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Vermont: Lake Champlain Islands, Burlington & Stowe

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Indulge in Vermont history and nature as you explore the state’s most charming towns, shimmering lakes, and scenic car-free paths during this tranquil Lake Champlain bike tour.

Guided Biking

  • Duration: 6 Days|
  • Daily Mileage: 13 - 33|
  • Biking: 2 - 4 hr|
  • Group Size: 20
4.8 out of 5 stars.
Activity Easy/Moderate
Easy / Moderate
E-Bikes Available
E-Bikes Available
People
Guided Group Tour

Starting From

Bike Vacation Only

$2,195

(per person, double occupancy)

Vermont: Lake Champlain Islands, Burlington & Stowe

The Champlain islands make way for scenic, car-free bike paths and breathtaking views of mountain ranges in the distance. On the mainland, experience the small-city hospitality and culture of Burlington, the fascinating history chronicled at the famed Shelburne Museum, and the vibrant resort and alpine aesthetic of Stowe. On the water, kayak tranquil lakes, take a refreshing dip in a local beach, and absorb panoramic views as you ferry your bike from one beautiful place to the next.

What to Expect

This tour offers the full range of easy terrain mixed with moderate hills and is ideal for beginning and experienced cyclists. Our VBT van support shuttle is always available for those who would like assistance with the hills.

  • Duration: 6 Days|
  • Daily Mileage: 13 - 33|
  • Biking: 2 - 4 hr|
  • Group Size: 20
Activity Easy/Moderate Easy / Moderate
Cycling
Bar Graph Beginner - Experienced
Cyclists
Vehicle Support Vehicle
Support

Tour Highlights

  • Cycle the quiet back roads of the Isle La Motte
  • Explore historic St. Anne's Shrine and Fisk Quarry
  • Enjoy deluxe accommodations: a cozy Vermont inn, a boutique hotel and a luxurious mountain resort
  • Pause on a Lake Champlain island for a delicious picnic lunch
  • Take a leisurely, scenic ride on South Hero Island
  • Visit a local vineyard for a picnic lunch and wine tasting
  • Ferry between the islands and the mainland as you ride one rewarding path after another
  • Follow your own whims in Burlington's lively markets
  • Tour the Shelburne Museum, an extraordinary collection of 150,000 works
  • Ride through the heart of Stowe on a dedicated path
  • Taste Ben & Jerry's ice cream during a tour of their factory

Climate Information

Temperatures

Average High /
Low Temperature (°F):

Jun76º/55º

Jul80º/60º

Aug78º/58º

Sep69º/50º

Oct57º/40º

Average
Precipitation:

Jun3.6 in

Jul3.8 in

Aug3.6 in

Sep3.4 in

Oct3.0 in

What's Included

Bike Vacation Only

5 nights in a historic inn, a chic boutique hotel and a mountain resort Check
11 meals: 5 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners Check

Tour Bikes

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Road Bicycle (Carbon frame)

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Step-Through (Mixte Hybrid) Comfort Bicycle

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Step-Over (Diamond) Comfort Bicycle

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Electric-Assisted Bicycle (E-bike)

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Biking Packages Include:

Custom VBT Bike and Helmet

Two Local, Bilingual Trip Leaders

Vehicle Support

Luggage Transfers

Ride with GPS and Daily Route Notes

Welcome Reception

Facilitated Cultural Experiences

Your Choice of VBT Branded Gear for Your Adventure

Itinerary

Sun, Jun 7 to Fri, Jun 12 - 2020

Show Itinerary:

Make your own arrangements for travel to Burlington, Vermont. The tour begins and ends at the Burlington International Airport (airport code: BTV). Please plan to have lunch before leaving the airport or bring a packed lunch with you.

