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“Riding the Causeway into Lake Champlain is Amazing”

Burlington Bike Path
Ranked #1 of 78 things to do in Burlington
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Converted from the Central Vermont Railway to a bike path in the 1970s, this easy trail crosses through beaches and parks and offers great views of Lake Champlain, the Adirondacks and the city.
Reviewed May 20, 2013

The Burlington Bike Path is now called the Island Line Bike Trail (although signs still say Burlington Bike Path). It starts off paved and meanders along the eastern shore of Lake Champlain. The views are beautiful. We rode the path off-season in late May and it was very quiet. I imagine the summer months bring more tourists and gets very busy. The trail is often narrow and could easily get crowded with a lot of riders / walkers. There are times the path goes off into neighborhoods for a short time and then continues along the lake until it finally reaches the Colchester Causeway. You actually come out of a neighborhood across from a little park. You have to cross the street to continue onto a gravel path that then leads to the Colchester Causeway. The Causeway goes out 3 miles into Lake Champlain and the views are amazing. We had to stop before reaching the end of the bike path because the ferry was not running to allow us to finish. This was one of our favorite rail trails we have ridden.

11  Thank HappyTraveller1166
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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683 - 687 of 823 reviews

Reviewed May 13, 2013

This bike path is perfect for EVERYONE - and EVERYONE uses it, which, on a summer weekend, can be a challenge if you want to get your speed on.

NOTE that ALL REPAIRS to the existing line have been done and as of May 1 2013 (my last visit) everything is paved and ready for use. ALSO they are bringing back the northern-end bike ferry this June to extend your ride into the Champlain Islands! Can't wait!

The bike trail is along the shore of Champlain and there are gorgeous lake views for much of it - and the end is a narrow causeway; riding it is like flying over the water.

The southern end starts at a family park with a gorgeous beach.

You progress through a cute little neighborhood, then parallel a working train track on one side and the lake on your other (my hubby's new favorite part).

Then you're in Burlington - over Perkins Pier (stop in at Local Motion or just use their free multi-use bike fix station to blow up tires, make repairs etc), and onto the Burlington waterfront.

From the waterfront you ride along the lake to North Beach. There is a wooded section that passes under a railway trestle. That section has older pavement, but it's still pavement and perfectly serviceable.

You then pass another park and some residential areas before opening once again to a spectacular lake view, only this time viewed from high above the water (except 2 years ago when the water reached the top of the cliff during the flood!). There are picnic areas where you can stop and climb down to the beach or just stare at the ridiculously beautiful view.

Next you ride through a quaint lakeside neighborhood called North Cove, where a mom-and-pop "marina" offers cold drinks. This neighborhood was devastated in the Spring 2011 floods... folks getting in their rowboats to leave their houses - and because of the location in a flood zone, these folks have been on their own for repairs. It's really heartwarming to see the neighborhood bounce back.

Next the fantastic bike bridge over the mouth of the Winooski. I dare you to try and just cross over without stopping to gawp and watch the boats go under... or just watch dogs scampering in the surf at the marina. Lots of debris was deposited here ("debris" including entire trees) so it's fun to watch the boaters wend their way carefully from lake to river. (I know this well - dinged my prop on a log last year trying the same thing!).

The next section is a wetlands preserve; the bike path perfectly integrates; it is on a raised, fenced platform that lets you view nature while keep the impact minimum.

The next section is a residential area for only 1/4 mile or so. Not sure how the locals feel about their road literally being part of the bike path, but I've never seen anything but friendly faces. Other landmarks are a helicopter landing area and the Winooski river boat launch.

You go through Airport Park with its historic one-room schoolhouse (also rest rooms and a water fountain, basketball, baseball, and a seasonal concession stand).

You next ride through the Colchester Bog. Bring bug spray - but it's worth it. Packed dirt/gravel, very smooth, shady, and woody - a nice relief on a hot sunny day and a nice prelude to....

THE CAUSEWAY. Easily my favorite part. The floods 2 years ago washed the causeway part almost into the lake, and it took lots of work by lots of dedicated volunteers (Local Motion and others) to get it fixed and repaved, and it's now a showpiece. You will literally feel like you're flying over the water, without the hassle of boat ownership (been there!). This part is a couple of glorious miles.

And after that - starting this summer (2013) on a seasonal/weekend basis - the bike ferry will take you across "the cut" to South Hero, where you can ride the Champlain Islands clear into NY or Quebec!

I love this bike path and can't wait to ride again!

6  Thank Carol S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2013

We rented bicycles and enjoyed the beautiful views from the Burlington bike path. The path itself does need some new pavement in several places but is certainly rideable on any type of bike.

1  Thank David D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2013

This is among the centers of recreational activity around the waterfront area. the bike path stays very busy. Good for bikers, walkers, roller bladers, skate boarders, etc. It is mostly flat, and and is a very manageable distance if you wan to go "all the way".

Thank VermontFoodieMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2013

We started at Mallets Bay and rode south to North Beach in Burlington -- and back. 12.25 mile loop. Paved path, only a bit of it on the road itself. Path is in good condition and offers pretty lake views in many places. Can be a bit congested with mixed use of joggers, walkers, dogs, kids, etc -- so not really a place to open up a road bike, but brilliant for a leisurely ride. My wife and I were able to chat as we rode without worries of traffic - made for a great afternoon diversion. We'll go back.

Thank Jonathan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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