You have options when it comes to where you take your mountain bike for a weekend getaway. We are here to make that decision easy for you. Pack your bags. It’s time to get away to Stowe, Vermont.
It didn’t take much convincing for us to add The Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont to our ever-growing list of Ninja adventure camps. At The Lodge, the hills are alive with the sound of rubber meeting dirt, followed by the clinks of pint glasses and the crunch of Schnitzel with applesauce. Yup, decision-making made easy!Offering a trail network suitable for all riding abilities, lodging options for everyone (including pet-friendly!), bike rentals, several on-site dining options and a bierhall at the trailhead (no joke), this place has it all.
Photo: Gage O’Donnell
The Trapp Lodge trail network offers a skills area for dialing in your technique, 20+ miles of family-friendly trails and 8+ miles of New England rock slabs and roots to challenge even the best of riders. Whether you’re new to riding or ready to take it up a level, our Stowe camp has a course for you. Our weekend program allows you to build your own weekend adventure with your bike buddy or significant other, even if they aren’t at the same place on their mountain biking journey as you. Choose from the full Two-Day Camp, a half day Mini Clinic (Co-ed Fundamentals, Women’s Fundamentals or Jumping) or a one day Intermediate / Advanced course. Mix and match to best suit the needs of your crew!
Gaining confidence (and traction) on rock slaps and wet roots takes more than just power – it takes skill. This is where your certified Ninja Instructors swoop in to help. Unlike your buddy who will tell you, “just let off the brakes and let it roll!”, your Ninja instructors will help you fully understand the how’s and why’s the riding technical terrain. Turns out there’s more to mountain biking and the simply “letting it roll!”.
Beyond the Lodge, the greater Stowe area has even more trails to spin your wheels – Cady Hill Forest, Adams Camp and Sterling Forest to name a few.
How many vacation days do you say you have saved up? You’re going to want to use those.
The Lodge was founded in 1950 by the von Trapps after fleeing Austria and touring the US as the von Trapp Family Singers. Does this story sound familiar? It should! The family that inspired the Sound of Music is the very same that chose to settle in these mountains because it reminded them of Austria. Today you can enjoy “a little Austria, a lot of Vermont” at the lodge with traditional craft brews at the Bierhall, Old World bread at the bakery, and European-style farm-to-table cuisine. Relax in one of the 96 rooms in the main lodge, 18 luxurious Villas or 100 private guest house chalets.
While staying and dining at the lodge is not a requirement to participate in the Ninja clinic, we highly recommend the lodge and encourage you to at minimum stick around for a fresh lager and a Bavarian pretzel (or two).
Ninja is here to help you with your riding. These local establishments can help you refuel:
Ben and Jerry’s ice cream factory (yes, you get ice-cream samples at the end of your tour)
Cabot Farmers’ Store (all the free cheese samples you could ever want)
Lake Champlain Chocolate (coffee, ice cream and… well… chocolate)
Smuggler’s Notch Distillery (come for the booze tasting, leave with maple syrup)
Calling all IPA lovers! Check out Idletyme and The Alchemist breweries
Cold Hollow Cider Mill is a must stop for fresh cider donuts and cider steamed hot dogs (yes, that’s a thing and it’s glorious)
Just in case you’re still debating if this is the right getaway for you – did we mention the fall colors? Glorious reds, yellows, and oranges will make it extra challenging to keep your concentration on the trail. Don’t worry, your instructors will understand.
Photo: Gage O’Donnell
Make those decisions easy on yourself. Come for the Ninja clinic, stay for the ice-cream / beer / cheese / chocolate / charm.
Enrolling in the Intermediate/Advanced clinic was the best thing I’ve ever done to improve my speed and ability on the bike.
Hands down, enrolling in the Intermediate/Advanced clinic was the best thing I've ever done to improve my speed and ability...
