Little Averill Lake Natural Area - The Nature Conservancy

Little Averill Lake is set in the most remote corner of the Northeast Kingdom. There are a few camps on this 438-acre pond, and the forest is managed for timber production. Still, the pond, which sits at a relatively high elevation at 1,800 feet, feels like part of a larger, wilder landscape, and it is. The former Champion Lands, now owned by Essex Timber Company, surround the eastern flank of the pond. The cliffs and tall slopes of Brousseau Mountain to the northwest loom above the pond. It is a lovely place for a canoe trip.

There is a northern white cedar swamp and an unusual natural lake sand beach community on the property. Deposits of white sand are believed to have been pushed up over time onto the shore by waves and ice. Some of the plants in the beach and the open wetland here include greenwood orchids, round-leaved sundew, grass leaved arrowhead, bugleweed and marsh St. Johnswort. There are a number of sedges found in the area and shrubs including sweet gale, mountain holly and sour top blueberry. The lake is surrounded by northern hardwood forest and some mixed hardwood-softwood forest typical of the Northern Forest. Little Averill drains into Great Averill Lake.

The Conservancy's property on Little Averill Lake includes a documented nesting site for the common loon, a state endangered species. The Vermont Institute of Natural Science monitors common loon breeding patterns on the pond. Please stay at least 200 feet away from loon nests May 15 to August 15.Peregrine falcons nest on nearby Brousseau Mountain, and moose are abundant in the area.

Directions: Take I-91 north from St. Johnsbury to exit 23 and take Route 5 to Lyndonville. Travel north through Lyndon Center to Route 114. This state highway goes through East Burke, East Haven, Island Pond and north to Norton on the Canadian border before it turns east toward Averill. From Norton center, travel east on Route 114 for 2.5 miles. Take a right onto Little Averill Road just before Great Averill Lake and the village of Averill. You'll come to a junction after 3 to 4 miles. Take your first left at the junction, which leads to a parking area for the Vermont Fish and Wildlife boat access. Put in your canoe here and paddle along the north shore about 3/4 mile until you reach the sand beach.