Some Cliff Tops and Overlooks Closed to Protect Nesting Peregrines

13 May 2019

Hiking Vermont’s hillsides is a great way to enjoy a spring day, but the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department and Audubon Vermont recommend people check to see if the area they’re planning to hike or climb is open.  Several cliff areas are currently closed to protect nesting peregrine falcons.

“Peregrine falcons are very sensitive to human presence, so we ask climbers and hikers to please maintain a respectful distance from all nests,” said Col. Jason Batchelder, Vermont’s lead State Game Warden. “The areas closed include the portions of the cliffs where the birds are nesting and the trails leading to the cliff tops or overlooks. These closures help people to choose an alternative route in advance.”

These sites will remain closed until August 1 or until the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department determines the risk to nesting falcons has passed. If nesting falcons choose new sites, additional sites may be added to the closed list at

  • Barnet Roadcut (Barnet) – Rte 5 pullout closed
  • Bolton Notch (Bolton) – UUW cliff – portions closed to climbing
  • Bone Mt (Bolton) – portions closed to climbing
  • Deer Leap (Bristol) – cliff-top and climbing closed
  • Eagle Ledge (Vershire) – closed to hiking and climbing
  • Fairlee Palisades (Fairlee) – cliff-top closed
  • Hazens Notch (Lowell) – closed to climbing
  • Marshfield Mt (Marshfield) - portions closed to climbing
  • Mt Horrid (Rochester) – Great Cliff overlook closed
  • Nichols Ledge (Woodbury) – cliff-top closed
  • Prospect Rock (Johnson) – cliff-top (trail has been re-routed) and climbing closed
  • Red Rocks Park (S. Burlington) – southern cliff access closed
  • Rattlesnake Point (Salisbury) – southern overlook closed
  • Snake Mt (Addison) – overlook south of pond closed

Audubon Vermont conservation biologist Margaret Fowle works with volunteers and other conservation professionals to monitor the sites throughout the nesting season. “Peregrine falcons were removed from Vermont’s endangered species list in 2005 and the population continues to thrive thanks to the efforts of our many volunteers and partners,” said Fowle.  “In many cases the lower portions of the trails remain open and we encourage people to enjoy watching peregrine falcons from a distance with binoculars or a scope.” 

What you can do to help Vermont peregrines:

  • Respect cliff closures, and retreat from any cliff where you see peregrines
  • Report any disturbance of nesting peregrines to your local State Game Warden
  • Report any sightings to Margaret Fowle at

For Immediate Release:  May 13, 2019

Media Contact: Margaret Fowle, Audubon Vermont 802-238-0046; Steve Parren, VT Fish & Wildlife Department 802-371-7142


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The mission of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is the conservation of all species of fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the people of Vermont.