dam in 1926.

We crossed New Hampshire's Route 12 to an access road that led down to a sandy beach, where we concealed the boat behind some scrubby trees. We then trudged the 1.5 miles back to the launch where our bags sat untouched, hoisted the bags and started again— one more 1.5-mile leg to go. We were about half a mile into the final stretch when a silver Toyota sedan swung to the curb ahead of us. A woman with silver hair sprang from the driver’s seat. “Are you portaging?’ she yelled over the roar of passing cars. I grinned. If the lifejacket wasn’t enough of a hint, the bright yellow drybags surely gave us away. She popped the trunk. “Hop in.” Our rescuer introduced herself as Mary and happily gave us a lift back to the canoe, which remained where we hid it. She asked us about our trip and told us about her own trips. “I’m 71 and I love the adventure,” she said. Mary left us at the access road. We launched and rainclouds chased us as the brick buildings and electric cables of Bellows Falls disappeared behind a bend in the river. As we glided downstream with the current, we both agreed: we never wanted to carry our gear on our backs again.

It was already early evening when we saw it. “Rope swing, twelve o-clock,” Katherine yelled. The knotted piece of rope extended towards our heads from a huge overhanging branch that loomed above the bow of the canoe. Waning afternoon sunlight leaked through the canopy while the boat cut through the shallow water where the silver maples and willows met the river. We stared up. For two river-weary travelers, the thought of a high-speed ride followed by a moment of flight and a chilling plunge was more than tempting—it seemed a calling. With a layman’s knowledge of physics, the length of the rope, paired with the height of the starting point (20 to 30 feet above the river) and the approximate rate of acceleration seemed enough to launch a 140-pound rider (me) squarely into the middle of the riverprovided I didn’t faceplant on the way down or miss my launch and swing back into the silver maple. We also couldn’t gauge the depth of the water or detect any obstacles lurking below the surface. There were a few too many opportunities for bodily harm, so we pushed on to find our campsite. The 280 miles of river that thread between New Hampshire and Vermont are littered with campsites spaced 10 to 20 miles apart. Some are located on state parks and require a reservation, but most are available on a firstcome-first-serve basis. They’re strictly paddle-in, paddle-out and are equipped with picnic table, fire pit and latrine. They’re free to use, but we put $10 in the locked box to help the volunteer caretakers keep them in shape. We had been on the river for 20 miles when we began looking for a campsite, eyeing every break in the treeline. “Is that it? “Don’t think so.” “Could work, though, couldn’t it?” “Could.” The map provided by the Connecticut River Paddlers’ Trail includes GPS coordinates of the sites, but lacking a handheld device, we hugged the riverbank and kept our eyes peeled. We felt we were close, and if we weren’t, any open patch of grass would do just fine. After contemplating the swing, we drifted on toward a gap in the trees. “There!” Katherine shouted from the bow and we swung the big canoe

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around. We pulled it ashore in mud that swallowed our ankles and shins. The Windyhurst campsite is in a clearing set 20 yards from the river. Towering silver maples shaded a firepit, picnic table and enough space for two tents. A pit latrine was discretely located down a path. Beyond the boundary of the campsite, a network of plastic tubing ran between sugar maples. The river curved in a graceful arc around the meadows of Putney. The sunset tinged the water a darkening shade of ink. We stripped out of our grimy clothes and made for the river. I heated dinner on the stove while Katherine used most of my notebook to start the campfire. As the flames stretched their fingers into the deepening canopy of sky, we let the day’s accomplishments sink in with tired satisfaction. Our skin drank the heat and a weary silence fell over us like a heavy blanket. Sitting on a stump, I thought about Ernest Hemingway’s short story, “Big Two-Hearted River.” In it, Hemingway’s semiautobiographical character Nick Adams, newly returned from war, heads to the rivers on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to fish. It’s a powerful story written in Hemingway’s typical Spartan prose about homecoming, but a principal theme in the work is nature’s ability to heal and liberate: “He felt he had left everything behind, the need for thinking, the need to write, other needs, it was all back of him.” I thought about that line as night settled around us. Traveling allows an escape from whatever’s taking up the most mental bandwidth. It gives permission to refocus on what matters as you break from routine in a changing environment. In the course of the entire day, we discussed the weather, water, the diving beavers nearby and hawks wheeling overhead. We shared goals and ideas for the summer. We fantasized about nachos and margaritas awaiting us at the end of the trip. We talked about my increasing need for a haircut. There is no hurry on the river. You can’t rush it. The pace of life slows to the space between paddle strokes and the list of concerns is streamlined to only the basics: We have food, water, a tent and paddles. The direction is always the same: downriver. I barely made it into the tent before I was sound asleep.

Some of the most pristine paddling is in the Northeast Kingdom, like this stretch of the Connecticut near Bloomfield. Photo by Noah Pollack



anoe camping along Vermont’s rivers can be one of the best ways to see the state. You drift lazily along, your gear with you, a waterfront campsite not far away. A number of organizations have mapped out trips, set up campsites and can provide the resources you need to make a great weekend happen. Here are four more of our favorite picks for river trips, all near roads or bike trails so you can easily arrange for a trip back to your car.


A paddler’s dream, the Connecticut River Paddler’s Trail traces the river from Quebec all the way to its outlet on Long Island Sound and lists access points, campsites and portages along the way. For a short trip, recreate the Bellows Falls overnight or, spend four days on one of the more remote stretches in the northeasternmost corner of Vermont, a 70-mile paddle from Canaan to Gilman with views of Mt. Monadnock and the Great North Woods.


The Missisquoi ambles from Quebec through some of Vermont’s most scenic farmland with views of the Green Mountains before it spills out at Lake Champlain. For a short (one to two-day) trip with few portages put in at Davis Park in Richford and paddle downstream 16 miles to take out at Enosburg Falls. There’s one short portage at Breached Samsonville Dam. The bonuses of this trip, (beside the scenery), are that you can camp at Doe Campsite on a sandy bluff above the river and the rail trail runs alongside, making for a pleasant bike back to your car.

(and portages) at Dog Head Falls and Sloping Falls. www.


While it can be far rougher than a river, the southern portion of the Lake Champlain Paddler’s Trail offers some protected sections that can make for an enjoyable weekend canoe trip. You can camp out and put in at Button Bay State Park (which also has cabins) and follow the trail for as long as 48 miles south to Whitehall, stopping to camp out at Five Mile Point in Shoreham, Vt. To use the trail (or even to get a map and permission to camp), you have to join the Lake Champlain Committee ($45 for general membership) but know it goes toward protecting and maintaining both the lake and the trail.


