Adirondack Nature Trails:
Peninsula Nature Trails
The Peninsula Nature Trails, located off Peninsula Way in Lake Placid, New York, provide opportunities to observe plants and wildlife that are found in mixed woods, hardwood forest, and swampland. The trail system, which also offers striking views of the lake with Whiteface Mountain as a backdrop, is situated on 133 acres which were logged over in the 1940s (with the exception of a strip of undisturbed forest along the lake shore).
- The parcel was purchased by New York State in 1960, and a network of short trails for walkers, snowshoers, and trail runners was added to the old access roads.
- In 2002, 14 interpretive signs were placed on the Lakeshore Trail and the old road which forms the main trail. The signs (created by illustrator and naturalist Sheri Amsel) provide information on the habitats, trees, plants, and wildflowers along the trails.
- There is also a self-guiding pamphlet with a trail map and information on each trail, plus brief descriptions of the trees, shrubs, ferns, and wildflowers seen along the way.
- These are multi-use trails, so be prepared to encounter runners and mountain bikers, as well as some unleashed dogs, often wet and muddy from a dip in Outlet Brook. Cross-country skiers and snowshoers use the trails in the winter.
The trail system provides access to varied habitats.
- Old Road: This is the main trail providing access to the other trails. It is referred to as the old road in the self-guiding pamphlet, but has also been referred to as the Corridor Trail, main trail, or old truck road on other maps. It is about 0.75 miles long and begins at the trailhead near a small dirt parking area off Peninsula Way. It passes through mixed woods forest, with a few adjacent swampy areas that support a slightly different cast of plant and bird characters.
- Lakeshore Trail: This is a 0.45 mile trail which, as the name implies, follows the Lake Placid (West Lake) shoreline before curving right to join the old road.
- Boundary Trail: This trail is also accessed from the old road. Take a left and walk to the shore of Lake Placid and Outlet Brook.
- Ridge Trail: This 1.3 mile loop is accessed from the old road. The trail begins from the end of the old road, climbing to the top of a long ridge. This trail takes you over higher and dryer ground, winding through a hardwood forest habitat which was selectively cut for saw logs in the 1940s. Look and listen for birds and wildflowers that prefer this habitat.
Common Wood Sorrel
Whorled Wood Aster
Trees seen along the Peninsula Nature Trails include:
Eastern White Pine
Birds seen or heard along the Peninsula Nature Trails include:
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Great Blue Heron
- The wildflower and flowering shrub list is based on field notes and photographs dating from 2011, The Peninsula Nature Trails. Self-guiding Pamphlet, and Wildflowers of the Peninsula Trail (interpretive sign).
- The tree list is based on field notes and photographs dating from 2011, The Peninsula Nature Trails. Self-guiding Pamphlet, and Where am I? (interpretive sign).
- The bird list reflects field notes and photographs dating from 2015, Birds of the Peninsula Trail (interpretive sign), and the more common birds listed in eBird reports (Brewster Peninsula Nature Trails. Essex County, New York, US).