Over the past six years, a cluster of homemade bike trails were made by John McGill of Conservation Collaboratives on Victory Hill dragging a spruce log and a chain harrow around behind his ATV, hoping to trash out some singletrack for the annual CircumBurke race around Burke and Umpire mountains. By trial and error, he began to realize that he needed some help, which came initially from Leif Trott in 2010, who hand cut and built the first 200 yards of bona fide singletrack. Significantly improvements have since been made then through the work of the CJ Scott and Keenan Chenail and their Kingdom Trails crews, Burke Mountain Academy, Lyndon State College, Dan Sylvester, Thomas Bourdeau, Mark White, Phil Beard, Arthur Foelsche, and in particular, Knight Ide who has deployed his design and machine building expertise. Dan Davis and Tim Tierney of Kingdom Trails and the entire East Burke biking community have been supportive and encouraging of the ongoing project..
VIctory Hill’s 12 mile network includes three long descents Upper/Lower Clodhopper (1.5 miles) , McGill’s Thrills (2.0 Miles) and a currently unnamed trail which is currently 2 Miles of descending to Weir Mill Brook.
Victory Hill trails can be found on Strava.com’s heatmaps and local segments. In 2015, these trails will be colorcoded with diamond shaped signs. Red diamonds signs with black arrows delineate the actual CircumBurke event route through Victory Hill . By 2016, a trail map posted on a logging road gate, opposite 2871 Victory Hill Rd. A turnaround with parking space for 4-5 cars is located at this logging road gate. Despite our efforts to improve signage, It is best to bring your GPS when exploring the trails in Victory.
Victory Hill may someday be incorporated into the Kingdom Trails network. These trails attract a few more adventurous cyclists each year, who are seeking new experiences and rare views of the White Mountains. The trails can be accessed from a logging road gate and turnaround across from 2871 VIctory Hill Road (If you reach VIctory Hill Kennels you have gone 150 yards too far).
In the winter, backcountry skiers sometimes ski the south slopes of Umpire Mt. which are accessible from the same aforementioned location on Victory Hill Rd. A nice ski video was recently produced which documents this approach: http://vimeo.com/37909423
Volunteers are important to making these trails better. Over the years, many volunteers as wells as several conscripted chaingangs of Burke Mountain Academy students led by Darrell Gray and Kraig Sourbeer have been very helpful in improving things. We could use more help. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you want to come over ride and improve the trails.
Directions: If you want to start off in Victory, drive towards the end of Victory Hill Rd. from Gallup Mills or North Concord and enter the trail system at the logging road gate, opposite a white cottage – 2871 VIctory Hill Road, (If you reach VIctory Hill Kennels you’ve gone too far. This spot is about 1/4 mile from the (dead) end of Victory Hill Rd..
The Victory Hill trails can also be reached by bike or on foot along the Circumburke Route by turning left at the bottom of the CCC Road as it enters Victory – onto the State of Vermont’s Weir Mill Brook Crossing Trail and following it for two miles – and following the red signs with black arrows which mark the CircumBurke route. Alternatively, take the CircumBurke route counterclockwise from East Burke on the North Pasture trail on Kingdom Trails, going to the “Gold Trail” to Victory, and turn right into the trail system instead of going onto Umpire Rd.