Herrick's Cove IBA

Herrick's Cove IBA

Herricks Cove Road Bellows Falls, Vermont 05101

Official Website

Tips for Birding

Birdwatching in Vermont, pp. 88-90.

To reach Herricks Cove, for drivers southbound on Interstate 91, take Exit 6 and proceed south on Route 103 for 0.3 miles. Turn north (left) on Route 5 and continue 0.7 miles to a right turn onto Herricks Cove Road. Northbound drivers on I-91 also take Exit 6 and, at the end of a long exit ramp, turn left to pick up Route 5 north. After .5 miles go right to stay on Route 5 and continue another 0.7 miles to a right turn on Herricks Cove Road. A parking area, boat launch, picnic grounds, and lots of birds are ahead at the end of the road.

If you carefully keep your bird records by state, be aware of the location of the state line and use the appropriate eBird hotspots when you submit checklists. 

Birds of Interest

The juxtaposition of these two parcels along the Connecticut River accompanied by a wide diversity of habitat types makes this site an ideal stopover for migratory birds. More than 221 species have been documented here representing all bird groups. The dense honeysuckle understory provides ideal cover for migrating land birds and the agricultural fields and wetlands attract hundreds of waterfowl in the spring and fall. Several priority marshbird species including Pied-billed Grebe, American Bittern, Sora, and Virginia Rail inhabit the Herrick’s Cove marshes.

About this Location

Herrick’s Cove IBA consists of 2 parcels of about equal size in the town of Rockingham. Herrick’s Cove is located where the Williams River enters the Connecticut River north of Bellows Falls. A southward extending peninsula separates the cove from the Connecticut River. Upper Meadows lies to the north and consists primarily of agricultural lands bordered by wetlands to the west and floodplain forest to the south. Vermont Natural Community types include Cattail and Deep Broadleaf marsh, Alder Swamp, Silver Maple-Ostrich Fern Riverine Floodplain Forest. Honeysuckle is a major understory component of the Herrick’s cove peninsula.

Herrick’s Cove/Upper Meadows IBA is owned and managed by Pacific Gas and Electric as flowage and mitigation areas associated with the power dam at Bellows Falls. Herrick’s Cove is a popular recreation site and has suffered from overuse and abuse. Recent efforts to protect the site by gating the entrance have successfully limited some disturbance. Marshbird populations are monitored through the Vermont Marshbird Monitoring Program. Exotic species including honeysuckle, Japanese Knotweed, and phragmites are well established. Ironically the abundance of honeysuckle may actually enhance the site as a migratory stopover.


  • Restrooms on site

  • Wheelchair accessible trail

  • Entrance fee

Content from Official Website and Birdwatching in Vermont

Last updated October 6, 2023