Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Henry's Woods in Lake Placid
Walking along the "new" trail known as Henry's Woods Trail off Bear Cub Rd in Lake Placid, I felt somewhat a kin to another Henry...Henry D. Thoreau. Not 10 minutes away from the bustling village of Lake Placid is a wonderful 2.5 mile trail(looped) that cuts through the typical "beech, birch, maple forest" of this region. Careful observation will also find black cherry, hemlock, fir, red spruce, and plenty of white pine growing among this forest family.
After walking it in the rain one day earlier this spring I could not quite get the superficial inventory that I found myself taking today as I walked in the mid-autumn silence. What first struck me was the number of different mosses I could find growing along the trail and on the nearby tree trunks and logs. Then the fern species, though not too numerous, could prove fun to watch unfurling in the spring. As a dominant beech, birch, maple forest this area should provide some great spring wildflower watching come May/June. I believe found a healthy population of an endangered plant species along the trail.
I can also envision a few species of salamanders slowly working their way around the forest floor. With a frequently crossed stream(probably ephemeral) I will hope to find a few Northern two-lined salamanders on a springtime walk.
As is usually the case with me, it's the birds that draw most of my attention. Judging by the diversity of tree species and a full, healthy looking canopy, my guess is this will be a good place to bird for spring migrants. I found 2 pileated woodpeckers exploring a dead maple about midway through the 2.5 mile loop.
As fall flows into winter up here I look forward to many ski runs along this trail and I'll bet the animal tracking along Henry' trail will be exciting.
So to all the visionaries, designers, and laborers that brought this trail into being....I thank you. I can see many of our natural history buffs will enjoy this wander through a really nice Adirondack forest, near home.
For a bit more info on the trail and it's short history check out this link: