Touring - Thinking about a ride around Lake Champlain, anyone familiar with the area?
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What I would like to do, in August, is to take the ferry from Burlington over to New York. From there we would ride south, going around the lake until we got back to Burlington. On the map, it looks like a pleasant ride. Does this sound like a good idea? Are there places to stay (we won't be bringing tents)?
04-27-03, 06:49 AM
:) Great riding,here is a site you can use just don't trust the maps they send you. http://www.champlainbikeways.org/
Very nice area, but it's beautiful in September when autumn first hits the north country. Expect a fair amount of hills, though (you can't ride the shore all the time...), and don't think that the local B&B's will be either cheap or available without reservations! The Burlington ferry is a fairly uniteresting boat, but the crossing can be quite nice, especially near dawn or sunset.
04-27-03, 02:30 PM
I haven't been there, but if you see Champ, the Lake Champlain monster, we expect a photo from you! :)
04-27-03, 06:49 PM
I am planning this too and have been researching it throughly. I have all the maps and brochures from Champlainbikeways.org. My best source of info has been a good friend who did the tour two years ago with his daughter on their tandem. He started in Plattsburg, rode north to just short of the Canadian border, turned east on route 2 I believe and came down south on the islands to Burlington and across on the ferry and back to his car. He said it was about 60 miles from Plattsburgh to Burlington using his route. My plan is to halve that and stay at a B&B in Alburg and do the remaining distance to Burlington the next day. Apparently Burlington is quite entertaining and worth a layover day. Also the Ausable Chasm is not to be missed. Good wide shoulders and no real severe hills until you come across the causeway from the islands. My friend did not really explore off the main route on the islands and consequently found them uninteresting. He stayed on the main state route the whole time. The offical bikeway route has you on secondary roads on the islands that follow the shoreline closer. That is what I plan to do but it looks like some of those roads aren't paved. We will be on a road tandem so I don't know if those routes will be possible. I'll see when I get there I guess. My one question is how is the traffic from the shoreline bikeway in Burlington out to the hotels on Willston Road? Is that stretch rideable? Have fun, it looks like a great trip.
04-27-03, 08:15 PM
We are planing on doing the whole lake this summer. I have done most of the VT side in the past. We will also be riding a tandem, but a recumbent. We expect the motels and B&B's to be full, so we plan on camping most of the time. If the campgrounds are full we will camp just off the road. The dirt roads can be ridden with a road bike, if you stay in the hardpacked car tracks, the sides can be sandy. Run the widest tire you can fit to your bike. I just have to findd a place to park the car for a week or so, any ideas?
04-28-03, 06:40 AM
The Comfort Inn I believe in Plattsburg will let you leave your car in their parking lot if you stay a night w/them. Just clear it with the manager first. According to the brochure I got from the tourist bureau, most hotels/motels have the same policy. Again, I would make sure the manager knows it's not an abandoned car and park it away from the frequently used spaces.
04-28-03, 01:31 PM
:) If any of you need a place to park or camp (free).You can stay there.I have 5 acres less than 2 miles from plattsburgh.Just PM me.Yes hot showers too.:)
04-28-03, 07:28 PM
I may take you up on that.. You know this is how the warm showers list got started.
04-29-03, 12:52 PM
The Lake Champlain region is a very beautiful part of this country, and the weather in August is generally also beautiful.
Gojohnnygo -- If I can ever get a few days in a row off when the weather is reasonably nice I'd like to take you up on that offer, also. And, if any of you ever want do a ride near Mt. Washington I will gladly reciprocate...I could also offer use of a shower after your ride (indoors or out...the outdoor shower has a great view of the mountains!)
bentbaggerlen, velonut & late -- I'd love to hear about your rides when you get back. I live about 2 hours east of Burlington and have wanted to try riding in that area (much too often work just seems to get in the way!)
Burlington is a fun city. If you like chocolate (really, really good chocolate), the Lake Champlain chocolate factory on Pine Street is a very tasty stop.
There is a weekend music festival at a state park just south of Burlington (I don't remember the name of it, but if you are interested I could find out). I believe it is held the first weekend in August (I can never get away in August...that work thing!) Could be a fun diversion.
If you are in to flowers, there's a wildflower farm, also south of Burlington, with walking paths through the flowers.
04-29-03, 07:57 PM
Yes, Burlington is a great city. The wildflower farm saved me a lot of time mowing, last spring I tilled under my back yard and planted wild flowers, thousuds of flowers, no weededing or watering! and the
Lake Champlain chocolate factory only one word Yummmmmmmmy!
04-30-03, 11:46 AM
:) You guys are welcome to stay,Just give me a few weeks notice (PM me)so I can get things set up.Plus it's with in walking distance of a great sea food restaurant with some cold beer.
04-30-03, 11:59 AM
Originally posted by Inkwolf
I haven't been there, but if you see Champ, the Lake Champlain monster, we expect a photo from you! :) :D
and thanks for all the helpful suggestions. Wench, we have Len Libby's here in Maine. They make some of the best chocolates you've ever had. My fave is the dark choc covered cashews. In the summer, their Needham ice cream is a real treat. We will have 4 days of riding, and a rest day. It's a little silly to put the rest day in Middlebury; just a day from Burlington , but that's where it is at the moment. I was wondering if any of the towns along the way had something going that might make a layover worthwhile?
05-02-03, 10:38 AM
Hey, late, I'm off to Saco, Maine today to meet some friends from Boston! We're planning a laid back weekend...some cycling...some beach walking...a lot of catching up. Now you've given me something to do while I wait for them to show up (they all have to work today...me, I just shut down my business so I can get on the road about noon. Thanks for the chocolate tip.
05-02-03, 11:04 AM
:) There are a few bike races going on in late august in different parts of the state.Here is a link to some of the events. http://www.gmsr.info/index.htm
Hi, Libby's is on Rte 1 in Scarborough, abut 10 min from Saco.
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