Close to 100 mountain bikers from across New England descended on Franconia and Littleton, NH, May 18-19 for the first in a series of events highlighting the trails and communities that make up The Borderlands, a collaborative effort to use mountain biking as a tool for economic and community development at seven Northern Forest locations.
The mountain bikers enjoyed group rides, refreshments, music, and – for some – their first taste of North Country hospitality.
The Franconia Area chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association — known within The Borderlands as Profile Trails — hosted the Saturday event. Local riders led five groups on rides from 45 minutes to 2 hours long, tailored for different abilities. Afterward, everyone met at the new Iron Furnace Brewing for food, refreshments, live music and a raffle with prizes from local businesses.
On Sunday, the party moved north to PRKR MTN in Littleton, where riders enjoyed 23 miles of trail, including a newly expanded pump track. After the group rides, riders enjoyed refreshments from Rek-Lis Brewing and Schilling Beer Company, hot dogs and burgers hot off the grill, and live music.
We look forward to seeing many more people at the next five Tour de Borderlands stops. Next up is Circuits Frontieres in East Hereford, Quebec ,on June 8, followed by Mahoosuc Pathways in Bethel, Maine, on July 13. The tour goes from there to Kingdom Trails in East Burke, VT on Aug. 10; Craftsbury Outdoor Center in Craftsbury, Vermont, on Sept. 8; and wraps up at Coos Trails in Gorham, N.H., on Sept. 21.
We also encourage riders to take part in The Borderlands Challenge by visiting all seven locations this summer anytime and sending us photos of themselves on the trails and at local businesses. Riders who document being at all seven locations and patronizing local businesses will get a hoodie and finisher’s patch at the end of the season — not to mention great experiences at some very special Northern Forest trail networks and towns.
The seven locations collaborating as The Borderlands span 2 countries, 3 states and 7 locations and offer the Northeast’s most exciting and diverse mountain biking terrain. They have joined together to promote mountain biking and their welcoming host communities, which are known for their eye-popping scenery, craft breweries, farm stands, good food and local flavor.
The seven mountain bike organizations are committed to creating and promoting high-quality riding experiences for both residents and visitors.