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Help me to be serenaded by loons, please!
August 2, 2014 12:41 AM   Subscribe

For my rapidly approaching 50th birthday I would like to hang out by a lake and listen to some loons. Any suggestions for towns in NH or Vermont where I might accomplish this? Bonus points for recommendations of comfortable and relatively inexpensive lodging. Super duper bonus points for knowledge of handicapped accessible parks or trails in the vicinity. Thank you!
posted by mynamemeansmoon to Travel & Transportation around Hanover, VT (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Would you consider Minnesota? It's the state bird and all...
posted by notsnot at 6:03 AM on August 2


Spouse recommends Rangeley Lake in Maine. Chamber of commerce might be able to help with trail info, http://www.rangeleymaine.com/
posted by xaryts at 6:24 AM on August 2 [1 favorite]


It's not at all fancy but I spent my birthday in Morgan Vermont at the Seymour Lake Lodge. The place looks like it's for sale right now (so not an option) but you might try a place like this depending on when you are traveling. That said, it's a serious schlep. According to the Vermont State Parks, you can also see/hear loons at Green River Reservoir, Ricker Pond and Brighton State Parks. How do you feel about campgrounds? the Island Pond area (near Brighton) has a wealth of trails and an accessible boardwalk that goes off into the Mollie Beattie Bog.

I'm not sure if you need wheelchair access or just not-very-strenuous hiking. There is a lot of the latter in that area. I haven't stayed at any of the places in the area but there are inexpensive B&B options (will be funky most likely) including the Green Mountain Lodge and the Avalon B&B. You're a little bit at the ends of the earth up there, so I'd check Trip Advisor and/or Yelp so you don't wind up at a place with a nice website but not-great accomodations.

There is a part of the Appalachian trail that is a lovely and accessible boardwalk at Thundering Falls in Killington. This is, however, not near the other places mentioned but it's a really great trail option.
posted by jessamyn at 6:42 AM on August 2 [1 favorite]


We spent two days and a night on Green River Reservoir State Park (Hyde Park, VT. About an hour east of Burlington) a month ago and the loons were loud and amazing. The campsites are accessible by boat only but the paddle is very short.
posted by erebora at 8:24 AM on August 2 [1 favorite]


I spent a lot of time at Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire as a child. My favorite part was hearing the loons calling at night. No idea about the trails though.
posted by Temeraria at 8:39 AM on August 2 [1 favorite]


Thanks, everyone! These will be good places to start. We're attending a wedding near Lake Winnipesaukee that week so we wanted to combine excursions. Hence, no Minnesota, notspot, although hopefully one day!
The hub is on supplemental oxygen and can't walk very far without needing to sit down and catch his breath. He definitely can't do hills. We can't camp because he needs to be able to plug his oxygen concentrator in somewhere. The concentrator is very loud and will disturb the other campers who are trying to enjoy peace and quiet. He is happy to sit somewhere and read, it's just a bonus when we find a short, level trail so he can join me on a brief walk.
posted by mynamemeansmoon at 9:04 AM on August 2


My parents have a cabin on Winnipesaukee - listening to the loon calls at night is easily one of my favorite things about hanging out there. Unfortunately we're on an island, so I can't be particularly helpful with regards to where and when you might best enjoy the loons on the mainland. You might want to give the folks at the Loon Preservation Committee a call - they will know more about loons on the Lake than probably anyone else.
posted by Banky_Edwards at 9:19 AM on August 2 [1 favorite]


You might also want to post this question on the Winnipesaukee Forum - the people there are very helpful and know the area inside and out.
posted by Banky_Edwards at 9:53 AM on August 2 [2 favorites]


For finding birds, we're lucky enough to have a resource called eBird, which is an online resource tracking bird sightings.

Assuming you're wanting to see Common Loons (not Red-Throated), here are the locations where they've been seen in Vermont recently.

You could also try contacting an Audubon society for the region you're interested in.
posted by Hither at 3:16 PM on August 3 [1 favorite]


Here's a map of hotspots where loons have been seen this year around Lake Winnipesaukee.
posted by Hither at 3:26 PM on August 3 [1 favorite]


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