Interpretive Nature Trails in the Adirondacks:
Boreal Life Trail

Mushrooms of the Adirondacks: Hemlock Varnish Shelf (29 June 2013) Adirondack Wetlands: Transition between mixed forest and bog (18 July 2013) Adirondack Wetlands:  Boardwalk through Barnum Bog (18 July 2013) Adirondack Wetlands: Barnum Brook and Barnum Bog (10 July 2012) Adirondack Wetlands: Barnum Brook and Barnum Bog (22 September 2012) Adirondack Wildflowers: Pitcher Plant on Barnum Bog (29 July 2013) Adirondack Wildflowers:  Rose Pogonia on Barnum Bog (6 July 2012) Adirondack Wildflowers: Swamp Candles on Barnum Bog (18 July 2013) Birds of the Adirondacks: Mallard on Barnum Brook near the boardwalk (4 May 2013) Adirondack Wetland: From the Boreal Life Trail overlook (1 June 2013) Adirondack Habitats: Starflower, Bunchberry, and Goldthread (1 September 2012) Adirondack Habitats: Conifer forest on the Boreal Life Trail (7 July 2012) Adirondack Wetlands: Boardwalk through the swamp on the Boreal Life Trail Adirondack Wetlands: Barnum Bog on the Boreal Life Trail
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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 SpruceBalsam FirEastern 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:

  Wildflowers and flowering shrubs commonly seen along this trail include:

Blue Flag
Bog Laurel
Bog Rosemary
Buckbean
Bunchberry
Canada Mayflower
Clintonia
Common Wood Sorrel
Cottongrass
Cow-wheat
Creeping Snowberry
Dewdrop
Dwarf Rattlesnake Plantain
Foamflower
Goldthread
Grass Pink
Helleborine
Hobblebush
Hop Clover
Indian Cucumber-root
Indian Pipe
Labrador Tea
Leatherleaf
Marsh Cinquefoil
Northern Club-spur Orchis
One-sided Pyrola
Painted Trillium
Partridgeberry
Pink Lady's Slipper
Pipsissewa
Pitcher Plant
Rose Pogonia
Roundleaf Sundew
Sheep Laurel
Shinleaf
Spotted Touch-Me-Not
St. John's Wort
Starflower
Swanp Candles
Twinflower
White Fringed Orchid
Whorled Wood Aster
Wild Sarsaparilla
Wintergreen

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