Vermont State Parks offer endless hiking opportunities but if what you need is a quick trail fix sans summit escape to the One World Conservation Reserve outside of Bennington.
It’s a 96-acre preserve with dense woodlands, flower-filled meadows, distinctive vegetation and a natural wildlife ecosystem.
Most drivers whisk by the properly so quickly they miss the opportunity to stop and observe rare sightings like blue heron, muskrat, beaver, ducks and geese, snapping turtles and bullfrogs. Larger habitats include roaming deer, marsh hawks and migratory birds.
Once a dairy farm, the center is now the ideal classroom for outdoor education. Bring a camera for the panoramic vistas of surrounding hills and abandoned trolley line.
Don’t forget the bug spray and wear long pants because some of the extended network of trails need a little bushwhacking.
Trail maps are available in the mailbox at the parking lot.
The new pedestrian bridge over the fast-running Jewett Brook was built strong enough to withstand Hurricane Irene last August.