If you’re a beginner or intermediate looking to become more comfortable with single track, Kirchner Woods is a great place to learn. Developed as Stowe’s best purpose-built beginner mt bike trails, Kirchner Woods is part of the Stowe Land Trust conservation properties, a 75 acre parcel of northern hardwood forest that was part of a maple sugar production operation until the mid 1990’s. The property was protected in 2009 and the first mountain bike trail was built in 2010. To get there starting from Main St. in Stowe, turn onto School St. right across from the Stowe Community Church. Head up the road till you get to a fork where you will bear left onto Taber Hill Rd. Continue for about a mile up and over the hill, the pavement will turn to dirt road at the top. Proceed down the road and you will see a sign to your left for Kirchner Woods.
The network starts out on Jerry’s Trail which has a mellow uphill approach to the old sugar house. It has been cleared of organic matter and even starts out as a crushed stone path. From there, starting on Lower Bucket Trail is great way to experience a comfortable climb that consists of small bridges, roots, and rock roll overs. The full loop connects with the Sugar House Loop at the end of Upper Bucket Trail. The Sugar House Loop rides easier than both Bucket Trails, it is a wide XC ski trail with a single track going down it. It is recommended to do the complete loop both ways, it rides well from both directions and keeps this single loop network interesting if you are planning to do it a couple times.
Take advantage of this great learning facility if you or somebody you know wants to get into mountain biking. All too often we see beginners getting frustrated on more challenging networks. Learning the basics makes for a more pleasurable experience. Enjoy.