In the last few years, work has been done on both the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail and the Paddler’s Trail. Upon completion, both will follow the river from Greensboro all the way to Lake Champlain. For a two-day trip, put in at Cadyville Falls and then paddle five miles past Ten Bends, to the Tettor Totter Campsite, set up just last year. From there, it’s 14 miles downstream to Jeffersonville with visits

A lazy day on the Lamoille, just north of Johnson.





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ou’re heading out on the river. Here are a few essentials that can make the trip even better. If you don’t have a canoe or are looking for a new one, consider this upgraded classic, the Mad River Canoe Explorer 16 FGX ($2,349). A 40-year-old design, the Explorer was the second boat that the Mad River founder Jim Henry designed and it’s now available with FGX layup which makes it even more durable. At 64 lbs. (with wood trim; 3 pounds lighter and a little cheaper if you opt for just aluminum) it’s not super light but at 16’3” and 14.5” deep, it can carry you and a friend and probably an additional 600 pounds of gear and paddles beautifully. Before setting out, you’re going to need a lifejacket. The Maximus Centurion ($239) by Kokatat is a great creek/whitewater/multiday


kayaking PFD as it has multiple storage options. These include the quick release Belly Pocket with three pouches for organizing essentials, including a pocket for a VHF radio. The jacket is super comfortable thanks in part to the Dynamic Suspension System, which features wide, contoured shoulder straps that allow an independently suspended front flotation panel to move with each stroke.  A sunny, warm day is any paddler’s dream, but it also means UV exposure —especially on the head and face. Shelta’s Osprey Performance Sun Hat ($65.50) is among the best we’ve found. With an Ultra Violet Protection Factor (UPF) of 50+, the highest rating given, these hats also provide the most comfortable fit we’ve tried. The brim narrows on either side so it’s not too droopy, it has a no-sag headband visor,

and a drawstring to secure it. Best of all? It floats. At put ins and take outs, you’re likely to find zebra mussels, sharp rocks, broken glass...who knows what rests on the bottom of the river. One thing is for sure that a cut foot is sure to dampen your adventurous spirit. The comfy, fast-draining, quick-drying Astral Water Shoes ($79.95 men’s and women’s Loyak or Hiyak models) are a cool (in all senses of the word) way to protect your feet. You also want to protect your gear and keep it dry and portable. To do so, we like to use Sea To Summit’s Hydraulic Dry Packs ($119). Their bombproof construction resists UV damage and cold temperatures while the permanently-sealed seams keep out leaks. The harness can be removed for storage and then clipped back on

for a portage. The company also makes lightweight dry sacks available in seven different sizes, starting at $12.95. All that water around you might not be the cleanest and you’ll need something to clear out any particles or microorganisms that would like to make your gut a home. Katadyn’s BeFree bottle filter ($39.95) is a great option for its size and efficiency. This .06 liter flask has a teeny, but powerful hollowfiber filter that features an EZ Clean membrane, specific to Katadyn, that allows you to swish and shake it clean, instead of backflushing. When it comes time for a meal, the Optimus Elektra FE ($179.95) will heat up a meal, real quick. This highperformance wonder can cook with white gas, LP gas, gasoline, kerosene or diesel on a highly packable burner.

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ropping into Waitsfield from the Champlain Valley always feels like a journey to another world. After climbing over the Appalachian Gap, Route 17 plummets into the Mad River Valley, past houses built defiantly into the mountainside and Mad River Glen’s legendary single chair. The winters find me ducking trees for the powder stashes in the mornings and the afternoons wandering the Tempest Book Shop, nibbling crusty sourdough bread (baked fresh by the owner every morning). In the summer, I bring my bike and careen through the forest trails. I almost always pack my hiking boots, a towel, cooler and a paperback to relax with after on the banks of the Mad River. Dinner is consistently at the Mad Taco or a pizza with home-grown toppings at American Flatbread’s original home at Lareau Farm.

Considered one of Vermont's top courses, golf at Sugarbush can be as challenging its mogul runs.


At the valley’s two renowned ski areas, Sugarbush and Mad River Glen, the action only slows down slightly in the warmer months This summer, Mad River Glen’s General Stark’s Pub is openfrom 4:30 to 8:30, Thursdays (burger night) through Saturday with both brunch and dinner on Sunday. If you have never tried it, Sugarbush’s elite-level 18-hole golf course designed by legendary golf course architect Robert Trent Jones Jr, is a must-play course. The par 70 (men’s) and par 72 (women’s) course is as beautiful as it is challenging. For a more laidback 18 holes, the Lincoln Peak area is also home to a disc golf course (for a $6 fee). Throw some discs, then get lunch at the Castlerock Pub. On Tuesday evenings this summer, sign up for a friendly cornhole tournament at the base and compete for weekly prizes. The resort also offers special camps and clinics in mountain biking, golf, and tennis. Golf is available with weekly clinics every Saturday under the instruction of PGA Pro Roger King, as well as in four-day camps in July and August.

Paddle the Mad River or check out its many swimming holes. Later, head to town for dinner by the river in Peasant's garden. Photo courtesy Clearwater Sports

For gravity-fed fun, ride the lift up with a bike then rocket down the mountain’s 18 miles of trails. Full suspension bikes and protective equipment are available for rental. With Sugarbush’s First-Timer to LifeTimer Mountain Bike Program, if you complete three lessons, you’ll earn a free season’s pass to the trails. Sugarbush’s Mount Ellen is the site of the Vermont Mountain Bike Association’s annual festival (July 22 –24) and the pros will be in action during the Eastern States Cup enduro and downhill races on August 21.


The Mad River Valley has something for you, no matter if your tires are 1 or 5 inches wide. For road cyclists, Warren and Waitsfield are starting and ending points for rides over the Lincoln, Appalachian, Middlebury and Brandon gaps. Do all four and make up the daunting 112-mile-plus L.A.M.B. route. To the east of Warren, cyclists can grind gravel over the Roxbury Gap towards Norwich. A classic and less strenuous 32-mile route is to take Route 100A to Waterbury and come back via Moretown along Route 100B

as it follows the most beautiful sections of the Mad River. And then there’s the mountain biking. The valley has long been home to secret or semi-public networks of expert trails. But the Mad River Riders have been developing new beginner and intermediate trails, including Blueberry Lake (also a good spot for a swim). Beginner riders should check out Tutsie Roll, Suki’s Alley, Lenord’s and Flying Squirrel. The advanced riders can start from American Flatbread with Revolution, Clinic and Cyclone.


