If you’re curious to know what a little drug money can do for you, make a trek to the Merck Forest and Farmland Center in Rupert. The center, comprising more than 3000 acres of field and forestland in the southwestern corner of the state, is a nature lover’s paradise with its hiking trails and campsites. In keeping with its mission to promote sustainable farmland and forest management, the center runs workshops on trail tending, identifying wild plants and managing small herds of livestock.
At 4,800 feet, Mount Moosilauke is the tallest of the western White Mountains. The 3.8-mile Gorge Brook trail leads to its windswept granite summit. On a clear day, the view is one of the finest in New England, a sort of old-fashioned Google Earth, where you can look down on Killington, Mt. Ellen and Mansfield, and up to Mt. Washington. The Dartmouth Outing Club keeps a big log cabin open to the public at the most popular trailhead, located at the end of Ravine Road.
Woodstock is a classic 18th-century New England town — minus the avaricious loggers. George Perkins Marsh, a noted naturalist and statesman, was one of the first to see the error of those ways. He set aside 500 acres of conserved forestland that is now the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park. More than 20 miles of carriage roads weave through the park, making it a spectacular place for a leisurely amble.
Rain or shine, VINS is a fascinating place to connect with the natural world. Check in on rehabilitating raptors, see how falcons hunt their prey or explore any of the nature trails around the perimeter of the facility. Just off Route 4 in Quechee, it’s an easy, and educational, walk on wild side.
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