Who is Lewis? What is Lewis? Where is Lewis? Lewis is the Holy Grail of the Vermont 251 Club. It’s in the middle of the Nulhegan Basin, of course. But I bet I’m not helping you much. Now you could start Googling those various names or you could let me explain.
The over 4000 members of the 251 Club are striving to visit all 251 towns and cities in Vermont, some in a single year, some in their lifetime. Most of the places are pretty straightforward to reach; Lewis is the big challenge. Lewis is a town located in the northeast corner of Vermont. The 1910 census had the town’s population at zero.
Lewis can be reached by Stone Dam Road, Lewis Pond Road, or Henshaw Road off Vermont Route 105. It is hard to visit except in the summer and fall because the many roads throughout Lewis tend to be closed much of the year. But if you come with a snowmobile or cross-country skis you are golden.
Lewis sits squarely in the middle of the circular Nulhegan Basin. Now we are getting somewhere! You know about the Nulhegan Basin right? It all started when a pool of magma formed within existing metamorphic rock … but maybe you don’t really care about what happened next many years ago. Back to today.
Located in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, the Nulhegan Basin is a very unique area. It is low-lying, relatively flat, and roughly 10 miles in diameter surrounded by hills. It is part of the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge. Its boreal habitats are typical of forests found much further to the north. It is home to many bird species rarely found in Vermont, several interesting bogs including the wheelchair-accessible Mollie Beattie Bog, and Lewis Pond.
Lewis is a marvelous place to visit in the fall, if you don’t mind long, bumpy, dirt roads. Pick up a map at the beautiful visitor center along Route 105 and head all the way in to the Lewis Pond Overlook. A short hike above the tiny parking lot will get you to some fantastic views of Lewis Pond and southward into the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
The image below is a 15-shot panorama from the overlook. You can see a corner of Lewis Pond on the far right. The White Mountains of NH are seen in the distance. You can double-click this image to zoom way in and use the left mouse to pan around. You can also use the + and – keys to zoom and the arrow keys to scroll. Please wait for the resolution to download.
If you visit the Nulhegan Basin, be sure to hike to Moose Bog or at least explore South American Pond Road, both of which are across Route 105 from the Nulhegan Basin. Click HERE for more information on these nearby spots.
If you would like to see more photos from the Nulhegan Basin please click HERE.
~ Jim Block