4 Questions with Dan Robbins, Your Personal Guide to All Things Mountain Biking at Cranmore

Dan Robbins is our Summer Operations Manager. In the winter, he oversees the Terrain Park. Needless to say, Dan knows gnarly. If there’s something you need to know about the Bike Park, he’s the man. So we asked, he answered and dropped beginner tips for you to get started.

What sets Cranmore’s Bike Park apart?

Cranmore’s Bike Park maintains the only lift-accessible mountain bike trails in the Valley. You’re not climbing up with your bike. It’s all mostly downhill flow trails.

The Bike Park is in the center of a large network of trails. For those who want to mix it up after trying out Cranmore’s trails, you can take the Kettle Connector straight to Ride Noco’s trails—it’s a great place for advanced riders looking to test their skills on more advanced trails. You can also connect to the New England Mountain Bike Association (NEMBA) through the MWV Rec Path (the head of which is located at Cranmore). These trails vary in difficulty, so they’re a great option for beginner to advanced riders. It’s the perfect “feeder” mountain, where you can take your time to get comfortable before taking on more challenging terrain.

Since it was built by locals (Corbett Tulip of Tulip Trails and Chris Lewando of Tyrol Trails), it’s a real representation of our community. Both Corbett and Chris grew up riding pirate trails that were not officially built at the mountain. It was gratifying for them to turn challenging gnarly trails into flow and more enjoyable terrain for mountain bikers to enjoy. Both always had a vision for a bike park at Cranmore, and now it is a reality.

It’s super exciting for us with how much the Bike Park is growing and developing so quickly—our trail count has doubled since we opened in 2020.

Family riding flow trail coming around curve

Which ages and ability levels is Cranmore’s bike park most suited for?

There are no barriers, every age is welcome, as long as they have some experience on a mountain bike and ride at least a 20-inch bike. There is a focus on family-friendly trails that beginners and intermediate riders can enjoy.

Overall, our bike park is a true progression park. It’s a place where people can build their bike skills and continue to grow as riders.

Father and young son riding flow trail

What should guests know before arriving at the Cranmore Bike Park?

Some essentials you should bring are water (make sure to take advantage of our filling stations), bug spray, sunscreen, etc.

Be prepared for a true mountain adventure and keep in mind, though the trails are definitely family-friendly, downhill mountain biking is more involved than just cruising around the neighborhood.

2022 Bogardus Cranmore S22 FAM 1964

Is there anything you would like to highlight about the MWV Rec Path? What would you say makes it a good place to go for a bike ride?

It’s a really peaceful place to get away from the busyness of downtown North Conway. You can enjoy stunning views of Pudding Pond, Rattlesnake Mountain, Peaked Mountain and Middle Mountain.

There’s also a true community feel when you see so many other outdoor enthusiasts enjoying their run or bike ride on the path.

group on bike path riding away from camera

Dan’s Tips and Tricks for Beginning Mountain Bikers

  1. Start slow—take some mellow laps and get a feel for the trails. We also have a great skills park that can help get you comfortable on the bike before you hop on the chairlift.

  2. Please don’t stop or walk in the middle of the trails. If you need to rest, step off the trail.

  3. Downhill mountain biking isn’t just cruising around your neighborhood—some skill and strength is needed. To help with this, we recommend always standing up when riding downhill.

  4. The proper equipment really makes a difference, so be sure to check and inspect your gear. Our rental shop also offers great equipment, guaranteed to make your day much more enjoyable than your old mountain bike from the 80s.

  5. Bike helmets are required, pads are optional and hydration is key.

  6. Our staff is knowledgeable and friendly, so don’t hesitate to ask questions!

Riding with full face white helmet
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