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Tour Lake Champlain Islands 1st Annual

17 July 2015

Trip Report: 17–19 July 2015

The trip has all ingredients for relaxing yet active weekend: several stops at state parks, scenic mountain views at every turn, multiple stops for local fresh food, & frequent opportunities to dip in the refreshing lake water.

Friday: Grand Isle

The trip from Boston is about five hours. I decided to arrive the area early on Thursday for a bonus ride of farm-to-farm gravel road from Morse Farm.

Before the ride on Friday, I visited Red Hen Baking Company for their wonderful selection of soups & breads:

Location: 44.294376°N, 72.682838°W

The group met in Knight Point State Park which has changing rooms, beach access, water fountain, & restrooms.

From there, we started a tour of Grand Isle with a stop at Snow Farm for wine tasting & root beer:

Location: 44.626713°N, 73.333145°W

We took a short round trip on Island Line trail:

Location: 44.594128°N, 73.311935°W

There is a gap on the trail with a bicycle ferry that connects the two sections:

Location: 44.590382°N, 73.312202°W

The other side of the trail would continue all the way to Burlington.

The return trip on east shore of Grand Isle has fast stretches that hug the water with beautiful views.

We arrive the Inn for a swim, dinner, & views of lake:

Location: 44.858971°N, 73.360001°W

Saturday: North Hero

A very relaxing day to visit state parks, rest on the beach, enjoy baked goods at Hero’s Welcome general store.

After a tour of Isle la Motte, the first stop was at North Hero State Park:

Location: 44.920486°N, 73.240334°W

The beach in this park is often calm in the shadow of southern wind.

Facing the southern wind, we made our way for lunch at Hero’s Welcome general store:

Location: 44.816483°N, 73.290207°W

We finished the day with a visit to Alburg Dunes State Park, Saint Annes shrine, & Samuel Champlain statue:

Location: 44.902145°N, 73.342285°W

Sunday: Venise-en-Québec

There was headwind. But there was also tailwind! Yes. In most cases, headwind comes in both directions. On this day, the tailwind was powerful to propel us at high speed into Canada with very little effort.

We arrived early before L’O Vive restaurant started serving Sunday brunch. Instead, we opted for chocolate & berries crêpe:

Location: 45.082355°N, 73.149345°W



Lodging for the entire trip was at Inn at Isles. Others stayed nearby at Old Schoolhouse & Ruthcliff Lodge.

Day Services Log
Friday 17 July 2015
  • Points of interest:
  • Food stop: Snow Farm
  • Route map & log
  • Distance: 54.07km
  • Ascent: 333m
  • Time: 2:59:45
  • Average temperature: 22.1℃
  • Saturday
  • Points of interest:
  • Food stops:
  • Route map & log
  • Distance: 77.24km
  • Ascent: 319m
  • Time: 5:46:20
  • Average temperature: 23.6℃
  • Sunday
  • Food stops:
  • Route map & log
  • Distance: 75.54km
  • Ascent: 245m
  • Time: 4:21:10
  • Average temperature: 21.9℃
  • Route Expectations

    Expect the following when you are on the road:

    • Gravel grinders: there will be sections on unpaved roads. Most of them are smooth crushed stone & dirt, while some rare short ones are a bit more rough.
    • Bicycle tires: 23mm only if you are already comfortable with them on dirt roads; 25mm are adequate; 28mm–32mm are most suitable; wider tires are adequate but not necessary.
    • Wind: there will be wind. Most likely headwind in both directions.
    • Hills: there will be hills. They are low, quick, with little elevation gain. But they are there.

    Trip Repeats

    Family Trip 2–4 July 2016

    Routes, points of interest, & destinations are suitable for many families with children 10+ years old.