ADVENTURE TOWN “Clinic and Cyclone are some of the classic local favorites,” says Dave Rowles, owner of Stark Mountain Bike Works in Waitsfield. “They’re tight, technical trails with lots of roots and off-camber portions. You can ride them every day and never get tired.” New this summer, Mad River Riders unveils a 1.4-mile intermediate connector trail called Evolution near American Flatbread and the Revolution trail—a flowing ride with banked turns.

Sugarbush’s Mount Ellen area. On August 19–21, the Vermont Music


With the Mad River winding through the valley floor, you’re never far from a swimming hole. In the center of Waitsfield, drop into the Great Eddy directly under the covered bridge. The Lareau swimming hole, across from the Lareau Farm and American Flatbread, has deep water, gentle currants and a grassy picnic area. Warren Falls has boulders of varying heights, while “the Punch Bowl,” across from the Yestermorrow Design/Build School is the local nude beach. However, during the summer, because of the agriculture in the valley the Mad River can have elevated E. coli bacteria counts. Check




favorite The Grift, Low Key, and a host of singer/songwriters including Tim Brick, Abbie Morin and all-horn band The Hornitz. The festival will also have lots of fresh food and local artists showing their crafts. Don’t forget your blanket or lawn chair.



High above the valley floor, the Long Trail marches along the Monroe Skyline, an iconic string of peaks between the Lincoln and Appalachian Gaps. Make a weekend hike of the ridge and link Mount Abraham, Lincoln Peak, Mount Ellen and Stark Mountain. You can make this roughly 15-mile trek easier by staying at the Battell, Glen Ellen or Theron Dean shelters (operated by the Green Mountain Club) or if you’re traveling fast, do it in a day and have a friend pick you up at the end. For a quick hike with a big payoff, head to Sunset Ledge from the top of Lincoln Gap. It's roughly one mile south on the Long Trail and has a stunning view of the Adirondacks (don’t forget a headlamp for the walk back). Burnt Rock Mountain, located in North Fayston is a steep 5.2-mile round trip hike that concludes at an exposed summit below the treeline. You’ll find big empty potholes carved by glaciers and views of the valley below you.


Sparrow and the Dirty Birds, local

Waitsfield is home to two of the more eclectic museums in the state. The Bundy Modern is a giant, Bauhausstyle cube of glass and brick with stunning views of Sugarbush. Both a private home and a gallery, it’s open to the public on Saturdays and in August will be showcasing a 50-year retrospective of Vermont artist Billy Brauer’s work, some of which is in the Don't wait for VMBA Fest to gear up to fly down some of Sugarbush's 18 miles of lift-served trails.

in with the Vermont Department of Health for any alerts (which are also posted at popular swim spots). For more pristine waters, head to Blueberry Lake.


With so many farms providing fresh fare, it’s hard to not eat well in Waitsfield. Valley classics include American Flatbread at Lareau Farm, the Mad Taco, the Pitcher Inn (for the white-tablecloth crowd in Warren) and Big Picture Theater (which serves up local music, food and brews as well as movies). But newer places include Bluestone Pizza, which opened in December with creative pies and a beer selection to match. Try the “White License Plate,” ricotta and romano cheese, Vermontmade sausage, spinach, and sun dried tomato. For vegetarian fare, look up Mint, a cozy restaurant and tea room serving organic fare like stuffed baked portabellas or pappardelle with handmade egg noodles. Next door, Peasant serves European country cuisine with a view of a lovely garden and the river. The restaurant at the Mad River Barn dishes up great salads and pub fare in a new rustic space. Call ahead though as many places are only

open Thursday through Sunday.

permanent collection at the Brooklyn Museum. For a lighter look at life, check out acclaimed architect Dave Sellers’

For a real taste of the Valley, on

collection of toys and other examples

Wednesday evenings, (5 p.m. until

of modern design at the Madsonian

dark), hit the Round Up on the River,

Museum of Industrial Design in the

held June through September at the

center of town.

covered bridge in Waitsfield. You’ll find all varieties of food trucks, plus live music. From May to October, stop by


On Route 17, Hyde Away Inn is a classic

the Mad River Green in Waitsfield for

Vermont inn with a great tavern that

the Waitsfield Farmers Market (9 a.m.

serves up some of the Valley’s best local

to 1 p.m. on Saturdays).

fare and has cozy rooms that range

Or head to Hartshorn Farm on

from $89 to $209. Just up the road,

Route 100 to pick your own organic

the historic Mad River Barn has made

berries and, for local meats, to Kenyon’s

a return with new décor that combines

Variety Store.


It may look like any other hardware




comforts in a chic hostel.

store, but it’s probably the only

one where you can get some local

Hostel offers private rooms with single

Porterhouse steaks with your lumber

beds and a deck that overlooks the Mad

and fence posts.

River. ($30 to $80 per night).


at the base of the Sugarbush Access

On July 10, don’t miss the sixth annual

Road, Hostel Tevere sleeps guests in

Mad Marathon, Mad Half and relays

comfortable bunkrooms at a rate of

with challenging climbs and descents

$35 per night. This is a stylish hostel;

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expect good company, good food and

Green Mountains.

comfortable beds.

On Route 100, Warren Falls Inn &

If you’re traveling on a budget,

If you want to really learn the ins

At the opposite end of the price

and outs of the mountain bike trails

spectrum, the Pitcher Inn in Warren

in the Mad River Valley, stop by Stark

consistently ranks as a top hotel in

Mountain Bike Works or better yet,

New England with its fine dining and

plan to attend the Vermont Mountain

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Bike Fest, scheduled for July 22–24 at

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SHIFTING GEARS IS BETTER AT SUGARBUSH during July and August, sugarbush will host two of vermont’s premier mountain biking events, the vermont Mountain Biking Festival and the eastern states cup. The Vermont Mountain Biking Festival, based out of Mt. ellen, will include weekend rides throughout the Mad river valley, Perry Hill and Green Mountain Trails. The weekend kicks-off with a Friday Welcome Party and all attendees will have FREE access to sugarbush’s downhill trails on sunday. The Eastern States Cup’s East Coast Showdown, held on the slopes of Lincoln Peak, will include events for both the esc New england downhill and esc enduro race series. can’t make the festival or race? come explore 18 miles of terrain on 37 trails, castlerock Pub’s craft draft selection, and fine dining at Timbers restaurant. Bike & Stay Packages start as low as $106 per person.

