Hiking season is getting underway, but some popular trails are off limits to protect peregrine falcons.
Peregrines breed in cliff-side nests, and wildlife biologists say the big birds are very sensitive to human presence. So each spring, the state closes hiking trails that pass close to nesting sites.
Ten trails are affected this year, most of them in Addison and Chittenden counties:
Barnet Roadcut (Barnet) - Rte 5 pullout closed
Bolton Notch (Bolton) - Upper Upper West cliff closed to climbing
Bolton Quarry (Bolton) - portions closed to climbing
Deer Leap (Bristol) - closed
Fairlee Palisades (Fairlee) - cliff top closed
Marshfield Mt (Marshfield) - portions closed to climbing
Mt. Horrid (Goshen) - Great Cliff overlook closed
Nichols Ledge (Woodbury) - cliff top closed
Rattlesnake Pt (Salisbury) - cliff top closed
Snake Mt (Addison) - overlook south of pond closed
You can find the latest information on cliff closures on the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department website -- www.vtfishandwildlife.com or by calling 802-241-3700. You can report peregrine sightings by calling Vermont Fish and Wildlife or emailing email@example.com