South Hero Town Center / White’s Beach Loop

southwest loop

South Hero southwest loop and Google link

Length of Ride: 8 Miles

My favorite ride is an 8-mile loop for bicycling, mostly level backroads connecting South Hero town center and the public White’s Beach. It passes by an organic cattle/vegetable farm, a winery, a petting zoo, an orchard, a playground and a smoothie bar, as well as many other South Hero attractions.
I recommend parking at White’s Beach to be well positioned for a refreshing swim afterwards.

Cycling counterclockwise towards the town center, you will pass Allenholm Farm, Hackett’s Orchard, Folsom School, Cook Sisters Café, Health Hero Farm and Snow Farm Vineyard.

Mouse over the photo to see captions.

Narrative: My first stop at Allenholm Farm would be the Petting Paddock, with bunnies, sheep, donkeys, a miniature horse, very free-range chickens and more. Then at Hackett’s Orchard, I would indulge in their unique apple cider donut or frozen cider slushy and ask when the apples will be ready for “pick your own.”  Both the farm and the orchard have created welcoming venues for cyclists, with snacks and port-o-lets. For small children, there are playgrounds as well. At Folsom School, the older kids could stretch out on the playground.

Continue cycling north to the South Hero town center. To the right is Sebs Snack Bar, but keep on going to see more offerings. Turn left on Route 2, and on the right you will see the Cook Sisters Café, offering healthy meals made from local ingredients (check their facebook page for menus and hours). Next is the Blue Paddle Bistro (widely known for their gourmet offerings — make reservations well in advance). Just a bit further down Route 2, also on the right, is the South Hero Pharmacy, which sells drinks, power bars and frozen treats at family-friendly prices, many under one dollar. Across the street is a Jolley Quick Stop with a composting toilet, air pump and additional drink options.

A half mile later on Route 2, you turn onto Sunset View Road. After pedaling uphill for a bit, the road levels off. You are then rewarded with a breath-taking view of Lake Champlain and a “whee” moment as you fly down the hill. At the edge of the lake, you turn onto West Shore Road. Young or inexperienced cyclists should opt for the Tracy Road/Station Road alternate connection, which is more level. (Tracy Road turns onto Station Road, if you veer left at the “Y”.  When you arrive at the intersection with West Shore Road, go north to the red barns.) 

Health Hero Farm has a “bike stop” with free water, a bike pump, inner tube patches and a port-o-let. The farm also sells healthful snacks for cyclists at their farmstand and offers a self-guided farm tour. Stock up for your upcoming beach picnic. You can also see laying hens and a holistically managed beef herd grazing, but remember the electric fence (little white wire) is “live”.

A mile and a half down the road is Snow Farm Winery, where you just might relax with a wine tasting before you hit the beach. Finally, White’s Beach is a local favorite for cooling off on a hot day or meditating on the mesmerizing rhythms of Lake Champlain.

Cyclist amenities:
o bike rental at Allenholm Farm
o tire repair supplies and bike tools at Allenholm Farm, Hackett’s Orchard, Robinson Hardware, and Health Hero Farm
o free air at the town center Jolley and Health Hero Farm
o port-o-let or better at White’s Beach, Allenholm Farm, Hackett’s Orchard, Jolley gas station, Health Hero Farm, Snow Farm…
o chill-down treats for cheap: child-sized popsicles (at family-friendly prices) at South Hero Pharmacy in town center and Health Hero Farm, baby-sized maple creamies at Allenholm Farm, cider slushies at Hackett’s Orchard

Other Attractions:
The South Hero Inn, at the intersection of Rte 2 and South Street, now repurposed as a Merchants Bank, played an active role in the social life of the town. Click here for a slice of history.

Author: Joan Falcao


mileage increment
0 0 Starting from White’s Beach, facing the water, turn left to start
1.1 1.1 TURN LEFT at South Street
2 0.9 Stop at Allenholm Farm for Petting Paddock, snacks and farmstand
2.2 0.2 Stop at Hackett’s Orchard for signature apple cider donut and seasonal pick-your-own
2.4 0.2 Stop at Folsom School if your kids want a playground break
3 0.6 TURN LEFT on Rte 2
3 0 Stop at Remedies for a smoothie or to check out their natural remedies
3.3 0.3 Jolley Quick Stop, on your left, has free air and an inside composting toilet
3.5 0.2 TURN LEFT on Tracey Rd ONLY for the shorter, more level option and continue for xxx miles until you run in to West Shore Road
4.1 0.6 TURN left on Sunset View
5.3 1.2 TURN left on West Shore Road
5.7 0.4 Stop at Health Hero Farm to fill your water bottle and buy snacks. (Bike pump inside farm stand.)
6.2 0.5 Cross over Station Road (where shorter route connects)
7.2 1 Stop at Snow Farm for wine tastings and gift shop
7.4 0.2 Follow West Shore Road as it goes left
7.7 0.3 Stop to see the bird houses and learn about their origins. Buy one if you’re in love with them. You’re almost back to your car.
7.8 0.1 Stop at White’s Beach for a refreshing dip.