Hands down, enrolling in the Intermediate/Advanced clinic was the best thing I've ever done to improve my speed and ability on the bike. I am so much faster on singletrack and through technical sections/jumps that even if people are more fit than me, I still keep up with them (and kind of love watching them do a lot more work than they need to). Richard and Kris are fantastic and break things down in a way that makes sense and is manageable. By the end of my first clinic, I was jumping off ledges and power climbing up sections that I couldn't drive a car up. You could buy a $5,000 carbon bike and do 10,000 ft rides every day, but you will get the best return on any investment you make in your riding by attending a Ninja Skills Clinic. ~ Regina J.
My 14 year old son and I (I'm 43) went to the Intermediate/advanced skills clinic at Malibu Creek State Park....
My 14 year old son and I (I'm 43) went to the Intermediate/advanced skills clinic at Malibu Creek State Park. We both race and ride at a very fast pace. Getting faster for us is about making sure our fundamentals are solid and we can continue to use those fundamentals to smooth out our flow to increase our skills and confidence. Richard has a way of breaking down all the information to make it very understandable and usable. My son and I have been to other skills classes before and knew what to expect, mostly. Richard was able to coach us to better form riding high speed flat corners! We brushed up on and cleaned up some less helpful habits. We really worked to understand the how and why behind some skills that we already had but didn't know we that we did. All in all we had a blast! Richard was fun and informative. Taylor was helping Richard out for the day. It was fun to watch her demo some skills at speed. Her input throughout the day was informative and light hearted. It was a fun day on the bike with some great people and coaching. This will not be our last Ninja training clinic! Thanks for everything Richard and Taylor! ~Eric Zubick
I have, like many cyclists, been riding bikes since childhood. Feeling like I hit a plateau in my technical riding...
I have, like many cyclists, been riding bikes since childhood. Feeling like I hit a plateau in my technical riding skills (because I had), I began searching for a mountain bike skills camp. I wanted to attend a camp that would push me to be a better rider, but I needed it to be in a great location on actual trails. After a fair amount of searching, I decided that spending a weekend at a Ninja Mountain Bike Skills camp would be perfect. It didn't hurt that the camp was in Big Bear. The condensed review: It took only a few hours of trail riding with Richard and Daniel to drastically change my riding for the better. The long review: The camp was broken into morning and afternoon sessions, separated by an amazing lunch on each day. The morning sessions were, in general, based on technique and riding isolated technical features. The afternoon sessions functioned more like a capstone; we rode incredible trails, like Fall Line and Skyline, and put our newly-learned skills into action. Richard and Daniel were attentive to both the class as a whole as well as each individual. The pacing of each individual lesson (I'm a teacher, so I viewed each piece as a lesson) was wonderful. There were constant checks for understanding as well as incremental assessments of our skills on the bike. We were never once, all weekend, bogged down in repetition, nor were we rushed through a skill or concept. I was blown away by the sheer volume of skills that were taught in such an easy-to-grasp manner. Of course, we were not standing by our bikes the whole time listening to a lecture: we were actively riding while Daniel and Richard looked on with critical eyes. Richard was clear in his introduction...
G2 Bike looks forward to many more of these clinics in this area.
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills is a warm and friendly environment to learn new skills and hone ones you already know....
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills is a warm and friendly environment to learn new skills and hone ones you already know. It's a non intimidating environment where mistakes are welcomed so corrections can be made. I own G2 Bike is Aliso Viejo and this clinic has been ran out of the Aliso Woods area and when I interviewed the clients they had all but great things to say. None arrogant instructors and easy to follow steps. The biggest bang for many was meeting new area riders at their skill level, gaining confidence, and getting the bike set up and fit properly. G2 Bike looks forward to many more of these clinics in this area. Thanks Richard for all you do for the MTB community! ~ AJ S.
We are a group of passionate, dirt-loving, community oriented, world class mountain bike skills instructors committed to helping you reach your personal riding goals through clinics and camps. We are excited to work with riders of all ability levels and share the joy (STOKE) of mountain biking.