For a Northeast Kingdom hamlet with just 1,700 residents and two stores, East Burke is a busy place these days. Burke's small ski area, Burke Mountain Resort, has welcomed visitors for half a century. But now the town's Kingdom Trails bike trail network is gaining renown; it attracted about 135,000 visitors in 2019. The rural area has drawn more newcomers than usual during the pandemic.
Kingdom Trails, which is run by a nonprofit conservation association, was founded in 1994 and is still expanding its network of trails, selling memberships to users. Kingdom Trails visitors now clog Route 114, the town's once-sleepy main street, on busy summer weekends, and new businesses have bloomed to meet their needs.
While nobody expects the town and its attractions to grow into the proportions of resorts such as Stowe or Sugarbush, locals and town officials have been planning since 2017 for the busier days ahead. A new growth study commissioned by Kingdom Trails was released in April.Read the full story at SevenDaysVT.com