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Island Line Trail  Rating: 5

Island Line Trail

Colchesters Causeway Park and Burlington Bike Path

Town: Burlington and Colchester

Uses: Cross Country Skiing Inline Skating Park Paved Biking Trail Unpaved Biking Trail Walking Trail

Amenities: Dogs Allowed Historic Site Parking Restroom

Length: 12.5 miles

Surface: 7 miles paved on south end of trail; 6.8 miles packed gravel sections to the north.


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.
  • South Hero: Take Route 2 north to South Hero village. Turn left on South St. and continue 2.5 miles. Turn Right onto Martin Rd. After 1/3 mile, look for the trail on the left. Please use the parking lot off the road.

Features: 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. 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.

Please Note: Update November 2012 COLCHESTER
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.

Initial repair from the 2011 flood has been completed along along this 7 mile southern section. Burlington is now working on additional flood repair work on the waterfront path. Sections will be closed for repairs.

Currently open for pedestrians. State hopes to start repairs in the fall of 2012. Entire trail will be closed during construction.

Bike Ferry did not run in 2012 because of causeway repair work. Fundraising is underway to start construction for ferry service in 2013. You can help, click on:


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. 

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, and Leddy Beach, Colchester's Airport Park, UVM's Colchester Bog, Porter Natural Area (conserved by the Lake Champlain Land Trust).

VerMontreal Bike JerseyTechnical Running ShirtIsland Line Merchandise for Sale! Bike jerseys and running shirts featuring artist Katharine Montstream's beautiful images of the Colchester Causeway are available at Local Motion. All purchases help support Local Motion's efforts to enhance the Island Line Trail! Click here to order.


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 thru 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.

Causeway Bike Ferry Schedule: Click here for the latest news about the development of Allen Point ferry service across the cut in the Colchester/South Hero causeway.

Volunteer Surveyors: Mark Suozzo, Cooper Newbond

Last updated on 12/6/12

Managed by:

Burlington Department of Parks & Recreation

Contact: Mari Steinbach
645 Pine Street, Suite B
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 864-0123

Managed by:

Colchester Parks & Recreation

Contact: Glen Cuttitta, Parks & Recreation Director
PO Box 55
Colchester, VT 05446
(802) 264-5641

Trail advocate:

Local Motion

Contact: Chapin Spencer
1 Steele St. #103
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 652-2453

Protected by:

Lake Champlain Land Trust

Contact: Chris Boget
1 Main Street
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 862-4150


Burlington, VT
Rating: 5

One of the best ways to spend a Saturday afternoon. It's not a trail for going fast - beach traffic, toddlers, and folks who are taking their first bike ride in 50 years keep the pace fairly slow in nice weather, at least the section between ECHO and Leddy.

But who wants to go fast? The scenery is beautiful and ever-changing, the breezes off the lake are cool, and the people-watching is unparalleled.

Don't miss out on Charlie's Boathouse. With the cherry cokes, friendly old-timers, and Sinatra music, it's like being transported back in time.

Berkeley, CA
Rating: 5

Perfect trail. Tuesday in July, lots of trail users but not congested. Perfect day about 75f and a few clouds. Beautiful views of the lake, wetlands, and downtown Burlington. There are several parks along the way with lake swimming, so bring your swimsuit if its a warm day.

Beth Brodie
Burlington, VT
Rating: 5

Bravo !!! This is a true gem for the Burlington area. I just moved up from southern Vt. where cycling either means two miles up hill or two miles down to get anywhere. This is spectacular scenery, easy riding, and friendly people. WOW !! Next year when the ferry reopens I'll try south hero...bring a camera !!

Ron Manganiello
South Burlington, VT
Rating: 5

This is a world class bike trail that I never get tired of riding and recommending. I am looking forward to the day that all the permits are in place for the bike ferry to run all season.

David Jacobowitz
South Burlington, VT
Rating: 5

I ride this all the time. Jessamy's Bicycle took some photos:

Burlington, VT
Rating: 5

Always a winner with the bike path! I love to ride on it during the evening time when there tends to be less people.

Just a fair warning, careful at the end of a college year, the section by North Beach can be packed with students and hard to traverse.

Colchester, VT
Rating: 5

A wonderful walk, ride or run....depending on the mood and the intensity of the sun! An awesome trail!

Elaine Soto
Burlington, VT
Rating: 5

I LOVE the Causeway - nothing compares with water on both sides of you. I always feel like I'm on vacation when I'm there.

Burlington, VT
Rating: 5

The causeway is gorgeous, beautiful views on both sides. I saw lots of birds and my first mink! Unfortunately I rode it after the ferry was closed for the season, I just wanted to keep going. Hopefully someday there will be a permanent ferry.

Charlotte, VT

I just love the views, surrounded by mountains all around and the while seemingly riding my bike atop a large body of water. I am hopeful that operating days for the ferry service can be increased.

Burlington, VT
Rating: 5

A great asset for the Burlington area. Stop off at Oakledge Park, the large stone sundial, the Waterfront, stonehedge by the sailing club, North Beach, Leddy Park, the dog park, Winooski river bridge, the bog, the causeway, pretty much anywhere and enjoy the great view of the lake and the Adirondacks. Great people watching in the summer. Be prepared for some heavy use on this trail on a nice summer day, especially if its the weekend.

When the bike ferry is open take a ride out the causeway and up into the islands to enjoy the winery, local farm stands, ice cream and more great views.

The trail is pretty much flat the whole way so even if you haven't been biking in a long time you can still take a pretty long trip.

Todd Taylor
Burlington, VT

The record high water level on Lake Champlain is wreaking havoc on the trail. For pictures and to know which trail sections are closed, please visit Local Motion's blog.

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Non-Profit Partners

  • Audubon Vermont
  • Camel's Hump Skier's Association
  • Catamount Outdoor Family Center
  • Catamount Trail Association
  • Fellowship of the Wheel
  • Green Mountain Bike Club
  • Green Mountain Club
  • Hinesburg Land Trust
  • Intervale Center
  • Lake Champlain Bikeways
  • Lake Champlain Land Trust
  • Lake Champlain Regional Chamber
  • Middlebury Area Land Trust
  • Nature Conservancy of Vermont
  • Run Vermont
  • Shelburne Farms
  • Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition
  • Vermont Trails & Greenways Council

Public Partners

  • Addison County Regional Planning Commission
  • Chittenden County Metropolitan Planning Organization
  • Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission
  • Federal Highway Administration
  • United States Forest Service
  • University of Vermont Environmental Program
  • Vermont Agency of Transportation
  • Vermont Dept of Tourism and Marketing
  • Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department
  • Vermont State Parks
  • Winooski Valley Park District

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Private Funders

  • Skirack
  • Merchants Bank
  • Vermont Community Foundation

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