Scenic USA - Vermont

Nulhegan River

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Nulhegan River - Brunswick, Vermont

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

     Fulfilling a dream of a clean, fishable, and a swimmable Connecticut River, Congressman Silvio O. Conte helped establish a national wildlife refuge to protect Nulhegan River Basin, a major tributary of the 7.2 million acre Connecticut River watershed. In 1997 the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge was named in the congressman's honor. Rising in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, the Nulhegan River area is recognized as the premier region for wildlife, including the state’s largest population of white-tailed deer, the highest moose densities, nearly half of the state’s black bear harvest, and some of the best ruffed grouse and American woodcock hunting in Vermont. For anglers, the Northeast Kingdom tops the list for browns, brookies, steelheads, and land-locked salmon.
     Nearing the Canadian border, this section of the state is dominated by sugar and red maple, beech, yellow birch, and big-tooth aspen. While oaks are notably absent from this northern forest, red and black spruce and balsam fir provide an enduring green throughout the year. Gaining access over forty miles of gravel roads, logging trails, wooded pathways, and miles of streambeds, refuge visitors and photographers will enjoy many scenic mountain vistas and miles of Nulhegan Basin wildlife. Nullhegan River Fly Fisherman The wheelchair-accessible Molly Beattie Bog Interpretive Boardwalk provides visitors with information on bog habitat and wildlife. Here, a few of Vermont‘s rare plants may include bog sedge, shining rose, drooping bluegrass, ligonberry, and the state-endangered auricled twayblade.
     From the East Brighton Bridge to the Connecticut River, this section of the Nulhegan River is classified as Class III-IV whitewater. Pictured here is the Nulhegan River just as it starts its aggressive run toward the Connecticut River. Kayakers, rafters, and paddlers enjoy this less demanding 13 mile stretch, as it grows significantly with the waters of the Black and East river branches.

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