Stowe, VT — For those who enjoy mountain biking season, the Trapp Family Lodge offers an extensive bike trail network ranging from beginner to expert.

Sam Von Trapp says despite various weather conditions and terrain, those who want to get out and do recreational activities will find a way to do them. “Mountain biking is just one of the amazing ways to get out and take advantage of this rugged terrain that we have here. Biking season pretty much starts up a few weeks after the snow melts away, you have to let the mud season get out and let the soil firm up. One great thing is mountain bikers pay attention to the land and how they impact it and that’s one great thing in Vermont. The network of sustainable trail systems that we have that aren’t contributing to erosion.”

Von Trapp discussed the difference between mountain biking and other types of biking. “To me, it’s about the fact that you’re out in the woods, being in nature. There are people who road bike all the time with big strong legs, they get out in the trees and rocks and they get a little bit nervous. A lot of it is there’s a mindset of learning to be comfortable in these areas. What people don’t realize is mountain bikers generally aren’t moving all that fast most of the time so in reality, most of us feel safer in the woods than we would biking on a road where we can’t control other cars.”

Outdoor recreational activities play a big role in the economy in Vermont. “It is a huge driver of the economy in Vermont and I think it is undercounted in a lot of ways, we forget about some of the other impacts that it has. It brings a huge number of people to the state. You just have to look around in the winter, the amount of people with skis in their cars or in the summer, the number of people driving around with bikes. It brings people in looking for something healthy, brings families in, connecting them with multiple generations.”

In addition, Von Trapp says that the pandemic has also helped spur more outdoor activity and talked about the impact it has on mental health. “I think we are all recognizing the impact COVID has had on mental health. Getting out, connecting with nature, getting exercise, being with friends but at a distance, that is a great way to stay healthy.”

As the days start to get colder, Von Trapp is looking ahead to the winter season. “We are getting ready for cross country ski season, that is our bread and butter. My dad started our cross country center here back in 1968, the first in the United States. We go into every season optimistic, our crews are out there right now prepping the trails and making sure we are setting ourselves up for success for a great winter.”