Without Trails

Tulip Trails has strong valley roots

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Corbett Tulip grew up mountain biking in the valley. He and his childhood friends rode together for fun, hiking their bikes up Cranmore, Peaked and Black Cap to ride down.

The Kennett High School grad did some of the valley races like the 24 Hours of Great Glen and Summer Race Series but what he really enjoyed was freeriding.

“We were lucky to all grow up in North Conway where we could ride all these places from our houses and meet up in town,” he said during an email exchange and over coffee. “We would hang out at the old Joe Jones bike shop and received a lot of guidance from mechanic and local Chris Krug as kids.”

Tulip, 35, loves mountain biking so much, he started a business around it in 2020 — Tulip Trails (tuliptrails.com). He now lives in Rumney on two acres with trails he built for his young family. His brother Owen started Tulip Trails West in Gunnison, Colo. recently.

“What started as playing in the woods with friends has evolved into my full-time job,” said the University of Vermont 2008 grad. “I started Tulip Trails after a decade of helping to build trails at some of New Hampshire’s most unique mountain bike centers. With the boom in mountain biking and the recent demand for professional trail construction I decided to start my own business to continue to do what I love.”

Now, Tulip works in the woods specializing in mountain bike trails. He also offers services to build hiking, walking, and ATV trails plus ski glades. He’s left his imprint at popular mountain biking centers like Northfield’s Highland Bike Park and the Green Woodlands Foundation in Dorchester in the Upper Valley.

Tulip loves riding North Conway’s Hurricane Mountain Zone which includes Black Cap. He’s worked on HMZ trails like Charlie Don’t Surf, Hurricane and the new Flank Trail. He’s also done some private construction in the valley.

“Currently, I am working on a new intermediate machine built trail in the Hurricane Zone, working with Ride NoCo, White Mountain Trail Collective and Cranmore Resort,” he said. A section could open this fall.

The son of Tony Tulip and Tracy Mannix, he enjoys building all types of trails from hand built low impact construction to large scale bike park trails that involve heavy excavation. He spends a lot of time with tools of the trade like shovel, rakes, McCloud, Rogue Hoe, and chainsaw. On the machine built pathways, he uses a mini excavator and has logged thousands of hours with them.

Working at various properties around New England he’s gotten to see how the development of recreation has stimulated local economies and grown a new generation of riders. He says both Highland Bike Park and Green Woodlands were built with a focus on bringing new riders into the sport and developing a trail network that’s fun for all riders regardless of ability or equipment.

In the past five years, he’s seen the popularity of mountain biking grow, especially here in the valley.

“There has always been a small core of mountain bikers in the valley, but now riding has become more mainstream and more trail users than ever,” he said.

Tulip believes the valley is a unique area that’s perfectly set up to be developed into a world class mountain bike destination.

“The MWV already has all the hospitality infrastructure it needs for visitors,” he said. “The trail network is quickly expanding with trails for all abilities. I think the trail construction boom is really just starting and the next decade will see many more trails built all over the valley and the state.”

He’s also seeing growth in private trails.

“I get inquiries all the time from people looking to add some trails to their yard for a variety of reasons,” he said. “Even the smallest backyard could have a small pump track or flow trail built. A 3-to-5 acre yard could comfortably fit a quarter mile or more of trail. The fun part for me is to design something that will work within the constraints of the property and make the most of the terrain available.”

Tulip’s built advanced dirt jump lines for families with teenagers and beginner friendly skills courses for children just learning to ride.

“Anyone with small kids knows it can be a lot to travel somewhere to ride. With a backyard course they can just go out the door and ride,” he said.

And maybe build them one day, too.

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