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RUNNING July 2 -26 Green Mountain Running Camp, Meriden, N.H. Runners of all levels are invited to a week-long residential camp with specialized instruction for cross-country at Kimball Union Academy. 3 Montpelier Mile, Montpelier, Vt. Onion River Sports hosts a flat and fast one-mile road race through downtown Montpelier. 3 Firecracker 5K, Williston, Vt. The Town of Williston and the American Cancer Society partner to fight against cancer and celebrate. The 5K run starts at the Williston Community Park and finishes with ice cream. 4 40th Annual John Langhans Green Mile Road Race, Woodstock, Vt. Runners celebrate Indepndence Day with a challenging 7.1mile run or walk around Woodstock. 4 Harry Corrow Freedom Run, Newport, Vt. Kingdom Games hosts 10-mile, 10K, 5K and 1-mile runs on the Newport-Derby bike path and the Memphremagog Ski Touring Foundation Trails.

4 Clarence DeMar Road Race, South Hero, Vt. The Green Mountain Athletic Association hosts a 5K on paved roads in South Hero. 6 (Ongoing) 5K Trail Race Series, Stowe, Vt. The Trapp Family Lodge hosts a 5K trail race every Wednesday during July and August. A kid’s race is available at every race. 9 MNC Trail Run, Charlotte, Vt. Mansfield Nordic Club hosts a 5K trail race through fields and old roads. Stay for post-race lawn games, a BBQ, and raffle prizes from SkiRack. 10 2016 Trail Race Series at Smugglers’ Notch Resort, Jeffersonville, Vt. Smugglers’ Notch Resort hosts 4K, 8K and kids’ races on trails. Event repeats August 19. 10 Stowe 8-Mile/5K, Stowe, Vt. The classic 8-mile run (and two-person relay) along with a 5K circles Stowe on roads and trails. Race starts at the Recreation Field and finishes at the Golden Eagle resort. 10 Mad Marathon, Mad Half and Relays, Waitsfield, Vt. A weekend of races on dirt roads with tough climbs and great views. 16 Goshen Gallop, Goshen, Vt. Blueberry Hill Inn's 10K trail race in the Moosalamoo National Recreation Area is billed as the “toughest 10K in the East.” There's also a 5K. 16 Chris’ Run, Stowe, Vt. Trapp Family Lodge hosts 5K and 10K trail races for the Chris Ludington Scholarship Fund.




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16-18 Vermont 100 Endurance Race, West Windsor, Vt. This 100-mile ultra-marathon held at Silver Hill Meadow in West Windsor, Vt., is one of four 100-mile races that comprise the Grand Slam of ultra-running. www. 23 38th Annual Bear Swamp Run, Middlesex, Vt. A 5.7-mile loop course on mostly dirt roads climbs 450 feet in the first 3 miles, and then gradually descends to the finish. 23 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Manchester, Vt. Runners and walkers complete a 5K while raising funds for the Susan G. Komen foundation. 24 5th Annual Essex Half Marathon, Essex Junction, Vt. Runners cover paved and dirt roads on an out-and-back half marathon that starts and finishes on the high school track. 30 Round Church Women’s Run, Richmond, Vt. Head to Richmond for a 5K and 10K, both out and back on Cochran Road, starting and finishing at Farr Rd., across from the historic Round Church. The courses are all paved with a few rolling hills.

August 5 Run the River Team Challenge, Springfield, Vt. A 5K run/walk for four-person teams. A fun and competitive race that will be followed by a food truck festival, beer tent, lawn games, live music and presentation of the Challenge Cup. 6 Moosalamoo Ultra, Goshen, Vt. The Blueberry Hill Inn is host to 14-mile and 36-mile races on the trails of the Moosalamoo National Recreation Area.



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6 Fairfax Egg Run, Fairfax, Vt. The Fairfax Recreation Department hosts early morning 5K and 10K races with eggs cooked to order at the finish. www. 13 100 On 100 Relay, Stowe, Vt. Teams split the 100 miles between the Trapp Family Lodge and Jackson Gore at Okemo into relay portions on Route 100. 13 Kingdom Run, Irasburg, Vt. Race a half marathon, 10K or 5K on dirt roads with gentle hills. A free meal with blueberry sundaes follows the race. www. 18 Berlin Pond 5-miler, Berlin, Vt. Race a 5-mile loop around Berlin Pond. Course, part of the CVR ORS Race Series.. 8/19-20 Last Mile Ride, Randolph, Vt. Gifford Medical Center hosts a 5K run and walk and an 80-mile motorcycle ride on paved roads with a barbeque after. www. 8/20 KBC Race To The Summit, Killington, Vt. Hike or run in this challenging 5K course from the Ramshead Base Lodge to the 21 Saint Albans Raid Half Marathon, St. Albans, Vt. St. Albans pays homage to its history with a half marathon on the historic Rail Trail. StAlbansRaidHalfMarathon

27 Best Dam Run & Walk, Whitingham, Vt. The Harriman Reservoir is the site of a half marathon and 5K race that follow the Hoot, Toot & Whistle Trail along the west side of Harriman Reservoir. The race benefits fuel assistance programs in the Deerfield Valley. 28 North Face Race To The Top of Vermont, Stowe, Vt. The Catamount Trail Association challenges runners and cyclists to a race up Stowe’s historic toll road, gaining 2,564 vertical feet over 4.3 miles.

September 3 Northfield Savings Bank 5K and Children’s Race, Northfield, Vt. This 5K course certified, part of the CVR ORS Race Series, starts and finishes in frontin downtown Northfield. www. 10 2016 Make A Wish Maple Leaf Half Marathon, , Manchester, Vt. The Maple Leaf provides an opportunity for participants to enjoy early Vermont fall foliage. The new event, Walk For Wishes, will take place along side the half marathon and the Kotler 5K. 10 Charlotte Covered Bridge 5K, 10K, and Half Marathon, Shelburne, Vt. The 5K/10K & half marathon begin at Shelburne Beach with beautiful views of Lake Champlain and a course that's flat or slightly rolling.

18 TAM Trek, Middlebury, Vt. The 18-mile Trail Around Middlebury hosts 18-, 6- and 2-mile runs and a 3-mile hike on double and singletrack, pavement and several technical sections. 24-25 Adirondack Marathon Distance Festival, Schroon Lake, NY Schroon Lake, N.Y. hosts a full weekend of distance racing in the with a marathon, half marathon, relays, 5K, and 10K races. www. 25: Vermont Sun Half Marathon, Salisbury, Vt. Vermont Sun organizes a 5K, 10K and half marathon along Lake Dunmore in Branbury State Park. www.

