Ellicottville Epic, New York
Located an hour south of Buffalo, Ellicottville is home to some of the finest mountain bike trails on the East Coast. Most trails were built by mountain bikers, for mountain bikers, and easily accessed from town. The climbs are long, steep and plenty. The descents are rocky, rooty and fun. This is singletrack designed by bikers for bikers (although it is great for hiking, too). For example, some of these trails are used for the annual 6 Hours of Power and the Roots Rocks and Ridges MTB races.
The trails are designed to be sustainable without the need for lots of maintenance: they have built in dry areas and with plenty of effective drainage designed into the layout. These new trails are often the driest around for riding when it is wet elsewhere. The trail systems can be broken down into the East McCarty Hill area (Big Merlin), the Mutton Hollow area (Porcupine Trail, Mutton Hollow Trail, Yukon’s Lunch), and the newest sections which provide greater connections to Rock City State Forest (Pale Ale Trail, Rim Trail). These trail systems are great and have more than one access point to allow for varied loops. While these systems can be readily accessed from Holiday Valley via the singletrack behind the top of Eagle Chair lift on the race loop, there's more riding further toward the south extending to and past Little Rock City. The FLT (which is open to bikes in this forest, but is always under threat of closure) and the new Pale Ale Trail takes you there and back, and loops can be made with some of the dirt roads. Suffice it to say there is way more riding than you can do in a day or two. Go here and ride!
Season: Mid-April to mid-November, depending on snowfall.
IMBA Chapter: Western New York Mountain Bike Association (WNYMBA), http://www.wnymba.org
Shop: Ellicottville Bike Shop, 30 Washington Street Ellicottville, NY 14731, 716-699-BIKE, www.ellicottvillebikeshop.com
Brew: Ellicottville Brewing Company: http://www.ellicottvillebrewing.com