Great River Hydro Bellows Falls Visitor Center

The health of the Connecticut River is vital to the health of our region. The Visitor Center seeks to inspire stewardship of the Connecticut River and all our local waterways. The Nature Museum operates the Visitor Center on behalf of Great River Hydro, owner of the fish ladder as well as the hydroelectric facility in Bellows Falls, Vermont.


Open Fridays-Sunday in the summer, Memorial Day through Labor Day, the Bellows Falls Visitor Center is home to a series of hands-on environmental programs for children and adults. Visit the center to learn more about the Connecticut River watershed, the salmon and other fish that use the fish ladder, and the river's many plants and animals. An experienced naturalist educator is on hand to answer any questions and lead free, hands-on environmental programs throughout the summer.

17 Bridge Street, Bellows Falls, VT 05101
View in Google Maps
Ph. 802.843.2111


**** The Fish Ladder is currently closed due to a sewage pipe breakdown ****
Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 10AM-4PM (Memorial Day-Labor Day)
Drop-In Programs every Friday and Saturday from 11am-12pm

Admission and programming is free

Summer Unplugged at the Fish Ladder Visitors Center

The Nature Museum's Jay DeGregorio, an environmental educator, will lead programming at the center this summer. Jay will present free family programs each Friday and Saturday from 11am-12pm.

The family programs are recommended for children ages 4 and up. Check out this summer's lineup!:

June 9 & 10 | Amazing Adaptations
Native New England wildlife have many amazing adaptations. Body parts and behaviors that help an animal survive where it lives.  Bring your young naturalist and investigate real animal pelts, skins, and other artifacts to learn more about the unique wildlife that call New England home. Hands-on items, tales about astonishing animals and a craft will captivate all ages.  

June 16 & 17 | Magnificent Migrations  
When the cold winter winds of Vermont start to blow where does our native wildlife go?  Many critters, whether they have fins, feathers or feet migrate to find warmer weather.  During this program, learn about migrating Vermont wildlife and their journeys during our coldest season.  Fun facts and a coooool craft are included!

June 23 & 24 | Trees: Tall Storytellers of the Land
Did you know there are 110 different species of trees and shrubs in Vermont?  Our trees and shrubs have some amazing secrets and can tell great stories about Vermont’s natural history.  Jay, one of The Nature Museum’s naturalists will help you unlock the riddles our woods hold, teach you some great facts about the forest that surround us and offer up a fantastic craft.  

June 30 & July 1 | Eagles, Hawks and Owls – Predators of the Sky
Raptors rule the sky and are a special group of birds that include eagles, falcons, hawks and owls.  Examine feathers, feet, bones and other artifacts that highlight special characteristics of these raptors and predators.  Find out how they hunt and how they live.  Great hands-on items, bird facts and a craft will teach all ages about these Fish Laddering hunters!

July 7th & 8th | The Abenaki and Nature
Thousands of years ago, Abenaki people relied on nature to survive, making clothing and building shelters from natural materials.  Their food came from hunting, gathering, and fishing so knowing all about the natural world was very important.  Come listen to Native American stories, play traditional games, make a craft and imagine daily life before roads, stores, and electricity.  

July 14 & 15 | Who is Swimming in the Water?
Do fish lay eggs?  Can a fish live both in the ocean and in a river?  Come to this program and learn about the Connecticut River and its tributaries, which are home to many species of fish. Hear all about the river’s native aquatic wildlife that call these waterways home. Along with fabulous fish facts, attendees will make a creative craft! 

July 21 & 22 | The Recipes for Thunderstorms  
Mother Nature has a great recipe for thunderstorms.  Do you know the ingredients?  Join us to learn more about what thunderstorms are, how they form, and safety tips for experiencing these amazing storms outdoors.  No need to wear a raincoat but bring your curiosity to learn more and your creativity to make a craft.  

July 28 & 29 | Righteous Reptiles
Turtles, snakes, and even lizards call Vermont home! Learn what makes a reptile a reptile and all about the species that call Vermont and New England home.  Reptile facts, hands-on items and a craft will keep your snake charmer engaged!

August 4 & 5 | Caterpillars, Moths, and Butterflies Oh My!
The woods and fields close by are home to a wide variety of moths and butterflies. These magical winged insects come in all different shapes, sizes and colors!  Learn about their amazing life cycle and the many species that are found right here in New England!  Hands-on items, tales about magnificent moths and beautiful butterfies, along with a craft will captivate all ages.  

Aug 11 & 12 | The Colors of Fall
Why do leaves turn a different color in fall?  Why do trees lose their leaves? Countless shades of yellow, orange, red, and brown will color our woods! Come learn about what happens in the natural world during the fall season.  Stories, hands-on items and a craft is included!