On our trip to Quechee, Vermont, we visited VINS – the Vermont Institute of Natural Science. I can’t say enough about this place. The VINS Nature Center is a must-see if you enjoy birds and are anywhere near Quechee. General admission tickets get you in to all the exhibits and the Forest Canopy Walk.
Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS) Nature Center
We started our tour in the gift shop where we purchased tickets and received a map of the VINS Nature Center. Our first stop was the songbird aviary.
There we enjoyed listening in on an educational talk while we looked around for the songbirds. High in the branches above, this plump female cardinal caught our eye.
Next, we passed by the blue jay exhibit. A beautiful jay posed for us.
Our next visit was to the raptor enclosure. We learned that all the raptors were part of VINS wild bird rescue program. Each raptor had been previously injured and came to VINS for rehabilitation. The raptors on exhibit are now ambassadors because they can not be safely returned to the wild. The first resident of the enclosure was a majestic bald eagle.
We strolled through and learned the stories of all the resident ambassadors.
The final resident was the adorable snowy owl.
VINS Forest Canopy Walk
The canopy walk was expertly designed to allow everyone access to the beauty of the forest canopy. The trail and boardwalk are both ADA-accessible. The design was possible because the land drops in elevation towards the Ottauquechee River. No stairs or ramps are needed as the land falls away beneath the boardwalk.
Off the main boardwalk we found the Eagle’s Nest. Two impressive sculptures appear in the nest.
The spider’s web net was also a favorite – for kids of all ages! It can hold over 2000 pounds!
We loved the views from the Tree House. To get there from the main boardwalk, we climbed the spiral staircase to 100 feet above the forest floor.
We were impressed by the scenic views of the Ottauquechee River.
Overall, the VINS Nature Center was one of our favorite stops while visiting Quechee, VT. We found the experience so unique and peaceful. We highly recommend it!
See our previous post highlighting Quechee Gorge and State Park.