BIKING July 8 – 9 Prouty Ultimate, Hanover, N.H. Two days of 100-mile “century” road bike rides supporting patient services and cancer research at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center in Lebanon, N.H. Friday’s ride is from Manchester to Hanover, Saturday’s ride is a loop starting and finishing in Hanover, N.H. 9 Raid Lamoille, Stowe, Vt. Cyclists ride approximately 100K (60+ miles) on mostly gravel roads through the stunning Vermont countryside. The route will include nearly 6,000 feet of climbing. A 50K option will also be available. www. 7/9-10 Eastern States Cup Downhill Race, Dover, Vt. Mount Snow hosts the seventh running of the Eastern States Cup with amateurs racing for gear and pros duking it out for a cash purse. 17 Farm To Fork Fondo, Pittsfield, Vt. Cyclists pick one of four fondo rides with stops at local farms. Choose between a

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103-mile gran fondo, a 74-mile medio fondo and a 40-mile piccolo fondo. Dinner at Riverside Farm in Pittsfield kicks it off. 22–24 Vermont Mountain Bike Fest, Warren, Vt. The Vermont Mountain Bike Association hosts its annual festival at Sugarbush’s Mount Ellen area. The weekend includes organized rides all over the Mad River Valley, Perry Hill and Green Mountain Trails. Blueberry Lake will host easier rides. 7/28-31 Beast Of The East Pro GRT The USA Cycling Pro Gravity Tour stops at Killington for a downhill competition on some of the mountain’s most challenging terrain. 30 The Millstone Relay and 8-Hour MTB Relay, Websterville, Vt. Individuals and teams of two and three compete for the most laps in an eighthour period on an established course on the Millstone Trails network. www. 30 IRR 5.0 Irreverent Road Ride, Waterbury, Vt. The class four roads around Waterbury play host to a blistering 120-mile ride with 13,000 feet of climbing. www.

August 6 Mount Equinox Uphill Bike Climb, Manchester, Vt. The Gear Up For Lyme Mt. Equinox Uphill Bike Climb is a challenging 5.4 mile bike race up the scenic Mt. Equinox Skyline Drive finishing at the 3,855-foot summit. 11–14 The Vermont Challenge, Manchester, Vt. Manchester and Stratton Resort serve as the home base for four days of long-distance rides between 26.5 and 105 miles. www.





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27-28 ADK 80K, Lake Placid, N.Y. The 4th annual ADK 80K Race Weekend consists of a 80K/50K trail run and relay on Saturday and a 80K/40K mountain bike races on Sunday. Both races will be held on the same 20K loop on the 1980 Olympic Nordic ski trails of Mt. Van Hoevenberg.

13 8th Bike N’ Brew Festival, East Burke, Vt. Burke Mountain hosts an event that features craft brew tastings, lift rides, mountain biking, and awards for the best beer. 13 Harpoon Point To Point, Windsor, Vt. The Harpoon Point to Point presented by National Life Group benefits the Vermont Foodbank. Choose from a 25-, 50-, or 100-mile ride starting and finishing at the Harpoon Brewery. 20-21 Eastern States Cup Sugarbush Showdown, Warren, Vt. The Eastern States Cup E returns to Sugarbush with enduro and downhill mountain bike races and a combined cash purse of $3,200. 28 Vermont Overland Gran Prix, Woodstock, Vt. A 51-mile dirt road bicycle race featuring 5,400 feet of climbing, seven sections of unmaintained ancient public roads, a village downtown start/finish and a street party afterwards.

September 2-5 Green Mountain Stage Race, Waitsfield, Vt.The largest pro/amateur road stage race east of the Mississippi returns to Vermont with four days of time trials, criterium races and a gran fondo. 4 Darn Tough Ride, Stowe, Vt. This annual ride in the Stowe area features a total elevation of 7,900’, including two Category 2 climbs, crossing the famous Smuggler’s Notch on Mt. Mansfield twice. www. 4 Labor Day 130K, Peru, Vt. An unsupported ride of 85 miles along the roads of southern Vermont with an elevation gain of over 7,500 feet. 10 Kelly Brush Century Ride, Middlebury, Vt. The 11th annual ride includes 25-, 50-, or 100-mile distances and raises funds for the Kelly Brush Foundation. The scenic, fully-supported ride through the Champlain Valley draws over 700 cyclists and dozens of handcyclists. Followed by a tasty post-ride BBQ.

9/9-11 Quebec Grand Prix, Quebec & Montreal, Ca. The UCI WorldTour kicks off in Quebec City with 17 world road racing teams, three pro continental teams and one national team going head-to-head in 16 laps on a 12.6K loop around the old city. On Saturday, the action moves to Montreal for a 1.5K-lap criterium followed by teams going to head to head on a 12.1K loop around the waterfront city. on Sunday. 11 Cabot Ride the Ridges, Cabot, Vt. With routes of 10, 30, 60 and 100K available, this ride through the towns of Peacham and Cabot has something for every rider. 17 Stone Valley 50 Gravel Grinder, Poultney, Vt Gravel grinders can test themselves in two events: a 50-mile race on mostly gravel roads; or a 20-mile noncompetitive tour . 18 Peak GMT Gnarly Adventure and 6-hour Challenge, Pittsfield, Vt. The GMT Gnarly Adventure will cover all 25 miles of the Green Mountain Trails system while the Six-Hour Challenge will test riders to complete as many laps as possible of a ten-mile loop in six hours. 24 Double Century Gran Fondo, East Burke, Vt. Kingdom Games hosts two days of century rides on roads around the Northeast Kingdom, starting and finishing in East Burke. 24 Hungry Lion Bike Tour, Whitingham, Vt. Cyclists tackle the roads of southern Vermont while raising funds to fight hunger. Distance include 10-, 32-, 35-, 55-, and 75-mile routes.


30 Kingdom Swim, Newport, Vt. Lake Memphremagog is the site of a series of swims, including 15-, 10-, 6-, 3- and 1-mile long. The 15mile distance crosses the Canadian border. www. 30 Kayak Kingdom Swim, Newport, Vt. Kayakers are paired with swimmers on the 3, 6, 10 and 15-mile courses of the Kingdom Swim. The event provides dinner and lodging the night before for volunteer kayakers, and picnic lunch following the swim, plus a $50 stipend ($65 if you bring your own kayak).

August 6 Seymour Swim, Derby, Vt. Swimmers attempt the 3.5-mile or 1.75-mile options of the Aquaman triathlon, all held at Lake Seymour. www. 7 – 8 14th Annual FairPoint Lake Champlain Martin 16 Invitational Regatta, Colchester, Vt. The Northeast Disabled Athletic Association and the Malletts Bay Boat Club host the longest running disabled regatta in New England. 13 – 21 Swim The Kingdom Week, NEK, Vt. Kingdom Games holds a week of long distance swims. ranging from 1.5 miles to 9 miles in lakes around the Northeast Kingdom.

