Buckner Mem. Preserve/Bald Mtn. - Poultney River/East Bay IBA

Buckner Mem. Preserve/Bald Mtn. - Poultney River/East Bay IBA

The Nature Conservancy West Haven, Vermont 05743

Official Website
Poultney River and East Bay IBA webpage
Buckner Memorial Natural Area trail map

Tips for Birding

Walking along the first section of Tim's Trail is the best bet for Golden-winged and Blue-winged warblers and their hybrids as well as Prairie Warbler, Field Sparrow, and Indigo Bunting (these can also be heard and seen along the road in before the trailhead). Further down Galick Road, there are a couple of small ponds on the right and the Poultney River on the left. This is the best place to look and listen for Louisiana Waterthrush as well as herons, ducks, vultures, Bald Eagles, and Peregrine Falcons.

Also, see tips in Birdwatching in Vermont, pp. 78-79.

Birds of Interest

Green Heron, Turkey Vulture and occasionally Black Vulture, Bald Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Field Sparrow, Louisiana Waterthrush, Golden-winged Warbler and Blue-winged Warbler and hybrids, Prairie Warbler, Indigo Bunting

About this Location

The Helen W. Buckner Memorial Natural Area at Bald Mountain is the largest and most ecologically diverse natural area managed by The Nature Conservancy in Vermont. It is home to 65 rare or uncommon plant and animal species and 20 distinct natural communities. Peregrine falcons nest on the cliffs of Bald Mountain and the area includes floodplain and upland forests, marsh habitat, three miles of undeveloped Lake Champlain shoreline, and wetlands along the Poultney River.

The preserve is best reached through Whitehall, New York. From Route 4 west from Vermont, turn right on NY-9A and drive past the Skene Valley Country Club. At the T intersection, turn left on North Williams Street and right on Doig Street, which turns into East Bay Road. At the next T intersection, turn left to cross over the Poultney River back into Vermont. Turn left to drive through Ward Marsh, a short distance to the entrance to the Buckner preserve (parking area and information kiosk on the left). The entrance to the Tim's Trail trailhead is on the right further up the road and there is another small pull-off further up if you wish to park and walk Galick Road up to the gate (a little over a mile).

From the fields of the old Galick farmstead, there is a sweeping vista of mountains, wetlands, and the southern end of Lake Champlain. Bald Mountain rises out of the hayfields like a whale emerging from the deep. The river-like southern end of Lake Champlain and its wetlands trail below, while the South Bay and Saddles Mountain in New York lie beyond the mountain.

There are two main trails here: the Susan Bacher Memorial Trail (2.5 miles) and Tim’s Trail (2.8 miles), with a one-mile trail that connects the two. Brochures are available at the trail kiosks. Please wear boots and long pants and watch out for snakes.

Buckner Memorial Natural Area lies within the Poultney River and East Bay Important Bird Area.


  • Roadside viewing

  • Restrooms on site

  • Entrance fee

Content from Official Website and Susan Elliott