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.
Everything you need to learn to fully enjoy mountain biking.
Mountain biking is a relatively new sport compared to road biking. So the opportunities to find a good mountain biking...
Mountain biking is a relatively new sport compared to road biking. So the opportunities to find a good mountain biking skill clinic are quite scarce. Richard La China and his team offer such clinic! Richard has the training as a Coach from USA Cycling and the experience as an expert racer to develop in you the skills and therefore the confidence to negotiate the treacherous obstacles on your path as a mountain biker. His clinic has several levels from beginner to expert and is organized incrementally to facilitate the learning of more and more difficult skills. In addition to his and his expert team's demonstrations, I also like his verbal explanations about the why of a specific position or skill to have. Richard and his team have the dedication and patience to teach you anything you need to learn to fully enjoy mountain biking. ~ Anne-Catherine
Probably the best money I’ve spent on mountain biking …
I took the Ninja intermediate / advanced course here in Denver the weekend before last, and it was probably the...
I took the Ninja intermediate / advanced course here in Denver the weekend before last, and it was probably the best money I've spent on mountain biking in quite a while. Aaron tuned the clinic to our skills and needs, putting in extra time and attention where we needed more work and covering a wide range of skills. After mountain biking for almost 20 years, there were still missing pieces (and some bad habits) to my riding that he picked up on, explained, and then showed me how to improve, correct, and practice. Aaron was knowledgeable, patient, and progressed through skills in steps so there wasn't too much to digest at any one time. As the day progressed, he rolled them all together as we moved through different trail features, so I really got a good sense of how to put things into practice. He was also very familiar with the venue, Village Greens Park, so he knew exactly which sections to hit to practice particular skills - it was a great combination of drills and very watchful instruction, then honing those skills on real trail features. And, as we talked about with him during lunch, even experienced riders should consider the "fundamentals" course - I really had no idea that I needed work on some of the basics, like braking. I'm heavy on the rear brake just as a long-established habit - who knew? (Well, apparently Aaron did...) ~Jon Gotow
I would highly recommend it to individuals at a wide range of skill levels.
I attend the 3-day mountain bike skills camp in Mulberry Gap Georgia and it was a great experience. We spent...
I attend the 3-day mountain bike skills camp in Mulberry Gap Georgia and it was a great experience. We spent the first day going over fundamentals and doing drills and the second and third day riding trails. The combination of instruction and practice was very useful. Our instructors, Randy and Erin, are expert riders and wonderful instructors. The explained and demonstrated skills wells and provided helpful feedback. The Mulberry Gap resort was also a wonderful location to hold this event. I would highly recommend it to individuals at a wide range of skill levels. ~Armand A.
Great class! I wish I took this class seven yrs ago when I started mountain biking. Richard & his team...
Great class! I wish I took this class seven yrs ago when I started mountain biking. Richard & his team was awesome. I learned how to approach uphill switchbacks, how to “pre-turn”, & most important, how to descend with confidence. Bottom line: I am more efficient & safer rider. As another review said, “best money spent on mountain biking.” You can have an expensive bike, but if you don’t know how to ride, what’s the point? Highly recommend this class for all ages/skills. I will definitely be taking more classes! ~Rean
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.
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.