Vermont Summer Series 8.29.20 Burlington Waterfront

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Looking towards the Adirondacks from the Burlington Waterfront

Weary of working on projects at home, Jim and I decided a road trip was in order!  The adventure was twofold.  We needed to replace the battery in the car in preparation for my September sojourn to Stone Harbor, NJ.  And, we wanted a change of pace and a change of scenery!  So, with that in mind, our day trip took us to the Burlington area and Interstate Batteries located in Williston, VT.

After taking care of the battery, we headed on down to the Burlington Waterfront. Operated by the Burlington Parks and Recreation Department, the waterfront is constantly changing. Over the 20 years we’ve been visiting the Burlington waterfront, there have been many renovations and improvements to the experience.

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The waterfront area supports a recreation path called the Burlington Greenway that meanders along the coastline for a total of around 8 miles. This path also connects to other trail systems in the area so that your ride can be extended.

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Jim walking on part of the path along the Waterfront Park

Normally, we like to get a sandwich at the Burlington Bay Cafe since it’s just a block from the lakeshore. Due to Covid-19, we opted for take-out and found a cozy bench down near the ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, a waterfront science museum, to enjoy our lunch.  Afterwards, we took a relaxing walk through Waterfront Park and the coastline of Burlington Bay.

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ECHO museum skyline

I’m always looking to discover new, or previously unnoticed, additions to the area. As we walked through the Waterfront Park, I noticed an historical marker that I had not seen before. Since the subject was ice hockey, I was immediately engaged!  Apparently, the first international ice hockey game took place in Burlington!

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Further along the recreational path, there were some unusual boats moored up near the Burlington Waterfront Boat Ramp. I noticed an emblem on the boats with the words “Dragonheart Vermont” and “breast cancer survivor and supporter dragon boat team.” That piqued my interest! Jim and I walked down to examine the watercraft more closely. It appeared that the boats were human-powered with paddles and had about 10 wide two-person seats. An interpretive sign nearby offered some background on the unique boats and their origin.  It’s an inspiring story and worth reading about the history of the group.   Dragonheart Vermont began in 2004 as a breast cancer support group. The movement started with one boat and has grown to include 10 boats and 200 members. Some members compete worldwide in dragon boat races.  This sport originated more than 2500 years ago in small Chinese fishing villages along the Yangtze River. Very cool!!

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As we approached the old Moran Plant, once an operating coal plant and now a historical landmark, we noticed construction was underway and were curious what is to become of this abandoned building. Another website indicated what might have been the most recent renovation plan but appears to be a project that was rejected in 2016. There seemed to be something happening though.  A gentleman walking by me as I was taking pictures mentioned that an announcement would be forthcoming on what the new plans will encompass. I did some research once I returned home and found the City of Burlington Moran Plant website that details a new plan to incorporate portions of the historic building into the waterfront park in several stages. Check out the phased renovation on the website!  Should be fun to see the transformation!

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Construction works on the top of the Moran Plant

Behind the Moran Plant is the waterfront’s newest park, the Water Works Park. It opened in 2019 and provides additional access to the waters edge. There’s a pretty cool fishing pier and green space which incorporates native plants and benches. Definitely an improvement over the old, hidden, crumbling parking lot that occupied this site. We used to drive down here to park behind the City’s Water Treatment Facility so we could avoid metered parking! It was a little known “free” parking area at that time.

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Fishing Pier at Water Works Park
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Another view of the pier 🙂
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Native plantings of perennials and grasses
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Beautiful out-of-the-way spot to enjoy some peace along the waterfront!

Always fun to stroll along Burlington Bay and enjoy the vibrant scene along the lakeshore!!

We usually stop and watch the skateboarders at the Andy A Dog Williams Skatepark on our return trip.  I prefer not to take pictures as some folks might not want their photos online.  So, you’ll just have to imagine!

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Two winters ago when the lake was frozen we walked out to the Burlington Breakwater Historical Landmark!
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Part of the paved bike/walking trail with Jim up ahead carrying our lunch bag 😉
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So peaceful!!  View from Waterfront Park

At the end of our journey along the waterfront, we had worked up a thirst and popped into the Foam Brewers for a cold one.  It was a little weird due to Covid-19.  They preferred reservations since both outdoor and indoor dining required physical distancing.  They finally fit us into a 45 minute slot outside.  We had to access the beer choices on their website in order to choose our beverage since they were not giving out paper menus.  I was having trouble finding the place where the beer descriptions were detailed online so we just asked the waitress to recommend what was popular.  That was a mistake!  The beer we chose was a little too citrus-flavored for our taste but it was cold and refreshing nonetheless!  After we took a sip of our beer, I finally found the descriptions.  Jim’s beer was Lord Leopard DIPA and the description is “Conditioned On Passionfruit. Tasting Notes: Soft, Resinous Ripe Pineapple, Fresh Squeezed Tangerine Juice.”  Yuk!  If he had read that beforehand, he definitely would not have ordered this one!  I tried the Blossom Pale Ale which is described as “Lemon Bar, Tepache, Lime. Brewed In Collaboration With Foster Farm Botanicals. Brewed With Anice Hissop, Chamomile And Lemon Balm.”   Since I do like a little citrus flavor in my beer at times, this was tolerable for me – just a tad more fruity than I would have liked.  🙂

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