Lake Champlain via Hinesburg and Charlotte


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A beautiful drive over the 2,365′ Appalachian Gap to the crystal waters of Lake Champlain with some opportunities for sightseeing along the way.

Of special interest:

  • The Shelburne Museum
  • The Vermont Teddy Bear Factory
  • The Charlotte – Essex, N.Y. Ferry

From VT-100 in Waitsfield, turn onto VT-17 and head WEST over the Appalachian Gap, the second highest pass in Vermont and the highest one that is kept open all winter. Go 8 miles and turn RIGHT (NORTH) onto the Hanksville – Huntington Road. Go 8 miles on then turn LEFT onto the Hinesburg Hollow Road. Go 5 miles then turn RIGHT onto VT-116. Go 3.9 miles to Hinesburg. Turn LEFT onto Charlotte Road across from the IGA store. Continue through 2 stop signs to Yield intersection, bear LEFT and continue for 7.5 miles to the traffic signal at VT-7. Now you have two choices.

1. To Shelburne (Shelburne Museum and the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory). Turn RIGHT (NORTH) on VT-7 to the Teddy Bear Factory and the Shelburne Museum (approx. 37 miles from Waitsfield).

2. To the Charlotte-Essex NY Ferry. Go straight ahead to the lake. The Ferry leaves every 1/2 hour for a 20-minute crossing. Park your car and take the ferry across. Essex, NY has one of the most intact collections of pre-Civil War architecture in America. The entire village is on the National Register of Historic Places. Lots of craft shops and several restaurants line the main street. The best time to go is Memorial Day through Columbus Day.

You can return by the same route or continue NORTH on VT-7 to RT 189 on the RIGHT which will connect you to the interstate, RT 89. Take RT 89 SOUTH to Exit 10, Waterbury. Stay to the RIGHT as you come off the exit but as you merge onto VT-100 SOUTH move over to the LEFT. Follow VT-100 SOUTH through Waterbury and back to Waitsfield.

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