In 1961, the Island Line Railroad saw its last train pass through the Burlington, VT area. It stood for almost 20 years before finally being converted into a pedestrian pathway, which passes through two cities and three different counties.
The trail starts at Mile 0 in Oakledge Park, where you can find parking, restrooms, water, and a beautiful community park alongside sandy beaches. At Mile 1, it meets with the original railway path, where it continues throughout Burlington and Colchester before it converges with the spectacular bridge that makes this trail so paw-pular. You and Fido will make your way through an industrial area for the first four miles, giving you two a brief insight into the rich history of Burlington. Finally, the Island Line Trail meets with the Colchester Causeway Trail after crossing a boardwalk through Delta Park. Here, you’ll start down the gorgeous bridge, surrounded by the glistening waters of Lake Champlain on either side.
Head down the paved causeway that spans 3.5-miles, catching some of the best sunrays on the east coast. Once you reach the end, you and your pup will have the option to treat it as an out-and-back trail and return to the trailhead where you entered. Otherwise, you can climb aboard the seasonal ferry and make it to the other end on South Hero Island, where the last mile stretch of the trail continues.
Visitors and locals alike frequent the Island Line Rail Trail, and along the way, you’ll find a handful of drinking fountains, restrooms, and scenic stops. If the 13.4-mile stretch is too much for you, you and Fido can start your adventure at Airport Park in Colchester, where you’ll find plenty of parking and can easily hop on the trail. Load up on water at the fountains and be sure to use the restroom before heading across the bridge!