Nestled in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont is the quaint town of Burke. An epicenter of year-round outdoor adventure in the Northeast, Burke delivers everything you can ask for in a destination. What truly sets Burke apart from other Northeast adventure destinations is its charming small-town atmosphere. In Burke, you’ll find an absence of strip malls, national chains, and overall commerce. What you will find is adventure around every corner, passionate outdoor people, and an abundance of locally crafted goods. It has near-endless opportunities to explore outside with just enough stuff to do in and around town to keep you busy—but not so busy you neglect the real reason for your visit: the outdoors.

Credit: Tim Peck

Mountain Biking

Burke is home to Kingdom Trails, 100+ miles of multi-use trails, which are counted among the best mountain bike trails in the nation, and draws riders from all over. Cruise through town on any weekend between spring and fall and cyclists overwhelmingly outnumber motorists. Here, the predominant fashion is best described as “Lycra.”

Kingdom Trails has a well-deserved reputation for being the mecca of mountain biking in the Northeast. The fast, flowy, and fun trails offer something for everyone, whether it’s a short easy loop or an all-day epic. The trails also take you through quintessential Vermont countryside, as you ride through dense forests and verdant fields, alongside bubbling streams, and past picturesque farms.

While pedaling Kingdom Trails’ snaking singletrack is what attracts most mountain bikers, lift-assisted riding is found just outside of town at Burke Bike Park. At the bike park, riders will find something to suit every taste—from the green square, grin-inducing Roly Grail to the triple-black diamond Freeride. 

Looking for long downhills but like the idea of pedaling? The recently built trails in Moose Haven Forest are home to some of the best enduro trails in the Northeast—rewarding a long dirt road climb with descents so good you’ll forget all about the slog to the top of them.

A town as passionate about biking as Burke doesn’t stop pedaling when winter rolls in. When the snow arrives and conditions allow, riders will find 31 miles of groomed fat bike trails.

Credit: Tim Peck

Road & Gravel Cycling

Burke isn’t just a paradise for mountain bikers; those who prefer to stick to the road will also love exploring around Burke. The region’s well-kept roads, low traffic, and scenic countryside make it a favorite of road bikers, while gravel grinders will want to check out the Northeast Kingdom’s more than 1,000 miles of unpaved roads.

Credit: Tim Peck


Since so many people are clamoring for two-wheeled fun in Burke, it’s common to find solitude on the area’s hiking trails. One of the area’s most popular hikes is to the summit of Burke Mountain, a roughly seven-mile trip that gains more than 2,000 feet of elevation, and passes Vermont’s oldest fire tower. Bald Mountain is another nearby hike that delivers big views from a summit fire tower, all for a moderate effort—a roughly four-mile round trip gaining 1,500 feet of elevation.


Whether you’re looking for the perfect end to a long summer day on the bike, to cool your feet off after a hike, or simply looking for a relaxing rest day activity, you’ll find a multitude of swimming options in and around Burke. Just across the street from Kingdom Trail’s main parking lot is the East Branch of the Passumpsic River, which offers a convenient place to take a quick dip. Lake Willoughby is just up the road and has public beaches on both its north and south ends.


Skiing on the slopes on Burke Mountain dates back to the days of the Civilian Conservation Corps and offers a respite for those who need a break from biking in the winter. The mountain is home to 270 acres of terrain and receives more than 200 inches of snow annually. Skiers and snowboarders will find the mountain features everything from steep slopes to glades to terrain parks. Just how good is skiing at Burke? Burke Academy—which counts 36 Olympians including 2014 and 2018 Olympic gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin among their alumni—trains on the mountain.

Those who prefer skinny skis, self-power, and rolling trails will also love Burke and its seven-plus miles of skate and tracked classic Nordic ski trails. The ski trails include what is said to be the “prettiest mile in Vermont,” as the trail winds through fields and forests, past historic barns, quaint inns, and majestic Victorian houses while delivering magnificent mountain views.

Ice Climbing

Just up the road from Burke is Lake Willoughby, one of New England’s most recognizable ice climbing destinations, known for its steep and committing lines. The cliff was first opened in the mid-1970s by Henry Barber, a legendary Boston-born climber, and it’s where you’ll find New England’s first WI6, Call of the Wild, which was established in 1996.

Credit: Tim Peck


There’s plenty of food around town to satiate your appetite for whatever adventure you’re up to.


Cafe Lotti is a favorite spot to start the day. It’s located right downtown and literally has trails out its backdoor. Cafe Lotti’s brews can compete with any of the best mountain town coffee shops, and their delicious breakfast sandwiches and pastries are perfect for those aiming to beat the crowds to the trails or snag first chair. Looking for a big breakfast? The Miss Lyndonville Diner, just a town over, serves up classic fare and impressive portions.


With so much to do in and around Burke, lunch is often a grab-and-go affair. It’s common to find a few food trucks parked in Kingdom Trails’ main lot. The Northeast Kingdom Country Store serves up tasty sandwiches, pizza by the slice, and ice-cold drinks. It also has a few picnic tables for sitting down and taking a break from your bike seat.


Mike’s Tiki Bar is adjacent to the main Kingdom Trails parking lot and is the go-to spot for kicking back with a cold one post-ride. It features an expansive patio and a healthy selection of local beers on draft. A quieter atmosphere and expansive countryside views are found at the Village Sports Trailside’s beer garden.

Looking for something other than beer? Clementine’s Creamery is located just across the street from the Kingdom Trails Welcome Center and serves up delicious scoops of soft- and hard-serve ice cream. (Since you’re in Vermont, treat yourself to a maple creemee.)


Pub grub is the staple dinner for those staying in Burke. The View Pub at the Burke Mountain Hotel has a nice selection of burgers and sandwiches with plenty of good beers to wash them down. In town, the Burke Publick House also dishes out great burgers and sandwiches along with traditional favorites like meatloaf and pork chops, and a healthy draft list.

Where to Stay

Lodging options also abound in and around Burke. The Burke Hotel & Conference Center, conveniently located right on the mountain, is the most obvious choice. There’s also camping at Burke Mountain—the sites are somewhat pricey, but those staying there have access to the hotel’s pool and hot tub. Among the other camping options is the nearby Maple Brook Campground. For those inclined, there are also a bunch of Airbnb campsites in the region to choose from.