Enjoy a long weekend on the shores of Lake Champlain! This great trip will give you a taste for the beauty that western Vermont and eastern New York have to offer, and when you’re done, you’ll be looking to schedule your next trip back. We’ll start by heading north from Burlington, riding the Island Line Trail to the Hero Islands, then venturing to one of the northernmost points on the lake, just a stone’s throw from the Canadian border. We’ll then cross over into New York, enjoying the western shores of Lake Champlain and farmland as we pedal along, keeping our eyes peeled for wildlife. We’ll end the trip with a ferry back to Burlington, looking to spot Champ, Lake Champlain’s mythical monster. We’ll celebrate our long weekend by grabbing a cone of Ben & Jerry’s famous ice cream from their shop in the Church Street Marketplace, already planning our next adventure.
"15 strangers, 30 days, and 1,500 miles of coastline lay before me on ACA's Northwest Coast Tour in September of 2006...we all made it to San Francisco; afterwards, our group leader termed us 'superglue': we left camp each morning mostly together, we stopped at the same coffee shops and bakeries along the way, we ate lunch together. Three years later, we still send group emails back and forth. I came back from this trip raring to go on another one."
Day 1. Burlington, Vermont, 0 miles
We’ll meet our group today in Burlington, a fantastic town on the shores of Lake Champlain. Home of the University of Vermont, it’s a laid-back city with great bike infrastructure in place — a welcoming start to our long weekend. Be sure to come early and take a walk down Church Street Marketplace, which is full of great local shops and food
Day 2. Burlington to Swanton, 44 miles
We’ll journey north along the islands in Lake Champlain, hitting South Hero, Grand Isle, and North Hero. To get to the islands, we’ll ride the Island Line Trail and take the quick ferry ride to transport us past the 200-foot gap in the causeway that was left after the old railroad swing bridge was removed. If you have some time, consider taking a stopover and renting a kayak to get out on the open water. We’ll end our day looking north past Missisquoi Bay into Canada.
Day 3. Swanton to Plattsburgh, New York, 38 miles
We’ll leave the Green Mountain State to take a view of Lake Champlain from the west as we venture off into New York. There’s bound to be wildlife throughout this relatively flat ride as we pass the Kings Bay Wildlife Management Area. Consider checking out some of the many trails that Point Au Roche State Park has to offer on the northwestern shore of Lake Champlain.
Day 4. Plattsburgh to Burlington, 20 miles
A short ride this morning will bring us to Port Kent, where we’ll catch a ferry back to Burlington. The crossing, which takes just over an hour, will give us a chance to reflect on the great weekend and the best that Lake Champlain has to offer. Once we hit the Vermont side of the lake, it will be a short jaunt back to our start location, and what better way to end the journey than with celebratory ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s!