WEST DOVER -- The grand opening for Mount Snow’s new introductory downhill mountain biking trail was just like any other grand opening celebration with a ribbon cutting, a thank you speech and invited guests in attendance. But what made the event last Friday special is the ribbon was a tree log propped between two bike frames, the scissors a chainsaw and the thank you speech was given by a man dressed in full mountain bike padding to a crowd of invited guests perched upon bicycles.
That was the scene last Friday at the top of Gateway (aka, Trail 7), Mount Snow’s brand new, 2.5-mile long lift serviced introductory downhill mountain biking trail which was ceremoniously opened to the public following many months of planning and construction, dating back to 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.
"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."
Starting in 1986, Mount Snow Resort, 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.