Friday, July 25, 2014

Island Line Rail to Trail

A few months ago I saw a Facebook post about a Rails to Trails bike path in Burlington, VT that looked awesome. I knew Dad and I had to do it while we were in Vermont! We'd been planning to move to a campground closer to Burlington, however, we couldn't find anything, so since Burlington was only about 40 miles from Stowe we decided to just stay here.

Dad and I were going to ride our bikes and Mom was going to take a lunch cruise on Lake Champlain. This morning we drove into Burlington and quickly found the spot where Mom was going to get the boat, it just happened to also have bike path access! We were about 3 miles from the actual beginning of the trail, but the southern end of the trail was through an industrial park and not a scenic, so we were ok with skipping it!

After having a very hard time figuring out how to pay for our parking spot, Mom was on her way to the boat dock to wait for it to be time to go and Dad and I were heading up the bike path.

The first part of the bike path was along Lake Champlain, there were nice views of the lake, the sailboats and the Adirondack Mountains in New York! The next part of the trail was through a nice neighborhood! Many of the houses had lake views and it reminded me of Sleepy Hollow in New York! The final part of the trail was the best part - the trail went out on a causeway out into the lake! It was like riding on the water with views all around! The causeway extended about 4 miles, until there was a cut for the boats to get through. There was a bike ferry, but it cost $8 to take you across the 20 ft cut so you could ride the last mile of so of the trail. We decided it wasn't worth it so sat at the end & ate lunch and enjoyed the view! You could see Mt. Mansfield! It was hazy, but it was there!


We'd gotten there very quickly, only about 45 mins to ride 10 miles! But, that was because we were going with the wind. On the way back we'd be going into the wind! It was much harder riding back, but it still didn't take too long and we got back to the boat dock before Mom was due back so we rode out the other end. It was less than three miles to the true end so we figured it wouldn't take very long. The other end wasn't as ugly as we'd thought it might be, the path was by the water and went through several parks. The last mile or so however, we lost the trail. The signs had lead us out onto some roads that were winding through an industrial area with lots of traffic and not much to see so we turned around. We got back to the car soon after Mom did!

After the bike ride we decided to checkout some other parts of Burlington, the City Market food co-op, and a block or two of Church Street - a pedestrian mall. Burlington is a neat little city, it's got all the city stuff you need and it's got a funky feel to it. It's a college town, I'm sure that's part of it, and Vermont is just kinda weird! Burlington also has a diversity that the rest of Vermont seems to be lacking, I even found Nepali food in the prepared food section of City Market! The city is still very green, outdoorsy and crunchy! I liked it! :-)

After we finished in Burlington we hit the Wal-Mart, only Wal-Mart between NY and Gorham, NH! (If not the only, one of fewer than 5! Another reason to love Vermont, few big box stores - and those that are here seem to be concentrated - easy enough to get to if you need them, but not in your face all the time!), then the Shaw's in Waterbury before returning to the campground for dinner, Jeopardy!, and a little Big Bang Theory!



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