Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Burlington Bikeway is One of the Best

I almost feel like a traitor writing this...but Burlington (Vermont) is a recreational bicyclist's paradise. This beautiful lakefront city offers lots of reasons to plan your first visit or start daydreaming about your next trip back.

We're talking easy biking--nothing competitive, too fast or challenging. As someone commented about the Burlington Bikeway, "It's for families and folks who haven't been on a bike in 50 years." Well, that's just a slight exaggeration. (It hasn't been 50 years!) We pedaled here on Monday and did see a few more competitive, experienced types,too.

What's not to love?
For starters, there are multiple bike rental shops in the area and numerous access points to the trail. The bikeway is mostly all paved, very well maintained, and well-marked. The 12-mile trail offers great waterfront views of Lake Champlain from Burlington to Colchester. And then there are the beautiful Adirondack Mountains on one side and the Green Mountains on the other.

You'll find numerous parks and natural areas along the way, a trail bridge over the mouth of the Winooski River, and I'm told...Colchester's Causeway Park, which takes you three miles into the middle of the lake! (We didn't know about this feature beforehand and unfortunately, didn't quite make it that far.)

One of the things I loved best about this trail, apart from the spectacular scenery, were the wonderful scents filling the late spring air. Lilacs and a fragrant white-flowering shrub mingled with the smell of freshly mowed grass.

And there's more
The Burlington Bikeway isn't the only opportunity in the area. Apparently there's another trail that takes you around the city's somewhat hilly streets. The Bikeway also connects with the Cross Vermont Trail, and a trail that eventually takes you all the way to Montreal!

Now you know why I said this city is a bicyclist's paradise. You can read more about the trails at Local Motion. Also see more photos from our visit starting with my sidebar link to www.flickr.com. When you get to flickr, just select "browse" photostream on the right. (No need to sign up or join.)

Things to Know Before You Go: Keep in mind you'll be sharing this multi-use trail with runners, walkers, and inline skaters. There are 5 miles of trail in Colchester (at the north end) that are unpaved and not recommended for street bikes.

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