- Find a Trail
- My TrailLink
- Explore Trails
- About Us
- Get Involved
Find the top rated atv trails in Swanton, whether you're looking for an easy short atv trail or a long atv trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a atv trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
I rode the entire trail starting in St. Albans and ending at Richford for a total of roughly 26.5 miles each way. The entire trail is well marked and is in near perfect condition. The trail is overall flat but there are sections that do have a grade to them which caught me by surprise going up and then coasting down them. The scenery varies from forest to rural farmland with Enosburg acting as a halfway point for refreshments.
There are a good amount of road crossings but the trail is always easy to find and I found that most of the crossings had very little to no traffic on them even on Labor Day Weekend. There are sections of this trail that do not offer much shade which may pose a problem on a very hot day. Overall I think this trail offers the perfect combination of scenery, ease of riding and a trail that is in very good condition.
Beautiful trail. I would suggest parking at the Causeway Bike Path Parking lot. We parked at Oakledge Park and headed out. Very busy in a few spots. Never actually made it all the way to the end, we were about 3 miles shy. When we arrived back at our vehicle we had a little tag on our windshield as did many other cars stating we parked without a pass and needed to pay. We rolled right in the park and NOWHERE did we see a sign that said you needed a pass or pay to park. Otherwise the trail is very busy but really beautiful and not too hard.
This was a great little trail for an 89 yr old who wanted something short and flat. Parking good at both ends Surface well maintained but not good for bikes with thin tires. Watch out for the the bridge at near end, which is appropriate only for snowmobiles, walk it with your bike. A number of roots caused a bump, but they were quite passable. There is a beautiful view of wildlife in water at one end, saw ducks, great blue heron,hawk above.
I love the rail trail. I walk 4 miles almost every day. But this year the trail is not being maintained as well as previous years. I walk mainly between mile marker 56 & 58. It has been mowed only once this year and it was a pretty bad job. Right now there is rag weed, Golden rod, queens lace and other weeds that cause people with allergies to flare up over 2 feet high. I actually have a terrible case of vertigo that my doctors feel has been caused by allergies. The mowing machine actually leaves a wide patch of unmowed area that I assume is a result of a damaged blade. This years maintenance has been a disappointment.
Since I left for college my home town of Burlington, Vermont has developed with thoughtful civic prosperity.
One element of this peaceful, intelligent town is vast improvement in the public interest of the spectacular waterfront along Lake Champlain ("The West Coast of New England"). World class facilities are taking shape on the edge of this iconic water that was once part of an inland sea. There is a deeply nuanced museum (ECHO) for families that interprets the wilderness that is the lake and its many tributaries. There is also a very nice skateboard park and open recreational spaces.
My dad and I chose the waterfront park as our starting point. This is a nicely paved section that rides fast and polite. Although I saw quite a few full dog waste bags along the sides of the trail I did not see any dogs in 22 miles of riding, and no waste on the trail.
Very quickly all signs of the city almost vanish and having escaped the shelter of the harbor breakwater one starts to notice the subtle sound of waves lapping against the beach to the west. April is a great time to ride this trail for the diversity of flora and fauna. The birds were spectacular.
We took a short break at North Beach and met up with my best friend of 40 years and continued our push to the North end of the causeway. He encouraged us to pause and absorb our sacred lake. When you grow up on a major body of water it dominates every fiber of your soul. The power of water cannot be underestimated. It's physical properties defy our best efforts to control it. Bowing in respect for this energy we established cadence and a pedal drive North.
The sky was cold sapphire blue. Also spectacular were the Ice formations that encased the west side of the causeway after we crossed the Winooski River on a rusty but happy Iron truss bridge.
What was spectacular in a relatively cold and slightly discouraging way was the 40mph cross wind we had to fight all the way to the winter terminus of the causeway. In summer there is a little pedestrian/bike ferry that jumps the old swing bridge gap and allows riders to access South Hero and Grand Isle.
Anyhow, we battled the wind at a 5 degree cant. All of us leaning into the wind and hoping it wouldn't throw us in the lake or on to the causeway fill off the side of the (very nice) smooth cinder trail. There is no easy emergency exit at any point on the causeway. You are almost guaranteed a trip to the hospital if you wipe out and go off the trail. Please be very careful on the Causeway, especially with children. There is a lot of opportunity for self destruction caused(wayed;-) by inattention.
The thrill is entirely worth the ride, even with unfavorable wind. Our views of the Greens and the Dacks and the birds and the islands and the the the...
You get it.
It is a wilderness experience in the city.
We eventually reached the swing bridge pier. Staring out over the north country virtually speechless for the privilege of the experience. Reconciliation of my relationship with Burlington...with my childhood.
I now know that I do not need to worry about returning to my birth home. Hiding out west for 28 years gave me perspective on what I left behind. What I see in my home state is the prospect of adventure, and I hope to get back a bit more frequently in the next 28 years. When I moved West I found sanctuary in the vast wilderness, climate diversity and sparse population centers. It was a huge change from living in the Northeast.
Now, the Northeast has changed dramatically. The population has embraced technology and the impending, changing future. Everything seems fresh with fresher on the way soon. New open space is becoming accessible every day. It is inspiring to see how the communities of New England have embraced their history, and continue to innovate without forgetting the cultures that led to the development of the region.
