Shaun and I arrived at the Millstone Hill touring center around 9am but the center didn't open until 930am (Millstone can't handle our early morning intensity) but it worked out because Mike was meeting us there later in the morning so we did a quick warm up lap on the first part of the race course that I could remember from memory because for some reason at the time when I loaded the course into my Garmin it thought we were 5,000+ miles away from the recorded data points. Gonna have to test that a bit before AT season, if that broke last season it would have ruined at least one ski venture.
Luckily when we got back and bought our day passes we also received a huge detailed (almost too detailed) map of the trail system. This led to a lot of this:
But after an accidental back track and me finding as many big climbs at the beginning of the ride as possible, to kill Mike of course, we got into a pretty nice groove. Millstone is HUGE and its a bit daunting trying to come up with a ride plan because really you just want to ride everything but its not all that possible in one day so we had to try and pick and choose. We headed south to try and snag a sweet overlook on the way to some sweet directional singletrack called Fellowship Ring.
There were plenty of places to stop and get really cool views of the old quarries and surrounding area. That sheer cliff above I believe was called the Rock of the Ages lookout. And the pic above that is the view from that cliff. Very cool stuff. I was pleased to see that most of the rest of Millstone is very similar to the race course. Its a great mix of terrain that is very well maintained (except for that one trail with all the pricker bush overgrowth, good god I look like I was attacked by a really small cougar or something). A good amount of technical aspects throughout but not enough to wear me out on a rigid in 16 miles so its manageable. After hitting most of the stuff down by Rock of Ages we made our way back towards the Touring Center to check out the Grand Lookout and Roller Coaster.
You can see Canada from the Grand Lookout and Shaun and Mike just couldn't resist getting close.
The huge piles of granite in this area are really impressive. Hundreds of feet high, just piled up. After they hugged it out we back tracked a bit to hop on Roller Coaster which is the trail you will see if you search Millstone Trails VT on Youtube. Starts off with some man made bridges over some granite piles and then after that its basically a freeride course down to the bottom of the hill with lots of man made features to jib off. We didn't really have the bikes to do much here but it was still incredibly fun. We looped back around to the Touring Center, Mike passed out in the parking lot and Shaun and I rode back in for just a few more miles of singletrack before heading out.
All told we got about 16 miles, all of it great. I will more than certainly be back. With a tent, that map and a whole lot of murder juice.
THEEEEN after the ride we drove back up to Burlington and hit North beach on Champlain (which I highly recommend, very cool locale) and then did this:
*all pictures courtesy of shaunpinney.org
and some finger painting and twister and karaoke but I digress. Millstone is great, get in there...A LOT.