VBT will offer a shuttle to our first inn, the North Hero House. The shuttle works on a “show and go” basis. Reservations are not required or available. Meet your Trip Leader outside the main exit door from baggage claim and across the road in the shuttle pickup area. Your trip leader will be wearing VBT staff garments and holding a VBT sign; the van will have a VBT sign on it. Our shuttle to North Hero will leave promptly at 1:00 p.m. (travel time is about 45 minutes). After settling in, join your VBT trip leaders at 3:30 p.m. in your cycling clothes for a bike fitting and brief cycling-skills clinic. This will be immediately followed by a short warm-up ride. This evening, gather at 6:00 p.m. for an orientation meeting and welcome cocktail. You will enjoy dinner at the inn at 7:00 p.m.

If you are arriving after the shuttle departs, or your flight arrives after this time, you will need to arrange your own transportation to the North Hero House at your expense. Please take any taxi from the Burlington airport or call one of the following taxi companies: Green Mountain Taxi (telephone 802-503-3096) or Burlington Airport Taxi (telephone 802-239-1515). Travel time is approximately 45 minutes.

Guests driving to the tour should meet the group at Burlington International Airport (BTV) and park your cars here for the week. Parking rates are approximately $12.00 USD per day. Burlington International Airport offers both short and long-term parking in their newly expanded, multi-level, covered parking garage. The main parking entrance is located just past the terminal building on the left. Credit cards and cash are acceptable payment methods.

Settle in and relax at North Hero House on North Hero Island, the second largest of three major islands. Originally granted to Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys, the Islands have played a pivotal part in our nation’s history. North Hero offers dramatic views of the Green Mountains. The early-19th century architecture adds to the town’s charm. These Lake Champlain Islands and the Adirondacks and Green Mountains are the result of North America colliding with the European continental plate millennia ago.

Meet your VBT trip leaders at 3:30 p.m. in your cycling clothes for a bike fitting and brief cycling-skills clinic. This will be immediately followed by a short warm-up ride. This evening, gather at 6:00 p.m. for an orientation meeting and welcome cocktail. You will enjoy dinner at the inn at 7:00 p.m.

Hotel: The North Hero House
Meals: Dinner

Today’s Ride Choice:
Warm-Up North Hero: 12 miles

What to Expect: Your warm-up spin gives you the opportunity to fit your bike, shift the gears and practice riding. Pedal over gentle terrain on country lanes. Take in your first views of Lake Champlain on the peninsula at Hazen Point.

Cycle northward this morning along the tranquil lake shore, crossing a causeway to Isle La Motte, one of the Champlain Islands. Named after French explorer Samuel de Champlain in 1609, Lake Champlain is the largest freshwater body east of the Mississippi after the Great Lakes. Canada’s St. Lawrence River, an important transportation route for indigenous people for thousands of years, flows from it in the north and empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The French and English built forts in a race to control the lake during the early colonial years leading up to the Revolutionary War.

Ride quiet back roads on Isle La Motte, stopping to visit the historic St. Anne’s Shrine and Fisk Quarry. The shrine has lovely views of Lake Champlain, information on local history, short walking trails, and inherent serenity. In 1787, Ichabod Ebenezer Fisk built his estate with limestone and marble from Fisk Quarry. At the height of operations, he employed 100 men. Remarkably, the quarry has fossils from the Chazy Coral Reef, the world’s oldest reef formed 480 million years ago.

As you continue your invigorating reel, take in the natural and historical sights. This was the first of the lake’s islands set foot upon by French navigator and explorer Samuel de Champlain and his party of French and Native Americans in 1609. He described the place as “covered with the most beautiful pines that I have ever seen.” After a picnic lunch, you are free to choose between a guided kayaking excursion or more cycling along the lovely shoreline. Or you may simply relax before dinner back at the inn.

Hotel: The North Hero House
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:

Cumulative Distance Range: 18 – 49 miles

Morning
Isle La Motte: 31 miles

Afternoon
Grand Isle: 18 miles

What to Expect: Cycle north from your inn to Isle La Motte, with stops at St. Anne’s Shrine, Fisk Quarry and Halls Apple Orchard. The short option shuttles back to the inn before the causeway. Optional 17.8-mile lollipop loop ride in lieu of or after kayaking, south to Grand Isle.

