Lake Champlain Islands

Lake Champlain Islands

Lake Champlain Islands

Lake Champlain, which stretches more than 120 miles south from the Richelieu River and Missisquoi Bay in Quebec, Canada, also forms the northern part of the boundary between New York and Vermont. Within the Lake is an elongated archipelago made up of a number of  islands- Isle La Motte, North Hero, South Hero—and the Alburgh Peninsula.

45th Parallel Town Sign- Alburgh, Vermont

45th Parallel Town Sign – Alburgh, Vermont – photo by Mary Fortin

The region makes up Vermont’s Grand Isle County. the towns of Isle La Motte and North Hero reside on the islands of the same names. South Hero Island, also called Grand Isle, is comprised of the towns of South Hero and Grand Isle.  While not an island, Alburgh, a 45th Parallel Town (halfway between the Equator and the North Pole), is separated from the rest of the United States by Lake Champlain; its’ only land connection is to Quebec.

With a temperate climate, the islands hold several apple orchards and vineyards and are a center of water recreation in summer and ice fishing in winter. A scenic drive through the islands on U.S. 2 begins at Interstate 89 in Colchester, Vermont and travels north to Alburgh Center; Route 78 takes you back to the mainland via the bridge to West Swanton, Vermont.

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