A small sugarhouse nestled on the edge of a field along Huntington Road is where the Green Mountain Audubon Center begins.

The 250-acre center has been on my list of places to visit since Phoebe was born nearly four years ago. Last weekend, we finally stopped by during Vermont’s Maple Open House Weekend. What on Earth took us so long?

Located in Huntington, the Green Mountain Audubon Center offers so many wonderful opportunities for kids and families to explore the natural world of Vermont. Five miles of trails wind their way along northern hardwood forest, hemlock swamp, and the Huntington River. Hike to Lookout Rock and you can see stunning views to the east of Camels Hump.

During our visit, Phoebe and Dave went on a bird walk through the center’s “sugar woods,” which is marked with signs and educational information. This time of year, maple buckets collect sap from the trees, and there are places to practice tapping a tree with your kids.

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Phoebe and Dave walk up the stairs to the explore the Audubon Center’s sugar woods.

Early spring – or mud season in Vermont – is a time to enjoy lower elevation hiking, and the Green Mountain Audubon Center offers both easy and more challenging trails. (Most of Vermont’s hiking trails in the higher elevations – such as the Long Trail — are closed from mid-April to Memorial Day Weekend).

The area is also a breeding and wintering habitat for over 100 species of birds including the Hermit Thrush, Blackburnian Warbler, Red-eyed Vireo, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Within the next month, you’ll start to see more birds at the Audubon Center, including the Red-winged Blackbird and Chickadee. (It’s spring on the calendar here in Vermont, but you wouldn’t necessarily know it based on the recent chilly temperatures).

About Audubon in Vermont

Audubon was one of America’s earliest organizations dedicated to conservation of birds, other wildlife, and essential habitat. Audubon has had a grassroots presence in Vermont since the founding of The Audubon Society of Vermont in 1901, and has grown to over 4,000 members with seven volunteer chapters throughout the state.

Year-round education programs reach thousands of Vermonters of all ages through school, camp, family, and adult programs and workshops, including 4,500 school-age children.

It took us a while to get ourselves over to the Green Mountain Audubon Center. But I know for sure we’ll be back again soon.

**If You Go: Green Mountain Audubon Center trails are open to the public year round. The trails are open seven days a week from dawn until dusk. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. The main office is located on 255 Sherman Road in Huntington. Call 802-434-3068 or visit vt.audubon.org.

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