Undoubtedly, Vermont is an idyllic place for cyclists. With hundreds of miles of country roads, small towns, plenty of bike shops, and beautiful views, locals and visitors alike hit the roads and trails.
But did you know that some of our local guides and celebrities are also crazy about bikes?
Governor Phil Scott, New York Times bestselling author Chris Bohjalian, Director of Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront, Cindi Wight, and Director of the Burlington Department of Public Works, Chapin Spencer shared their favorite bike rides in the state with the Free Press. just in time for summer.
Don’t forget to pack water and snacks, and stop for a Creemee if you need one—these Vermonters love the long drives.
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Governor Phil Scott
When he was running for re-election as lieutenant governor in 2012, Scott rode his bike through all 14 of Vermont’s counties. Known for his love of outdoor sports and racing, his favorite Vermont bike ride is definitely not for the faint of heart.
Scott likes to take Vermont 12 north from Montpelier to Lake Elmore and do a loop around the lake. That’s about 22 miles from Montpelier to Lake Elmore, about 30 minutes by car.
Bohjalian, one of the Vermont-based novelists, posts pictures of his dog Jesse and snaps of Vermont from his bike rides his twitter regularly.
His favorite ride is from Middlebury to Kingsland Bay State Park, which takes about 18-20 miles one way depending on which roads he takes.
“The north-south roads, including Quaker Village Road, South Maple Street to Vergennes, Sand Road and Botsford, offer panoramic views and little traffic,” Bohjalian said via email.
“I also enjoy driving to the Lake Champlain Bridge and then driving north along Lake Road with its magnificent views of the lake and the Adirondacks,” he said. “When I drive thirty miles or more, I always stop by Lulu’s Ice Cream or The Laundry in Vergennes to try basil (or seriously chocolate) ice cream or The Laundry’s chocolate coconut banana bread.”
Wight has a bike for every occasion: a gravel bike, a road bike, a mountain bike, a fat bike and an urban bike that she uses to haul veggies home from her community garden.
She decided if she had to pick a road bike route that would be her favorite it would be on the Champlain Islands. Living in the New North End, it’s easy to get onto the Burlington Greenway, drive to the Causeway, catch the Local Motion ferry and head to South Hero.
“I recommend cycling clockwise around the island and then stopping by Allenholm Farms on the way back to the bike ferry for a delicious Creemee!” said Wight via email.
Spencer’s route is the most extreme, but perhaps the favorite route of sea lovers. He calls it the “triple-ferry ride” because it requires three ferry trips.
Spencer starts on the Island Line Trail, uses the Local Motion ferry on the Causeway, travels through South Hero and hops on the ferry to Plattsburg. He then cruises down the shore from Lake Champlain in New York to the Essex, New York ferry to Charlotte and takes roads back to Burlington. It’s a total of 82 miles that could be cut in half, Spencer said, if the Burlington to Port Kent ferry runs.
More:The Burlington Ferry is closed again for the 2022 season. Will it ever open again?
“Definitely a full day ride now!” Spencer said via email.