Porter Natural Area

hiking, lake champlain, hiking near burlington vt, vermont hikes, day hikes, vt hikingThe 56-acre Porter Natural Area features extensive wetlands, floodplain forests, and important buffer lands protecting Colchester Bog.  The northern portion of the Porter Natural Area borders the Island Line Recreational Path, commonly referred to as the Colchester Causeway Path, enhancing the scenic beauty of this world-class recreational path. Porter Natural Area also features a large lakeside wetland complex containing critical migratory bird habitat, floodplain forest, and a beaver pond.

Due to the sensitive habitat and wet conditions, no formal trails have been established within the Porter Natural Area.  The Area’s nearly 500 feet of lakeshore at the start of the Causeway, which visitors can walk along when the lake level is low, provides an excellent view of our Law Island Conservation Project to the northeast.

Note:  In order to avoid safety issues on Mills Point Road, summer visitors are strongly encouraged to park at The Town of Colchester’s Airport Park and walk or bike along the recreational path to reach the Natural Area and Causeway. Off-season Causeway Parking (October thru April) is available at a small lot on Mills Point Road (see directions below).

Directions

From the South: Take Interstate 89 to Exit 16 (US-2 W / US-7 N). Travel north on US-2 / US 7 for approximately 2 miles.  Turn left on VT-127 South. At 3.7 miles where VT-127 bears right continue straight onto West Lakeshore Drive, which turns into Holy Cross Road.  After roughly 2 miles a four-way intersection is reached.  Continue straight onto Colchester Point Road.  Travel 1.5 miles and make a slight right onto Mills Point Road. The parking area is 0.2 miles down Mills Point Road on the right.

From the North: Take Interstate 89 to Exit 17 (US-2 E / US-7 S). Travel south on US-2 / US-7 for approximately 5 miles.  Turn right on VT-127 South. At 3.7 miles where VT-127 bears right continue straight onto West Lakeshore Drive, which turns into Holy Cross Road.  After roughly 2 miles a four-way intersection is reached.  Continue straight onto Colchester Point Road.  Travel 1.5 miles and make a slight right onto Mills Point Road. The parking area is 0.2 miles down Mills Point Road on the right. 

From Burlington: Take RT-127 North for approximately 4 miles to Porters Point Road.  Turn left on Porters Point Road and follow for 1.5 miles where a four-way intersection is reached. Turn left onto Colchester Point Road.  Travel 1.5 miles and make a slight right onto Mills Point Road. The parking area is 0.2 miles down Mills Point Road on the right. 

History

The Porter family has been living on Colchester Point since 1810. Concerned by the rapid development of lakeshore lands, the current generation of Porters decided to preserve their family legacy for generations to come by conserving the majority of their family land through the Lake Champlain Land Trust. Three parcels of land were part of the generous bargain sale transaction to the Land Trust in 1995. The Lake Champlain Land Trust donated these parcels to the Town of Colchester in 1997.

Partners

The Porter Natural Area was conserved in partnership with the State of Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department and the Town of Colchester.