How Burke Built Business from Bikes
It began as a pipe dream scheme between local business owners and backyard adventurers; a decade later, it’s grown into a thriving mountain biking mecca. Situated in the heart of Burke Village, the Kingdom Trails snake through deep forests, lush farmland, and up punishing climbs that open into spectacular views of the Green Mountains.
This is a slice of Vermont paradise. But the real treasure here isn’t the exquisitely maintained trails—it’s the community that built them.
Lilas Ide, the center’s Operations Manager, returned to the area five years ago and won’t be leaving anytime soon. “The growth of the system and its popularity has made it possible for me to return to the area that I have always loved and make a living doing something that I am passionate about.”
Her story isn’t an anomaly—the steady growth of the trail system’s reach is making a living in the remote and ruggedly beautiful Northeast Kingdom financially possible. Maple creemees, local burgers, spare parts —East Burke offers them all. The community loves the bikers, and the bikers love this place; the positive feedback loops are resulting in very real economic progress for the region. Across the state, biking is drawing more visitors to Vermont than ever before —in large part because of the trail-blazing precedent Kingdom Trails set.
Ide knows the reason for the cycling success is simple: “We all want the same thing, whether we live here or are just visiting—to keep the place beautiful and the vibe positive.”