Irish Hill Loop is a quick 10.6 mile ride offering stunning views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks. The route winds its way from Overlook Park in South Burlington down Spear Street into Shelburne, a town just southwest of Burlington that lies along the shores of Lake Champlain. Once in Shelburne riders will take a right off of Spear onto Thomas, follow Thomas for about one mile to Irish Hill where they will then take a right and head up the hill back to Spear. The winding back roads are fully paved, and while Spear is a bit busy, there is a wide shoulder to ride in and the traffic mellows out once you hit the Irish Hill intersection. Besides the one steep ascent on Irish Hill the rest of the route is rolling and smooth. It’s a short ride, but an intense one and perfect for squeezing in at the start or close of the day.
What Makes It Great
he intent of this loop is to provide a quick ride while at the same time one that provides a good workout. The steep ascent on the Loop’s namesake, Irish Hill, does just that. Once riders turn off of Thomas onto Irish Hill, the climb begins immediately. And, it’s stout. It’s short at just under a mile, but it’s sustained and steep, and just when it feels like the top is near,the corner turns and the hill keeps on going up. It’s an excellent hill workout for intermediate and advanced riders. And, the loop is short.
It’s a quick ride, just under 11 miles. What’s nice is that if riders are feeling like they still have a lot left after Irish Hill and they have the time, the ride is very easy to expand to bring in more mileage. Instead of turning left on Spear, cross over it staying on Irish Hill. Taking a left onto Dorset and then another left onto Knowland Farm, which will bring riders back to Overlook Park, will add another few miles. Most of the roads in the area loop back and forth into one another making it very easy to extend or shorten rides as needed.
Last, but definitely not least, Irish Hill Loop offers riders spectacular views of the Adirondacks and Lake Champlain. The sights from the parking area in Overlook Park are enough to take your breath away and views like these pop up consistently throughout the short ride. Along the route itself the landscape is also quite enjoyable and includes open fields and farmland, a golf course, and a sunflower farm, which is usually in full bloom come August.
Who is Going to Love It
Riders looking for a quick, but solid workout will find that the rolling hills of Spear Street are fun to ride while the hill on Irish will provide a nice workout. The ride provides some of the best views of the Adirondacks and Lake Champlain. Intermediate and hardcore riders will not be disappointed by the challenges set forth by Irish Hill.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Parking can be found at Overlook Park on Spear Street in South Burlington. This lot is free and open at all hours.