Lake Champlain

Chazy Reef - A Historical Site To See In Isle La Motte | Lake Champlain, Vermont

Chazy Reef- A Historical Site To See In Isle La Motte, Vermont

The Lake Champlain Islands are home to the Chazy Fossil Reef, one of the most historic places to see in Vermont. The geological wonder has two wonderful viewing sites located in the town of Isle La Motte. This 1,567 acre reef is the oldest reef in the world, as it’s home to 480 million year old fossils! A variety of species are on display with common ones being early snails, squids, and sea sponges. Thanks to the Isle La Motte Preservation Trust, the reef is a designated National Natural Landmark and a part of the 85-acre Goodsell Ridge Fossil Preserve as well as the Fisk Quarry Reserve, which really speaks to the town’s commitment to preservation. 

The Goodsell Ridge Fossil Preserve welcomes locals and tourists to go on a self-guided tour through history on a 4,600ft trail. Along the way are informational panels to help the travel through time. Additional enjoyment is provided during the months of May through October as a museum and visitor center open up. These activities are found in a restored Vermont dairy barn and are staffed by volunteers. This summer season also brings the opportunity to schedule a group tour. Kids who go to school in Grand Isle County will most likely experience one of these adventures of a group tour on a field trip. 

The Fisk Quarry Preserve is only two miles south of the Goodsell Preserve and is also always open to the public. It too offers a self-guided tour on a shorter trail. Along with the quarry providing a fun and educational time for everyone, it’s also still used for geological research. The limestone that the quarry is made up of was used to build quite significant buildings across the country, including our very own Statehouse. Luckily, the Isle La Motte Preservation and the Preservation Trust of Vermont preserved the quarry before any more historical rock could be taken. 

The Chazy Reef is a perfect place to relax, learn, and get out in Grand Isle County’s incredible scenery!


Subscribe to our blog to learn more about Lake Champlain and Grand Isle County!



  1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

Hidden Home: Modern Modular

This year- round energy efficient wood frame modular did not last long on the market! This hidden home went under contract in March and was built in 2016! Located on a dead end private road with 4 acres and 127 ft of lakeshore on Pelot's Bay. The modern interior features an open kitchen and living area with 8 x 3 kitchen island, maple floors, and updated appliances. The kitchen/living room has 9 foot ceilings and is framed by wood laminate beams, floor to ceiling glass and includes two sets of sliding doors to the Lakeside deck. (This home is UNDER CONTRACT.)


The Champlain Island Towns

With more shoreline than any other part of Vermont, the Lake Champlain Islands region is a unique and beautiful place located in Grand Isle County. The Islands are made up of five towns that all boast small-town rural charm with breathtaking scenery and an abundance of stunning lakefront homes.

drone shot of apple island marina

1. South Hero, Vermont

The Town of South Hero is the southernmost town, and shares an Island with the Town of Grand Isle. Known as the gateway to the Champlain Islands South Hero is a 20-25 minute commute to Burlington, Vermont.  Whether it’s your first visit or your daily commute it’s hard not to stop at the two mile Sandbar Causeway’s resting area to take in the panoramic lake views. South hero residents pride themselves on having a strong sense of community and volunteerism ultimately making this a sought after place for families. Among great lakefront properties, South Hero has a growing town center with restaurants, the Community Health Center, Community Bank and the Worthen Library. In the warmer months you will see cyclists on the Island Line Trail, concerts at Snow Farm Vineyard, and apple picking at Allenholm and Hackett’s Orchard.

aerial picture of lake champlain

2. Grand Isle, Vermont

The Town of Grand Isle is located on the northern side of the Island it shares with South Hero, and is just 25 to 35 minutes to Burlington, Vermont. Known as the beauty spot of Vermont, Grand Isle boasts a rural lifestyle with fertile farmland and pastoral views of Lake Champlain. In the summer months residents attend the Champlain Islands Farmers’ Market and indulge in Island Homemade Ice Cream. On Grand Isle’s eastern shore you will find residents swimming at Marycrest Beach or launching their boat at Ladd’s Landing Marina. The town is home to Vermont’s most visited state park, Grand Isle State Park, and New England’s oldest standing log cabin, Hyde Log Cabin. On the western shore, Gordon’s Landing offers an easy commute to New York State by-way-of the ferry that travels to Plattsburgh, New York all year round.

North hero village

3. North Hero, Vermont

The Town of North Hero is centrally located in Grand Isle County on the North Hero Island. It is named after the Revolutionary War hero Ethan Allen. Known as the shire town, North Hero is a quiet community with a picturesque village directly on City Bay of Lake Champlain. The village includes stunning views of the Green Mountains in the distance and is home to popular destinations such as Hero's Welcome General Store, The North Hero House and Shore Acres Inn & Restaurant. North Hero has a close-knit community with strong, independent values. The elongated Island has much to offer in terms of real estate, whether it's on Pelot's Bay or the shores of the Inland Sea you will find an abundance of lakefront cottages and beautiful year-round homes. 

landscape aerial shot of Alburgh

4. Alburgh, Vermont

The Town of Alburgh is the gateway to Vermont from New York and Canada. It has the highest amount of lakefront properties compared to the other Champlain Island towns. In Alburgh, you will find beautiful historic farmhouses as well as newly constructed homes in both country and lakefront settings. With its close proximity to New York, Canada, and St. Albans City, Alburgh is a favored place to reside. You will find walking trails and abundant nature. The sandy beaches at Alburgh Dunes State Park serve as a popular destination for residents and visitors. Alburgh is also home to one of the few golf courses located in the Champlain Islands. Open to the public, the course overlooks Lake Champlain and the deck at the 19th Hole Bar & Grill has some of the best seats in town. 

