Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Almost in Canada–Silvio O Conte NWR

August 25-27, 2023                                                       Most Recent Posts:
Moose River Campground                                   To Stowe and The Flume
St. Johnsbury, Vermont                                          Mary Visit from Virginia

During the days after Mary flew back to Virginia, I spent time on the campground porch which I do daily, chatting with my friends there and eating far too many muffins and pastries, provided along with coffee which I don’t drink.

The porch has a complete collection of moose memorabilia, a line of Adirondack chairs perfect for hanging out and a table for playing 2 or 3 handed cards.  Mary, the campground owner seated next to the table on the right mans the phone and checks people in.  We all keep her company especially Loretta seated at the table on the left.  She plays cards with Mary and lets her win…….can’t wait to see if Mary comments about this.


During those same days a neighbor did some fly fishing on the Moose River which had gone down considerably since the heavy rains in June.



On Saturday, the 26th, the “Seasonal Dinner” was held.  Mary and Gary cater a dinner for those folks who rent seasonal sites and they graciously invited me to attend since I had been here for 3 months.

Tom and Brenda on the left seemed happy to have their picture taken.  Jack and Loretta on the right, not so much.  The food was plentiful and delicious.


This is the group of people who spend from early May to late October at Moose River Campground.


On Sunday of the last full week of August I drove north to the Silvio O Conte National Wildlife Refuge.  As you can see from the map, it’s just a few miles south of the Canadian Border and straddles the line between Vermont and New Hampshire as well as extending into Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Conte represented his home state of Massachusetts as a Republican Member of Congress for 32 years. He was an avid outdoor sportsman and strongly supported environmental causes.

The Visitor Center was open but unstaffed.  I didn’t see one person while I was there.  I thought they were quite trusting that none of their wonderful library of books or other things would disappear.

The interior of the refuge was light and airy and looked like a place I would love to curl up in one of those chairs with a book from their collection before a nice fire.

The Blue Goose is the symbol of the Refuge System and I thought it was a great touch to put among the floor tiles.

Imagine a blazing fire and your choice of books from the shelf.  Also, notice no moose head just antlers that have been shed.

One room was filled with well displayed and interesting information including the map in the center with buttons to light up the Nulhegan River, the river’s watershed, and the conserved lands among other information.


The buttons on the three side boards would light up specific information.

The buttons light things up in gold though I don’t remember what I had lighted for this photograph unfortunately.

Behind the center and outside were a bench and a few chairs overlooking the distant mountain view.



The Nulhegan River Trail took me down to and along the river before circling back to the Visitor Center.


From this spot I took a video of the sounds and moving water of the river.  You can view it here.


The path along the river was quite varied.




I started the climb back up and continued to find the trees labeled with shiny silver tags which were quite hard to photograph.


This one reads Quaking Aspen.  Among others I’d seen previously had been Yellow Birch and White Ash.  Not trees I have grown up with in Virginia.


They towered over me.

Fall is rapidly approaching and time for me to head south although I wish I could stay and see the glorious colors of New England.  But my grandson’s birthday is in September and while he’s still young enough to be excited to celebrate with me, I must be getting back.

The last of the wonderful Vermont Ponds coming up next.


  1. What a beautiful visitor's center. Surprised to see no volunteer there to man it.

  2. What a beautiful hike, and it looks like you've had a wonderful trip. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I bet that moose was quite happy to give up just his antlers and not his head! :cD

  4. That looks like a wonderful wildlife refuge! I like the little details you pointed out, like the beautiful goose image in the tile floor and the moose antlers over the fireplace. Yes, I could definitely curl up with a book in front of the fire! It seems like you chose a sweet place with a friendly community for your three months in Vermont. Do you think you'll return, or will you try someplace different next year?

  5. I especially loved that first sentence....chatting with my friends..... Seems as though you haven't been as lonely this season, and staying for awhile in one place must be part of that. That visitor center is truly wonderful. I do love a good visitor center.

  6. I'm glad you found a place with fun and friendly folk to share some time with! That water level sure came down from June - bet it still sounds lovely passing by your yard. How weird to find an unstaffed VC, I'd be a little freaked out (too many Stephen King books). Beautiful hike, makes me miss trees :-)


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