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Nature Trails in Vermont State Parks

nature trailGifford Woods State Park:  Explore the giants of the forest along the Old Growth Interpretive Trail in Gifford Woods State Park.  This park contains one of the few old-growth hardwood tree stands remaining in Vermont. The stand has many grand-sized sugar maple, beech, yellow birch, white ash and hemlock. The understory is rich with native wildflowers. Hike the 0.1 mile interpretive trail in about 15-20 minutes and learn about old growth forests through beautiful interpretive panels along the trail. 

Waterbury Center State Park:  Walk the Peninsula Nature Trail in Waterbury Center State Park and discover the natural history, geology and cultural history of Waterbury Reservoir.  Numbered posts along the half mile long trail correspond to interesting information in the trail brochure.  This 30 minute hike will take you along the reservoir through pine groves, hardwood forest, and abandoned orchards.    

Brighton State Park:  Along the Northeast Kingdom Nature Trail in Brighton State Park you will explore the nature and history of this unique forest on the edge of Spectacle Pond.  This nature trail allows you to take a close look at the wildest and most isolated area of Vermont.  Hike the half mile nature trail in about 30 minutes, and follow the brochure that corresponds to numbered posts along the way.  The interesting things you learn about the forest may entice you to explore some of the other beautiful trails at Brighton State Park.     

Lake St Catherine State Park:  Lake St. Catherine State Park is enjoyed for its beautiful lake and for its landscape, rich with old and enormous trees.  Explore these remnants of an ancient forest when you hike the Big Trees Nature Trail.  Like most of Vermont, this area was cleared for farming and is returning to forest, but the large trees along the ridge were not cut when the rest of the area was cleared for agriculture.  Learn about these big trees by carrying the informative trail guide during your 1/3 mile hike on the nature trail.  This hike will take about 20 minutes, and if you are up for it, you can continue past an old farmhouse site and walk an additional ¾ mile and complete a loop through the big trees.   

Burton Island State Park:  The landscape of Burton Island State Park has undergone many changes in the past 14,000 years.  You can explore this fascinating island history by walking the North Shore Nature Trail.  This self guided trail will help you visualize and understand the natural and cultural events that shaped this place as you walk to scenic Eagle Bay.  Uncover the geologic and natural community mysteries of the island by carrying along the self-guided brochure.    

Groton State Forest:  Learn to read the forested landscape along the Groton State Forest Nature Trail.  You can start this half mile hike behind the nature center after exploring the interactive exhibits inside.  Walk for half an hour and discover the secrets of forest transition, wildlife homes, and the historic inhabitants of the forest.  Carry the trail guide brochure to help navigate your exploration in the forested landscape of Groton. 


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