    Day Places Log
    Friday 2 July 2016 11:04 Grand Isle

    Location: 44.622278°N, 73.323862°W

    Map from Strava: download GPX track for GPS devices
    Distance ➡️ 54.2km

    Speed ⏩ 9.43km/h

    Duration 🔄 5h:44m:41s

    Ascent ⬆️ 311m

    Temperature 📶 19ºC

    Saturday 9:29 Venise-end-Québec

    Location: 44.880024°N, 73.336899°W

    ➡️ 73.7km
    ⏩ 9.13km/h
    🔄 8:04:16
    ⬆️ 234m
    📶 25ºC
    Sunday 9:10 North Hero

    ➡️ 54.9km
    ⏩ 9.13km/h
    🔄 6:00:55
    ⬆️ 200m
    📶 24ºC
    ➡️ 182.8km
    ⏩ 9.22km/h
    🔄 19h:42m:52s
    ⬆️ 745m
    📶 23ºC

    Second Annual: 22–24 July 2016

    Day Places Log
    Friday 22 July 2016 9:23 Grand Isle & Burlington

    Map from Garmin & Strava: download GPX, FIT, TCX, KML, & other file format for GPS track
    Distance ➡️ 92.08km
    Speed ⏩ 13.9km/h
    Duration 🔄 6h:37m:29s
    Ascent ⬆️ 548m
    Descent ⬇️ 550m
    Temperature 📶 30.9ºC
    Saturday 9:02 Venise-en-Québec

    Garmin & Strava
    ➡️ 80.39km
    ⏩ 14.0km/h
    🔄 5:44:22
    ⬆️ 207m
    ⬇️ 205m
    📶 26.4ºC
    Sunday 9:04 North Hero

    Garmin & Strava
    ➡️ 61.76km
    ⏩ 14.4km/h
    🔄 4:18:10
    ⬆️ 182m
    ⬇️ 183m
    📶 26.7ºC
    ➡️ 234.2km
    ⏩ 14.05km/h
    🔄 16h:40m:01s
    ⬆️ 937m
    ⬇️ 938m
    📶 28.3ºC

    Third Annual: 21–23 July 2017

    Day Places Log
    Friday 10:05 Burlington & Grand Isle: start from waterfront park in Burlington. Tour of Grand Isle perimeter with visits to Snow Farm for home-made root beer & wine tasting, Island Line Trail causeway for view of water on both sides, & east shore for winding road by the water.

    Return to Burlington for group dinner & ice cream at Lake Champlain Chocolates.

    Map from Garmin & Strava: download GPX, FIT, TCX, KML, & other file format for GPS track
    Earth view of route
    ➡️ Distance 86.38km
    ⏩ Speed 13.6km/h
    🔄 Duration 6h:22m:05s
    ⬆️ Ascent 408m
    ⬇️ Descent 385m
    *️⃣ Calories 2,338
    📶 Temperature 29.2ºC
    Saturday 9:14 Venise-en-Québec: traveled well into Canada (passport required to cross border) along Missisquoi Bay between farm lands, with snack stop at Venise-en-Québec. Snack from marché public, fresh fruit stand (fruit lady accepts only CA$ in cash), crêpe, & Smarties. Continued tour through town of Henryville before snack stop at farm for locally made cheese.

    Garmin & Strava
    Earth view
    ➡️ 93.3km
    ⏩ 14.7km/h
    🔄 6:20:57
    ⬆️ 292m
    ⬇️ 275m
    *️⃣ 2,712
    📶 23.2ºC
    Sunday 9:05 North Hero: fun tour of North Hero island beaches & coast line, with stops at North Hero State Park, Alburg Dunes State Park, & Vermont maple soft-serve ice cream.

    Garmin & Strava
    Earth view
    ➡️ 61.45km
    ⏩ 14.6km/h
    🔄 4:12:14
    ⬆️ 224m
    ⬇️ 230m
    *️⃣ 1,889
    📶 23.3ºC
    ➡️ 241.1km
    ⏩ 14.25km/h
    🔄 16h:55m:16s
    ⬆️ 924m
    ⬇️ 890m
    *️⃣ 6,939
    📶 25.5ºC

    From → Bicycle

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