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From Rail to Trail

By Linda Tancs

When the Rutland-Canadian Railroad laid tracks in Vermont in 1899 to connect the New England coast with the Great Lakes region it could hardly be imagined that out of the rail’s eventual demise would arise a bike and pedestrian path that’s among the most popular in the area. Officially beginning at the Oakledge Park trailhead in Burlington and ending in South Hero, the Island Line Rail Trail is a 14-mile path offering superb scenery. Perhaps its greatest asset is the causeway that runs across the open waters of Lake Champlain, giving cyclists the sensation of biking over water.

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