South Burlington Recreation Path


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South Burlington Recreation Path Facts

States: Vermont
Counties: Chittenden
Length: 26 miles
Trail end points: South Burlington and Shelburne Bay
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6411168

South Burlington Recreation Path Description

Residents in South Burlington formed a grassroots coalition in the late 1980s to create a safer way to travel within Burlington’s extensive system of parks, schools, and neighborhoods. In the early 1990s, the city government devoted funds to complete the project, creating the South Burlington Recreation Path, a 26-mile network of paved, off-street trails. The multiuse trail network provides major pathways for commuting to segments that travel through parks and forested landscapes.

Those who prefer nature and the great outdoors might begin their journey at Overlook Park on Deerfield Road, where you’ll find spectacular views of Lake Champlain and the mountains across the lake in New York. Overlook Park provides westward views and is a good spot to watch the sun set. Heading northwest, you’ll travel along a segment that twists its way through Farrell Park, a heavily forested oasis of green, and toward Red Rocks Park along the water. You’ll eventually cross US 7 and then cut an immediate left and right to join the section paralleling Queen City Park Road before reaching Red Rocks Park at Central Avenue, where you’ll turn left.

Trail users will be rewarded with great views of Lake Champlain and a popular swimming hole on warm summer days. A trail parking area is located where Central Avenue meets Shelburne Bay.

You can head east from Farrell Park along Swift Street for approximately 0.8 mile to Dorset Park, which provides access to walking paths in a similarly beautiful forested setting. At Farrell Park, recreationists can also head south through Szymanski Park, with its popular tennis courts and playgrounds for children.


For a scenic route, you may wish to start at Overlook Park and head north on Spear Street on an on-road section for 1.5 miles. You can access off-road trail again to your left just after passing under I-189. On your left side, a golf course dominates, but you’ll also enjoy bucolic views of the University of Vermont’s farm. This segment then terminates at the Archie Post Athletic Complex on the University of Vermont campus, where there is no dedicated parking for trail users.

Accessing the trail on Dorset Street from Veterans Memorial Park, you travel north past C. Douglas Cairns Arena, where the trail then turns right along the north side of Kennedy Drive and then heads northeast toward US 2/-Williston Road. Here, just before you reach the airport, you’ll find a variety of shops and restaurants accessible from the trail.

Segments of the South Burlington Recreation Path also extend south beyond Overlook Park and east beyond Dorset Park. These segments are not connected to main stems of the recreation path, but they do offer safe, off-street access to adjacent neighborhoods.

Parking and Trail Access

The northern access point is only accessible to pedestrians and bicyclists from the University of Vermont campus. To reach the trail access point at Overlook Park from I-89, take Exit 13 for I-189 toward US 7/Shelburne/Burlington. Continue onto I-189 W 1.4 miles. Turn left onto Shelburne Road/US 7, go 0.2 mile, and turn left onto Swift St. In 1 mile, turn right onto Spear St. Go 0.8 mile, and turn right into Overlook Park, just before Deerfield Road.

To reach the western trail access point, follow the directions above to Shelburne Road/US 7, and turn left. Go 0.2 mile, then turn right onto Queen City Park Road. In 0.1 mile, turn right to stay on Queen City Park Road. Go 0.4 mile, and turn left onto Central Ave. Look for the parking lot to your left in 0.3 mile.

To reach parking on Dorset St. from I-89, take Exit 14E to merge onto US 2 E/Williston Road toward South Burlington. In 0.2 mile turn right onto Dorset St., go 1.8 miles, and turn left onto Swift St. Look for parking on your right.


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