The Adirondack Interpretive Center (AIC) at Newcomb offers 236 acres of environmental education, along with over 3.5 miles of scenic, surfaced trails complemented by indoor exhibits, lectures, films and naturalist-led guided walks. There is a picnic area located on the grounds but the benches provided at numerous overlooks along their trail system are ideal lunch spots.
How to get there
Take Exit 29 off of Interstate 87 and turn west on to Blue Ridge Road heading toward Newcomb. After ~18 miles, turn right on Route 28N and drive through the Town of Newcomb. The AIC driveway will be on the right on the western edge of town.
The AIC trails offer a variety of terrain and habits including forest, lakeshore, and wetland. All trails begin at the AIC building and start by following the Rich Lake Trail (green markers). Rich Lake Trail is an easy 0.6-mile trail, perfect for a warm-up with views of Rich Lake and Goodnow Mountain. Two overlooks along the lake provide for photo opportunities and wildlife viewing. Peninsula Trail (red markers) is a 0.9-mile loop which starts from the Rich Lake Trail and offers more views of Rich Lake. There are beautiful old-growth hemlocks on this trail and a long boardwalk across a marsh dominated by cranberry and button bush. The 1.0-mile Sucker Brook Trail (blue markers), also accessed from the Rich Lake Trail, follows the outlet of Rich Lake and is a great trail for spotting wildlife. This trail follows the route felled trees traversed during the Hudson River log-driving days. The R.W. Sage Jr. Memorial Trail (yellow markers) is a 1.1-mile loop which starts and ends on the Sucker Brook Trail. This trail features stands of pure hardwood forests and a boardwalk through a seasonal wetland offering visitors a true deep-woods feel. From the Sage Trail you can take the 0.5-mile Santanoni Preserve Connector Trail (DEC red markers) that leads visitors through NYS DEC lands to the Newcomb Lake Road Trail. Looking for something a little more challenging? The Goodnow Mountain trailhead is just 1.7 miles from the AIC. A 2-mile hike to the top of the mountain followed by a climb up the stairs of a fire tower will be rewarded by a spectacular view of the central Adirondacks.
Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing
In winter, the center loans snowshoes to visitors who wish to explore their snow-covered trails. A few well-marked alterations to the trails in winter provide for easy to moderate snowshoeing. Trails are also open for the use of experienced cross-country skiers; the terrain makes it a little too challenging for the novice skier. Only the Peninsula Trail is closed to skiing. Winter is an amazing time to be on the trails and creates a completely different experience. Winter trails are an excellent opportunity for discovery since animal tracks are easy to see in the snow. Extend your snowshoe or ski trip by heading over to the Santanoni Great Camp via the Santanoni Preserve Connector Trail.
This complex offers a variety of habitats including old-growth hemlock, cedar swamp, conifer, and northern hardwood, as well as near lake, river, stream, and wetland environments. More than 100 species of birds have been sighted, including warblers, thrushes, flycatchers, Common Loon, and Great Blue Heron. Birds of prey includes Bald Eagle, Osprey, and owls. Woodpeckers are abundant so you might hear them before you see them.