When I used to run this trail for cross country, skiing, and track in high school, it was unrefined. Now it is becoming a capstone of the Burlington waterfront. The surfaces are much better than they used to be. The vision is forward. North, South, East and West. There is no reason that Vermont cannot be completely connected by rail-trail and bike paths and rural roads. Forward is the direction of bicycles.
As we returned to my dads house I reflected on my 28 years absence from bicycling in Vermont. At 5 years old my dad bought me my first bike, a chopper with a banana seat. It was yellow. A few wrecks in the driveway and I was off in to traffic. I never felt so liberated, such freedom. We moved to the city because my dad didn't want to commute by car. He rode his bike or walked to work almost every day of his teaching career. I know where my half my heart came from.
BMX came in fast and I couldn't afford a new bike in that era because my family moved to Europe and that was expensive. When we returned BMX was losing popularity so I (my Dad) bought a Peugot road bike. I road that bike on what was called the "Burlington Bike Path" hundreds of miles. I road all over town on that bike for four years.
Then along came mountain bikes. By this point I was working almost full time, so I was able to save enough money to buy a Specialized Rock Hopper Comp (forest service green) 1988. I still ride it, and it is worth considerably more than the 689USD I paid for it. Best bike ever. I rode that one in Vermont, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Arizona, New Mexico and Idaho. Now, I think Carmen is slowly moving towards retirement. It is hard to retire a bike. That bike took me from high school to prosperity. Not the same thing as putting down a loyal pet, but that bike was my wingman in the early years of my adulthood.
So, back in Burlington...pre-ride. I have no bike. I flew out so it just made more sense to rent one one in Burlington.
I am weak, so I just wandered into my favorite outdoor store, found a very well priced (gravel grinder) crossover and bought it. The staff were almost jealous. Everyone had their eye on this bike. Now I have to justify it to my wife.
Truth be told I bought it for selfish reasons--I wanted it. Secondary is my justification, which is sincere. Health.
My dad is 75. 76 this July. He had no problem riding the 22 miles in 6 degree 40mph wind. I have two sisters that have four boys total, all between age 10 and 14. All about as tall as I am. Between my sisters and their spouses, and the nephews, there are 8 people who can ride this bike with my dad.
It is a chance to bond and breathe a bit too. This bike is bigger than any of us.
The Island Line Trail is a work in progress in the context of the greater effort to connect our continent with smooth, car free cycle zones. Imagine, if I didn't need to own a car I could easily take an extra month off each year, and travel by bike to Vermont. Each time I would buy another bike and still be money ahead to eat at many fine restaurants along the way.
My only fear is the mid west. 1000 miles of mono-culture, and it runs 1000 miles north south too. There is no escape from the swing of catharsis and boredom in these situations. Perhaps a quick stop in Colorado is required before dropping into America's skateboard ramp. If you don't use your breaks you can roll clear to the Mississippi.
I hope the larger message has come across in this post. I wish for all bicycle enthusiasts to see it as a venue for maintaining quality of relationships with friends and family until health eclipses intention. Until that impasse I will try to keep all of my loved ones active.
I followed the itinerary on Traillink.com pretty much with one exception. I spent the second and third nights in Enosburg Falls at the 1906 House, a lovely newly renovated B&B in the center of town.
This is a great trail, but I suppose it is not for people who don't like crushed stone surfaces, which is practically all the trails I have ever traveled on in New England.
I give this a five for scenery and good trail conditions. The river, mountains, small towns, and the good food at the Maple City diner. We rode it both ways and there are lots of geocaches along the way. The eastern section is more open with fields and mountains. The western section is more shaded. Again, we find very few bathrooms along the rail/trails.
This trail is one of our all-time favorites because of the section through the lake. Even the short ferry ride was interesting. Cannot believe how scenic, and Burlington was so neat. If I would have one negative thing to say - so few bathrooms.
We truly love this trail and probably would have rated it a 5 if there was at least one bathroom. Also, there was a little confusion about parking. Saw the biggest snapper turtle ever. Estimate that it was 18" broad and 32" long.
I love this bike trail. It is a great resource for commuting and recreation in Colchester and Burlington. I want to share some updates on the construction. Burlington Parks & Recreation continues work on their major renovation project for this trail. The section that was done in Phase 1 is awesome. The paved 11' wide path is flanked on either side by 2' of aggregate material for runners.
Phase 2 is well under way. Paving starts September 12. Since June, there has been a detour along North Ave to bypass the section from Shore Road to North Ave Extension. The detour will be in a different section starting mid-September.
Updated Project Schedule:
Early Sept: Intersection reconstruction phase 2a
Mid Sept: Paving from Shore Rd. to Winooski River Bridge
Late Sept: Set up detour for Phase 2b (North Beach Campground to Shore Rd.)
Early Oct: Phase 2a (Northern section from Shore Road to Winooski River Bridge) OPENS, Phase 2b CLOSES (southern section from North Beach to Shore Road)
Mid Nov: Paving Phase 2b
Coming from the causeway - North Ave at the water treatment plant. Have to ride on North Ave for a couple of miles - either on road or sidewalk. Plenty of signs letting you know where to go.
Well used rail trail - a lot of walkers down by the skate park and waterfront park.
We walked from Berts Boats up to the Back inTime antique store. It was six miles to and from.
TrailLink is a free service provided by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (a non-profit) and we need your support!