Island Line Trail In Vermont

Here is everything you need to know about the Island Line Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Vermont
  • Length: 14 miles.
  • Type: Biking
  • Surface: paved
  • Managed By: Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission
  • Permit Required?: No
  • Website:

The Island Line Trail, located in the state of Vermont, has a rich historical background that dates back to the 19th century. Originally known as the Rutland Railroad, this rail line was established in 1850 and played a crucial role in connecting the Champlain Islands to the mainland. The railroad was primarily used for transporting goods, such as agricultural products, lumber, and granite, from the islands to various markets across the region.

During its peak, the Rutland Railroad was a bustling transportation route, serving both freight and passenger trains. The line extended from Burlington, Vermont, to Alburgh, a small town near the Canadian border. The railroad’s construction required significant engineering efforts, including the construction of bridges and causeways to traverse the numerous bodies of water in the area, such as Lake Champlain and its surrounding marshlands.

However, with the rise of the automobile industry and the decline of rail travel in the mid-20th century, the Rutland Railroad faced financial challenges. In 1961, the railroad ceased operations, leaving the tracks abandoned. Recognizing the potential for recreational use, the Vermont Agency of Transportation acquired the rail corridor in the 1970s and began transforming it into a multi-use trail.

Today, the Island Line Trail is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a scenic route for walking, jogging, cycling, and even inline skating. The trail’s historical significance is evident in the remnants of the old railroad infrastructure, including the causeway that stretches across Lake Champlain, providing stunning views of the water and surrounding landscapes. The Island Line Trail stands as a testament to the region’s transportation history and serves as a beloved recreational resource for locals and visitors alike.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Oakledge Park: Located in Burlington, Vermont, Oakledge Park is a popular access point for the Island Line Trail. It offers parking facilities and is a great starting point for exploring the trail.

2. Waterfront Park: Situated in downtown Burlington, Waterfront Park is another major access point for the Island Line Trail. It provides parking, restrooms, and beautiful views of Lake Champlain.

3. Leddy Park: Located in Burlington, Leddy Park is a recreational area that offers access to the Island Line Trail. It has parking facilities, picnic areas, and a beach.

4. North Beach Park: Situated in Burlington, North Beach Park is a popular access point for the Island Line Trail. It offers parking, a sandy beach, and picnic areas.

5. Airport Park: Located in Colchester, Vermont, Airport Park provides access to the Island Line Trail. It offers parking facilities and is a great spot for birdwatching.

6. Allen Point Access Area: Situated in Colchester, the Allen Point Access Area is another major access point for the Island Line Trail. It provides parking and offers beautiful views of Lake Champlain.

7. Winooski River Walk: Located in Winooski, Vermont, the Winooski River Walk is a scenic trail that connects to the Island Line Trail. It offers parking and is a great spot for birdwatching and fishing.

8. Sand Bar State Park: Situated in Milton, Vermont, Sand Bar State Park is a popular access point for the Island Line Trail. It offers parking, a sandy beach, picnic areas, and camping facilities.

9. Grand Isle Ferry Dock: Located in Grand Isle, Vermont, the Grand Isle Ferry Dock is an access point for the Island Line Trail. It provides parking and is a great starting point for exploring the trail on the Grand Isle side.

10. South Hero Recreation Path: Situated in South Hero, Vermont, the South Hero Recreation Path connects to the Island Line Trail. It offers parking and is a scenic route for biking and walking.

Transportation Available

1. Island Line Bike Ferry – A ferry service that transports cyclists and pedestrians across Lake Champlain.
2. Local Bus Service – A public bus system that operates in the area, providing transportation to various destinations.
3. Taxi Service – A taxi company offering on-demand transportation services.
4. Car Rental – Rental service providing cars for short-term use.
5. Bike Rental – Rental service offering bicycles for exploring the Island Line Trail.
6. Ride-Sharing Service – A mobile app-based service connecting passengers with drivers for convenient transportation.
7. Water Taxi – A water-based transportation service that offers scenic rides and transfers to different locations.
8. Train Station – A railway station providing train services to nearby towns and cities.
9. Airport Shuttle – Shuttle service transporting passengers to and from the nearest airport.
10. Pedicab Service – A bicycle-powered taxi service offering short-distance transportation within the area.


