Thursday, August 24, 2023

Barkeater Trails Alliance hosts Wilmington Mountain Bike Fest Labor Day Weekend

Photo Credit: Jamie McGiver Photo: Sophie McClelland leads a women’s ride at Three Sisters in Wilmington.

Wilmington NY – The Barkeater Trails Alliance (BETA) is showcasing its growing network of trails by hosting the 6th annual Wilmington Mountain Bike Festival September 1-3, 2023. The event attracts over 250 riders from across the Northeast and Canada and is a major fundraiser for the organization with proceeds supporting BETA’s trail program. The three-day event celebrates the riding in Wilmington, with 25-miles of locally-built and rider-maintained single track accessible directly from the festival grounds at the Wilmington Town Park.

The Event
Rider check-in and camping opens on Friday night with an option to join the local “Hardy Hour” group ride and casual BBQ sponsored by Placid Planet Bicycles.

Saturday is the main event with group rides all day for all abilities, shuttles, skills clinics with Speed Science Coaching, and a jump jam. This is followed by local food from Love, Peace and Grilled Cheese & Island Vybz, craft beer from Hex & Hop, and a bonfire party on Saturday night featuring the big-hearted blues and rock and roll sounds of the Outcrops. Live music is open to local residents on Saturday from 7pm to 10pm, with a suggested donation of $5 at the gate.

All group rides are guided by local riders and the event crew staffed by volunteers and the BETA board of directors, many of whom are also involved in building and maintaining the local trails. Riders are encouraged to explore the region’s 85+ miles of trails at their own pace as well, using Wilmington as a base camp.

Sunday features the famous Hardy Kids mountain bike race, more group rides (if your legs can handle it) and shuttles on the Poorman’s Downhill trail.

“We love to introduce people to the riding here in the High Peaks region and strive to ensure that every participant has a fun and memorable experience, whether they are here for a casual trail ride or an all-day epic,” said Josh Wilson, Executive Director of BETA. “If your idea of the perfect day is pedaling until you can’t possibly pedal any more, and then finishing the day surrounded by friends, live music and a massive bonfire, this is the event for you.  Plus you get a really sweet t-shirt.”

On-site camping is available in the Wilmington Town Park, which is serving as base camp for the festival. Pre-registration is the only way to guarantee a campsite and a t-shirt: Organizers cannot guarantee camping will be available for walk-up registrations.  For those who are interested in attending the festival but are not camping, lodging options can be found here: Day passes are also available for Saturday.

For a full schedule of events, go to

The Trails
Wilmington features miles of diverse single track riding at two large trail networks – the Flume and Hardy Road – as well as a screaming three-mile descent on the Poor Man’s Downhill trail, a long, gnarly backcountry tour on the Cooper Kiln trail, and dirt jumps, pump track and MTB skills park (directly adjacent to the festival grounds). Whether you’re looking for chunky downhill trails, technical mountain climbs, or fast flowing single-track, Wilmington is a must-ride Adirondack mountain bike destination.

This year BETA is partnering with three professional trail builders – Tahawus Trails, Peduzzi Trail Contracting, and Backslope Trail Building to open three new machine-built gravity trails in Wilmington, Keene/Jay and Lake Placid, respectively. These trails will be featured in some of the group rides and available for self-guided adventures during the festival.

The Town
Located in the middle of the Adirondacks, Wilmington is a destination for mountain bikers, hikers, skiers and fishermen. It is replete with gorgeous mountain views, beautiful waterfalls, an ever-expanding network of mountain biking trails, and curvy paved roads through a scenic mountain notch. With the world-renowned Ausable River slicing through it, Wilmington is very popular with fly-fishermen and for those who want to get close to nature.

From the festival grounds, participants can easily bike to most of the trailheads, local restaurants and attractions like the town beach, ice cream stand, and the renowned Little Supermarket – a one-stop shop for groceries, sandwiches and cold drinks and a long-time supporter of mountain biking in Wilmington.

The Organizers
The non-profit Barkeater Trails Alliance (BETA) is the event organizer. BETA is a member-supported, volunteer-driven, human-powered trail building and stewardship organization. They work to develop, maintain and advocate for a diverse, sustainable and interconnected system of trails for ski touring and mountain biking in the greater Adirondack High Peaks Region.

Photo by Jamie McGiver. Sophie McClelland leads a women’s ride at Three Sisters in Wilmington.

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Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at

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