island life

Summer on Lake Champlain

Happy 4th of July! We hope everyone had a wonderful day and beat the heat by enjoying some time on the lake. The Islands have been busy the last two days with boating, campers, and beach goers. On Tuesday, July 3rd, Knight Point State Park hosted the Fireworks Extravaganza with live music, food and swimming. There was a huge turn out and it was the best fireworks show yet! Boaters anchored near the drawbridge and got an amazing view of the fireworks. On Wednesday, July 4th, South Hero and Alburgh held their annual parades. It was beautiful day for a parade. It is wonderful to see the community come together and put on such great events.

If you live around Lake Champlain, you live for summer. We endure the cold Vermont winters waiting for the warmer months. After Memorial Day the Islands become a hub of activity with people returning to their summer homes, enjoying the lake either by boat or on the beach, snack bars and restaurants opening back up and summer music happening all over. Lake Champlain does not disappoint. There are many events happening all summer long such as the Champlain Islands Farmers Market, the Summer Concert Series at Snow Farm Vineyard, the Annual Duct Tape Regatta and more! At the end of a fun-filled summer day you are reminded of what makes this place so special to many. It is truly a unique corner of Vermont and we are grateful to call this place home!

 

 

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Nature Trails In The Champlain Islands

Nature Trails In The Champlain Islands

The Champlain Islands are a nature lovers’ paradise with nature trails, beaches and wildlife. These trails are enjoyed year-round by people on foot, bikes, snowshoes or skis. Here are some of our favorite trails. What ones do you enjoy?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Fox Run, Snow Farm Vineyard, South Hero, VT

Enjoy a glass of wine and then go for a walk on the Fox Run trail. A short, uphill walk with an amazing views the Island Line Trail, the vineyard and Lake Champlain. Location: 190 W Shore Rd, South Hero, VT 05486. 

Photo Source: Annie Mora, Coldwell Banker Islands Realty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Island Line Trail, South Hero, VT

This 13.4 mile trail travels through Burlington, Colchester and South Hero. This trail is great for biking and walking with stunning views of Lake Champlain. Location: From South Hero, the trail head is located off of Martin Road with the trail access road on the left. 

Photo Source: Annie Mora, Coldwell Banker Islands Realty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Butternut Hill, North Hero, VT

Located at Camp Ingalls, the mile long trail at Butternut Hill winds through floodplain forests, cedar pine forest and cobble shorelines while offering a great southerly view of Lake Champlain. Location: 1769 South End Road, North Hero, VT

Photo Source: North Hero Parks and Recreation Facebook Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Fisk Quarry Preserve, Isle La Motte, VT

A short walk with amazing scenery. Search for fossils or bring a picnic and soak up the sun on the large rocks.

Location: 4039 W Shore Rd, Isle La Motte, VT 05463

Photo Source: Annie Mora, Coldwell Banker Islands Realty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Ironwood Nature Trail, Grand Isle, VT

Ironwood Nature Trail features numerous old iron wood trees (also called hardhack, or hop hornbeam), a 15-foot observation tower, wetland-forest plants, and an exposed bedrock dome with deep fissures. Approximately 1 mile round trip. Location: Trail begins at the corner of the intersection of East Shore Road South and the Grand Isle State Park access road.

Photo Source: Trail Finder, Photo Courtesy: Dan Sullivan

 

 

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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!

 

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5 Marinas in Grand Isle County to Dock Your Boat

Marinas in Grand Isle County to Dock Your Boat in Lake Champlain, VT

As we begin to welcome summer, don't forget to find a home for your boat this season! Grand Isle County offers some of the best marinas to make your summer boating experience better than ever. From the top of North Hero to the bottom of South Hero, check out our top spots so you can enjoy some time out on Lake Champlain.

  1. Ladd’s Landing Marina

412 US-2, Grand Isle, VT 05458

Located at the Grand Isle - North Hero drawbridge is Ladd's Landing Marina. As a full service marina, Ladd's Landing has a variety of ways to improve your summer experience. They offer rental boats, complete boat services, temporary and seasonal slips for power boats and sailboats, a ship's store, and gathering areas inside and out. The season begins May 15th and lasts until October 1st with their fuel dock and ship's store open daily from 8am - 6pm and when the season is over, winterization is available so you don't have to worry about anything.

  1. North Hero Marina

2253 Pelots Point Rd, North Hero, VT 05474

Out on Pelots Point is where you'll find North Hero Marina. If you're looking for a mooring you can have one as soon as May 1st and a dock space by May 15th. The season runs through October 1st. Fueling is available daily and winter storage is also an option so your boat will be ready for you when you come back next year. Rental boats, a variety of services, and a ship's store are included along with amenities at all docks, a pool for members, and even the Island Tiki Bar. The Tiki Bar is a great place to enjoy a meal after a long boat day while looking out at Lake Champlain. 

  1. Apple Island Marina

6 Featherbed Ln, South Hero, VT 05486

At the entrance of the Islands sits Apple Island Marina in South Hero. They are located just off of Route 2 where they're open a full 5 months from May 15th to October 15th. The Boathouse is open everyday for your convenience with daily, weekly, and seasonal dock slips available. They have a fuel dock and rental boats but what's even better is that the marina is part of the Apple Island Resort. The resort provides a general store, golf course, RV campground, and indoor/outdoor gathering areas for guests. So when you're putting your boat in at the Apple Island Marina, you might want to consider staying a while and taking a little vacation at the resort too.

  1. Keeler Bay Marina

466 US-2, South Hero, VT 05486

Down off of Route 2 is Keeler Bay Marina in South Hero. Open from May 15th to October 15th, they offer 92 seasonal dock slips. Keep your boat in the bay and also get the chance to grab food on your way in or out. Located at the entrance to the marina is a food truck with a brand new vendor offering a variety of delicious options. There is also the Keeler Bay Variety convenience store just half a mile down Route 2.

  1. New England Power Boat Marina

98 Bride Rd, North Hero, VT 05474

The New England Power Boat Marina is located by the North Hero - Alburgh bridge. With the recently installed docks you're sure to be a satisfied customer. A gas dock was also installed with access to town water and a pump out station. So get your boat in the water and cruise around the islands. 


Learn more about life on Lake Champlain on our website and don’t forget to always be safe out on the water!

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