« All News

Opportunities for Winter River Exploration in Vermont

January 3, 2024 by Addie Hedges

Winter may not seem like the best time to visit our rivers in Vermont, but watching ice flows, admiring icicles on streamside rock walls, and being able to view birds in the canopy with ease are all reasons to make a trip to one of our public access sites in the snowy months. 

1. Nulhegan Hut and Trails

If you are looking for a cozy spot to spend a wintry weekend, our Nulhegan Hut and Trails is the place for you! Rent the hut for the weekend and get cozy by the woodstove, walk, snowshoe, or ski along the riverside trails, and birdwatch in the bare trees. Nulhegan Hut is a perfect Vermont winter getaway if you want to get off the grid and take in the beauty of winter. If you can’t book the hut, you can still go and explore the trails as well as view the confluence of the Main Stem and East Branch of the Nulhegan River. 

2. North Branch Cascades

Another family-friendly spot for winter nature enjoyment is North Branch Cascades. This site located north of Montpelier features an accessible 1 mile long trail that the whole family will enjoy. Listen to water tumble down the cascades as you watch for birds and other signs of wildlife along the path. Once you have walked the trail, head into town to check out one of the cozy coffee shops or bakeries, or grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants that have just reopened following the summer flooding. 

3. Arthur Buck River Access

On the way to one of the ski mountains in central Vermont, you may pass Arthur Buck River Access along Route 2 between Middlesex and Waterbury. Popular in the summer for swimming and paddling, you can still enjoy the site in the winter. The path down to the confluence of the Mad and Winooski rivers is a great place to stretch your legs before or after a day on the slopes. Want to warm up? Stop by nearby Red Hen Bakery for a maple latte or warm soup and sandwich. 

4. Lower Clarendon Gorge

Lower Clarendon Gorge, just south of Rutland, is an impressive landscape to explore in the winter months. The snow and ice along the riverbed create beautiful scenery against the high walls of the gorge. This site makes for amazing photos of snow and ice in the winter. Although this site is beautiful, be careful walking and wear appropriate shoes as the rocks may be slippery! 

5. Bramhall Wilderness Preserve

Waterfalls and cascades are great places to explore during the winter. Another one of our sites that fits this bill is the Bramhall Wilderness Preserve. Beneath Hemlocks and hardwoods, you will see a cold water stream that is an ideal habitat for Brook Trout. You may also stumble across signs of other wildlife, like Black Bears, Bobcats, or Moose. Visit this site near Bridgewater in southern Vermont to see what this “forever wild” easement has to offer. 

Interested in discovering more winter-worthy river access sites? View all of our properties on the Interactive Site Map here! 


Stay in Touch

Subscribe and get the latest on VRC’s initiatives and events.