No Circumburke In The Kingdom

BURKE-One of the North East Kingdoms most popular attractions has been thriving over the summer, but has decided to cancel one of their largest events again for the third year in a row.

Kingdom Trails has over one hundred landowners in the area of Burke Vermont that allows bikers to roam 85 miles of single and doubletrack trails. The trails attract thousands of people to that location each year, with its local restaurants and shops as well.

Before the summer started for Kingdom trails, the association had just come out of their community based capacity study. To help the organization set goals to improve crowding, safety, and the general pressures of being a high volume location for bikers and visitors.

Although many positives came out of this summer for Kingdom Trails such as starting their mini grant program back up again, receiving a summer grant from Summer Matters for All Grant Programs. Making some new trail updates and add ons, Kingdom Trails made the conscious decision at the beginning of the summer to cancel the Circumburke challenge.

Kingdom Trails Operations & Membership Manager Brooke Pierce, explains that this event would have been held at a time where many other events in the area would have been held as well. "One of the results of our capacity study was we really have to be conscious about living in a small area and inviting hundreds and thousands of people here all at the same time," Pierce said.

The Circumburke Challenge started in 2010, and when it started it had over 20 people register for the event. As time went on, the event ended up attracting over 600 bikers to the area. Along with family, friends, residents, and tourists. Due to the pandemic, kingdom trails felt that this year, along with last year, was just not the right time to host the challenge.

"We are really trying to be socially aware of covid, and variants, and things like that. Making sure that we are not presumptively planning events that we are not prepared to maintain," Pierce explained.

Although the event is not here to attract more tourism to the area, locals and newcomers were not upset about the event being canceled. Many say it just does not fit into their schedule. "It's always just been a conflict with my calendar, but I've done several of the other events in the area," local biker Charles McCarthy explains.

Kingdom Trails was able to keep bikers coming with some new trails this year that were part of their capacity study. They also built in some new parking lots to accommodate all the attention. Many bikers that come to the area say it's just a great place to hang out with friends, and drink a couple of beers. "It's been a blast, super fun. a few times we've gone air bnbs, other times we've camped. Either way it's been great having a blast riding the trails," Biker Greg O'Connor said.