The wild, wild ADKs

The Adirondacks is a beautiful and intricate creature. Along with its hulking mountains and peaceful valleys lies millions of animal species and plant life on its forest floors. Growing up here gave me the opportunity to fully immerse myself in the outdoors and try new things, all the time! I went from a New Jersey suburbs kid cooped up inside all day to making campfires and snow forts on the regular, following the little streams that connected to the lake in town and finding all the interesting new animals I could find. My favorite to date still remains the Spring Peeper frogs I could find every summer. Teeny tiny frogs that are simply the cutest thing ever. Learning more about all the different forms of wildlife around me and my home completely changed my perspective on the delicate ecosystems of the Adirondacks, and it could change yours too! While not everyone can pack their bags and make the Adirondacks their forever home, you can get a full education on life in the ADKs and its wildlife all at the AIC

Three people in outdoor gear look at a map with an interpretive center staff member.

Explore the AIC 

The AIC (Adirondack Interpretive Center) is planted perfectly in the dense forest of Newcomb, New York. Part of SUNY ESF’s Newcomb Campus, the Center aids and educates thousands of visitors year round. With each season comes new things to learn and explore, and with winter in full swing, there's plenty of new discoveries to be found this season. Although most animals go into hibernation during the winter, the Center knows how to keep visitors busy.

The trails 

The AIC’s outdoor facilities include a 3.6 mile trail system. These trails are perfect for summer and winter, with four different routes to take. Each trail includes a different outdoor experience showcasing all the different forms of plant and animal life to be seen in the Adirondacks. PSA: Before you head out on the trails this winter, remember to bring adequate gear! All of the trails require snowshoes or cross-country skis to adventure safely during winter.

three people on snow shoes cross a snow covered bridge.

R.W. Sage Jr. Memorial Trail is a 1.1-mile loop, starting from the Sucker Brook Trail after it crosses the Rich Lake Outlet. This trail is an easier walk, following the shoreline of Belden Lake as you walk among coniferous and deciduous trees. This trail also includes two overlooks along the lake, perfect for snapping pics of any wildlife or simply enjoying the serene view.

three snowshoe hikers pass a sign for Rich Lake Trail.

Rich Lake Trail is a 0.6-mile trail that serves as a perfect warmup with views of Rich Lake and Goodnow Mountain. While this trail is a bit easier than its siblings, it serves as the perfect segue to all the other trails! If you’re just looking for a quick and easy trail walk, this one will do the trick.

Three hikers walk down a slope on a snow covered trail.

Peninsula Trail includes 0.9-miles of ups and downs, with old-growth hemlocks surrounding the path. Take a break with a stellar view of Rich Lake.

Two hikers look out on an icy lake.

Sucker Brook Trail runs a 1.0-mile route and leaves the AIC’s main building to the north running along the outlet to Rich Lake. You’ll experience historic tradition when you take this trail. The path leads parallel to the same route the logs took during the Hudson River log-driving days. 

A large wall display about Adirondack natural history, featuring tree slices, large rocks, and photos.

Explore the natural and cultural history of the Adirondacks

By educating visitors, the AIC serves as a helping hand in prolonging the Adirondacks’ unique culture. You can’t have Adirondack culture without including Adirondack wildlife. Since the settling of the Adirondacks through mining, logging, and hunting, the people of the small towns inhabiting the area have learned to adapt and live in harmony with the wildlife all around them. From harsh winters to lush fishing and hunting seasons, humans have been able to coexist with the wild side of the Adirondacks for generations! You’ll find that most industries that thrive in the Adirondacks depend on nature for their success. Maple tapping, hunting, fishing, and guide services have been sustained thanks to the protection of the Adirondacks! 

two people point to a map on a table

New upgrades

The AIC has been hard at work updating their facilities to expand visitor’s experiences. This includes a massive overhaul of the AIC’s main building, with brand new exhibits and an updated conference room. Bathrooms will still be open at this time so you can still make your pit stop before heading back out on the trails! Check back regularly for construction updates as the Center works hard to get their building up and running again!

interpretive center sign pointing to a hiker walking down the trail.

See you there

The AIC is perfectly placed in the town of Newcomb and nearby areas with plenty to do! Stumped on making reservations or finding your best fit for lodging? Check out all the towns around the Adirondack Hub to find your perfect experience during your stay. Make sure to check in for lodging, explore all your dining options, or simply go adventuring around the rest of the Hub when your day is done at the AIC!