Length of Ride: 12.2 Miles
Start / Stop: Start and End at the Local Motion Bike Ferry Dock on the South Hero side of the Causeway. Parking available at Mile 1.2 of the loop or at the farm.
This ride covers some of the best attractions and the opportunity to savor many of the best foods that South Hero has to offer. There is a small amount of gravel road – generally well-packed for cycling, and just a few “uphills”. It is a great family ride with ample opportunity to stop for bathrooms, eating, resting, and swimming.
Starting at the Bike Ferry Dock on the South Hero side of the old RR Causeway, ride North along the Island Line Trail for 1.2 miles to Martin Road (gravel). Turn right and head East toward South Street (1.5), and then turn left on to paved South Street. Pedal up the hill and past West Shore Road (2.1) to your left and you will soon arrive at Allenholm Farm (2.9) where you can taste a delicious Maple Creemee, pet the animals in the Petting Paddock or order lunch at the Accidental Farmer food stand. There is a bike rack and a port-a-let available. Continuing on South Street you will pass Hackett Orchards (3.1) where you will find apples, donuts, cider and more. Continuing on South Street you will pass the Folsom School and its parking lot (3.2), one of the parking options for cyclists who do not take the bike ferry. If you have older kids, you might want to stop for the school playground. They have big swings and slides and a little free library kiosk. When you exit the parking lot, turn right to continue up South Street. You will arrive shortly at Route 2 (3.9).
You are now in the village of South Hero. To the right is Sebs Snack Bar, but keep on going to see more offerings. Turn left on Route 2 and on the right you will see the Cook Sisters Café, offering healthy meals made from local ingredients (check their facebook page for menus and hours). Next is the Blue Paddle Bistro (widely known for their gourmet offerings — make reservations well in advance). Just a bit further down Route 2, also on the right, is the South Hero Pharmacy, which sells drinks, power bars and frozen treats at family-friendly prices, many under one dollar. Across the street is a Jolley Quick Stop with a composting toilet, air pump and additional drink options.
Turn left (West) here from South Street on to Route 2 and then take a left hand turn on to Tracy Road (4.7) – the second entrance to Tracy Road, having passed by the first turn to Tracy Road to avoid crossing busy Route 2 on the curve of the road. Bear right on to Station Road (5.0), and then bear right to stay on Station Road (5.5). Turn right on to West Shore Road (6.5) where you will arrive at Health Hero Farm (6.9). After leaving Route 2 you will be passing by fields and woods that are still farmed – rural and tranquil, with the traffic of Route 2 in “your rear view mirror”.
Health Hero Farm raises vegetables and beef, offers CSA shares with a variety of vegetable, meat and poultry products, and hosts the annual Farm and Food Festival – planned for August 28, 2016.
To return to the Bike Ferry, with your back to the HHF red barn, turn left on to West Shore Road, passing Station Road to your left (7.4), Snow Farm Winery (8.3), where there is wine tasting, cold drinks for sale, and toilets. Continue past Crescent Bay Farm (8.6) on your right, and then be on the lookout for hundreds of colorfully painted birdhouses (7.6) along the roadside and in the woods to your left before passing thru White’s Beach (7.8). Continue on the paved road (9.2) to the end of West Shore Road (10.1). Turn right on to South Street, and then right on to Martin Road (10.7), then left back on to the Island Line Trail (11.0) and cruise back down to the Bike Ferry Dock (12.2).
Roads are mostly paved, with gravel on Martin Road and for 2.7 miles on West Shore Road. Graveled portions are generally hard packed. There are a few short uphills on South Street and then at the end of West Shore Road on your return.
Local Motion Bike Ferry 802-861-2700
Allenholm Farm 802-372-5566
Hacketts Orchards 802-372-4848
Remedies Pharmacy 802-378-5442
Blue Paddle Bistro 802-372-4814
Health Hero Farm 802-309-5011
Snow Farm Winery 802-372-9463
Crescent Bay B&B 802-372-4807
- bike rental at Allenholm Farm
- tire repair supplies and bike tools at Allenholm Farm, Hackett’s Orchard, Robinson Hardware, and Health Hero Farm
- free air at the town center Jolley and Health Hero Farm
- port-o-let or better at White’s Beach, Allenholm Farm, Hackett’s Orchard, Jolley gas station, Health Hero Farm, Snow Farm
- chill-down treats for cheap: child-sized popsicles (at family-friendly prices) at South Hero Pharmacy in town center and Health Hero Farm, baby-sized maple creamies at Allenholm Farm, cider slushies at Hackett’s Orchard
Author: Frank Driscoll