Monday, June 22, 2009

Trip to the ADK Visitor Interpretive Center at Paul Smiths

Our last day of our camping trip, I loaded up Lucy and Clifford and we drove 15-20 miles north to the little hamlet of Paul Smiths. There is an Adirondack Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC) which, I take to mean, has a swanky center and lots of well-maintained and documented trails. Because of this, I've never visited before. It seems kind of tame and domesticated...well, I'd rather be out on the trail without other people. But what was appealing this year was that the VIC had a variety of very short trails that would be Lucy-doable. So we went. And I am very VERY glad we did. What a fantastic place!!

I chose the Barnum Brook Trail, a .8 mile long loop, for our hike with Lucy. She started out a bit stiff at first, but then once her joints warmed up she seemed fine. It was overcast and a bit muggy, and towards the end of the trail her breathing was pretty loud (nowadays she pants as loud as a locamotive- a sign of old age?) but she was alert and seemed to enjoy herself the whole time. Her back end is really wobbly, but the trails were so well maintained, she didn't have any trouble at all (no rocks or roots to stumble over)!

The Dynamic Duo-

The Trails had informative signs along the way which unfortunately I couldn't stop to read and study (Clifford sulks and begins his "under the breath whining", which is the most annoying type of whining EVER). And Lucy can't hear well any more, so the only way I can get her to stop is to somehow put pressure on her harness (tug her) which makes me feel bad. So I let her and Cliff lead the way and gave the Interpretive Signs a longing glance as we went by. I know, I know. I'm a sap.

There is a muskrat swimming in the photo below. We sited him from an observation deck, overlooking a bog (or was it a marsh? Or swamp? There is a difference... I think it was a bog). He's in that middle channel.

At the end of the trail, Lucy was more than happy to get a drink from her sippy cup and snooze in the back of the Scion, while Cliff and I did another trail. This one was about 1.1 miles. I forgot what it was called... Forest Ecology trail, maybe? It was a bit more hilly but Cliff took it in stride and was very confident (unlike our hikes this weekend on the FLoodwood Loop, where he was nervous).

The sites were glorious. Fern and moss-covered forest floors. Wet, green forests surrounding black holes of water. Huge bog expanses covered with green grass, mahogany flowers, and red rubbery plant nubbies. Twisted, gray trees. I felt like we were walking through Middle Earth or something- it was spectacular. Thankfully the rain held off, so we could thoroughly enjoy the trip.

Anyway, if you get up to the Northwest Lakes portion of the Adirondacks, I HIGHLY recommend the VIC. I would totally go again. What a great place!


Carrie said...

I am sooo ready to move! We don't have stuff like that down here in SC! I'm jealous!

Jen said...

C'mon up to NY! The taxes stink, but everything else is great! :o)