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Island Line Trail

Multi-use trail with waterfront views of Lake Champlain from Burlington to Colchester. Numerous parks and natural areas along the way, a trail bridge over the mouth of the Winooski River, and Colchester's Causeway Park.
Trail Activity
Length
12.0 miles, One Way
Difficulty
Easy, Moderate
Towns
Burlington (VT), Colchester (VT), South Hero (VT)
Surface
Gravel/Crushed Stone/Cinder, Paved/Cement
Pets
Permitted
Fees
No

Description

Hop on the spectacular 12-mile trail along Lake Champlain. The Island Line cruises through Burlington's Waterfront and scoots out on the Colchester Causeway three miles into the middle of the lake! Public beaches, natural areas, and scenic vistas abound.

Come explore Vermont's most popular multi-use trail. Stop into the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center. Have a picnic lunch at the Mayes Landing picnic area at the base of the bridge or out on the causeway. Go for a swim. Bicycling, running, walking, and inline skating are all popular trail activities. Restrooms are available at Oak Ledge Park, Perkins Pier, the waterfront Boathouse, the Skate Park, North Beach, Leddy Beach, Charlie's Boathouse and Airport Park.

From Memorial Day to Labor Day Local Motion’s Bike Ferry service connects the Champlain Islands and the Greater Burlington area along the route of the former Island Line railway.  For both walkers and bikers, the trip across the “Cut,” a 200-foot gap in the beautiful Colchester Causeway Park, is a moment to sit back and soak up one of the most scenic and unique experiences that Vermont has to offer; 360 degree views of the Adirondacks and Green Mountains, three miles out into the center of Lake Champlain. Click here for the Bike Ferry schedule and prices.

Other Information

Thanks! Please note that many of the scenic vistas are possible due to thoughtful land conservation efforts by a number of organizations including the City of Burlington land along the Waterfront, North Beach, Leddy Beach, Colchester's Airport Park, UVM's Colchester Bog, and Porter Natural Area (conserved by the Lake Champlain Land Trust).

Get A Trail Map: Pick one up at Local Motion and area outdoor shops, or order it on-line through Lake Champlain Bikeways.

Trail Updates: Find out about efforts to improve and extend the trail. Advocates are exploring the concept of a Burlington to Montreal trail – connecting to Quebec's fabulous Route Verte bikeway network.

Island Line History: Learn about the Rutland Railroad's Island Line for which the trail was named. At Airport Park, visit the Log Schoolhouse Information Center and Museum. Restored and relocated to Airport Park in 2007, this historic one-room schoolhouse dates back to 1815. Today, visitors can stop in to learn about the construction of the Colchester Causeway and watch an informative video. The museum is open Memorial Day through Labor Day on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday from 11:00AM to 3:00 PM.

Winooski River Trail Bridge: A new bridge dedicated in 2004 replaced the Winooski River bike ferry! Stop at the base of the bridge at the Mayes Landing picnic area.

Thanks to all who donated to The Big Fix and the Friends of the Island Line, the Colchester Causeway reopened on October 26, 2012! Thank you to the Town of Colchester, FEMA, SD Ireland and all the private donors who helped with the local match. The Causeway was closed after large sections were washed out by high winds and the record-setting water level of Lake Champlain in Spring 2011. 

Trail Manager

Visit Local MotionBurlington Department of Parks & RecreationColchester Parks & Recreation, or Lake Champlain Land Trust online for more information or contact:

Burlington Department of Parks & Recreation

Burlington Department of Parks & Recreation
645 Pine Street, Suite B
Burlington, VT 05401
Phone: (802) 864-0123
jbridges@burlingtonvt.gov
View website

Colchester Parks & Recreation

Colchester Parks & Recreation
PO Box 55
Colchester, VT 05446
Phone: (802) 264-5641
gcuttitta@colchestervt.gov
View website

Lake Champlain Land Trust

Lake Champlain Land Trust
1 Main Street
Burlington, VT 05401
Phone: (802) 862-4150
info@LCLT.org
View website

Local Motion

Local Motion
1 Steele St. #103
Burlington, VT 05401
Phone: (802)861-2700
info@localmotion.org
View website

Trail Tips

Dispose of Waste Properly
Pack it in, pack it out. This goes for trash, leftover food, toilet paper, and hygiene products. If you brought it into nature, please bring it out.
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Trailhead Information

Numerous access points along the Burlington and Colchester waterfronts.

  • Southend of Burlington: Take Shelburne Road (Route 7) south. At Flynn Avenue, turn right. Take Flynn Avenue to the end to Oakledge Park. Check in with park attendant and park.
  • Downtown Burlington: Take Main Street west towards the waterfront. Follow the road past Battery Street as it curves to the right. At the next intersection, turn left onto College Street. You will find a public parking lot on the right-hand side.
  • Colchester: Take Route 127 north and turn left onto Porter's Point Road. Turn left onto Colchester Point Road. Airport Park will be on the right and has parking and trail access.
Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
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