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solo trip with my bicycle

Northampton...
Level Contributor
43 posts
solo trip with my bicycle

hi there, I am thinking of taking a little getaway up to Burlington from Western Ma via Amtrack at the end of August.

I've never spent time there and am looking for some R&R, hanging at cafes, riding the path, maybe finding a place to hike (without car).

wondering if anyone has advice on places to stay (looking for less than $200/night), will probably spend 3 nights total.

is there plenty to see/do within walking distance and with bike?

really needing some time away without taking a big trip and like I said, keeping it low key is just fine as long as there might be some access to some nice nature spots.

thank you!

14 replies to this topic
Burlington, Vermont
Destination Expert
for Burlington
Level Contributor
3,110 posts
12 reviews
1. Re: solo trip with my bicycle

Burlington is a great place to hang out in for a couple days and you really don't need a car. Having a bike will allow you to explore along the lake on the bike path. There's not a lot of hiking in the Burlington area, but there are a few miles of trails at Rock Point (past North beach to the north of Burlington), and at Red Rocks park to the south of Burlington, both accessible by the waterfront bike path. (Red Rocks is requires a little bit of travel on a street but it's easy, just check out a Google map.)

One issue you need to consider is that Amtrak arrives in Essex about 6-7 miles from downtown Burlington. You could bike from the train station to downtown, but that may not be ideal depending no how much stuff you have with you.

Ormond Beach...
Destination Expert
for Vermont, Ormond Beach
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9,697 posts
93 reviews
2. Re: solo trip with my bicycle

Amtrack goes to Essex Junction - about 7 miles from downtown Burlington, so you'd need to taxi (or bike) to downtown. The $200/night budget may be a limitation. The large hotels downtown (Hilton, Marriott, etc..) are all very nice, but are all around/above that, depending on the specific dates. There are a handful of B&Bs a few blocks east of downtown that might fit, and a bunch of cheaper chain hotels & local motels within a few miles of downtown. The town itself is great for walking/biking, and the rec path is superb. No hiking within ~10 miles though.... the nearest is probably Niquette Bay State Park (which is very nice, for easy/moderate hikes of ~5 miles or less).

Stowe is another option. It has similar challenges getting form there without a car. You'd Amtrack to Waterbury, then taxi or & bus ~10 miles to Stowe. Once there though, the lodging options are a lot more varied and reasonably priced than Burlington. Stowe is much smaller, but has enough to keep folks occupied for a weekend. Nice rec path, excellent hiking within a few miles, and a handful of shops restaurants.

Burlington, Vermont
Destination Expert
for Burlington
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3,110 posts
12 reviews
3. Re: solo trip with my bicycle

You may want to check out the hostel in Burlington as a place to stay. I don't know anything good or bad about it, but it's been around for a number of years now and always looks nice and well kept from the outside (I walk by all the time), and it's a great location. http://www.theburlingtonhostel.com/

Northampton...
Level Contributor
43 posts
4. Re: solo trip with my bicycle

thank you, helpful tips so far.

I would be arriving around 8pm the first night as there is only 1 train from where I live to VT daily.

is the bike ride from Essex to downtown Burlington relatively easy?

I only bike everywhere and am pretty used to it and won't be packing much so that is all ok.

Burlington, Vermont
Destination Expert
for Burlington
Level Contributor
3,110 posts
12 reviews
5. Re: solo trip with my bicycle

Yea, it's not a bad ride although it's definitely not a nice wide bike path the whole way down, and hopefully you can get downtown before it's dark. I would take Route 15 (Pearl Street) down into Winooski, and then cross the bridge and stay right on Riverside Ave (where there is a bike path) and then your route from there will depend on your final destination. There will be a mix of sidewalks and bike lanes for most of the route, and you'll want to use the sidewalk in some areas as opposed to the shoulder of the road, especially after passing Susie Wilson Road, follow the sidewalk to the right and through the residential (Fort Ethan Allen) area to the right of Route 15 as there is not much shoulder and cars drive very fast through there.

Alexandria, VA
Level Contributor
660 posts
69 reviews
6. Re: solo trip with my bicycle

Burlington has a good number of reasonably-priced Airbnbs located downtown.

Also Uber is easily available so you can get to some hiking areas without using your bike Some cities have UberPedal so you can request an Uber with a bike rack, to get to and from the train station or to take your bike with you a little further. I don't know if it's available in Burlington but you could check:

http://theridesharedriver.com/uberpedal/

This might be helpful for your planning:

https://www.localmotion.org/maps_routes

Burlington, Vermont
Destination Expert
for Burlington
Level Contributor
3,110 posts
12 reviews
7. Re: solo trip with my bicycle

I should have mentioned that there is a bus from the Amtrak station to downtown and I believe most, if not all, of the buses have a bike rack on the front. This would be a good way to get downtown especially if it's getting dark. Bus website http://ridegmt.com/ and the schedule for the Amtrak bus ridegmt.com/wp-content/uploads/EssexJunction…

Northampton...
Level Contributor
43 posts
8. Re: solo trip with my bicycle

oh good idea on checking out air bb, it's something I don't have much experience with but I bet it would be a bit cheaper.

and the bus, great idea! thanks.

Northampton...
Level Contributor
43 posts
9. Re: solo trip with my bicycle

I found a nice airbnd in town and think I figured out the bus.

looking forward to visiting and checking out the bike trail. I'm thrilled to have a place with a kitchen so that I can cook some food and save a bit on $

and also looking forward to finding a cafe or two to sit and hang out in.

thank you all!

Burlington, Vermont
Destination Expert
for Burlington
Level Contributor
3,110 posts
12 reviews
10. Re: solo trip with my bicycle

City Market (2 locations in Burlington) and the Saturday morning farmer's market in City Hall Park (May through October) are great places to shop for food to cook at home, or even for prepared meals.

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