Two Peregrine Falcons perched on a cliffside branch.

Peregrine Falcons Photo: Joe Gliozzo/Audubon Photography Awards


Vermont Fish & Wildlife Press Release - Peregrine Cliff Closures

Some Cliff Tops and Overlooks Closed to Protect Nesting Peregrines


Press Release

For Immediate Release:  March 11, 2024

Media Contacts:  Jillian Kilborn, VT Fish & Wildlife 802-636-7918

Margaret Fowle, Audubon Vermont 802-238-0046

Some Cliff Tops and Overlooks Closed to Protect Nesting Peregrines

Hiking Vermont’s hillsides is a great way to enjoy a spring day, but the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department and Audubon Vermont recommend people check to see if the area they are planning to hike or climb is open.  In addition to trail closures to reduce impacts during mud season, several cliff areas are also closed to protect nesting peregrine falcons.

“Peregrine falcons are very sensitive to human presence during their breeding season, so we ask climbers and hikers to please maintain a respectful distance from their nests,” said Nongame Bird Biologist Jillian Kilborn with Fish and Wildlife.  “The areas closed include the portions of the cliffs where the birds are nesting and the trails leading to cliff tops or overlooks.”  

Over the next couple months, biologists and community scientists will be identifying cliffs occupied by peregrines this year.  Sites listed will remain closed until August 1 or until Fish and Wildlife determines the risk to nesting falcons has passed.  The majority of the sites are visited in April, and nesting falcons can choose new sites, so additional sites may be added or removed from the closed list which will be updated and provided on Fish and Wildlife’s website.

  • Bolton Notch (Bolton) – UUW cliff – cliff access and climbing closed
  • Bone Mountain (Bolton) – portions closed to climbing
  • Deer Leap (Bristol) – cliff-top and climbing closed
  • Eagle Ledge (Vershire) – closed to hiking and climbing
  • Dummerston Quarry (Dummerston) – upper quarry closed 
  • Fairlee Palisades (Fairlee) – cliff-top closed
  • Marshfield Mt (Marshfield) - portions closed to climbing
  • Mt Horrid (Rochester) – Great Cliff overlook closed
  • Nichols Ledge (Woodbury) – cliff-top and climbing closed
  • Prospect Rock (Johnson) – cliff-top overlook and climbing closed
  • Red Rocks Park (S. Burlington) – southern cliff access closed
  • Rattlesnake Point (Salisbury) – southern overlook closed
  • Snake Mountain  (Addison) – entire western trail closed

Audubon Vermont conservation biologist Margaret Fowle works with volunteers and other conservation professionals to monitor the sites throughout the nesting season.  “Peregrine falcons were removed from Vermont’s endangered species list in 2005, and the population continues to thrive thanks to the efforts of our many volunteers and partners,” said Fowle.  “In many cases the lower portions of the trails remain open, and we encourage people to enjoy watching peregrine falcons from a distance that requires using binoculars or a spotting scope.” 

What you can do to help Vermont peregrines:

  • Respect cliff closures, and retreat from any cliff where you see peregrines
  • Report any disturbance of nesting peregrines to your local State Game Warden
  • Report any sightings to Margaret Fowle at

How you can help, right now