This morning’s Lake Champlain bike tour takes you along the shore of Grand Isle, also known as South Hero Island, the largest of the Champlain Islands. The lake views and gentle terrain here make for very pleasant cycling. You stop at Snow Farm Winery, Vermont’s first vineyard, for a wine tasting and picnic lunch, and then continue cycling. Later, board the Island Line Bike Ferry for a short cruise with your bike. This service joins the two sides of “The Cut” between South Hero and Colchester along the recently resurfaced marble causeway and allows you to “ride” uninterrupted from the islands into Burlington. After crossing “The Cut,” join the Burlington Bike Path and continue cycling to your Burlington hotel.

Known as The Queen City, Burlington is home to the University of Vermont and other small colleges. Ben & Jerry’s began their ice cream empire in a renovated gas station downtown. Offering glorious sunsets, sailing on the lake, hiking and biking on nearby mountains, and craft beer, Burlington is a beloved destination. A walk down Church Street Marketplace puts you in the heart of the city’s vibrant, alternative and youthful energy. After settling in, you can explore Burlington’s Church Street Marketplace and find a spot for dinner on your own. You’ll find many restaurants within walking distance of the hotel.

Hotel: Hotel Vermont
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 14 – 35 miles

Morning
Snow Farm Winery: 21 miles

Afternoon
Bike Ferry and Burlington: 14 miles

What to Expect: Your morning ride takes you from North Hero to Grand Isle, accompanied by lake views, over gentle terrain and classic dirt roads. During this morning’s ride, you will pass the Ed Weed Fish Culture Station that raises landlocked Atlantic salmon and trout to release into Vermont’s rivers and streams. Feel free to view the vast tanks of fish and educational exhibits or walk around the hatchery grounds. After a picnic and wine tasting at Snow Farm Winery, ride along the Island Line Rail Trail Causeway, built in 1900. You cross “The Cut” on a private Local Motion Bike Ferry exclusively for VBT. The ride into Burlington features gentle terrain on bike paths. Travel by the private property of Harry Barber, a native of Switzerland who created miniature buildings from local stone that can be seen from the road.

After breakfast, you ride to the Shelburne Museum for an included visit. This fine museum of folk art, decorative arts, quilts and textiles, paintings, Americana and period homes boasts an extraordinary collection of more than 150,000 works in a unique setting comprising 39 exhibition buildings. Among its holdings, you can admire 500 quilts, 1,400 waterfowl decoys, 120 weathervanes, and 50 carousel figures—along with the 220-foot steamboat Ticonderoga, built in 1906 at the Shelburne Shipyard on Lake Champlain. It operated as a day-boat serving ports along New York and Vermont shores until 1953. The Shelburne Marina and Shipyard opened in the late 1700s and began building sidewheel steamboats in the early 1800s. During World War II, it had naval contracts to build subchasers, torpedo lighters and tugboats.

You may also choose to continue to Shelburne Farms, a 1,400-acre working farm and education center. With its beautiful grounds and interesting architecture, this National Historic Landmark was designed as a model agricultural estate in 1886 by Dr. William Seward Webb and Lila Vanderbilt Webb. If you’re looking for a bit more cycling, enjoy an additional Lake Champlain bike tour to Charlotte, where you might visit its town beach or winery. Scan the waves and try to catch a glimpse of “Champ,” the legendary lake creature that could be a distant cousin of the Loch Ness Monster. Meet back at the Shelburne Museum parking lot at 4:00 p.m. for the shuttle (approximately 60 minutes) to Stowe. Upon arrival, relax or take a stroll around the resort town before dinner on your own tonight.

Hotel: Topnotch Resort
Meals: Breakfast

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 12 – 28 miles

Morning
Shelburne Museum: 12 miles

Afternoon
Charlotte Beach: 16 miles
Or
Shelburne Farms and Shipyard: 12 miles

What to Expect: Ride in the morning through the University of Vermont campus, connecting to back roads that lead to the Shelburne Museum. You may continue to Shelburne Farms, home to fine cheddar cheeses, as well as Shelburne Marina and Shipyard. Enjoy more country cycling along the lake to Charlotte, its town beach, and its winery. Meet back at the Shelburne Museum parking lot for a 4:00 p.m. shuttle to Stowe.

