A classic country run, this 10-mile loop brings runners under two covered bridges and along the scenic backcountry roads and rolling hill landscape of Charlotte. Feels like miles away when its only minutes from downtown.
This quintessential Vermont run along dirt roads surrounded by beautiful landscape is located in Charlotte, a town in the Champlain Valley that sits on the banks of Lake Champlain. The farmland and forests that make up the area offer scenic vistas and the town’s many hills and ridges provide glorious 360 degree views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks on one side, and Camel’s Hump and Mt. Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak, on the other. The quiet backcountry roads are often a destination for cyclers and runners alike to find fun routes on quieter roads without having to travel too far from downtown.
This particular loop starts at the corner of Spear and Lewis Creek roads at Quinlans Bridge, the first of two covered bridges along the run. After crossing the bridge stay left on Lewis Creek Road to Roscoe. A little over a mile up is Sequin Bridge, the second covered bridge. Follow Roscoe to the end and take a left on Prindle. Follow Prindle to Bean which will bring runners to Hinesburg Road where they will take a left to get back to Spear. Take a left onto Spear and follow it back down to Quinlans Bridge. While Spear and Hinesburg roads are paved and heavier with traffic, the rest are quiet, dirt roads.
What Makes It Great
This 10-mile loop is a great run close to the city that feels miles away. The rural landscape of farmland, barns and horses intermixed with forests and streams provides runners with a quiet, comforting landscape to take in while running. The two covered bridges, Quinlans and Sequin, were both built in 1849 and add a little history and Vermont flair to the run.
The views that can be found on this run are also stunning. There is one point on Spear that the road opens up and runners can simultaneously take in panoramic vistas of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks to their right, and Camel’s Hump and the Green Mountains to their left.
What’s nice about this area is that all the roads loop in and around and back to one another making it very easy for runners to add or subtract mileage as needed. Not up for a 10-miler? Start at Quinlans Bridge and take Lewis Creek to Roscoe to Prindle (skip Bean) and stay on Prindle to Spear for a nice seven miles. There are so many different options with similar vibes once you are in the area.
Who is Going to Love It
Because of the route’s flexibility beginner, intermediate and advanced runners can enjoy this area and the runs it offers. It’s perfect for anyone curious about historic covered bridges or those seeking views of some of the Burlington area’s most famous landmarks: Camel’s Hump, Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks. The rolling hills make for a fun, comfortable run, but hardcore runners looking for a strong hill workout will not find it here.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Parking is available at pullouts near Quinlans Bridge. If runners want to start the run elsewhere along the loop there are also pullouts at Sequin Bridge and near the corner of Spear and Hinesburg. Parking is free and open all hours.