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Discover the Hidden Jewels of the Newfound Audubon Center and Wildlife Sanctuaries

Christine Randall - July 24, 2012





For a fun and inexpensive way to learn about and enjoy the outdoors this summer in the beautiful Newfound Lake area, plan to stop by and visit the Newfound Audubon Center in Hebron. The Newfound Audubon Center is a hidden jewel in the Lakes Region, comprised of the Paradise Point Nature Center (one of only two staffed visitor centers in the Lakes Region operated by the Audubon Society of New Hampshire-the other being the Loon Center in Moultonborough), and three wildlife sanctuaries.

The Newfound Audubon Center includes Paradise Point Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, Ash Cottage and the Hebron Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Bear Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary. The Paradise Point Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, located on North Shore Road on the northern edge of Newfound Lake, offers visitors a chance to learn about nature and the environment through a variety of educational programs and activities, kayak and canoe rentals, and free, year-round access to the trails in the wildlife sanctuary.

“At the Newfound Audubon Center, we would like to introduce as many people as possible to the trails, Nature Center, and sanctuaries,” says Director Tyler Durham. “It’s a really awesome local resource that is under-utilized.”

Paradise Point Nature Center is situated on 43 acres of land with over 3,000 feet of lakeshore.  There are three marked trails for visitors to enjoy, and the Nature Center building houses a variety of interactive exhibits and live animal displays which emphasize environmental education and illustrate the local ecology of the Newfound Lake area.  The Center is staffed and open daily during the months of July and August from 10am until 4pm, as well as weekends in June and other times by prior arrangement.

The nature trails in the sanctuary adjacent to the Nature Center range from very short (1/3 mile) to relatively short (one mile) and are fairly easy, following close to the shoreline, and they are open year-round from dawn to dusk at no cost. The Loop Trail is the shortest, an easy 1/3 mile-round trip walk through the woods to the shore of the lake and back through a small marshy area.

The Elwell Trail is an easy ¾ mile round trip hike through a wooded area in the center of the sanctuary reaching a lookout point (called, strangely enough, “The Point”) with panoramic views of the lake before returning to the Center. The Ridge-Lakeside Trail is the longest and most challenging loop, about one mile long. This trail takes you through a hardwood forest past a swampy area, then climbs past a rocky area to the Point, where again you can find panoramic views of the lake and nearby mountains before returning to the Center along the lake’s edge.

At Paradise Point, you can rent kayaks and canoes to explore Newfound Lake or nearby streams and rivers. There are four single person kayaks, one tandem kayak, and about a dozen canoes, all of which are available to the public on a first come, first-served basis.

A variety of summer nature programs are available to children from ages 3–13 at Paradise Point from July 1 until Labor Day.  The programs run from 10:30am until noon, and cost $8.00 per child for Audubon members and $10 for non-members. Family programs at Paradise Point include guided canoe and kayak tours on Wednesday mornings, as well as a Friday evening campfire, with stories and songs. There is a suggestion donation of $15 for adults who are members of Audubon, and $20 for non-members for the guided tours. The suggested donation for youth participants (ages 5-16 accompanied by an adult) is $10 for Audubon members and $12 for non-members. The Friday night campfire is free. For information about the schedule of programs available or to register, log on to www.nhaudubon.org/newfound, or email Director Tyler Durham at tdurham@nhaudubon.org. You can also call 744-3516.

The New Hampshire Audubon’s Ash Cottage and Hebron Marsh Sanctuary are also located on North Shore Road, about 1½ miles from Paradise Point as you head toward Hebron Village. Donated to the Audubon Society in 1979, the sanctuary includes 34 acres and contains Newfound Lake’s only marsh area. Two short trails lead into various marsh habitats, located on both sides of North Shore Road. The trails are open to the public from dawn to dusk at no charge year-round, and they afford bird-watchers opportunities to observe herons and other marsh birds.

Ash Cottage is the site of summer programming for adults and teens from July 1–Labor Day, including tai chi on Saturday mornings at 9am and Thursday evenings at 5:30pm, as well as yoga on Monday evenings at 5:30pm. These programs are $12 for Audubon members and $15 for non-members, and pre-registration is suggested.

On Tuesday evenings at 7:30pm, the Newfound Audubon Center hosts “Red Barn Presentations” in the 200-year old restored red barn at the Meadow Wind Bed and Breakfast, located just across the street from Ash Cottage, where parking is available. Topics for this summer range from outdoor adventures (including mountaineering, cross-country bicycling, and hiking the Appalachian Trail) to nature photography. The suggested donation to attend these programs is $8.00 for Audubon members and $10.00 for non-members (families $16.00 and $20.00 respectively).

“The yoga, tai chi, and the Tuesday night programs have proven to be very popular this summer,” notes Tyler. More detailed information about these programs is available at www.nhaudubon.org/newfound or by calling 744-3516.

Just beyond the center of Hebron on West Shore Road, the Newfound Audubon Center’s third wildlife sanctuary is the Bear Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary. The 73-acre sanctuary was donated to the Audubon Society in 1999, and it is described in the trail guide as a “relatively rugged forested property with some fairly steep slopes.” At the highest point of the sanctuary (1,240 feet) there are some views of Newfound Lake and Mount Cardigan. The Bear Mountain Trail, which begins on West Shore Road in Hebron, takes about an hour-and-a-half to hike. Parking is available at Cross Road in Hebron village. Access to the trail is free.