Your scenic ride this morning begins on the paved Stowe Recreation Path, a flat route free of motorized vehicles. Turning off the recreation path onto Luce Hill Road and the picturesque neighboring village of Moscow, following roads with very little traffic and wonderful views of Mount Mansfield and the Worcester Range. Stop at a glassblowing artist workshop in Moscow. Along the way, you will pass the famous Emily’s Bridge, a Stowe landmark with a ghostly past. Arrive into downtown Stowe, with its many shops and restaurants. Take time to explore the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum, fine antique and craft galleries, and outdoor clothing and equipment stores. Lunch is on your own today, choose from one of the restaurants in Stowe Village or one of the many along the recreation path.

Today’s longer option leads you to Morrisville in Lamoille County, following picturesque country roads. Stopping at Rock Art Brewery to sample some of their Vermont craft brew beer.

Whichever ride you choose today, return to the resort to enjoy a dip in the pool or a spa treatment (advanced reservations recommended). Later gather for a farewell dinner at Flannel restaurant, a Stowe favorite.

Hotel: Topnotch Inn
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 5 – 35 miles

Morning
Stowe Bike Path and Moscow: 11 miles

Stowe to Morrisville: 19 miles
Afternoon
Downtown Stowe to Topnotch: 5 miles

What to Expect: Today’s rides skirt hillsides around the mountain resort of Stowe. Cycling on the flat Stowe Recreational Bike Path and through the village of Moscow enjoying the mountain views along a picturesque road. You may choose to ride to the village of Morrisville to visit a local brewery. After your ride and lunch return to the resort.

Enjoy breakfast at the resort this morning before the final day of your Lake Champlain bike tour takes you to Cold Hollow Cider Mill, one of Vermont’s most popular stops for savory apple cider donuts. Stop in to sample this local favorite. Then, savor another favorite when you tour the factory at Ben & Jerry’s, renowned ice cream makers. Your tour concludes with a festive lunch in a favorite local eatery.

VBT has made arrangements for a shuttle from Waterbury Center to the Burlington International Airport at 2:00 p.m. (travel time approximately 60 minutes). We recommend flights out of Burlington no earlier than 4:00 p.m. If you need to get back to the airport prior to that time, the transfer back to Burlington will be at your own expense.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today’s Ride Choice:
Stowe to Waterbury Center: 16 miles

What to Expect: Your morning ride leads you into more stunning country landscapes as you head toward Waterbury Center. There’ll be stops along the way so you can bring home some of Vermont’s local products at Cold Hollow Cider Mill and Ben & Jerry’s.

Vermont: Champlain Islands, Burlington & Stowe 1

Download PDF Itinerary:

Bike Vacation Only View Activity Chart

Enjoy Your Vacation Longer With Low-Cost Trip Extensions

2020

2020 Pre-Trip Extension - Burlington

  • 1 night at the Hotel Vermont
  • Full breakfast
  • City Information
  • Transfer to the main tour

Make your own arrangements for travel to Burlington, Vermont. You may take a bus or taxi from Burlington International Airport to your pre-trip hotel, Hotel Vermont. There are helpful tips regarding your arrival in your Traveler’s Handbook, under Tour Arrival and Departure Information.

Hotel: Hotel Vermont

Reviews

Guest Reviews 81 out of 81 (100%) of reviewers recommend this tour

4.8 out of 5 stars.

Dates & Prices

Bike Vacation Only

6 Days. Includes bike vacation only.

Single Supplement: From $695

Sun, Jun 7 - Fri, Jun 12, 2020

From
$2,195

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Sun, Jul 5 - Fri, Jul 10, 2020

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Sun, Sep 6 - Fri, Sep 11, 2020

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Sun, Sep 13 - Fri, Sep 18, 2020

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Sun, Sep 27 - Fri, Oct 2, 2020

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Sun, Oct 11 - Fri, Oct 16, 2020

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For more information, call: 800-245-3868

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