September 10 In Search of Memphre VI, Newport, Vt. Swimmers take on a 25-mile swim from Newport, Vt. across the border to Magog, Quebec.




18 Georgeville or Bust, Newport, Vt. Swimmers attempt a 15-mile swim in Lake Memphremagog from Newport, Vt. to Georgeville, Quebec. www.

17 Vermont Sun Triathlon, Salisbury, Vt. Middlebury's annual triathlon series features a 600-yard swim, a 14-mile bike ride and a 3.1-mile run on the shores of Lake Dunmore. Event repeats on August 14. www.


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23 Willoughby Triathlon, Westmore, Vt. Kingdom Games hosts a 13-mile bike on logging roads on Bartlett Mountain, followed by a 1.2-mile swim from South Beach to Devil’s Rock and back. The event finishes with a 2.6-mile trail run to the summit of Mount Pisgah. www. 31 32nd Annual Colchester Triathlon, Colchester, Vt. The Colchester Parks and Rec Department hosts a 500-meter swim (or a 1.5-mile kayak), 12-mile bike ride and 3-mile run, starting and finishing at Bayside Park in Colchester.

August 6 Aquaman Even-Up, Ollie Even-Up and Sprint Derby and Morgan, Vt. Kingdom Games hosts a series of three triathlons: The Aquaman has a 3.5-mile swim, 34-mile bike and 13.1-mile run; The Ollie has a 1.75-mile swim, 15-mile bike, and a 10K run; the Sprint has a 500-yard swim, 13-mile bike, and 5-mile run. 7 Lake Monster Sprint/Olympic Triathlon, Shelburne, Vt. RaceVermont host two triathlons at Shelburne Beach. The Lake Monster Sprint includes a 500-yard swim, 15.8mile bike and a 3.1-mile run. The Olympic Triathlon will be a .9-mile swim, 27-mile bike and a 6.2-mile run. www. 14 Lake Dunmore Triathlon, Salisbury, Vt. Vermont Sun’s Olympic distance triathlon includes a .9-mile swim, 28-mile bike ride and a 6.2-mile run on the shores of Lake Dunmore. 9/18 Josh Billings Triathlon, Stockbridge Mass. Teams complete a 27-mile bike ride, 5-mile paddle, and 6-mile run through the Berkshires in this fun, teamoriented triathlon.


OBSTACLE COURSE RACES July 9 Dirty Girl Mud Run, Killington, Vt. Killington Resort hosts a 5K obstacle race with cargo nets, walls and plenty of mud. 16 Tri-Obstaclon, Benson, Vt. A 7K bike ride, a 300-yard swim and the 10K on Shale Hill’s obstacle course. 17 Shale Hill Relay Challenge, Benson, Vt. Teams of three complete 2-mile portions of the 10K obstacle course with over 60 different obstacles to negotiate. www.

July FESTIVALS 8-10 Stoweflake Hot Air Balloon Fest., Stowe, Vt. Dozens ofhot air balloons take to the skies above Stowe. Rides are available by reservation. 15-16 Vermont Brewers Festival, Burlington, Vt. The Vermont Brewers Association holds its annual beer tasting festival at Burlington’s Waterfront Park with 50 breweries on tap. 22-23 Jeezum Crow Festival, Jay, Vt. Jay Peak’s Stateside Amphitheater has two days of live music from Dark Star Orchestra, Alejandro Escovedo, Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams, Sleepy Man, Aqueous and more.

29 – 31 Kids Adventure Games, Stowe, Vt. The Trapp Family Lodge hosts an obstacle course race designed for kids with mountain biking, hiking, zip-lines, cargo nets, mud pits and more on a 3-mile course. www.

29-30 Stowe Brewers Festival, Stowe, Vt. Sample more than 120 beers, ciders and meads from 40 local producers around the state.


5-7 Hops in the Hills, Ludlow, Vt. Okemo hosts a three-day beer and cider festival with over 50 regional craft beers and ciders, live music, craft vendors and tasty food.

6 -7 24 Hours of Shale Hell, Benson, Vt. Individuals or teams attempt to complete as many laps as they can over a 24-hour period on a 10K obstacle course with over 65 obstacles. 6 The Bitter Pill, Bolton, Vt. Teams of two or three complete a 12-hour race with mountain biking, paddling, rappelling, running, orienteering and more.

September 17-18 Spartan Race, Killington, Vt. Racers tackle the Beast of the East in the famously tough Spartan Race. Obstacles include walls, nets, sandbag carries and plenty of mud.

CLIMBING July 16-30 WMS Climbing Camp, Bethlehem, N.H. The White Mountain School’s Climbing Camp for 12-16 year olds provides a safe and challenging experience for beginner and advanced climbers. :earn gear placement, climb legendary multi-pitch routes, and gain an understanding of safety at Cannon, Rumney, Cathedral and Whitehorse.


6 Uh-lympics, Dover, Vt. Mount Snow’s newest event salutes the weekend warrior with teams of two competing in backyard games with live music, barbeque and beer. 13 12th Annual August West Festival, Jay, Vt. Jay Peak’s annual festival celebrates the Grateful Dead. You’ll find tie-dying, free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, food and crafts on the town green in Jay. 19-21 Vermont Music Festival, Waitsfield, Vt. The Mad River Valley hosts Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds, The Grift, Low Key, Tim Brick, Abbie Morin and more live acts. 20 Hop Jam, Bolton Valley, Vt. Hop Jam enters its third year with another day-long party with great music, food and Vermont's finest brews. www.


Ethan Allen Biathlon Club 2016 Summer Race Series

DATES July 7, 14, 21, August 4,11, 18 TIMES 5:00 pm - Registration 5:30 to 6:00 pm - Zeroing 6:15 pm - Race Start

Sunday, September 18 THROUGH 5 TOWNS IN THE BEAUTIFUL BERKSHIRES Bike • Canoe/Kayak/SUP • Run Triathlon Team & Iron Categories and


WHERE Ethan Allen Biathlon Club Ethan Allen Rd., Jericho, VT

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5:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. The Coach Barn at Shelburne Farms For one special evening, farmers and chefs from across Vermont come together to prepare a sensational meal. The celebration features a bounty of local products grown and raised by Vermont’s farmers and grilled, braised, sautéed and baked into delectable offerings by 30 of the state’s finest chefs.

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ike Shops around VT sponsored content 91

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We are the original home to Kingdom Trails. Located in the heart of town, we pride ourselves in expert knowledge while providing friendly customer service. A full service shop awaits you and your repair needs. We have over 75 rentals bikes with an enormous selection of clothing, parts and accessories.


