I have found that Emerald Lake offers more species than other locations around here. From Manchester it is only a 15-20 minute drive. Easy parking, easy walk in.
lLake Paran in Bennington is another really good hotspot. That drive is about 30 minutes, south. Stop and ask anyone in North Bennington how to access the Lake. Good luck and have fun.
Regarding Hildene, one has to purchase a ticket up at the Visitor's Center to be on the property and walk the trails. If you go early one can walk the trails around the mansion and property etc. then when the Visitor's Center opens at 9:00 a.m. you can go in then to purchase your ticket.To access the swamp/boardwalk area one has to ride down in Hildene's open wagon. I don't think it is even running yet. Takes time. You are not allowed to park down at the marsh on River Road and walk in without a "ticket".
Martha Pfeiffer in Dorset