Lake Champlain Islands

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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Fall Things To Do in The Champlain Islands

Nestled in the northwest corner of Vermont, The Lake Champlain Islands is a picturesque and charming destination that comes to life in the fall. From scenic outdoor adventures to indulging in local cuisines, these five experiences will elevate your autumn visit to The Islands.  

1. Leaf Peeping

Fall foliage in Vermont is famous for its vibrant colors. Take a scenic drive or bike ride along the picturesque Lake Champlain Byway route, which runs through the Lake Champlain Islands. We recommend venturing off the beaten path onto the tranquil east or west shore roads along the lake, where the terrain remains gentle, and traffic is light. Bring your camera to capture the stunning lake and mountain landscapes. The 14-mile scenic Island Line Trail, that starts in Burlington, Vermont and ends in South Hero, Vermont is another great ride. 

2. Pick Your Own Apples

Fall is apple-picking season in Vermont, and the Champlain Islands have several orchards where you can enjoy this quintessential autumn activity. Family-owned and operated farms have produced apples for many generations. Sample freshly picked apples, cider, and apple-based treats while enjoying the crisp fall air. Some popular orchards in the area include Allenholm Farm, Hackett's Orchard, and Hall’s Orchard in Isle La Motte, Vermont.

3. Explore Nature Trails and Beaches

As autumn paints the Vermont landscape with vibrant foliage, it's the perfect season for outdoor adventures. The Islands offer a haven for nature enthusiasts, boasting an array of local trails, serene beaches, and Vermont State Parks. Discover some of our favorite nature trails in The Champlain Islands. 

4. Explore Local Farms and Farmers' Markets

Fall marks the harvest season, and in Grand Isle County, you'll find a bounty of farms to visit. Many farms offer engaging tours and activities, providing insights into Vermont's rich agricultural legacy. You can find these farms at the Champlain Islands Farmers Market. This market features fresh produce, handcrafted goods, and artisanal crafts. Don't miss the Harvest Festival, which kicks off in early October, featuring open houses at businesses and farms, allowing you to immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture.

5. Go on a Wine and Brewery tour

The Champlain Islands are a hub for local craft wineries and breweries that welcome visitors throughout autumn. Notably, Two Heroes Brewery has unveiled a new brewhouse restaurant in South Hero, Vermont. Additionally, you can savor the craft creations at Kramer and Kin Brewery, situated at Alburgh Golf Links in Alburgh, Vermont. And for wine enthusiasts, Snow Farm Vineyard, Ellison Estate Winery, and Isle La Motte Vineyard offer a delightful experience. These attractions promise to enhance your fall excursion to the Champlain Islands in Vermont, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the region's natural beauty and authentic local character.

In the Champlain Islands during fall, nature's colors come to life, and the local community's warmth shines through. Whether exploring the landscape, savoring local food and drink, or simply enjoying the scenery, these five activities capture the season's essence. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to experience the beauty and charm of the Champlain Islands autumn. 

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The Best Wineries to Visit in The Lake Champlain Islands

Best Wineries to Visit in Vermont's Lake Champlain Islands

Visiting wineries in the Lake Champlain Islands of Vermont promises a delightful and unique experience. The wineries offer a chance to explore the region's scenic beauty while indulging in exquisite wines crafted with local expertise. From picturesque vineyards overlooking the lake to charming tasting rooms, these wineries provide a perfect blend of natural splendor, warm hospitality, and the opportunity to sample exceptional wines made from locally grown grapes.

Snow Farm Vineyard 

Experience Snow Farm Vineyard, located on the picturesque shores of Lake Champlain in South Hero, Vermont. Indulge in exquisite wines, enjoy a delightful picnic amidst the vineyard, and wander the historic farm. Immerse yourself in a truly unique vineyard and winery experience, surrounded by expansive landscapes that capture the essence of the Islands. Don't miss their lively outdoor concert series, every Thursday evening throughout the summer months.  Learn More

Ellison Estate Vineyard

Ellison Estate Vineyard is a regenerative farm with a tasting room on the beautiful East Shore of Grand Isle, Vermont, which is open from 12-5 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Their tasting room is a vibrant gathering place that aims to craft captivating, native Vermont wines while nurturing a strong sense of community. Their grapes are grown in Grand Isle, Vermont, then processed at their winery basement in Stowe, Vermont. Learn More

