Interpretive Nature Trails in the Adirondacks:
Barnum Brook Trail
The Barnum Brook Trail near Paul Smiths, New York, is an interpretive nature trail designed to provide access to an Adirondack wetland and several different kinds of forest communities. The two overlooks provide exellent access to Heron Marsh, affording the opportunity to observe birds and marsh-dwelling mammals, such as North American River Otter. This well-marked, one-mile loop also features a series of identification markers on common Adirondack trees. Eleven species of trees native to the Adirondack Mountains are highlighted.
The surfaced trail -- designed to be accessible to those who have difficulty walking -- begins at the gazebo near the parking lot of the Visitor Center. Those taking a clockwise route should bear to the left at the intersection. The trail meanders through second-growth forest to two overlooks with good views of Heron Marsh and St. Regis Mountain. The path then follows Barnum Brook through a riparian woodland on a boardwalk. Use caution on the boardwalk, as it is apt to be slippery when wet. After crossing a fish barrier dam, you return to the gazebo through a stand of Eastern White Pines. The walking is very easy, with a few slight grades and many benches to rest along the way.
Birds commonly heard and seen near the gazebo or in the mixed hardwood/conifer forest include:
Black-throated Green Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Birds heard and seen at the overlooks on Heron Marsh include:
Great Blue Heron
American Black Duck
Wildflowers and flowering shrubs commonly seen along this trail include:
Common Wood Sorrel
St. John's Wort
Trees featured on the identification markers along the trail include:
Eastern White Pine