The amenities available at the Island Line Trail may vary depending on the specific section or location along the trail. However, here are some common amenities that can be found along the trail:

1. Restrooms: Some sections of the trail may have public restrooms or portable toilets available at designated points.

2. Parking: There are parking areas available at various access points along the trail, allowing visitors to park their vehicles and access the trail easily.

3. Camping Sites: While camping may not be directly available on the Island Line Trail itself, there might be nearby campgrounds or camping areas where visitors can stay overnight.

4. Picnic Areas: There are designated picnic areas along the trail where visitors can stop, relax, and enjoy a meal or snack. These areas may have picnic tables, benches, or shelters.

5. Bike Rentals: Some sections of the trail may have bike rental facilities nearby, allowing visitors to rent bicycles for their journey along the trail.

6. Water Fountains: There may be water fountains or hydration stations along the trail, providing a source of drinking water for visitors.

7. Bike Repair Stations: In certain areas, there might be bike repair stations equipped with tools and air pumps, allowing cyclists to perform minor repairs or maintenance on their bikes.

8. Informational Signage: Throughout the trail, there may be informational signage providing details about the trail’s history, points of interest, and other relevant information.

It is recommended to check with local authorities or trail management organizations for specific amenities available at different sections of the Island Line Trail.

Nearby Services

1. Hotel Vermont – A modern hotel offering comfortable accommodations near the Island Line Trail.
2. Burlington Bay Market & Cafe – A local eatery serving delicious food and drinks, conveniently located close to the trail.
3. Burlington Emergency & Veterinary Specialists – A nearby emergency veterinary clinic providing medical care for pets.
4. North Beach Campground – A scenic campground offering camping facilities near the Island Line Trail.
5. Burlington Fire Department – The local fire department providing emergency services to the area.
6. Burlington International Airport – The nearest airport for travelers visiting the Island Line Trail.
7. Burlington Police Department – The local police department ensuring safety and security in the area.
8. Burlington Health & Rehabilitation Center – A healthcare facility providing medical services and rehabilitation near the trail.
9. Burlington Harbor Marina – A marina offering docking facilities for boaters near the Island Line Trail.
10. Burlington Urgent Care – A medical center providing urgent care services for non-life-threatening conditions.

Island Line Trail Difficulty Notes

The Island Line Trail, located in Vermont, offers a moderate difficulty level for outdoor enthusiasts. The trail spans approximately 14 miles, providing a scenic route along Lake Champlain and through picturesque towns. The terrain is mostly flat, making it suitable for all ages and fitness levels. However, there are some sections with slight inclines and uneven surfaces, which may require a bit more effort. Overall, the Island Line Trail offers a pleasant and enjoyable experience for hikers, bikers, and walkers, with a manageable level of difficulty that allows for a leisurely exploration of the beautiful surroundings.

Features And Attractions

The Island Line Trail is a scenic trail located in Vermont, USA. It stretches for 14 miles and offers beautiful views, historical sites, and natural landmarks along the way. Here are some notable attractions you can find along the Island Line Trail:

1. Burlington Waterfront Park: Located at the trailhead, this park offers stunning views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains. It’s a great place to start your journey.

2. Burlington Bike Path: The Island Line Trail connects with the Burlington Bike Path, which runs along the waterfront and offers picturesque views of the lake and the city.

3. Oakledge Park: Situated along the trail, Oakledge Park is a popular spot for picnicking, swimming, and enjoying the beach. It also provides beautiful views of Lake Champlain.

4. Winooski River Bridge: This bridge offers a scenic crossing over the Winooski River, providing panoramic views of the river and its surroundings.