Isle La Motte Vineyard

Discover a charming vineyard Isle La Motte, Vermont, spanning nearly two acres. The vineyard is located on Shrine Road, and their daily schedule runs Thursday through Sunday, 1 pm - 6:00 p.m. and includes Monday and holidays. They specialize in Marquette grapes for rich red wines and LaCrescent for exquisite whites and also incorporate additional varieties like Frontenac, Frontenac Blanc, and Louise Swenson for added depth. Learn More

 

Whether you're a wine enthusiast or simply seeking a memorable getaway, a visit to the wineries in the Lake Champlain Islands is sure to leave you with a lasting appreciation for Vermont's wine culture and stunning surroundings.

Looking for more things to do in Vermont’s Lake Champlain Islands? Check out six things to do this summer.

 

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Island Insights: May Events in the Lake Champlain Islands

Island Insights: May Events in The Lake Champlain Islands

With spring in full swing, The Lake Champlain Islands of Vermont are buzzing with exciting activities to explore this May. Whether you're a local or a visitor, we've got you covered with our guide to the top events happening this month. Keep reading to discover some of the best events that you won't want to miss!

Wine Tastings & Six Short Plays at Snow Farm Vineyard

On May 5th and 6th at 6 pm at Snow Farm Vineyard, you can experience tastings and a performance of six short plays covering a wide range of topics from climate change to social issues.

More Event Information

Green Up Day With South Hero Land Trust

Join the South Hero Land Trust's annual Green Up Day on May 6th from 7am - 12am and participate in a community cleanup. Join SHLT at Folsom School between 11:30am to 12:30pm for their volunteer appreciation barbecue.

More Event Information

Live Music at Kraemer & Kin 

The Tenderbellies will be performing on May 6th at Kraemer & Kin’s taproom at Albrugh Golf Links. Head to Alburgh, Vermont for a night of dancing, great music and drinks all starting at 7pm!

More Event Information

Sip & Shop at Shore Acres

A Sip & Shop event will be taking place at Bravo Zulu Lakeside Bar on Saturday, May 13th! Starting at 11am, you can enjoy some refreshing drinks while browsing locally made products created by some incredibly talented local artists.

More Event Information

Champlain Islands Farmers Market 

Don't miss the first market of the season on May 20th! Head over to St. Joseph's Church in Grand Isle from 10am-2pm to support local farmers, makers, and a variety of other vendors.

More Information

There's something for everyone to enjoy during the month of May in the Champlain islands.. So, mark the calendar for these upcoming activities. Don't miss out on this opportunity to experience the beauty and charm of the Champlain Islands in the springtime. Looking for more things to do in the Lake Champlain Islands? Start exploring today. 

Island Insights: February Fun in the Champlain Islands

February Activities in the Lake Champlain Islands of Vermont

From winter festivals to local live music events, February 2023 is packed with activities to be enjoyed by all! Keep reading to learn about the local events coming up in Vermont's Lake Champlain Island towns

Winter Carnival @ Kraemer and Kin 

The local Champlain Islands Brewery, Kraemer and Kin, turns three years old! They will have their first annual winter carnival to celebrate the anniversary on February 11th and 12th at the Alburgh Golf Links. During the day, many outdoor activities will be happening, such as pick-up hockey, sledding, and snowshoe tours. 

Learn more

Friday Night Wine Down @ Snow Farm Vineyard 

Wine Down Fridays at Snow Farm is a can’t miss activity this winter. This winter concert series features free live music inside Snow Farm Vineyard's tasting room from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Bittersweet Bakery will be serving dinner at 5:30 pm. There is also a Pebble Art Workshop on February 12th from 2 pm to 4 pm. Check out the entire February event lineup below. 

See Snow Farm Calendar 

Great Ice Winter Festival

The return of Great Ice is back the weekend of February 17th at City Bay in North Hero, Vermont. There is a fantastic lineup of events happening throughout the weekend for all to enjoy. The festival includes fireworks, a Christmas tree bonfire, local vendors, and much more! The Champlain Islands Business Expo will also be held at the North Hero Community Hall on Saturday, Feb. 18, from 10:30 am. to 3 pm. Coldwell Banker Islands Realty will be there; make sure to stop by and say hello! Please note some activities are weather dependent, follow their Facebook page for updates.

Learn more

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