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Hiking In The Lake Champlain Islands: 10 Trails For All Levels To Enjoy

The Lake Champlain Islands of Vermont are a nature lovers’ paradise with picturesque nature trails, beaches, and state parks. Located in the Northwest Corner of Vermont, these nature trails are enjoyed year-round by residents and visitors on foot, bikes, snowshoes, or skis. 

Island Line Trail Recreation Path, South Hero, Vermont

1. Island Line Trail Recreation Path

Location: South Hero, VT

The iconic Island Line Trail is a 14-mile rail trail that runs along the shores of Lake Champlain and takes you from Burlington to South Hero, Vermont. Run, bike, or even roller skate on the path while enjoying views of the Adirondack and Green Mountains. Along the trail, you’ll travel over the breathtaking Colchester Causeway, a skinny route with Lake Champlain on either side. The Local Motion Bike Ferry takes passengers across the 200ft gap to Allen Point Access in South Hero. The Bike Ferry welcomes all passengers and asks for a small donation. However, do note the ferry operates seasonally. See the bike ferry schedule before you plan your trip. For more information about the ferry and operation schedule, visit their website

2. Butternut Hill Natural Area 

Location: North Hero, VT

Located at Camp Ingalls in North Hero, Vermont, this mile-long trail offers an easy hike through scenic woods with a shale beach at the end. The path winds through floodplain forests, cedar pine forests, and cobble shorelines while providing a tremendous southerly view of Lake Champlain. 

View From Fox Hill Trail, South Hero, Vermont

3. Fox Hill Trail

Location: South Hero, VT

Fox Hill Trail is a short, uphill hike in South Hero, Vermont, with amazing views of The Island Line Trail recreation path, Snow Farm Vineyard, and Lake Champlain. The trail is located at Snow Farm Vineyard, so stop by the tasting room for a glass of wine. Looking for other great wineries? Check out these three vineyards in the Champlain Islands.

4. Goodsell Ridge Fossil Preserve

Location: Isle La Motte, VT

This 85-acre sanctuary in Isle La Motte provides year-round, free access to a remarkable collection of 480 million-year-old fossils from the Chazy Fossil Reef. You can take a self-guided expedition on the trails to marvel at these ancient relics while exploring the extended trails that wind through the vast property. 

Walking Trail, Grand Isle, VT

5. Ironwood Nature Trail, Grand Isle, VT

Location: Grand Isle, VT

This 0.8-mile trail near Grand Isle State Park in Grand Isle, Vermont, features numerous old ironwood trees, an observation tower, wetland-forest plants, and an exposed bedrock dome with deep fissures. 

6. Tracy Woods Community Trail 

Location: South Hero, VT

Nestled in the charming town of South Hero, Vermont, the Tracy Woods Community Trail was preserved in 2018 through the Tracy Woods Conservation Project. This family-friendly, one-mile loop trail is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the natural splendor of the Champlain Islands.

7. The Roy Marsh Trail 

Location: South Hero, VT

This easy trail runs along the old Island Line Railroad Bed and is about 2 miles one way or 4 miles out and back. The trail is open for walking, running, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and horseback riding. Feel free to bring your dog too! Be aware that hunting is allowed on this property, so use caution during waterfowl season. 

Pelots Natural Area, North Hero, VT

8. Pelot’s Point Natural Area

Location: North Hero, VT

This 2.6-mile trail is lovely for walking, running, or snowshoeing. Located in North Hero, Vermont, you will be fully immersed in nature with the opportunity to see lots of wildlife and a few excellent viewpoints of Lake Champlain. The trail winds through pastures and woods, and a portion is on the old railroad tracks.

9. Alburgh Recreational Rail Trail 

Location: Alburgh, VT

Located in Alburgh, Vermont, this easy-to-moderate rail trail is 3 miles long and is open throughout all four seasons. The trail is excellent for walking, running, and biking. It starts in the Alburgh Village and heads east through the Mud Creek Wildlife Management Area. 

10. Landon Community Trail 

Location: South Hero, VT

The Landon Community Trail spans a manageable distance of ¾ mile catering to beginners and those seeking a moderately challenging hike. However, it's essential to remember that the Landon Community Trail temporarily closes each year between November 10th and December 10th. This brief closure aligns with the deer hunting season in the region, prioritizing safety for all trail users. 

Whether you seek scenic beauty, outdoor adventure, or a peaceful escape into nature's embrace, The Lake Champlain Islands are a paradise waiting to be discovered and explored! Looking for more Champlain Islands adventures? Check out this local guide for things to do in The Islands.

Butternut Hill Natural Area, North Hero, Vermont


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