While many east coast ski areas are adding mountain bike trails to attract summer guests, Highland Mountain Bike Park in New Hampshire is a ski mountain that is strictly for mountain bikes. No one has skied at Highland for 12 years so this mostly abandoned resort was recently made over into a mountain bike destination complete with lift serviced terrain.
In 2007 Highland sold more than 4,000 lift passes and this year projections are to double that. An article in the Union Leader describes the trails as “2 to 3 feet wide (and) made out of clay” so I imagine the trails are fast and grippy. The old ski lifts have been modified so that every other chair on the lift has been replaced with a bike rack to shuttle bikes up the hill. It sounds like most of the trails are rated for intermediate to advanced riders but new beginner trails are in the works pending approval from adjacent landowners.
All of this is great news and seems to point to a real shift in mountain biking from west-coast dominated to a balance from coast to coast. Heck, even Interbike is hosting its first ever east coast outdoor bike demo in Rhode Island this year. Maybe instead of heading to Moab this year you Californians could just make the trip to New Hampshire