Explore the Adirondack Mountains:
Programs at the Paul Smiths VIC
|This site is no longer being updated with VIC program and event information.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. For current information on Adirondack nature trails and natural history, visit: http://wildadirondacks.org/.|
The Paul Smiths Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC) offers a wide variety of free and fee-based art, music, sports, and educational programs throughout the year.
Bird Walks and Nature Walks: The VIC offers guided bird walks and owl prowls led by Adirondack Birding Center Director Brian McAllister. During the summer months, there are daily naturalist-led walks on Wednesdays through Sundays covering both flora and fauna. These walks are about an hour long and free for Friends of the VIC; the cost is $10 for nonmembers. In addition, more in-depth workshops are also offered, such as mushroom walks and wild edible walks. There are also naturalist-led paddles during the summer months. The VIC also hosts the annual Great Adirondack Birding Celebration on the first weekend in June. During the winter, the VIC offers fee-based Interpretive Snowshoe Walks.
Maple Sugar Program: The VIC is collaborating with Cornell Maple to expand maple syrup and sugaring opportunities in the region. The VIC has developed two demonstration sugar bushes; sap is process in the VIC Sugar House. Maple products produced at the VIC are sold at the VIC store. The VIC offers clinics on maple sugaring and participates in the Maple Sugar Weekends. The maple project have also been integrated into the environmental education programs for school children, and interpretive signage is being developed for both the VIC Sugar House and the VIC Sugar Bush.
Arts Programs: The VIC hosts a monthly art exhibit, featuring local and regional artists. In July and August, the VIC hosts a juried art show -- "Life on the Lakes." The VIC is also a featured location for the Adirondack Plein Air Festival in August. The VIC also provides a venue for local and regional musicians, with both free and fee-based concerts throughout the year, as well as open mic nights for local artists.
Butterfly House: Adjacent to the VIC Building is a Native Species Butterfly House, featuring butterflies and moths in all stages of development. It is open from 10 AM to 4 PM, seven days a week throughout the summer. Visitors can view native butterflies up close and learn about the life stages and migratory patterns of these colorful insets. List of Butterflies and Moths at the Paul Smiths VIC Butterfly House
Lectures and Workshops: The VIC hosts a variety of lectures, including events with authors and the Armchair Traveler Lecture Series -- a 7 PM lecture series about travel and science covering a wide range of topics. The VIC also provides a variety of workshops, such as craft workshops or workshops teaching the art of outdoor mushroom cultivation. A wide range of traditional arts workshops have also been held.
Children's Educational Programs: One of the VIC's goals is to promote a closer connection between children and nature. To that end, the VIC maintains an active Environmental Education Program, which hosts elementary-school visitors from regional schools. In 2012, over 600 students participated in these programs. In the summer, the VIC offers a series of Junior Naturalist and Little Bobcat programs. During the school year, the VIC also offers a series of No School Day programs; these full-day and half-day sessions on various aspects of nature in the Adirondack Mountains are open to school children in grades 3-5 on days when schools are closed.
Winter Sports Programs: During the winter, the VIC's extensive winter trail system is open for cross country skiing, skate skiing, and snowshoeing. The VIC features over 25 miles of cross-country ski and snowshoe trails for people of all abilities, including the trail to the summit of Jenkins Mountain. Trails are available for daily use from 9 AM to 5 PM, when there is snow cover. Ski and snow shoe rentals are also available. The VIC also hosts a series of ski races, snowshoe races, skate ski clinics, and snow sports weekends. 2015-2016 Winter Season Pass Application