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.
Best investment ever. The Ninja mountain bike skill clinics will definitely bring up your riding level a notch or two....
Best investment ever. The Ninja mountain bike skill clinics will definitely bring up your riding level a notch or two. Being able to get instant feedback from the instructor (s) in this case Richard La China and his assistant is invaluable. From getting the correct riding position to improving the skills necessary to have a fast flow through the trails builds confidence and is the key to having more fun when mountain bike riding. Also I've taken one-on-one lessons (with Richard La China) and it really speeds up the learning (in my case it was basic jumping) in any area where you deem to be weak in or just need improvement. ~ Thad G.
I would recommend this to riders of all skill levels and ages.
I want to thank the Ninja Mountain Bike Camp and instructor Richard La China for a great weekend on April...
I want to thank the Ninja Mountain Bike Camp and instructor Richard La China for a great weekend on April 22-23rd. As an 59 year old ex-MX racer and 28 year Mt bike rider, found the personal instruction and group demonstrations were instrumental in my growth as a rider. You can teach an old dog new tricks. The seeing "new" lines, different jumping techniques and cornering skills all helped me open my eyes to a world of riding I had not experienced on my own. I want to all of the attendees for a great experience. I would recommend this to riders of all skill levels and ages. ~Joel Palmer
I went to the clinic that was offered April 6-9 at Mulberry Gap in Elljay Georgia. The coaches were awesome!...
I went to the clinic that was offered April 6-9 at Mulberry Gap in Elljay Georgia. The coaches were awesome! I was riding faster with more control than ever before! If you want to get better take one of their camps! ~Bill S.
Within one hour we we clearing a 5 foot jump easily!
Wow, a friend and I just did a one day private lesson with Richard and I can’t believe how much...
Wow, a friend and I just did a one day private lesson with Richard and I can’t believe how much we learned. I’ve been riding for over 10 years but with all self taught skills. We wanted to learn fundamentals the right way and Richard took us through all of that (along with critical bike setup) and the intermediate stuff that they teach in one day plus he spent an extra hour at the end to teach us jumping which I had always been nervous about. Within one hour we we clearing a 5 foot jump easily and with confidence, we even learned to move the bike in the air on a crossed take off and landing. I think my favorite part thpugh was riding fast on the very gnarly technical descent. We will be booking up more private lessons during the summer at Big Bear. Thanks Richard you are a very good teacher! ~John U.
I attended an intermediate skill clinic last year and had an awesome time. My riding improved instantly and I have...
I attended an intermediate skill clinic last year and had an awesome time. My riding improved instantly and I have really enjoyed the increased confidence jumping my bike over obstacles. My muscle memory takes a while to kick in and Coach Richard and his crew of master Ninjas were really patient with me. I even got some bonus education on climbing faster during one of our warm-up laps! Even though I have been riding for years I learned something new with every skill taught. The clinic was worth every penny and I will be signing up for an advanced one this summer. ~Michael W.
We are a group of passionate, dirt-loving, community oriented, world class instructors committed to helping you reach your personal riding goals. We are excited to work with riders of all ability levels and share the joy (STOKE) of mountain biking.