New England is a favorite place to go for outdoor sports in the US, and once a year in the picturesque Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, Kingdom Trails and Burke Mountain Resort hosts one of the top MTB events in the States. Located in an area that is renowned for its impressive bike trails, NEMBAfest is a must for anyone who loves cycling, expos, and demos, and the chance to meet up with bike-minded people to enjoy craft ales and live music.
NEMBA is an acronym for New England Mountain Bike Association, and this annual festival is powered by Pedros. With more than 100 mile network of existing trails, there are group rides for all levels and abilities, hundreds of vendors, camping, live music, demos and so much more, including extreme MTB madness on the mainstage to keep everyone entertained. There is even complimentary morning yoga sessions bright and early on Saturday and Sunday and plenty of activities to keep the mini-riders entertained.
Offering some of the best mountain biking in North America, this is the event of the year for any cycling aficionado. Enjoy group rides on over 100+ trails, then change gears and enjoy live music, demos, expos, RV camping and more.
If you are thinking about heading to the New England Mountain Bike Association's annual festival, ticket prices for one adult usually range between $100-120 without camping and $140-150 with camping. The full festival pass includes entrance to the event, the demo, live music, access to the trails, the shuttle bus, and camping. If you are planning on heading there for the full three days of MTB madness, this is definitely the more affordable choice. Day passes are also available, and it is possible to buy tickets at the gate. NEMBAfest is an event for all ages, with plenty of cycling activities aimed at the youngsters. Children under 8 go free, and all children must be in attendance with a registered adult.
The event is held in Lyndonville, Vermont at the Kingdom Trails and Burke Mountain Resort near the Wildflower Inn. Traffic can get a little busy in this small community, but once you have parked, you may not require your car again for the entire weekend. Just a quick reminder, if you are driving to the area with your own cycle to NEMBAfest, make sure your that your bike is attached safely and arrange stops along the way to check the fixtures and fittings. Stay up to date on local road and weather conditions with New England 511 services by phone or online as you travel.
Parking is available just across the road from the event. In past years, it has been free to park and with plenty of spaces available. Guests are usually able to walk from the car to the event. If the nearby car parking gets full, Kingdom Trails does have overflow parking available which is situated about a quarter of a mile away. Regular complimentary shuttle buses, with bike racks, go to the village and back.
Public transport in the local area is limited. Situated in the scenic countryside, Kingdom Trails is around twenty minutes from the village of East Burke, but shuttle buses are available from this location. The nearest airport is the Lebanon Municipal Airport, which is approximately 80 miles away. Car sharing is recommended, as private transportation may be the only option.
Camping at the venue is a great way to ensure that you are fully immersed in this epic MTB experience. There are two different campsites available as part of NEMBAfest, one for tents and one for RV camping. Both are pretty basic, but there is clean potable drinking water available, as well as bathrooms and showers. Camping usually opens on the Friday prior to the event, with no early camping available.
The surroundings in East Burke, Vermont, offer a breathtaking view. Beautiful forests and majestic mountains provide the perfect location to get acquainted with the great outdoors. There are several campsites in the local area but these can get booked up quite quickly. Darling State Park and Victory State Forest do have limited options for primitive camping within 15 and 35 minutes respectively and may both best be suited for campervans and small rigs.
Once you park your car, you are not likely to require it again during the festival. Of course, most of the getting around at NEMBAfest predominantly by bike, with all trails looping back to the Kingdom Trail Welcome Center. The stage, expos, demos, vendors, and camping are within walking distance. A free shuttle bus is usually on hand to take you to or collect you from East Burke, and the bus even has bike racks for extra convenience.
When you are enjoying any sport, clothing should be lightweight and comfortable. Think breathable and moisture-wicking riding gear that will enhance your performance rather than restrict it. The weather is usually sunny, but it can get cooler in the evenings. However, the weather can quickly in the summer in Vermont, and you may wish to pack some rain gear just in case.
If you are camping at NEMBAfest, you will want to bring your usual camping supplies, including gear for your camper, sleeping bags, and cooking supplies if you plan to cook for yourself. With regard to cycling gear, there is the possibility to rent on-site if you do not wish to take your bike. Having well-cared for gear is critical for performance, so there is even a self-serve Bike Wash and Maintenance station so you can keep your ride looking its best, even after muddy trails.
Think safety first and ensure that you pack appropriate safety gear. A helmet is essential, but also having your own portable first aid kit may come in handy when you are out on the trails. Ensure that you pick the right group ride to suit your abilities and if you are concerned about safety on the trails when it is busy, it is advised to ride in the morning to avoid the rush.
Although there are many food options available at NEMBAfest, you may wish to cook for yourself. There is nothing quite like enjoying food in the outdoors, and it is also a great way to save your cash for some new cycling gear. There are no open fires or grills allowed at the campsite, but you can take a generator if desired. Be sure to check your camper's tanks so that they are ready for use once you arrive.
There are lots of local restaurants to choose from in the surrounding area of East Burke, with a shuttle bus available to take you into and out of town regularly throughout the weekend. Whether you would prefer Italian, American, or anything else, there is something for everyone. However, restaurants can get super busy, so if you are looking to enjoy a meal outside of the venue, you may wish to reserve a table or arrive before you get too hungry.
Over one hundred vendors are on-site to provide a wide array of delicious food that is guaranteed to keep your energy levels up for the trails. Whether you are looking for something light and nutritious or typical festival fare, there is a vendor to suit your hunger. NEMBAfest is also a great place to treat yourself to some new cycling gear, with top cycling vendors also in attendance.
This is a family-friendly event, and everyone is welcome to join in with the MTB madness at NEMBAfest. Security will be on hand at the event to make sure that everything goes smoothly. As always, remember to read the rules of the event prior to attending so that you can freely enjoy your adventure.
The heat and humidity of the summer usually promise dry and bright days at NEMBAfest. Vermont offers a variety of weather patterns in June. Rain may be possible in this northern community, so check the weather forecast as you near the dates for your trip. If the weather is particularly severe, some group rides or even other events may be canceled.
First aid staff will be available to help if needed, and there are four different hospitals located in the region if additional care is needed. Be safe and sensible, and always make sure that you drink lots of water to stay hydrated. The 100 plus miles of twisty trails include some pretty advanced rides; it is important to pick the one that is the right fit to suit your level and abilities.