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Discover an Adirondack Winter at Paul Smith’s College Interpretive Center

posted by Teresa Farrell at 2020-02-15 20:43:00

No matter what time of year you visit, nature is arguably the Adirondacks’  biggest draw. The natural beauty of the park has captivated generations of visitors, inspired countless artists and authors, and caught the interest of scientists, conservationists, and educators throughout the years. While you’re in the Adirondacks this winter, take the opportunity to stop by the Paul Smith’s College Visitor Interpretive Center  to take a deeper look and learn a little about the plants, animals, people and landscapes that truly make this region unique. Then, strap on some cross-country skis or snowshoes, go outside, and experience it for yourself.

Located on the campus of Paul Smith’s College, between Saranac Lake  and Malone, Paul Smith’s College Visitor Interpretive Center has been a staple in conservation education for decades, offering students, locals and visitors outdoor recreation opportunities, experiential education programs, and year-round art exhibitions. The visitor’s center serves as a starting point for an abundance of nature trails, boardwalks and viewing areas that wind through 3,000 acres of old growth forests, marshlands and bogs, alongside streams, and even up a mountain. In all, there are 25 miles of trails  branching out from the visitor center, six miles of which are interpretive trails spanning various different types of habitats, giving wildlife watchers the chance to see all manner of creatures and critters in their natural environments.

In the winter, this place turns into a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts who want to experience the peace and serenity of nature  during its most quiet time of year, thanks to a full range of ski trails varying in length and difficulty that leave something for everyone to explore. The 25-mile trail system used for hiking in summer transforms into maintained trails for skiing and snowshoeing. The VIC also grooms more than 9 miles of trails for skate skiing, classic skiing, and snowshoeing. Then there are more than 6 miles of snowshoe-only trails to choose from, which run along ponds and up onto the mountain. Trails are open from dawn to dusk, so you can make a whole day of it if you want to; and if you don’t have your own gear, check out the rental equipment for skiing and snowshoeing offered on-site to get you outfitted and ready to go.

When you get back from exploring outdoors, the Visitor Interpretive Center is a great place to relax and warm up. Check out an interpretive video that will tell you the history and nature of the areas you just explored, and check out some art in the two beautiful exhibition spaces that host rotating shows, open during normal business hours at no cost for admission. Programs and events  go on almost every weekend, with classes on everything from beginner skiing and snowshoeing to learning about winter animal tracking, the ecology of the woods in winter, winter survival skills, sleigh rides, and hands-on arts and crafts projects for kids. Whether or not winter is your favorite season, it’s worth braving the cold for a day of exploring all this Adirondack stop has to offer, indoors and out.

Trail markers photo credit Paul Smiths VIC
Deer in the woods photo credit Paul Smiths VIC
Paul Smiths youth trips photo credit Paul Smiths VIC
Paul Smith views photo credit Joe Henderson

posted at: 2020-02-15 20:43:00, last updated: 2021-04-06 17:07:11

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