Two Days on South Hero Island

I’ve been following lots of bike journals the last month or so, and it’s been exciting to finally see people getting out and about. It inspired me to want to get away from home for at least a minor adventure, so I decided to head up to northern Vermont for a two day, one night getaway. The plan was for two days of riding on South Hero Island, one of the several large islands that sit in the middle of Lake Champlain.

For Day 1, I made the three hour drive up north, and parked in Colchester, a town that sits just north of Burlington. From there, the plan was to ride the Island Line Trail and Colchester Causeway out to the island. From there, do a loop around the bottom half of the island, and then return back to the car. The Causeway is a three mile stretch of old railroad bed that runs across the lake. It’s a man made swath of land just wide enough to hold some railroad tracks, so you get some spectacular views of the lake on either side as you ride out, as well as some great views across the lake over into New York State. As part of the Causeway, there’s a two hundred foot gap, which you get across by taking the dedicated bike ferry that runs daily in the summer.

The Causeway, just as it leaves the mainland
Out on the Causeway
The bike ferry, loading up

Once out on the island, there’s mostly quiet, low traffic roads, either running along the shoreline or crisscrossing the interior of the island.

Once back at the car, I drove up to St. Albans for dinner and an overnight stay at a hotel. First hotel stay since March of 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic.

On Day 2, I drove out to the island, and then did a loop encompassing the upper two thirds of the island, sticking to roads on the shoreline as much as possible.

Ride complete, I headed back to the car for the three hour ride home. For the two days, about 60 miles of riding total, and beautiful sunny weather the entire time. Lots of cyclists out and about all over the island. The Causeway trail itself was uncomfortably busy with casual cyclists, but the roads were great. And sorry folks, no faces here (unless I managed to capture one accidentally!).

Retired guy who likes to ride his bike in Vermont.

16 response to "Two Days on South Hero Island"

  1. By: Kathleen Jones Posted: July 27, 2021

    That sounds great, Bob. What a nice place to ride.

    • By: BobinVT Posted: July 28, 2021

      It is a great place to ride. And though I didn’t show any photos, the bike infrastructure around Burlington is really pretty great too. I really wish it was a little bit closer to home.

  2. By: NancyG Posted: July 27, 2021

    What a fantastic mini tour you had for yourself Bob. Really nice job of describing it too. The way you wrote about iit, I could imagine a big part of the trip. Thanks for sharing, I really enjoyed reading about your tour.

    • By: BobinVT Posted: July 28, 2021

      It is very cool. And great folks that run it. Glad you could use the photo.

  3. By: gregblood Posted: July 28, 2021

    Very nice looking place for a quick bike trip, Bob. Of course, one just can’t go wrong when there’s a large lake involved. The presence of water always makes me happy.

    By the way, I noticed the two rock eyes and the log mouth in that last picture. I assume your “no faces” claim was a bit of a joke. You get an “A” for the face AND the joke.

    • By: BobinVT Posted: July 28, 2021

      I agree. Being around water always makes me happy. And wow, a face… I really wasn’t joking. I obviously have no aptitude for finding faces. But, I will still happily accept the A.

  4. By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: July 28, 2021

    A nice bicycle weekender, thanks for sharing.

    • By: BobinVT Posted: July 28, 2021

      Thanks, it really was a nice little getaway.

  5. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: July 28, 2021

    Beautiful! Glad you had the chance to enjoy it!

    • By: BobinVT Posted: July 28, 2021

      Yes, the nice weather really made the trip. The chance for good weather up there is small. It’s pretty far north, and there’s lots of opportunity for some cold winds coming in from the lake. I managed to hit the perfect time.

  6. By: The Navigator Posted: July 30, 2021

    What a fantastic overnight trip and always good to hear of places doing really well with infrastructure. Glad you could get away to ride. Do you feel like you’ve got the feel for the new bike and that it is one with you at this point?

    • By: BobinVT Posted: July 30, 2021

      It was a fun trip, and great to get away. One with the bike? Hmmm, mostly. About my only complaint is that I’m not loving the handlebars. It is after all a drop bar mountain bike, and the drops have a rather extreme flare. And those are really supposed to be the primary hand position, but I’m really an ‘on the hoods’ kind of guy. So, I’m giving it a few more months, but I may switch handlebars at some point. Overall though, it’s a great bike for all kinds of riding.

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