Isle La Motte lighthouse

5. Isle La Motte, Vermont

The Town of Isle La Motte is the northernmost of the Champlain Island towns and embodies a quiet rustic lifestyle with astonishing views of Lake Champlain. From impressive homes nestled on the shores of Lake Champlain to quaint seasonal cottages, Isle La Motte has much to offer in terms of real estate and lifestyle. Isle La Motte has a rich history. It was the land at which Samuel De Champlain first landed on in 1609, on the lake that now bears his name. The French built a fort in 1666 which is now St. Anne’s Shrine, a historic and peaceful setting that has become a popular destination for locals and tourists. The fort was built by Pierre De La Motte for which the island is named after. Isle La Motte is a geological wonder as well. The area is home to Chazy Reef, the world’s oldest coral reef, and the 85 acre Goodsell Ridge Fossil Preserve

The Champlain Islands is not just real estate, it's a sense of place. We want you to find yours in this rich, beautiful landscape of close-knit communities, history, and countless places to explore. Let a Coldwell Banker Islands Realty agent help you find the perfect home in the Lake Champlain Islands. To begin your property search browse available homes in the Champlain Islands.


  1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

10 Must-Try Winter Activities in the Champlain Islands

Looking for something to do during the colder winter months? From extreme winter sports to tranquil lower impact exercises, the Champlain Islands have an abundance of recreational activities waiting for us to try. When heading out on the ice always take precaution and check conditions before! 

Ice Fishing at Sandbar Causeway

1. Ice Fishing

Lake Champlain is home to Vermont’s premier fishing destination and has many ice fishing opportunities. The shallow waters near the Sandbar causeway are a hotspot for northern pike! Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just out fishing for fun, this family fun winter activity is enjoyed by all ages.

Image source: Burlington Free Press

Kitewing on Skis at Sandbar Causeway

2. Kitewing on Skis

The ice conditions near the causeway make for the perfect spot to try out this new extreme winter sport. Kite Wings are handheld wing sails for sailing on low friction surfaces such as ice or snow, strap on skates or skis and get ready for an epic workout.

Image source: Fred Palatino

lake hockey on frozen lake champlain near sandbar causeway

3. Lake Hockey

When the weather sets up just right the ice on Lake Champlain especially at the sandbar makes for great skating! Whether you are figure skating or out playing pond hockey this serene scene takes it to the next level! Also, consider checking out if the rink in North Hero's City Bay is set up by Great Ice Vermont! This is located right on the frozen shore across from Hero's Welcome.

Image Source: Josh Kenyon 

Cross country skiing in North hero village

4. Make your own Trail

On a sunny day, take to the lake and blaze your own trail! Try snowshoeing or cross-country skiing and carve out your own path on the frozen shores of Lake Champlain. 

Image source: Annie Gardiner

5. Sled the Sandbar in Style

Get your adrenaline pumping and sled Lake Champlain on your snow machine of choice. Be sure to check and make sure the ice is thick enough to safely support the vehicle you are using to explore the frozen lake. 

Island Line Trail Colchester Causeway Bike Path

6. Walk the Island Line Trail

The Island Line Trail is a 14-mile trail that spans across Lake Champlain from Colchester to South Hero. Bundle up and head to the Lake Champlain Causeway for a peaceful winter stroll. Walk the beautiful and historic path while enjoying panoramic views of Lake Champlain, the Green Mountains, and the Adirondacks. Better known as the Bike Path, you can access this trail from Colchester or South Hero.

Kitesurfers on the Sandbar causeway south hero

7. Snowkite on the Frozen Lake

Weather permitting, snowkiting is an epic winter sport with opportunity for major air!

Image source: Abagael/VPR 

 Vermont state park Knight Island sign

8. Trek out to Knight Island

Looking to get your steps in? Knight Island is just a 40 minute walk from the North Hero Village! Knight Island State Park is located just around 1.7 miles from the North Hero Village on Lake Champlain’s Inland Sea. You can walk, grab your snowshoes, or strap into cross-country skis to reach the destination!

Image Source: Annie Gardiner

Sunset bonfire with friends in south hero

9. Warm up with a Sunset Bonfire

Grab your buddies and some local brews for an evening by the fire. We recommend trying out Kraemer and Kin or the newest addition to town, Two Heroes Brewery.

Image Source: Gina LeClair

Chairlift at Bolton Valley Ski Resort

10. Hit the Slopes

Last minute trip up to the mountain anyone?  Luckily, by living in the Champlain Islands we have world renowned ski resorts right at our fingertips! While this last activity is not located in the Islands, Bolton Valley Ski Resort, is only a 45 minute drive from South Hero. Plus, they even have night skiing and riding!

Its incomparable state parks, close knit community and countless outdoor activities make the Champlain Islands region a wonderful place to enjoy year-round or seasonally. Learn more about life in the Lake Champlain Islands here.


  1. No comments. Be the first to comment.

Market Update: July 2019

See the most recent Vermont real estate market data for Grand Isle, Chittenden and Franklin Counties from January through July 2019. Inventory continues to be low while demand is still strong throughout Northwestern Vermont. If you are interested in learning more about the market in your neighborhood please call our office to speak to a Realtor.

Wondering what your home would sell for in the current market? Try out the Home Value Estimator tool!

Searching for property? Make sure to Register with us to get properties that fit your needs emailed directly to you!

Real Estate Market Update July 2019

6-10 of 15 Posts
Recommended Searches