There is more relatively flat terrain, great for bicycle touring, to be found in the farm country of northwestern Vermont’s Franklin County.
Lake Carmi State Park on the shores Vermont’s fourth largest lake, is right in the middle of that farm country. Quiet back roads take you past rural landscapes and generations-old family farms, quaint villages, rolling fields and forested woodlots.
The park is just a short ride from and fairly near the midpoint of the 26-mile Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail, which runs between the towns of St. Albans and Richford. The packed gravel surface of this old railroad grade makes for an easy ride, and the fact that you’re off the highway with no traffic to worry about makes it all the more enjoyable. Much of the trail follows the beautiful Missisquoi River, known for its spring whitewater, great fishing and downstream heron rookeries.
While you’re in the area, you might wish to visit the 6,600 acre Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge, which provides an important stop over, breeding, and feeding area for migrant birds and waterfowl.
At Lake Carmi State Park, the paved campground roads are great for kids’ bike riding. There is a large day use beach, boat launch ramps, boat rentals, tent, lean-to, and cabin camping, plus daily interpretive programs. The state park is also the home of the third largest peat bog in Vermont- this natural area is a 140-acre tract of spongy sphagnum moss and unique bog flora.
Bike route links:
Guide to the Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail
Champlain Bikeways Directions