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New Hampshire > New Hampsire National Wildlife Refuges > John Hay National Wildlife Refuge
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John Hay National Wildlife Refuge

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John Hay National Wildlife Refuge
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General Information

Description - The John Hay National Wildlife Refuge serves as beacon of habitat for migrating and nesting upland birds. Once the summer residence of the Hay family, including the first secretary of state John Hay, today the remote area is open to the public for wildlife viewing, nature photography and hiking a short trail which offers views of Sunapee Lake.

Attractions - Located along the banks of the Sunapee Lake, the refuge offers an opportunity to explore the extensive gardens and grounds of the late 19th century summer home of the Hay family. Today the refuge offers protected habitat for migrating birds.

Recreation - Viewing migrations, nature photography and hiking the short 1.8 mile Forest Ecology Trail to a historic estate are enjoyed.

Climate - New Hampshire residents experience four distinct seasons. Winter can be cold with average temperatures ranging around 19 degrees Fahrenheit. The cold temperatures humidity bring heavy, water-laden snow to all parts of the state. Spring begins in mid-March and lasts through May. This time of the year is referred to as mud season in the mountains. The sugar is flowing early in the season and wild flowers bloom toward the end of it. Summer is the busiest season of the year for the tourism industry. This is an excellent time to travel, mountain roads are open and most of the mud has dried. Average summer temperatures range around 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Fall brings the leaf lookers to see the spectacular colors of the deciduous trees. Expect to see bus loads of people enjoying the crisp fall New England weather.

Location - From Newbury, take SR 103A north about 2 miles to the entrance.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Doug Whelan (Newbury, NH)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Recently I walked along a road that borders on the refuge and a black bear went across the road in front of me. Not far behind here was a bawling cub, which made me realize that a hasty retreat was in order. Doug

More Information

Contact Information:
John Hay National Wildlife Refuge, c/o Great Meadows NWR, Weir Hill Road , Sudbury, MA, 01776, Phone: 978-443-4661, Fax: 978-443-2898
, r5rw_gmnwr@fws.gov

Additional Information:
New Hampshire National Wildlife Refuges - The U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife manage four wildlife refuges in New Hampshire including Great Bay, Wapack, John Hay and Lake Umbagog. Each refuge protects and manages biological diverse habitat while offering an educational and recreational opportunity to the public.


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