Scenic USA - Vermont

Brighton State Park

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Brighton State Park - Island Pond, Vermont

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

   On the surface, Brighton State Park is one of those a nice little parks with a scenic pond as a focal point, complete with a nature center and campground. Spectacle Pond - Brighton State Park But to the outdoor lover, its remote streams, picturesque ponds, boreal forest and abundant wildlife make this a special Northeast Kingdom getaway.
   The only town in the area was once a site for America's first international railroad junction. Here in the heart of the Northeast Kingdom, the majority of Brighton's railroad tracks, roundhouse, and rail yards have disappeared. Its once prominent position on the border with Canada is only evident in the town's well kept Grand Trunk Railroad Depot. During World War II, Island Pond's (Brighton) population peaked at 2500. Today, this border town has dwindled to less than 900.
   Restricted by long winters and a short growing season, the park's forests are among some of the coldest habitats on earth. Park Cabin - Brighton State Park Its evergreen trees turn the soil acidic, making it difficult for other plants to grow. Despite this bleak picture, the forests are alive with wildlife. Woodpeckers, hawks and owls take over the largest tree cavities, while wrens, chickadees, grosbeaks and crossbills fill in the smaller niches. Spectacle Pond, a kettle lake formed by past glaciers, is home to yellow perch, pumpkinseed and chain pickerel. When summer's beachside activity quiets and autumn approaches, loons, mallards, black ducks, great blue herons and ospreys retake the lake. On a trip through the highlands, hikers may share park trails with wild turkey, ruffed grouse, songbirds, red squirrels and chipmunks. Moose, red fox, bobcat, deer and an occasional black bear cause much of the excitement along the trails.

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