During this time of year, trails can be snowy, icy, and muddy.... in that order. Please check at the front desk for trail conditions before heading out onto the trails.
Meadow Walk (0.3 mile)
This short walk in the Quinn Nature Preserve, borders a two-acre meadow—a demonstration plot for native grasses, an enriched riverside environment for birds and other animals, and the solar-powered Meadow Sounds Kiosk. The trail is surfaced with hard-packed material that allows the passage of strollers and wheelchairs.
Blood Brook Trail (0.4 miles)
A short walk close to David Goudy Science Park offers variety as you pass through a sunny field, among a grove of cool, dark hemlock, and along the edge of a lagoon of the Connecticut River. Linger at an exhibit on the history of stonewalls, or stop on the deck overlooking Blood Brook’s turbulent entrance into the lagoon to discover more about the natural history of salmon.
The Animal Signs Kiosk is located along the Blood Brook Trail. See and touch the tracks of many local animal species and view other animal signs, including an owl pellet, a woodpecker nest, examples of unusual beaver “forestry,” and the leftovers from a squirrel’s dinner in this trailside exhibit.
River Loop Trail (0.8 mile)
This pleasant trail begins in Science Park, travels through the tunnel and winds along the Connecticut River. Enjoy river views from several overlooks and visit Meadow Sounds Kiosk and the Migration Station along the way. A connecting trail leads to The Bluff with another view of the river. A portion on the trail is surfaced with hard-packed material that allows the passage of strollers and wheelchairs.
Ridge Trail (1.0 mile)
Take a walk on the wild side! You might as well be out on the Long Trail or one of Vermont’s other famous woodland footpaths. Along the way, you’ll encounter exhibits that explore the geology and ecology of the North Woods. These exhibits reveal aspects of seed dispersal, trees, plant-animal interactions, insect life, decomposition, and historical land-use patterns.
During the spring, Wood Frog Pool is accessed via a short connector trail. This vernal pool fills with rainwater and snow melt. Such forest creatures as salamanders and wood frogs travel to this vernal pool to mate and lay eggs. By summer, the water is gone, and the young have disappeared into the woods.
Planet Walk (3.0 miles roundtrip)
Walk all the way from the Sun to Pluto (and back).
Our largest exhibit! Start your scale-model journey from the sculpture of the Sun in Science Park. As you journey through the Planet Walk you will encounter the inner planets (Mercury first, then Venus, the Earth, and Mars), then the outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune). To reach the tiny dwarf planet, Pluto, be prepared for a 1.5-mile walk along the Ridge Trail and Hazen Trail! The distances are scaled to the sizes of the planet models. It’s surprising how far apart the planets are, compared to pictures of the solar system that we see in books.