Blog

The Roots of The Kingdom Trails

Feb 15, 2024

Blog

The Roots of The Kingdom Trails

Feb 15, 2024

Blog

The Roots of The Kingdom Trails

Feb 15, 2024

Blog

The Roots of The Kingdom Trails

Feb 15, 2024

Blog

The Roots of The Kingdom Trails

Feb 15, 2024

I was out on the Kingdom Trails from a very young age whether it be biking, walking, or cross-country skiing, with my family. My parents, who are avid outdoor enthusiasts, made it clear from an early age that the woods and trails in our backyard were not just an important part of the history of our town, but an important part of the history of my own family and friends. As I bike, walk, or ski through these trails, I am constantly reminded of how deep the roots go within these woods.

When you get to the top of East Darling Hill road, you’re greeted with the beautiful and historic Inn at Mountain View Farm. Back in the 1960’s, it was the Darion Inn and was owned by my great grandfather, Richard Yerkes. In the late 60’s to early 70’s my grandfather, John Hibshman, began to cut several nordic ski trails in the woods behind the Inn. During this time, nordic skiing was the primary use of these trails. Mountain biking wasn’t really a “thing” yet, so there was really no need for any single track.

If you are a local in the Kingdom, you know John Worth. Our family is very lucky to consider him family, as he and my Dad have been friends since the start of college. When my sister and I were younger, we called him Big John, and to this day, I don’t think I have ever called him anything else. In around 1986, or so, mountain biking was beginning to become popular. John realized that people wanted a place to ride their mountain bikes. He discovered that the Darion Inn nordic trails were the best place to ride in the area. However, the Inn had a new owner, the woods had been logged, and the trails were not maintained. The new owner of the Inn, Marilyn Pastore, and the previous owner of the Wildflower lot, Jim O’Reily, gave John the OK to go into the woods and fix the trails up so he and some friends could ride. From here he started making what he didn’t know was called “single track” trails.

Avery’s Grandfather, John Hibshman, cross-country skiing in front of the Darion Inn on top of Darling Hill in 1971)

Around 1990, he started to get a bit nervous about the amount of people riding on the trails, since the trails were basically illegal. In the early 90’s Doug Kitchel, another well known name, approached John. He had a vision that East Burke could become a four season destination. He saw mountain biking as an opportunity. Doug hunted down the names of the land owners around the area and contacted each of them personally. He went door-to-door requesting permission and to John’s surprise, they all agreed to let them start building trails.

Following this, they formed the original Kingdom Trails Association Board of Directors. At the time, John was only 25. They were able to acquire their non-profit status, which was a huge step in the history of KT. And from here on, KT kept growing to what it is today.

I grew up biking on the trail, Loop. When I would ride through the woods with my parents, my mom would explain to me how my grandfather built this trail before she was born. As we rode further into the woods, my dad would explain how his best friend helped bring this trail system to life. The beauty of these trails goes beyond their unique design and well crafted work. It is the history, connections, and relationships harvested that makes these trails what they are. You don’t have to be a local to feel the spirit of these trails. The Kingdom is a special place for those who grew up here, moved here, or have visited once or many times. The roots of the Kingdom Trails are woven deeply through the community and continue to grow as we all enjoy their beauty.

Connect with Us

Offices

Washington, CT

Lyndonville, VT

(Kingdom Trails)

Connect with Us

Offices

Washington, CT

Lyndonville, VT

(Kingdom Trails)

Connect with Us

Offices

Washington, CT

Lyndonville, VT

(Kingdom Trails)

Sign up for our newsletter and receive

exclusive tips, tricks, deals, and content

Sign up for our newsletter and receive

exclusive tips, tricks, deals, and content

Sign up for our newsletter and receive

exclusive tips, tricks, deals, and content

Sign up for our newsletter and receive

exclusive tips, tricks, deals, and content

Sign up for our newsletter and receive

exclusive tips, tricks, deals, and content