2500 Williston Road S. Burlington, VT 802-864-9197

Earl’s has Vermont’s largest selection of mountain, road, hybrid, and kids’ bikes, clothing and accessories, helmets, shoes, and car racks. Plus an extensive women’s department, a full service department with a wide assortment of parts and tools on hand, ample parking, and a test ride trail!


125 Hours: 9am-6pm every day Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-7pm Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 11am-5pm





439 Route 114 East Burke, VT 802-626-3215




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37 Church Street Burlington, VT 802-860-0190 Hours: Mon-Thurs 10am- 8pm Fri-Sat 10am-9pm, Sun 10am-6pm OGE is quickly becoming Burlington, VT’s premier bike shop with a knowledgeable, friendly, and honest staff to get you on a new bike or fix the one you already have at a price that works for you. We have commuters and gravel grinders from Marin and KHS, mountain bikes from Pivot, Transition, Rocky Mountain, and Yeti, and a large selection of consignment bikes. Our comprehensive demo fleet allows you to try it before you buy it. Fully equipped service department and full Fox shock service in house. Come on down and see us!



322 N. Winooski Ave Burlington, VT 802-863-4475 Hours: 7 days a week Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12pm-6pm



Manchester Center 17


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19 9 Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5:30pm Sat 9am-3pm, Closed Sunday

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45 Bridge Street Morrisville, VT 877-815-9178

35 Portland Street Morrisville, VT 802-888-6557 Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-6pm Sat 8:30am-5pm, Sun 10am-4pm North Central Vermont’s Trek and Giant Dealer. With over 200 new and used bikes PPS has a bike for everyone. Service and rentals too!




511 Broad Street Lyndonville, VT 802-626-8448 Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30am-6pm Sat 8am-5pm, Sun 9:30am-5pm

For 35 years, the Village Sport Shop has been a destination for sports enthusiasts of all ages and abilities to find quality, competitively priced sporting goods. Covering a wide variety of activities and gear the Village Sport Shop has helped customers, locals and visitors alike enjoy the outdoors.



85 Main Street Burlington, VT 802-658-3313 Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-7pm Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 11am-5pm Locally owned since 1969, Skirack offers gear, clothing, expert fits and accessories for all cyclists, with full service tuning and complete bike suspension service on most forks and rear shocks. Designated one of America’s Best Bike Shops, Skirack is blocks from Lake Champlain. Open 8am Mon-Sat for bike service, car racks and rentals.



100 Main Street Burlington, VT 802-863-3832 Hours: 7 days a week Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12pm-5pm

Old Spokes Home offers VT’s best selection of professionally refurbished used bikes and new bikes for touring, bike packing, commuting, fat biking, and simply getting around. Named one of the country’s best bike shops by Outside Online for it’s “plain-talk advice and no-nonsense service.” A non-profit as of January 2015, OSH uses 100% of its revenue to run programs creating access to bikes in the community. And don’t miss their famous antique bicycle museum!



24 Bridge Street Richmond, VT 802-434-4876 Hours: Mon-Sat 10:30am-6:30pm Closed Sundays Belgen Cycles offers custom and stock bicycles supported by 38 years of handson experience.

Focused on the right bike for you covering the spectrum from road to ‘cross and mountain to fat with selections from Salsa, Xprezo, Moots, Parlee, Litespeed, Lynskey and Soma. Full service maintenance and repair as well as fitting solutions. In business as Village Bicycle in Richmond for 18 years.



46 S. Main Street Waterbury, VT 802-882-8595 Hours: 7 days a week Mon-Thur 10am-6pm Fri & Sat 9am-7pm, Sun 10am-4pm WBS sells Trek and Giant bikes of every flavor from high end mountain bikes to kids, hybrids and cross bikes. Our service techs are among the best in northern VT. We also rent and Demo from our downtown location right near the Perry Hill Trails.



20 Langdon Street Montpelier, VT 802-229-9409 Hours: Mon-Thur 9am-6pm Fri 9am-8pm, Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 11am-4pm Whether you’re a cycling pro, a casual commuter, or a novice rider, we’ve got the perfect bicycle for all of your adventures — and the friendly, knowledgeable staff to help you find it. We are a full-service bike shop staffed by experts committed to helping you keep your bike at top performance. We can diagnose and repair problems on any bicycle, whether you’re looking for a basic tune-up, or complicated and extensive maintenance and repairs. We also pack and ship bikes anywhere in the country.



56 Depot Sq, Northfield, VT 802-485-5424 Hours: Mon-Thur 10-5:30, Fri 10-6, Sat 10-2, closed Sun Bicycle Express is one of Vermont’s finest bike shops in down town Northfield, VT. Open for sales in bicycles, and outdoor gear. We sell Kona, Scott and Cannodale.



74 Main Street Middlebury, VT 802-388-6666 Hours: Mon -Thur 9:30am-5:30pm year round, Fri 9:30am-7pm yearround, Sat 9:30-5:30 year-round, Sun 1-4pm May - September and for Christmas shopping

Take advantage of the most advanced and courteous service in our region, including a quick turn-around in our service shop downstairs at Frog Hollow Bikes. Upstairs in the sales room, we offer the best in new and used road, mountain, lifestyle, and children’s bikes and new gear. We carry brands that offer superior products that balance innovation and performance with reliability and value. Formerly the Bike Center.



105 N. Main Street Rochester, VT 800-767-7882 Hours: 7 days a week, 10am-6pm Located in the heart of the Green Mountains, we are surrounded by terrain that calls to mountain and road bikers alike. Whether you ride twisting trails or back to back gaps, we service, sell, and rent all styles of bicycles, featuring Kona, Jamis, Juliana, Raleigh, Santa Cruz, Transition, and Hinderyckx bikes - hand crafted by our own Rochester boy Zak Hinderyckx. So STOP READING and RIDE YOUR BIKE!



25 Depot Ave. Windsor, VT 802-674-6742 Hours: Tue-Fri 10-6, Sat 9-5 Closed Sun & Mon Paradise Sports Shop has been serving the needs of cyclists and outside enthusiasts in the Upper Valley since 2008. We offer professional retail sales and service of cycling equipment, accessories and soft goods and much more.



99 Bonet Street Manchester, VT 802-362-2734 Hours: 7 days a week 9:30am-5:30pm Full selection of men and women’s clothing. Rentals available. Great back roads. Road rides Thursdays at 6pm, Beginner Rides Fridays at 6pm.



105 Main St., Brattleboro, VT 802-254-9430 Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat. 9am-5:30pm, Sun Noon-5pm

very experienced mechanics and a wide selection of bikes from Specialized and Cannondale to customs from Seven, Co-Motion, and Waterford. We also love and sell SUPs and are certified instructors for paddleboarding, road cycling and mountain biking.



