Island Line Trail - Burlington, Vermont
Not every run can be an ultrarun, so I’ll be adding in some of my favorite runs in and around the cities I’ve visited. Since I like to keep in shape for my ultrarunning destination trips I need to keep up the miles no matter where I am at. I also like to make my runs interesting so tend to seek out trails rather than just having a run around the block.
One trick that I use is to make use of Uber to make my run a point to point run. I prefer to see as much of the local area as I can and sometimes it can be difficult to find a loop course that I want to run instead of an out and back run. This run in Burlington is a perfect example of how Uber can be used to really maximize your running experience while traveling.
On this day I only had a few hours and I wanted to get in at least a half marathon distance. I found a really cool trail in Burlington, Vermont called the Island Line Trail that is about 14 miles. The trail follows a causeway that was built for a train line back in 1901. That train stopped running in the 1960s, but since the causeway was built of granite blocks it has remained standing. The only challenge with the trail is there is a 30 yard (30m) gap that requires a small ferry to get across (see the Gallery below). It’s seasonal and called the Island Line Bike Ferry.
My run started off at Colchester Park in Colchester, Vermont where I parked my car. I then called Uber and set the destination 14 miles north, and just east of the start of the Island Line Trail (map shown). The Uber driver wasn’t clear where we were going since it was so remote. Eventually we got to the drop off point and he let me out at the intersection of Martin Road and South Street in South Hero, Vermont. Most of my Taxi and Uber drivers are pretty confused just leaving me off at the side of the road!
The run itself was quite beautiful with a combination of dirt roads, causeway, forest paths and nicely paved path. On the first part of the run I saw almost no one on the causeway. I think this was because the ferry stopped running around 5pm, so there was a bit time pressure at the start of my run too. Running on this thin strip of land across Lake Champlain was quite majestic. On each side of the path was clear, smooth water that had amazing reflections of the sky. In the later half of the run I saw a lot more people on the trail as it went right through the town of Burlington. Once I got to where I left my car in Colchester Park I took my shoes off and waded into Lake Champlain. The water was clear and cool and a perfect way to relax after a quick mid-week run.
Burlington, Vermont is just a short drive from Burlington Airport. Its not a big place so it’s easy to drive, bike or get a Uber to Colchester Park. If you happen to be in the area I highly recommend making the trip to see this run!