Recreation in Burlington, VT

Lake Champlain in Burlington, VT
Lake Champlain in Burlington, VT

With the Adirondacks and Lake Champlain, public parks and private outfitters, the recreational options in Greater Burlington are almost overwhelming.

Outdoors enthusiasts have their pick of bicycling, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, swimming, fishing, rafting and canoeing. A great place to start is the Local Motion Trailside Center on Steele Street, which has more than 30 free maps and guides. Red Rocks Park & Trail System in South Burlington is open daily through the summer, with miles of walking and running trails, 700 feet of public beach, scenic overlooks and wildlife.

Catamount Outdoor Family Center in Burlington maintains 20 miles of mountain bike trails and offers a summer camp for kids.

The city keeps up a 7.5-mile bike bath with Waterfront Park at its center. Right off it is North Beach, with swimming, picnicking and kayaking. The path’s northern end connects to the Colchester Bike Path by a bike bridge built in 2004.

South Burlington has Dorset Park, 210 acres with soccer fields, baseball fields, tennis courts and picnic space. The major part of the park is undeveloped and used for community gardens, cross-country skiing and nature walks.

Winds of Ireland on lower College Street offers sailboat rentals; Waterfront Boat Rentals at Perkins Pier has powerboats, kayaks and canoes. Major outfitters and tour companies include Umiak Outdoor Outfitters, PaddleWays and True North Kayak Tours.

Sport fishing options abound: Lake Champlain is a great expanse for lake trout, Atlantic salmon, and sometimes walleye and rainbow trout.

Golfers have two premium clubs. Burlington Country Club dates to 1924 and is an 18-hole bent grass golf course with water in play. Another 18-hole course, this one designed by Jack Nicklaus, is at the Vermont National Country Club in South Burlington.

And for those who prefer watching rather than participating, the Vermont Lake Monsters, a minor league baseball team, play at Centennial Field on the University of Vermont campus.

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