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Mount Snow Opens a Trail That is Easy on the Eyes - and the Cyclist

Mount Snow debuts a wide, gentle mountain biking trail.

Hey all you intermediate and novice mountain bikers out there. Want a big-mountain feel without shattering you confidence?

Then check out what's going on at Mount Snow in Vermont.

Mount Snow celebrated a mountain biking milestone on July 20 with the grand opening of a new introductory downhill mountain biking trail. The ribbon-cutting involved a tree log propped between two bike frames, a chainsaw and the thank you speech was given by a man dressed in full mountain bike gear addressing a crowd of invited guests perched upon bicycles.

The ceremony took place atop Gateway (also known as Trail 7) - Mount Snow's brand new, 2.5-mile long lift-serviced introductory downhill mountain biking trail. The planning of the trail dates to the spring of 2011. Designed to be user-friendly for all abilities, Gateway is at least five-feet wide and follows a number of switchbacks with smooth banked turns while traveling through both open field and wooded areas with no more than a comfortable 12 percent grade the entire way down.

It is a bunny trail for bikes.

"The goal since we started building Gateway was to open up the sport of downhill mountain biking to folks that may have thought the chairlift only brought them to gnarly, steep, single-track courses," says Mount Snow's Elia Hamilton. "Now, anyone that is comfortable on a bike can enjoy a gravity-propelled ride down a big mountain at their own pace. It really is a game-changer."

Why Mount Snow? First of all, it has embraced the sport. Then, just turn to the same reasons why people from the area flock there in the winter.

It's the first big mountain along the Interstate-91 corridor, a drive that can easily be completed in less than two hours.

Starting in 1986, Mount Snow Resort, located in the southern Vermont village of West Dover, was one of the first resorts in the United States to offer lift serviced downhill mountain biking and has since hosted a number of World Cup events and USA Cycling National Championships, most recently in 2007.

To learn more about mountain biking at Mount Snow, visit www.mountsnow.com.

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