Adirondack Wildflowers: Painted Trillium at the Paul Smiths VUC (18 May 2014)

Explore the Adirondack Mountains:
Bird Walks and Nature Walks at the VIC

Adirondack Birding: Black-throated Green Warbler on the Logger's Loop Trail at the Paul Smiths VIC (30 May 2015)Adirondack Birding: Black-throated Green Warbler on the Logger's Loop Trail at the Paul Smiths VIC (30 May 2015)
This site is no longer being updated with VIC program and event information. For current information on VIC programs and events, visit: www.paulsmiths.edu/vic.

The 3,000-acre Paul Smiths VIC contains every habitat type found in the Adirondack Park with the exception of alpine vegetation. Included on the property is a 60-acre marsh, five ponds, several brooks, swamps, bogs, fens, and varied forest types, most notably northern boreal forest. The trail system traverses a variety of habitats with extensive boardwalks through Adirondack wetlands. The one mile Boreal Life Trail, for example,features an extensive boardwalk through a northern bog. In addition to birds that frequent the bog, this trail has an impressive display of native orchids during early July: Grass Pink, Rose Pogonia, and hundreds of White Fringed Orchids.

 

Birds of the Adirondacks: Blackburnian Warbler at the Paul Smiths VIC (20 May 2014)Birding at the VIC: The Paul Smith's College VIC is also a birdwatching haven and has attracted birders from throughout the region. Heron Marsh (accessible from the Barnum Brook Trail and the Heron Marsh Trail) is home to a variety of water birds, including American Bittern, Great Blue Heron, and Wood Duck. The Boreal Life Trail has an overlook tower on Barnum Pond, where Common Loons are sometimes seen or heard. One very convenient birding hotspot at the VIC is the VIC parking lot, where a large number of birds may be seen and heard, including a wide variety of warblers. Other sightings at the Paul Smiths VIC include Gray Jay, Brown Thrasher, and Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker.

The Paul Smith's College VIC has continued the tradition of providing guided bird walks and workshops throughout the year. During the spring and summer months, a variety of bird walks are held, including owl prowls and Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walks. During the winter months, the VIC has hosted snowshoe bird walks. For lists of birds and plants seen on the VIC trails during these walks, see the trip reports below.

Great Adirondack Birding Celebration

The VIC also hosts the annual Great Adirondack Birding Celebration (GABC), featuring birding trips, lectures, and workshops. The 2015 Great Adirondack Birding Celebration (GABC) was held on 5-7 June 2015 and featured field trips to boreal birding hot spots, informative lectures, workshops, a raffle, and more.

Nature Walks and Paddles

The VIC has continued the tradition of providing naturalist-led interpretive walks and canoe trips focused on various themes.

Trip Reports from Nature Walks and Workshops
Warbler ID Workshop (20 June 2015) Trees of the VIC Exploration Walk (17 May 2015)
Nature Walks: Spring Wildflowers (18 May 2014) Nature Walk: Adirondack Bogs (2 August 2013)
Nature Walk: Mosses (1 September 2012) Nature Walk: Mushroom Walk (8 August 2012)
Nature Walk: Upland Boreal Forest (30 July 2012) Trees of the Northern Forest Trail Walk (18 July 2012)
Nature Walk: Adirondack Bogs (28 July 2012) Nature Walk: Trees of the Adirondacks (21 July 2012)
Nature Walk: Adirondack Habitats (19 July 2012) Nature Walk: Adirondack Habitats (12 July 2012)
Nature Walk: Adirondack Wetlands (10 July 2012) Nature Walk (25 June 2011)
Wetland Walk (3 June 2011)  

Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walks

The Paul Smith's College VIC hosts a series of bird walks led by Adirondack guides John and Pat Thaxton. Participants are challenged to see and hear many of the bird species identified by a young Teddy Roosevelt in his research while visiting Paul Smiths in the 1870s. Birders meet at the VIC at 9:00 AM. During the winter, the VIC offered a series of Snowshoe Bird Walks. Detailed trip reports for the last three years are provided below:


Trip Reports from Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walks
Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (11 July 2015) Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (4 July 2015)
Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (27 June 2015) Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (20 June 2015)
Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (13 June 2015) Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (30 May 2015)
Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (23 May 2015) Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (26 July 2014)
Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (19 July 2014) Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (12 July 2014)
Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (5 July 2014) Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (21 June 2014)
Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (14 June 2014) Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (31 May 2014)
Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (24 May 2014) Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (17 May 2014)
Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (18 September 2013) Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (14 September 2013)
Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (11 September 2013) Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (7 September 2013)
Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (27 July 2013) Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (20 July 2013)
Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (18 July 2013) Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (6 July 2013)
Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (29 June 2013) Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (15 June 2013)
Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (8 June 2013) Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (22 May 2013)
Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (8 May 2013) Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (4 May 2013)
Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (22 September 2012) Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (19 September 2012)
Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (12 September 2012) Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (30 June 2012)
Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (28 June 2012) Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (23 June 2012)
Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (16 June 2012) Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (10 June 2012)
Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (7 June 2012) Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (30 May 2012)
Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (26 May 2012) Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (23 May 2012)
Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (19 May 2012) Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walk (16 May 2012)

Trip reports on the birds and plants observed during the 2011 Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walks are available here. Trip reports on the 2011 Beginner Birder Workshops are available here.


Explore the VIC

The Paul Smiths VIC offers a wide variety of programs throughout the year to educate and inform Adirondack Park residents and visitors about the natural wonders of the Adirondack Mountains. You can help support these programs by joining the Friends of the VIC. More information on Friends of the VIC memberships

Explore the Trails

The VIC trails are free and open to the public, from dawn to dusk, spring through fall. In winter, the trails are open to cross-country skiers and snowshoers for a fee. Day or season passes may be purchased.