Ellisa Doiron

Ellisa Doiron

• Age 39, lives in Stowe.

• Occupation: Mom, avid volunteer, and bookkeeper.

• Years riding a mountain bike: About six years.

• Favorite trail(s) to ride: Cady Hill network but mostly Bridgey.

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Why those trails?

Whether I’m riding with my kids, friends, or on my own, Cady Hill is great because I can ride a variety of trail features, styles and difficulty in a short amount of time.

I’m working with my son on getting comfortable with longer bridges, so Bridgey is my favorite, because the bridges are not too narrow or too elevated and we’re having fun building confidence on them.

What do you see and feel as you’re on that ride?

My favorite time to ride Cady Hill is earlier in the morning or later in the season when it’s pretty quiet. Listening to the birds and the sounds of my bike are pretty rhythmic and relaxing. In those times, it can feel remote, though I’m not far from the parking lot and haven’t had to make a huge time commitment to ride.

What would you tell other riders about why those trails are special?

On any given day, Cady Hill has a great vibe. If you get lost, take a fall, or have a bike issue, there is always someone who will ride by and provide directions or assistance. It’s a great place to gather information on other trails in Stowe because plenty of local riders are riding there too.

In talking with other riders, where do you tell them they can get the most from their sport:

  • Novices: Trapps Family Lodge has some great riding for all ability levels, and is a fun intersection to other trail networks, but if you’re newer to mountain biking, hands down, Trapps is where you should ride. They have some great doubletrack, which is great for younger riders to learn hand-braking and gearing, as well as some fun entry-level singletrack that’s great for working on cornering, roots, and other technical skills with pretty low risk.
  • Intermediates: I think Cady Hill is great for intermediate riders, but venturing outside of Stowe, Little River State Park in Waterbury is well worth a visit. Forewarning: There will be some climbing, but the climb is not really technical and it’s great for building fitness and getting some lung and leg burn. The Highbridge trail is a super fun flowy descent. Beginner-intermediates may want to watch their speed but it’s well worth the climb if you love downhill flow trails.
  • Advanced: Perry Hill is definitely a pick for advanced riders. Perry Hill starts with a steep climb, and the trails are loaded with natural technical features like rock drops.

I haven’t spent a ton of time riding Perry Hill and have probably spent about as much time walking features as I did riding, but there is some fun intermediate stuff too. You’ll definitely witness some the ridiculous riding talent in there as well!

Why do you love mountain biking?

I love mountain biking because, like skiing, it’s something my whole family can enjoy doing together. I also love to get out with just the ladies in the “trust tree.” Mountain biking allows me to tap back into that athletic drive I had before life got so busy!

Plus, not every ride is about going fast and getting technical. Sometimes a ride is at an easy conversational pace with lots of breaks, and it’s all great.

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