Groton, VT 05046
Saturday & Sunday 8am - 3pm
Park Updates & Alerts
- Trailheads are closed during the contruction of the Groton Nature Center
Go .2 miles east on Rt 131 to stop light, then turn left on Rt. 5 for 1.2 miles, then bear left on Rt. 44A for 1 mile.
The Groton Nature Center is a nature center serving the seven state parks in the Groton State Forest area. With exhibits focusing on the area's plants and wildlife, plus concerts, hikes and naturalist progrmas, there is something to interest everyone in the family.
There are at least four nature programs at the nature center each week. Check out the events calendar to see what is coming up soon.
The nature center is within walking distance of Big Deer, Stillwater and Boulder Beach state parks. Kettle Pond, New Discovery, Ricker Pond, and Seyon Lodge state parks are all just a short drive away.
Natural Connections Program: Bringing New Life to the Groton Nature Center
Over 75,000 people visit the state parks in Groton State Forest every summer. A restored Nature Center can play a critical role in teaching visitors about the outdoors and inspiring a love of nature in all those visitors.” —Craig Whipple, Director of Vermont State Parks
Vermont State Parks is working together with Vermont Parks Forever and ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain to re-design and update the Groton Nature Center that will feature new interactive learning opportunities highlighting Groton’s geology and its natural and cultural history. This is the first joint nature center project in the Vermont State Park system under the Vermont Parks Forever, Natural Connections Program. Vermont Parks Forever has fundraised to support the new exhibits and learning features while Vermont State Parks is renovating the building to host these newly designed interpretive features. The project will be completed and open to the public for the 2022 fall season.
The Groton Nature Center was built in 1981 and has virtually stayed the same for the last 38 years with the exception of minor exhibit improvements by our talented seasonal employees and volunteers. The nature center serves the seven state parks in the Groton State Forest and is within walking distance of Big Deer, Stillwater and Boulder Beach state parks. Kettle Pond, New Discovery, Ricker Pond, and Seyon Lodge state parks are all just a short drive away.
The current exhibits/displays and interpretive programs have focused on the area's plants, geology, wildlife and history. Many surrounding schools use the center for beginning and end of the school year learning opportunities. Special events, concerts and community activities have also been held here. And, it is the year-round trail head for many of the Forest’s hiking and multiple use trailsThe conceptual design introduces:
- An updated site plan with accessible trails, parking and facilities to meet current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.
- Enhanced interior visitor space for new displays and exhibits that focus on the natural history and communities and the cultural and human history of the area.
- Added covered exterior visitor space for gatherings, programs and events.
- Improved accessible bathroom facilities to meet current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.
- Enhanced water and wastewater systems.
- Energy efficient building design.
Maclay Architects along with the SE Group, Engineering Ventures, EngVT and Erickson Consulting are in the process of developing cost estimates for the conceptual plans. The project may need to be phased as indicated on the plans, but the priority is the renovation of the nature center building and the install of new exhibits and displays.
About Vermont Parks Forever - Natural Connections Program Natural Connections brings together the educational design experience of ECHO, the natural history expertise of Vermont State Parks personnel, and the fundraising efforts of Vermont Parks Forever to create dynamic new educational experiences for visitors to Vermont’s State Parks. Our goal is to inspire a new generation of environmental stewards by building deep, life-long connections to nature.