Interpretive Nature Trails in the Adirondacks:
Boreal Life Trail
The Boreal Life Trail provides access to varied Adirondack habitats, including a spruce swamp, wetland, and mixed conifer-hardwood forest. The one-mile-loop begins at the gazebo near the VIC parking lot, where you take a right. The trail then passes through a forest of Red Spruce, Balsam Fir, Eastern White Pine, and Eastern Hemlock, before intersecting with the Jenkins Mountain Road. Continue straight across the road.
To walk the trail in a clockwise direction, take a left at the next intersection. This will lead you through a mixed hardwood-conifer forest to a 1,600-foot boardwalk across Barnum Bog -- an Adirondack wetland. The boardwalk begins through a transitional area of swampland, then continues through the bog, which is studded with Tamarack and Black Spruce. At the end of the boardwalk, you will be walking through a conifer forest along the shore of Barnum Pond. You can turn right to continue along the upland portion of the walk or you can take a short detour to your right which brings you to an elevated viewing tower providing views of Barnum Pond, Jenkins Mountain, and St. Regis Mountain.
After the elevated platform, you can continue to the upland portions of the trail. The path leads you up a hill through a mixed (primarily conifer) forest, past a giant Eastern White Pine. This section of the trail is a good place to see a variety of mosses that thrive in the Adirondack Park. The trail then curves to the right and rejoins the main trail. The walking is easy, with a few hills.
Birds commonly heard and seen near the gazebo or in the mixed hardwood/conifer forest include:
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Wildflowers and flowering shrubs commonly seen along this trail include:
Common Wood Sorrel
Dwarf Rattlesnake Plantain
Northern Club-spur Orchis
Pink Lady's Slipper
St. John's Wort
White Fringed Orchid
Whorled Wood Aster