5. Colchester Causeway: One of the highlights of the Island Line Trail, the Colchester Causeway is a narrow strip of land that extends into Lake Champlain. It offers breathtaking views of the lake on both sides and is a popular spot for walking, biking, and fishing.

6. Allen Point Access Area: Located on the Colchester Causeway, this access area provides a great vantage point to observe wildlife, including birds and waterfowl.

7. Sand Bar State Park: Situated at the northern end of the trail, Sand Bar State Park is a beautiful natural area with sandy beaches, picnic areas, and hiking trails. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the scenic beauty of Lake Champlain.

8. Fisk Quarry Preserve: Just off the trail, this historic site is home to an abandoned quarry that was once a major source of limestone. It now offers a unique geological landscape and is a designated National Natural Landmark.

9. Grand Isle State Park: Located on Grand Isle, the largest island in Lake Champlain, this state park offers stunning views of the lake, hiking trails, and a sandy beach.

10. North Hero State Park: Situated on North Hero Island, this state park provides beautiful views of Lake Champlain, camping facilities, and recreational activities like swimming, boating, and fishing.

These are just a few of the many scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks you can explore along the Island Line Trail. Enjoy your journey!

Usage Guidelines

– Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
– Clean up after your pets and dispose of waste properly.
– Bicycles are allowed on the trail, but must yield to pedestrians.
– Motorized vehicles are not permitted on the trail.
– No camping or overnight stays are allowed on the trail.
– Fires and open flames are strictly prohibited.
– Respect seasonal restrictions, such as closures during winter months or specific hours of operation.
– Stay on designated trails and do not venture off into restricted areas.
– Do not litter and help keep the trail clean.
– Follow all posted signs and regulations.
– Be considerate of other trail users and maintain a safe distance.
– Use caution and be aware of your surroundings, especially at road crossings.
– Report any suspicious or illegal activities to the appropriate authorities.

Seasonal Information

The Island Line Trail, located in Vermont, offers a picturesque and diverse experience for outdoor enthusiasts throughout the year. The best times to visit the trail largely depend on personal preferences and the activities one wishes to engage in. However, the spring and fall seasons are particularly popular due to the mild weather and stunning natural beauty.

In the spring, the Island Line Trail comes alive with vibrant colors as the trees and flowers begin to bloom. The trail offers a refreshing escape from the city, with the scent of fresh blossoms filling the air. This is an ideal time for hiking, biking, and birdwatching, as the trail is less crowded compared to the summer months. The moderate temperatures make it comfortable to explore the trail and enjoy the scenic views of Lake Champlain.

During the fall, the Island Line Trail transforms into a breathtaking display of autumn foliage. The trail is surrounded by a kaleidoscope of red, orange, and yellow leaves, creating a picturesque backdrop for outdoor activities. Hiking or biking along the trail during this time allows visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature and witness the stunning seasonal change. The cooler temperatures make it an enjoyable experience, and the trail is less crowded compared to the summer months.

It is important to note that the Island Line Trail has seasonal closures due to weather conditions. During the winter months, typically from December to March, the trail is closed for safety reasons as it becomes covered in snow and ice. However, this closure does not mean that outdoor activities are off-limits. The trail is transformed into a winter wonderland, perfect for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing on Lake Champlain. It is advisable to check for trail conditions and closures before planning a visit during the winter season.