18.5 Mascoma Street Lebanon, NH 603-448-5400 Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-5:30pm Sat 9am-3pm, Closed Sundays

80 years of serving the Brattleboro area with great gear for the year-round outdoor sports enthusiast. Featuring Raleigh, Bianchi, GT, Schwinn, Ibis, and Yuba Cargo Bikes. Best selection of kids bikes in the area. Top notch service Department...we can fix just about anything. Electric assist kits to help you “flatten” the Vermont hills.

The areas 4-season Mountain Bike Headquarters. Locally owned and located 1.1 miles from the entrance to the Boston Lot trail system, the crown jewel of the Upper Valley. We are a shop run by passionate riders and we carry Rocky Mountain, Salsa and Raleigh bikes. We service all bikes and specialize in mountain bike suspension service and setup. Come join us for one of our Tuesday or Thursday night group rides at 6 PM.




49 Brickyard Lane Putney, VT 802-387-5718 Hours: Mon-Sat, 10am-6pm Closed Sundays

Since 1971, the West Hill Shop has been a low-key, friendly source for bikes ‘n gear, service and rare wisdoms. We are known regionally as the go-to place for problem-solving technicians. Our bike fitters specialize in comfort without sacrificing efficiency. Recently, we’ve focused on stocking gravel road bikes, with awesome dirt road riding right out our door. Our annual (and infamous) cyclocross race has been described as “the Providence race in Carhartts.” Come join us for one of our adventurous rides!



28 Cottage Street Littleton, NH 603-444-3437 Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-7pm Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 11am-4pm Since 1981 we’ve been helping north country folks enjoy the outdoors. With a full service repair shop,


20 Hanover Street Lebanon, NH 603-448-3522 Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-6pm Sat 9am-5pm, Closed Sundays The Upper Valley’s bike shop since 1964. We carry road bikes, mountain bikes and kids bikes from specialty brands including Trek, Specialized and Colnago. Featuring a full service department offering bike fitting, bike rentals and a kids’ tradein, trade-up program.



2733 Main Street Lake Placid, NY 518-523-3764 Hours: Mon-Sat, 9am-6pm Sun 9am-5pm Lake Placid’s source for bicycling and outdoor gear since 1983! Road bike coaching rides and professional bike fitting, too. We also offer road and gravel cycling tours, and other schools and camps for all ages and abilities. Demos for Salsa adventure by bike, Surly, Giant and Scott bicycles — get off the pavement and on the gravel!




hen I first moved to Vermont to attend college, I discovered one of this state’s lesser-known but magnificent features. On a muggy August day, friends drove me down twisting and turning backroads, and when I was certain we were hopelessly lost, we pulled off to the side, scrambled down a vague path between boulders and brush and plunged into a pristine swimming hole—a perfect spot to cool off from the summer heat. Now, as the Executive Director of the Vermont River Conservancy (VRC), I am fortunate to know of dozens of hidden, and not-so-hidden, swimming holes. These treasures are a vital part of our common experience in Vermont. We float in a refreshingly cold pool looking up at the clear sky, buoyed by clean water, watching a daredevil teenager turn back flips off a bedrock ledge. Swimming holes are for everyone, regardless of age or ability or economic status. And to be sure swimming holes will be part of the Vermont experience for future generations, the Vermont River Conservancy has initiated a program called “A Swimming Hole in Every Town.” With over 200 known swimming holes in the state—80 percent of which are privately owned—we are working with town recreation committees, passionate swimming hole advocates and willing landowners to conserve and protect public access. VRC was founded over 20 years ago just as well-loved community swimming holes were being closed off to public access due to development, changing ownership or inappropriate use. The founders of VRC realized that if no one stepped in to protect these places, the very essence of the iconic Vermont summer would be threatened. Several years ago, VRC received a phone call from a supporter warning that the land surrounding a beloved swimming hole known as “Journey's End” in Johnson was up for sale as a residential lot. With the support of the local community, and with the patience and openness of the landowner to consider a conservation alternative,


A SWIMMING HOLE IN EVERY TOWN When the land surrounding a popular swimming hole, “Journey’s End,” in Johnson came up for sale in 2013, the Vermont River Conservancy moved quickly to work with private donors and the town of Johnson to conserve 25 acres along the Foote Brooke for fishing, swimming and recreation.

this pristine place was purchased and conveyed to the town as a permanent public resource. We can’t take these places for granted: this same pattern of threats can occur across the Vermont landscape. One of the primary threats is losing the long tradition of free and open access to our rivers. This threatens one of the most visceral and basic connections to the natural world. Imagine a Vermont whose shore lands are posted and offlimits to the public. We will continue to lose these generations-old spots unless we make a concerted community effort to protect them. Often, loss of access is preceded by abuse and misuse. Without proper and thoughtful management, many exceptional swimming holes are overcrowded or degraded by unthinking users. If Vermont’s swimming holes, waterfalls, gorges and other popular sites are to be well cared

for, Vermonters need to be excellent stewards of the lands along our waters. Since its inception 21 years ago, VRC has protected numerous swimming holes throughout Vermont. There is more important work to be done. How can you help? 1. Become a swimming hole steward. Contact the Vermont River Conservancy if you are interested in being the go-to person for taking care of a swimming hole. Stewards can help install safety and proper use signs, remove trash and fundraise for trail improvements. 2. Be a good visitor. Respect the swimming holes you visit by packing out your trash, not bringing glass containers, respecting noise levels, following an established trail, and obeying parking laws – and above all, respect the generosity of those landowners who allow us to cross their lands to swim in our rivers. 3. Share the beauty. Bring a friend to experience the tranquility of a

“Losing the long tradition of free and open access to our rivers threatens one of the most visceral and basic connections to the natural world. Imagine a Vermont whose shore lands are posted and off-limits to the public.”

swimming hole. 4. Talk to your town officials about the need for guaranteed public access to natural places. The character of Vermont depends, in part, on accessible, free, community gathering spaces for enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural heritage. Summers in Vermont would be diminished if families and friends, locals and tourists, couldn’t enjoy the beauty and refreshment of our beautiful rivers. Protecting public access to the swimming holes we love is only possible if we work together. Please support our work, and steward the places you love to swim. Contact VRC to find out how you can protect a swimming hole near you. There may be a river clean-up event, or an opportunity to get your hands dirty working on a trail, or become a swimming hole steward. Steve Libby is the executive director of the Vermont River Conservancy. You can contact him at vrc@ vermontriver or call 802-229-0820. www.vermontriver


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Vermont Sports, July 2016  
Vermont Sports, July 2016