Built on an old railroad bed that juts across Lake Champlain, the 12.5-mile Island Line Trail in Burlington, Vermont, is one of the most stunning cycling experiences in the Northeast. Though it was badly damaged by floods in 2011, a $1.5 million rebuild has allowed the trail to reopen just in time for a late-season trek. Serious cyclists will want to connect to the 363-mile Lake Champlain Bikeway, and its 1,000-plus miles of themed tributary loops, for a four-day tour of rigorous distance rides. For all the scenery with less time in the saddle, ferries and bridges can shorten the ride.
Biking Lake Champlain, Day Three: Noyan, Quebec, to Burlington, VT (55 miles)
Time to cut across the scenic Lake Champlain Islands. At Burlington, head west to the marina, then north along the Island Line, which runs behind backyards and over wooden boardwalks before depositing you at the rebuilt causeway for an exhilarating out-and-back ride that feels like flying along the surface of the water, next to skimming egrets. The path is crushed stone, so take it slow – and bring a beer for a pit stop.
More information: The Shelburne Camping Area offers lean-tos with full bathroom and shower access, close to Burlington's college scene.
Credit: Paul O. Boisvert