Highland Mountain Bike Park, Northfield
Experiencing Highland Mountain (SingleTracks #110, July 2010)
Highland Mountain Bike Park was put on the map when mountain bikers Mark Hayes and Will Gaudette took their dreams of building a lift access mountain bike park to the lakes region in Northfield, NH. The dream, born from idle chatter during group rides, became a reality when the park was opened for the public in 2006. Since then, riders have come from all over the world to experience trails built by riders for riders. Highland has become known for its "one passion"- being the world's first lift access mountain bike park dedicated to mountain biking only-nothing else.
For those interested in a first time mountain biking experience, Highland offers the Find Your Ride Package. A tour of the mountain with a Highland coach that includes Trek's top-of-the-line Scratch rental bike, helmet, protective gear for the day, a Park Ready Pro tips session, and one guided top to bottom run for only $99. For riders seeking professional mountain bike coaching, Highland offers a full range of camps and instructional programs taught by certified professionals and celebrity mountain bikers with years of riding and competition experience. Available formats include:
• Beginner, Kids, Race, Freeride, Slopestyle and Women Camps
• Ayr Academy — Week long camps for youth and adults
• Private & Semi-Private Lessons
New for 2010 is the Highland Training Center, a 9100 square foot indoor facility complete with a foam pit, indoor ramps, and jumps. The training center will add another reality for the development of riders by providing additional options for those wanting to learn the art of jumping or advanced aerial tricks with a foam pit landing.
Highland provides mountain biking for all gravity enthusiasts and offers trails for invigorated cross-country riders. Meadows Ends, Cat Scratch Fever, and Fancy Feast are all beginner trails that were built with berms and flowing features that are sure to put a smile on any rider’s face when completed. For a more traditional New England mountain bike trail, venture over to the intermediate trails, Eastern Hemlock and Shillelagh, for some root-laden twists, rock sections, and small drop aways. If that's not your thing, then gear up for some sick berms, jumps, and smooth drops on the trails, Happy Hour, NE Style, the slalom course, and Hellion. Not enough? Advanced trails, Maiden Voyage and Threshold, will keep you riding gnarly rock sections, road gaps, and wooden features that will test your skills and courage. At Highland, we build trails for every rider and ability. Don't forget that we have coaches, camps, and a skills center to help you progress through our trails and features with newly learned techniques and style!
In addition to lift access trails, the bike park also has dirt jump parks, a pump track, and a slopestyle course. The Sherwood Forest jump park has dirt jumps for the developing jumper, and then they can progress to the next level with our dirt jump park. The Highland pump track offers our riders additional skill training for learning to ride by pumping the bike instead of pedaling. At the final stage of progression, is the KillieCrankie Slopestyle course for riders to test themselves on a world-class course designed for our largest annual event, the Claymore Challenge. So, whatever type of mountain bike riding you're into, we have it here at Highland Mountain Bike Park.
With the diversity of Highland terrain, we have mastered the most important element of trail building-flow. The trail crew is a meticulous and detail-oriented bunch, who carefully plan out and design every aspect of a run from top to bottom to ensure its fluidity. They are, after all, riders themselves with a passion for perfection. Our full-time trail crew has spent thousand of hours building trails and features and continue to polish out trails and develop new adventures. This attention to detail has resulted in the most important factor in riding, having fun.
Highland Mountain Bike Park provides all the equipment you'll need for a day's adventure on the hill. For those interested in a downhill bike experience or a mid-travel all mountain ride, Highland has a full fleet of Trek bikes available upon reservation. Full-face helmets and body armor are ready for rental to keep you covered on the trails. In addition to rentals, we have a full service mountain bike shop with seasoned experts that can keep your bike running smoothly and are committed to getting you out on the trails as quickly as possible.
Not sure you are ready to ride Highland Mountain Bike Park? For spectating thrills, Highland hosts a myriad of family friendly gravity cycling competitions and events. The 2010 events calendar includes the following:
• Claymore Challenge (World Freeride Tour Event)
• Gravity East #6 (New England Regional Mountain bike downhill racing)
• Brodown Showdown Jump Jam,
• GS3 Dual Slalom Series
• Sender Bash (Amateur Video Contest)
Whether you prefer the view from the slope side, the deck, or simply to enjoy the show in the comfort of the lodge, these events are not to be missed.
The upper main lodge houses the ticket counter and Highland Camps Center along with amenities such as café and bar equipped with wireless internet, several flat screen televisions, and comfortable seating. Nestled away beneath the deck, but not to be overlooked, stands ready one of the best first responder patrols in the industry. Lockers are available in the lower lodge along with a full-service bike and retail shop. Overall, Highland's easy going friendly staff is committed to providing you with the most enjoyable gravity cycling experience possible!
Remember, whether you're a seasoned professional, first timer, or something in between, or simply curious about the park, Highland is waiting to give you a fun-filled day of gravity cycling excitement! Highland Mountain Bike Park is conveniently located near Tilton, New Hampshire, just off route 93. Experience Highland first hand and share in the passion that is Highland Mountain Bike Park, for more information go to www.highlandmountain.com!