For more information about the Newfound Audubon Center, call 744-3516 (summer), or 224-9909 (year-round); or log on to www.nhaudubon.org/newfound.

. The Newfound Audubon Center is a hidden jewel in the Lakes Region, comprised of the Paradise Point Nature Center (one of only two staffed visitor centers in the Lakes Region operated by the Audubon Society of New Hampshire-the other being the Loon Center in Moultonborough), and three wildlife sanctuaries.

The Newfound Audubon Center includes Paradise Point Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, Ash Cottage and the Hebron Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Bear Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary. The Paradise Point Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary, located on North Shore Road on the northern edge of Newfound Lake, offers visitors a chance to learn about nature and the environment through a variety of educational programs and activities, kayak and canoe rentals, and free, year-round access to the trails in the wildlife sanctuary.

“At the Newfound Audubon Center, we would like to introduce as many people as possible to the trails, Nature Center, and sanctuaries,” says Director Tyler Durham. “It’s a really awesome local resource that is under-utilized.”

Paradise Point Nature Center is situated on 43 acres of land with over 3,000 feet of lakeshore.  There are three marked trails for visitors to enjoy, and the Nature Center building houses a variety of interactive exhibits and live animal displays which emphasize environmental education and illustrate the local ecology of the Newfound Lake area.  The Center is staffed and open daily during the months of July and August from 10am until 4pm, as well as weekends in June and other times by prior arrangement.

The nature trails in the sanctuary adjacent to the Nature Center range from very short (1/3 mile) to relatively short (one mile) and are fairly easy, following close to the shoreline, and they are open year-round from dawn to dusk at no cost. The Loop Trail is the shortest, an easy 1/3 mile-round trip walk through the woods to the shore of the lake and back through a small marshy area.

The Elwell Trail is an easy ¾ mile round trip hike through a wooded area in the center of the sanctuary reaching a lookout point (called, strangely enough, “The Point”) with panoramic views of the lake before returning to the Center. The Ridge-Lakeside Trail is the longest and most challenging loop, about one mile long. This trail takes you through a hardwood forest past a swampy area, then climbs past a rocky area to the Point, where again you can find panoramic views of the lake and nearby mountains before returning to the Center along the lake’s edge.

At Paradise Point, you can rent kayaks and canoes to explore Newfound Lake or nearby streams and rivers. There are four single person kayaks, one tandem kayak, and about a dozen canoes, all of which are available to the public on a first come, first-served basis.

A variety of summer nature programs are available to children from ages 3–13 at Paradise Point from July 1 until Labor Day.  The programs run from 10:30am until noon, and cost $8.00 per child for Audubon members and $10 for non-members. Family programs at Paradise Point include guided canoe and kayak tours on Wednesday mornings, as well as a Friday evening campfire, with stories and songs. There is a suggestion donation of $15 for adults who are members of Audubon, and $20 for non-members for the guided tours. The suggested donation for youth participants (ages 5-16 accompanied by an adult) is $10 for Audubon members and $12 for non-members. The Friday night campfire is free. For information about the schedule of programs available or to register, log on to www.nhaudubon.org/newfound, or email Director Tyler Durham at tdurham@nhaudubon.org. You can also call 744-3516.

The New Hampshire Audubon’s Ash Cottage and Hebron Marsh Sanctuary are also located on North Shore Road, about 1½ miles from Paradise Point as you head toward Hebron Village. Donated to the Audubon Society in 1979, the sanctuary includes 34 acres and contains Newfound Lake’s only marsh area. Two short trails lead into various marsh habitats, located on both sides of North Shore Road. The trails are open to the public from dawn to dusk at no charge year-round, and they afford bird-watchers opportunities to observe herons and other marsh birds.

Ash Cottage is the site of summer programming for adults and teens from July 1–Labor Day, including tai chi on Saturday mornings at 9am and Thursday evenings at 5:30pm, as well as yoga on Monday evenings at 5:30pm. These programs are $12 for Audubon members and $15 for non-members, and pre-registration is suggested.

On Tuesday evenings at 7:30pm, the Newfound Audubon Center hosts “Red Barn Presentations” in the 200-year old restored red barn at the Meadow Wind Bed and Breakfast, located just across the street from Ash Cottage, where parking is available. Topics for this summer range from outdoor adventures (including mountaineering, cross-country bicycling, and hiking the Appalachian Trail) to nature photography. The suggested donation to attend these programs is $8.00 for Audubon members and $10.00 for non-members (families $16.00 and $20.00 respectively).

“The yoga, tai chi, and the Tuesday night programs have proven to be very popular this summer,” notes Tyler. More detailed information about these programs is available at www.nhaudubon.org/newfound or by calling 744-3516.

Just beyond the center of Hebron on West Shore Road, the Newfound Audubon Center’s third wildlife sanctuary is the Bear Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary. The 73-acre sanctuary was donated to the Audubon Society in 1999, and it is described in the trail guide as a “relatively rugged forested property with some fairly steep slopes.” At the highest point of the sanctuary (1,240 feet) there are some views of Newfound Lake and Mount Cardigan. The Bear Mountain Trail, which begins on West Shore Road in Hebron, takes about an hour-and-a-half to hike. Parking is available at Cross Road in Hebron village. Access to the trail is free.

For more information about the Newfound Audubon Center, call 744-3516 (summer), or 224-9909 (year-round); or log on to www.nhaudubon.org/newfound

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