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 Two: Port Kent, NY, to Noyan, Quebec (88 miles)
In the morning, head three miles west to Ausable Chasm, a dramatic sandstone gorge with waterfalls and nature trails. At Plattsburgh, choose between the area's longest loops (or a ferry to Vermont): Add a day to take the 36-mile Monuments, Mills, and Music trail past statues, shuttered mills, and trickling springs. Or, if you have the quads, take the 38-mile Climber loop up 3,820-foot Lyon Mountain.
More information: Stay at Auberge Relais 4 Saisons Inn, a small, clean hotel on the lakeshore, popular with cyclists.
Credit: Paul O. Boisvert