The Champlain Islands are typically Vermont, but they also have a quirkiness that gives them their own unique charm. One of these unique locations is the South Hero Bird House Forest.
South Hero’s West Shore Road is a narrow dirt road that winds along the many inlets and bays of South Hero’s west coast. Here you’ll find classic old summer camps, stony beaches, new multi-million dollar vacation homes, vineyards and wineries, and spectacular views and sunsets.
There are a few out-of-the-way, hidden, yet fascinating sites to explore, if you know where to look.
Just north of Whites Beach, a few feet from the roadside, are hundreds of brilliantly colored bird houses hanging from the trees along the swampland. It’s almost impossible not to notice, and on summer days, it’s not uncommon to see someone slow down for a better look.
According to the property owners, they were trying to deal with the mosquitoes that came from the nearby swamp. The bird houses are home to tree swallows that eat mosquitoes. This natural pest control allows the owners to sit outside in the evening and enjoy themselves.
The project started 15 years ago, with 20 bird houses; when the owner checked after a year, he found each one occupied. He built more, and more; and now has over 400 bird houses. His wife was the one who convinced him to paint them the striking bold colors.
Take Route 2 to South Hero, and turn onto South Street in South Hero village. Follow South Street until you reach West Shore Road, past Allenholm Orchards; then follow West Shore Road until you get to Whites Beach. The bird houses will be on your right, just past the parking lot.
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- Fish Bladder Island – Lake Champlain Islands
- Cloak Island – Lake Champlain Islands
- Four Brothers Islands – Lake Champlain Islands
- Gunboat Island – Lake Champlain Islands
- Cole Island – Lake Champlain Islands
- Cedar Island – Lake Champlain Islands
- Schuyler Island – Lake Champlain Islands