Lefferts Pond, located in the Green Mountain National Forest in Chittenden, can be enjoyed two ways – on foot or on the water by canoe or kayak. Between the trail that partially circumnavigates the pond in dediduous/coniferous woods and Wildcat Road with its mix of woods and wetland shrubs, there is plenty of habitat to attract a good variety of birds. Over 115 species have been tallied here. The best times to visit the area are from mid-April through early October.
Common Loon and Pied-billed Grebe are occasionally seen on the pond. Wood Duck, American Black Duck, Mallard, Ring-necked Duck, Common Merganser and Hooded Merganser are frequently seen in the spring and fall and teal and scaup are occasional visitors. Osprey and Bald Eagle, drawn by the nearby reservoir, are often observed once the ice is out in mid-April. A scope is handy for observing the pond. Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers and Winter Wrens can also begin to be heard at this time.
Great Blue Heron, Wilson’s Snipe and Spotted Sandpiper are usually seen in spring and summer. Hermit Thrush and Swainson’s Thrush are frequently heard along with Blue-Headed Vireo, Warbling Vireo and Red-eyed Vireo. Barred Owl and Common Raven are also often heard.
Early May and mid-September are excellent times for viewing migrating warblers. Several warblers nest here such as Yellow Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, Common Yellowthroat, and Canada Warbler. Blackpoll Warbler and Bay-breasted Warbler have been seen in both spring and fall migration.
Few species are seen in winter, but Lefferts Pond is an excellent spot for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Resident birds sure to be seen or heard in all seasons include Common Raven, Black-capped Chickadee, Golden-crowned Kinglet, White-Breasted and Red-Breasted nuthatches and Brown Creeper as well as both Downy and Hairy woodpeckers.
As a bonus, moose, otter, beaver and mink are frequently seen around the pond.
DIRECTIONS: Lefferts Pond is located southeast of Chittenden Reservoir in the town of Chittenden. From the North Main St. intersection of Rtes 4 and 7 in Rutland, go north on Rte 7 for 1.8 miles and turn right on East Pittsford Road. Continue for 6 miles (E. Pittsford Road becomes Chittenden Road) to the Dam Road/Holden Road intersection. Go 1.3 miles on Dam Road and turn right on Wildcat Road. At nine-tenth of a mile is the dirt road access to the Chittenden Dam/Lefferts Pond parking area. An alternative is to go past the dirt road one-tenth of a mile to a small canoe access along Wildcat Road.