In conclusion, the Island Line Trail offers a unique experience throughout the year. Spring and fall are particularly popular due to the mild weather and stunning natural beauty. However, each season brings its own charm, and even during the winter closure, the trail offers opportunities for winter sports and activities. Whether you prefer the vibrant colors of spring, the stunning foliage of fall, or the snowy landscapes of winter, the Island Line Trail has something to offer for every outdoor enthusiast.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Trail Surface: The Island Line Trail features a smooth and level surface, allowing easy navigation for wheelchair users.
2. Accessible Parking: Designated accessible parking spaces are available near the trail entrance, ensuring convenient access for individuals with disabilities.
3. Accessible Restrooms: ADA-compliant restrooms are located along the trail, providing accessible facilities for all users.
4. Wheelchair Accessible Ramps: The trail features ramps at various points, allowing wheelchair users to easily transition between different sections of the trail.
5. Accessible Picnic Areas: Picnic areas along the Island Line Trail are designed to accommodate individuals with disabilities, providing accessible seating and tables.
6. Accessible Water Fountains: Wheelchair-accessible water fountains are available along the trail, ensuring hydration for all users.
7. Braille and Tactile Signage: Informational signage along the trail includes Braille and tactile elements, enabling individuals with visual impairments to access important information.
8. Accessible Trailhead: The trailhead is designed to be accessible, featuring ramps, wide pathways, and clear signage for individuals with disabilities.
9. Assistance Animals: The Island Line Trail welcomes service animals, allowing individuals with disabilities to have their assistance animals accompany them.
10. Accessible Trail Maps: Trail maps are available in accessible formats, such as large print or digital versions, ensuring individuals with visual impairments can navigate the trail effectively.

Safety Information

1. Stay on designated paths: Stick to the marked trails to avoid getting lost or wandering into unsafe areas.
2. Use proper lighting: If using the trail after dark, carry a flashlight or wear reflective gear to ensure visibility.
3. Be aware of wildlife: Keep a safe distance from animals and avoid feeding or approaching them.
4. Watch for cyclists: Share the trail with cyclists and be mindful of their presence to prevent accidents.
5. Respect other trail users: Yield to pedestrians, runners, and slower-moving individuals, and maintain a courteous attitude towards fellow users.
6. Stay hydrated: Carry enough water to stay hydrated, especially during hot weather or longer hikes.
7. Dress appropriately: Wear comfortable clothing and appropriate footwear for walking or biking on the trail.
8. Carry a cell phone: Have a fully charged cell phone with you in case of emergencies or to report any safety concerns.
9. Be cautious at road crossings: Pay attention to traffic signals and exercise caution when crossing roads along the trail.
10. Secure your belongings: Keep personal belongings secure and avoid leaving valuables unattended.
11. Follow trail rules and regulations: Familiarize yourself with any specific rules or regulations for the Island Line Trail and adhere to them.
12. Be prepared for weather changes: Check the forecast before heading out and dress accordingly, carrying rain gear or sun protection as needed.
13. Travel in groups: If possible, hike or bike with a companion or in a group for added safety.
14. Stay alert and aware: Be mindful of your surroundings, especially in secluded or less populated areas of the trail.
15. Report any safety concerns: If you encounter any safety hazards or witness suspicious activities, report them to the appropriate authorities.

Conservation Notes

The Island Line Trail, located in Vermont, is a popular recreational trail that stretches for approximately 14 miles. In terms of conservation status, the trail is considered to be in good condition and is actively managed to preserve its natural resources. The trail passes through a variety of ecosystems, including wetlands, forests, and shoreline habitats, which are carefully protected to maintain their ecological integrity.

Efforts have been made to minimize the impact of human activities on the trail and its surrounding environment. The trail is regularly monitored to ensure that it remains free from litter and invasive species. Additionally, erosion control measures have been implemented to prevent soil erosion and protect the water quality of nearby lakes and rivers.

The Island Line Trail is also home to a diverse range of plant and animal species. Conservation efforts focus on preserving the habitat and biodiversity of the area. This includes maintaining the natural vegetation along the trail, which provides food and shelter for various wildlife species. The trail management actively promotes the importance of respecting and protecting the natural environment to trail users, encouraging them to stay on designated paths and avoid disturbing wildlife.

Overall, the conservation status of the Island Line Trail is considered to be well-maintained and actively managed. The trail management, along with local authorities and environmental organizations, work together to ensure the preservation of the trail’s natural resources and the protection of its surrounding ecosystems.

Leave a Comment