2 months ago


By exploring side trails this beautiful hike is well in excess of 3 miles. Norm's Path and Woodcutter Loop are easy hikes. Other trails are moderate. All afford Adirondack like habitats and views in close proximity to Ft. Drum, Carthage, Natural Bridge and Harrisville.

The Baker Woods trails have a distinctly Adirondack feel and many interesting features both natural and man-made. Bog bridging allows hikers to pass comfortably through striking cedar bogs and explore a large beaver pond and pass through mature forests of hemlock, pine, cherry and spruce etc. A deck overlooking the Indian River headwaters is easily accessible and affords excellent views. River access is available near the deck and paddlers willing to pull over a few beaver dams will be rewarded with beautiful views and virtually no sign of other people / paddlers.

My first visit to the Baker Woods Preserve was beautiful! BWP hikes start from a newly finished parking pad along Factory Road in Natural Bridge, NY. From there head down the path towards the visitor kiosk to snag a map and sign-in. Go take in beautiful panoramic views of the Indian River from Doris’ Deck before starting down Norm’s Path. Signs along the path greet hikers with stanzas from Wallace Stevens’ The Snow Man. Follow Norm’s Path across the road as it turns into Woodcutter Loop, surrounded by raspberries and white, red, and scotch pines. Take Norm’s Path to any of the beautiful views or cozily-nestled benches along Beaversprite Pond. If you’re lucky, you might catch beavers or wood ducks along the pond in summer or fall. From there the hike heads along the Hemlock Hill Trail across bog bridges that take you alongside wetlands and amongst cedars and hemlocks. Hemlock Hill takes you back to the parking pad where you stared.
It’s a lovely hike and is well-suited to lots of different hiking abilities and ages.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

We kayaked a little down both branches... Slow moving, easy paddle either way. Woods, fields, just lovely and lots left to explore.