View Full Version : NYC to Burlington, VT and back - seeking advice

07-02-2009, 07:50 AM
Hi Everyone.

I am seeking wisdom and help of this forum!

I came to a realization that I have not have a real 'vacation' for last 5 years. So, I am planning one. But because I am going to do all of this alone, I need your help.

Please, let me know:

if you see any obvious flaws in my plan.
if you live in Burlington, VT and can help me out
if you can advise on which route to take from NYC to Burlington and back.
if you would like to do this trip with me

The main part of my vacation is to go on 'Adventure Cycling' tour for 7 days in VT (covers about 380 miles and is fully supported). You can see more here (http://www.adventurecycling.org/tours/tourdetail.cfm?id=139&t=EV&p=2).
Thus, my trip will have 3 parts.

Part 1: Getting from NYC to Burlington, VT
Part 2: Adventure Cycling tour
Part 3: Getting from Burlington, VT

Here is what I am planning.
Part 1: Even though the tour is fully supported ride, I still have to have tent, sleeping bag and many other items. My plan is to ship by Fedex all my gear to Burlington VT and with couple of cycling jerseys, one rain jacket and one spare shorts, ride from NYC to Burlington in 4 days (it is exactly 300 mostly flat miles, so in 4 days it is doable for me). I will pretty much follow Hudson River up north, but I welcome your roads suggestions.

Part 2: Let the "Adventure cycling" organization to cater for me

Part 3: After the organized part ends, I would fedex all my stuff back to NYC and with only essential items ride back in another 4 days. This time I would have no time constrains, so I would really like to take some nice roads. Again, I'd love your suggestions.

Transition between part 1 and part 2: I need to have a place where I fedex my stuff. If I send it to a hotel, then I don't know how to actually transport all the crap (tent, sleeping bag, backpack) from the hotel to the campground (on north side of Burlington, VT) where the Tour starts. Yes, I can call up the taxi in the worst case. However, I am very social creature. I would rather arrive to Burlinton on Saturday, stayed at someone place, maybe invite them for a dinner, laundry the essential items I had with me and on Sunday, let my host to drive my stuff to the campground while I cycle there with the bike.

Transition between part 2 and part 3: I need someone to pick me up and help me to fedex my stuff back. The tour ends on Saturday and I am not sure I'll be able to ship everything on Sunday. I can have it packed but someone will have to take it to the post office (or I have to stay till Monday).

What I can offer for your help/advise:

Money (of course not unlimited amount)
Accomodation on Manhattan Upper West Side and my host services if you ever want to come to NYC
Biostatistics/Statistics consultations
Czech language lessons
My company and ethernal thank yous

Thank you very much for any response!

Martina (in dire need of very overdue vacation!)

07-02-2009, 09:14 AM
I think you can do it. But I've seen the street routes that you're going to have to take. Please give yourself plenty of extra time!

07-02-2009, 02:02 PM
Bicyclista, thank you. What do you mean: "you have seen the streets... I should have extra time"... do you mean that the routes to VT from NYC are difficult? or do you refer to riding in VT? Do you have suggestion which side of the Hudson river is easier to go north?

Trully, if pressed by time or weather I can start by taking the MTA train from NYC to Poughkeepsie (that is about 100 miles savings).

07-02-2009, 06:48 PM
What kind of campground are you starting from? State park? Private? I'd arrange with them to ship the stuff there, instead.

How about a bike shop?

Have you asked Adventure Cycling if they an offer any assistance with your gear when it's in VT? Maybe they have a location you can ship to/from?

Sounds like a lot of fun, but a LOT of riding! wow.

Good luck, and please post your solution. I'm very curious.


07-04-2009, 03:56 AM
I have never seen a flat part of Vermont.... but I guess along the river will be.
I agree with Tuckerville. This is a lot of riding. I might consider A) either leaving from Poughkeepsie or B) take the train or other transportation there and ride home.
I say this because your tour is most likely very hilly. I would want fresh legs to start the tour. And Adventure Cycling can help you with the storage of your gear/picking you up, if you ask. Every tour I have been on has been more than helpful with these types of issues.

07-04-2009, 05:27 AM
I'll just chime in to say that if your ACA tour doen't include the Island Line trail north from Burlington and across the lake, you might want to do it on your own. It's an old rail bed built across the lake from Colchester to South Hero, and it's quite the experience to cross Lake Champlain by bike. There is a gap in the bikeway, which is crossed by ferry in August. But even without the ferry, I'd ride the 3 miles into the lake as far as the cut just because the views are fantastic. See http://www.champlainbikeways.org/maps.htm#islandline

07-04-2009, 05:59 AM
what i meant is you aren't getting on a bike trail and just heading north. It's a very complicated route, with lots of detours and alternate roads; and sometimes heavy traffic. I looked at the route sheets and my eyes glazed over. Expect to make wrong turns and get lost from time to time.

07-04-2009, 06:59 AM
Also, please be advised as a long time resident of upstate NY and vermont border that it is definitely not flat. It's not the rockies, but there's considerable elevation in there.

Basically the geology of the region is Taconic mountain foreland (rolling hills and ridges) and then when you get to Vermont it certainly courses along the Champlain Valley but the bike routes are quite hilly.

Still, I figure you must be pretty fit to take on a tour of this kind, so maybe it's not a worry for you. But as a long time resident of the Adirondack Mtns and an avid Lake Champlain biker... I'd hardly call it flat.

Anyway, it's too bad I don't live in the area still because I would have offered to be of more assistance.

You also have the option of riding to the ferry across Lake Champlain to Essex, NY and catching AMTRAK back to NYC if need be in Westport, NY (just a few miles south). It's a 6-8 hour train ride, and a very pleasant one at that. If you were really tired after your tour, you could always do that. Westport is a fabulous little village too :)

07-04-2009, 07:08 AM
Also, once you get to Lake Champlain, the routes are exceptionally well marked. Lots of bike signs. It's hard to screw up once you get there.

Anyway, as for the route, I recommend keeping as close to the Hudson river as possible until you get to the Troy area and the area immediately north. I recommend taking Route 4 from there.

Here's a useful map for biking near and around Lake George in NY:


Once you cross into Vermont, I recommend getting on 22A in Fair Haven and riding it until you arrive in Vergennes and then riding Route 7 (a very well marked cycling route-- even though it can be busy during rush hour, I believe it to be fairly safe until it gets a little hairier in South Burlington)

Also, apparently I forgot that the ferry from Charlotte drops you in Essex, NY. You can ride south to Westport from there on 22 South (a very beautiful, rolling route along the Lake)

Another option you have for getting to Burlington is to ride 9N along Lake George past Ticonderoga, NY and then when 9N breaks with Route 22 in Westport, NY, continue on 22 all the way to Port Kent where you can take the beeeaaautiful ferry into Burlington across Champlain.

Anyway, food for thought! I'm envious that you've got the stamina and ambition to do this!