Mountain bike trail network opens to skiers

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EAST BURKE, Vt. (AP) – A nonprofit organization that maintains a series of mountain biking and hiking trails is expanding into winter use.

Northeast Kingdom Trails is opening its network of old carriage roads, ski and logging trails for use by skiers and snowshoers who join the organization.

The new snow this week is getting people out onto the trails in the Burke area.

“They have a lot of varied terrain and they have a large number of trails and lots of good people there,” said season pass holder Jay Dege.

Kingdom Trails joined with the Burke Mountain ski area to run the Burke Cross Country Ski Area and to open existing mountain biking trails to winter sports.

“Locals seem to be our primary customers,” said C.J. Scott, trail coordinator for Kingdom Trails.

Last year there were about 100 members.

The lack of snow has hurt membership this year, but “this week has picked up,” Scott said.

The trails are being groomed for the rest of the season.”We use a lot of these trails in summer for hiking,” Scott said.

“We opened our hiking system for 12 months out of the year.”

Winter member costs $100 for an individual and $200 for a family from December through April 1.

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