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“Raptor Rapture” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of VINS Nature Center

VINS Nature Center
Ranked #2 of 16 things to do in Quechee
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: VINS Nature Center offers special educational live bird programs! Admission includes entrance to Exhibits, Nature trails, and Avian Rehab in action. Open picnic areas, beverages and snacks are available at the Nature Store. The VINS Nature Center is located 1/2 mile west from the Quechee Gorge.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children, Stroller parking, Wheelchair access, Stairs / elevator
Amherst, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
62 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Raptor Rapture”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 3, 2013

While VINs has, saves, and rehabilitates all types of birds, their assemblage of raptors is the most impressive. Birds that can be rehabilitated are, after careful handling, returned to the wild. Those that are too handicapped are kept for the edification and entertainment of visitors. Most of the admission fee goes toward support and rehabilitation of the birds. The majority of knowledgeable staff are volunteers who receive little or no pay. Lectures are excellent and the readiness of the staff to address questions cannot be faulted. One young woman giving a demonstration was a biology major planning to be an ornithologist. I suspect there may have been others similarly inclined.

In addition to the exhibits, there are plenty of trails including one that is wheelchair accessible. In the winter, trails are still open and one can snowshoe or cross-country ski along them all the way to the Quechee Gorge. The center even rents out snowshoes for $3 a pair.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank OmenWesternMA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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239 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Amazing birds”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2013

this is a great place to take your kids or just go by yourself. The birds are all raptors who have been rehabilitated. Eagles, owls, ravens, hawks. There are guides and you can watch at feeding times. There are activities for kids. There are nature trails on the property. A short drive from Woodstock, VT.

Visited August 2013
Thank LesPM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newark, New Jersey
Level Contributor
76 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“One of our favorite places!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 2, 2013

My family and I seriously love this place. We have been multiple times over the past three years since we discovered this. This organization does wildlife rehabilitation, and also houses birds that are not able to be reintroduced to the wild, most often due to permanent injury. The birds that are permanent residents serve as ambassadors for their species so that the public can learn more about the birds. There are excellent talks offered several times daily that feature some of the permanent resident birds, and some beautiful trails to hike on. There a couple of other fun and educational features for children and families. Our first trip to this place three years ago, when my son was 4 and a half, sparked what has turned into a sincere and lasting interest in raptors and birds in general. A must see if you are in the area - good for visitors and the rescued animals - your admission is helping a wonderful organization help the environment. Go visit!!!

Visited August 2013
2 Thank sarah_2010067
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellesley, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
24 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Incredible raptor exhibits”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 1, 2013

The attraction web site calls the live raptor show "an unforgettable experience", and I must agree. Several of these beautiful hunters, ranging from a kestrel to a red-tailed hawk, were brought out to meet us; we watched them fly back and forth from perhaps fifteen feet away. Their keepers talked passionately and at length about habitats, hunting strategies, migration patterns, protection and care of injured animals, and more. About 20 species total are on display at the Nature Center, and the staff were all very friendly and well-informed. There are also a few trails (about a mile in total) running behind the Center, along the Ottauquechee river, one with a short scavenger hunt for the kids. A bit pricey, but worth the visit.

Visited August 2013
Thank i0n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quincy, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
31 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“The Birds are Worth the Visit”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2013

I'd give the experience an "Average" for price-to-entertainment ratio, but since the money is going to the care and health of the injured birds in this sanctuary, I feel that it's worth the price of admission. The birds were fascinating, and the knowledgable and friendly staff seemed to really care about their welfare.

Visited August 2013
Thank DarthMacho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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