The Bike Ferry Is Back
It's been two years since record spring flooding on Lake Champlain wiped out the Island Line Trail that extends out over the lake, between Colchester and South Hero. Repairs to the causeway trail have been in the works ever since and a total of 545 people and businesses donated $1.5 million for the repairs.
The causeway is not continuous between the mainland and the island, however. There is a "cut" where cyclists come to the end of the road, in the midst of the lake, and need a boat to bridge the gap. That's where Local Motion's Bike Ferry comes in. For a fee, the ferry will bring cyclists and their bikes across the the small divide. After a two-year hiatus, the bike ferry is now up and running.
Now that it's back, Local Motion is working to make the ferry more accessible than ever. The group has received permission from the South Hero Select Board to put up temporary signs directing cyclists to the ferry. And this season the Bike Ferry will be running more days than ever before. According to a Local Motion press release the ferry will operate 51 days this summer and fall.
Local Motion says the Bike Ferry expansion will happen in two phases:
PHASE ONE: Restart Bike Ferry Service with a Record 51 Days in 2013 Our existing ferries will run 51 days in 2013 – more than double our 2010 service! • Summer (June 14 – Sept. 2): Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays • Fall (Sept. 7 – Oct. 14): Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays The hours of operation will be 10 a.m.-6 p.m. We’ll also operate private charters for groups during the week. PHASE TWO: Expand Service in 2014 with a New Ferry and New Equipment Next season will be even better! We’ll plan on operating over 75 days with a brand new ferry, better docks and ramps, and wave attenuators that will allow us to run in almost all weather conditions.
The Bike Ferry service was launched in 2000. Since then it has served as a link, allowing for a contiguous 14-mile Island Line Trail comprised of the Burlington Bike Path, the Colchester Causeway and the Allen Point Access Area in South Hero.