Cycle the City of Burlington – Beauty & History in VT

person standing with their bike - foot on the pedalIf you are not a regular follower of our blog, we have spent time this spring and summer sharing some fantastic places to go biking in the area near our inn in Middlebury, VT. Inn owner Dan Brown is an avid cyclist and loves to show guests top spots to enjoy the great Vermont outdoors. The fall is a beautiful time of year here (who are we kidding, it’s gorgeous all year long!) and a great time to be outside taking in the scenery. We have found a great tour called Cycle the City in nearby Burlington we think you’ll enjoy.

Cycle the City is a 10-mile self-guided historic tour – a tour that is just a small part of the Lake Champlain Bikeways. We have shared several articles on great tours along the 1,100-mile network of paths that make up the Lake Champlain Bikeways. This tour in particular will showcase the history, culture and natural beauty of Burlington, one of the most scenic cities in the area. It is a loop on mostly flat terrain and easy for people of all riding abilities. Along the way you will ride along the gorgeous Lake Champlain and Winooski River as well as see the sights of 6 different parks, three colleges and many noteworthy cultural and historical spots.

Your tour will begin and end at Union Station. To start you will head north on the bike path along the lake and after 2.5 miles will take a right at Leddy Park. The next phase takes you into Ethan Allen Park when you take a right on North Avenue. You will cross North Avenue to enter the park, stay right at the fork and turn left onto the bike path to Ethan Allen Homestead after the cross bridge. It won’t be long before you will see historic site and museum. You may want to take a break and look around at this example of what a true colonial farm was like. From here you will want to be on the lookout for green posts with the bicycle icon to take you through the Intervale, a large floodplain along the Winooski River. Keep a keen eye as you go through this area, as many have been lucky to catch a glimpse of blue heron, beavers, raccoons, foxes, deer and moose.

The next part of the tour takes you to University Row—you’ll cross Riverside Avenue, Pearl Street, and then left onto the bike path at College Street. This takes you through the scenic UVM Green where you may want to take a rest and relax for a bit as you enjoy the beautiful architecture of the buildings. Afterwards you will travel to the stately homes of Burlington’s Hill Section. You will take a right on Maple Street, a left on Willard Street, and a right down Howard Street. The Clement House built in 1861 is particularly impressive to see. There is a long downhill segment as the tour comes to an end at a section called Steamboat Boomtown. Turn right on Pine Street, left on Maple Street; right onto the bike path and that will take you to Union Station where you started.

While we have given you general directions to travel, you’ll want to read the full description of this great tour here. There is some fascinating information to read before you go and some easy to navigate maps so you’ll know exactly where you are at all times.

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