Skip to main content

Adirondack Interpretive Center at Newcomb

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. 

*For current hours and seasonal updates, please visit the AIC's website.

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. The 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 Camp Santanoni Preserve 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 include Bald Eagle, Osprey, and owls. Woodpeckers are abundant so you might hear them before you see them.


The AIC is part of the NYS Birding Trail. This trail is not a physical trail, but a "connection" between outstanding birding locations in regions across the state.

Roosevelt Truck Trail

The Roosevelt Truck Trail is a perfect place for birding, cross-country skiing, hiking, snowshoeing, and accessible camping. It is surrounded by boreal habitat, so you really feel like you are the in the middle of wilderness!

How to get there

There are two trailheads for the Roosevelt Truck Trail, making it possible to do a thru-trip if you have two cars available. The trail runs between Blue Ridge Road and Route 28N. A map is available here. GPS coordinates are available on the NYSDEC website and may be more helpful finding this location since there is no trailhead sign.

To access from Blue Ridge Road, travel west on Blue Ridge Road from North Hudson. Follow this road 15 miles to the location on the right. The entrance is on a curve and can be difficult to spot, but there is a a metal gate and stone wall on each side of the trail. There's room for 2 cars to park on the side of the road.

To access from Route 28N, travel east on Route 28N from Newcomb. Cross over the railroad tracks, and then in another 0.4 miles, you'll reach a road that leads north of the highway (it looks like driveway). Turn here, and park in the woods, but do not block the gate. Again, there is room for 2 cars.

By the numbers

  • The trail extends 2.0 miles from end to end


This boreal habitat is perfect for finding unique birds! Black-backed Woodpecker, Boreal Chickadees, and Canada Jays are present year-round, but in warmer months, there are warblers aplenty! This is one of the few known locations Cape May Warblers nest in the Adirondacks. Read more about birding here in our blog.

Hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing

The trail has minimal elevation gain, only going uphill slightly in a few places.


There are two accessible tent sites located along this trail. Access to the sites is from the Route 28N trailhead with a Motorized Access Permit for People with Disabilities (MAPPWD) permit. This is available from the DEC. Four wheel drive pick-ups or other high clearance vehicles are recommended. The tent sites have a firm, level surface with accessible picnic tables and accessible privies.

Rankin and Little Rankin Ponds

This short and easy hike ends at a particularly scenic pond. On the northeastern side of the pond is a long finger created by a beaver dam and on the north end of the pond is an attractive wetland where birding could be quite good. While the pond is not all that large you may find yourself relaxing there for quite some time.

How to get there

From exit 28 in Schroon Lake, follow I-87 north for one exit to the North Hudson Exit 29. From here follow Boreas Road west toward Newcomb. Continue to Route 28N and take a left and head toward Minerva. Continue for just under 10 miles to the trailhead on the right, parking is on the left just prior to the trailhead.

By the numbers

  • Distance: 2.2 miles round trip for both ponds, 0.8 miles for Rankin
  • Elevation gain: 280 feet round trip for both ponds


From the parking area cross the road carefully and quickly, as the trailhead is located on a corner where traffic tends to move quickly. Once at the trailhead, you will sign into the trail register and follow the trail behind the register, not the old road to the right. The trail is marked with blue disks. Along the 0.4 mile trail (one way) there is a sweep around a small knob on your right known as Crusher Hill, while not changing much in elevation. There is a slight descent at the end to reach the eastern shore of Rankin Pond.

If you wish to continue to Little Rankin Pond be aware that there is no marked trail or designated route to reach the small back-county body of water. Map and compass and GPS knowledge is highly recommended. Not recommended for inexperienced hikers or children. To continue on to Little Rankin Pond, locate a herd path to your right from the end of Rankin Pond Trail. This anglers herd path is very faint and blowdown does cover it in spots. This herd path will bring you to another small spot with a great view of the pond. The herd path from here starts to become much less apparent and eventually disappears, but keep the pond to your left and continue down the finger to a beaver dam crossing.

Once you cross the beaver dam you will need to make your way through a somewhat open forest and head northwest, keeping the slopes of Rankin Pond Mountain to your right. Remain in the valley. Little Rankin Pond is a quaint little pond with a faint trail, but gives a nice, backcountry, secluded feel.


Most of these species are found during the migration and breeding season. This is considered a lowland boreal forest, with species like Black-backed Woodpecker, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Boreal Chickadee, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Cape May Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler, and Pine Siskin.


At the trailhead there is room for one car to unload a car-top boat, but park across the road (north via a slight curve) at the designated parking area. The trail is narrow, but overall fairly easy with a brief, somewhat steep, drop near the end. This trail is not the best option for a cart; it is recommended that you use a boat that you can carry.

Once on the pond you will have a wonderful secluded paddle, and most likely to yourself. The shoreline length is approximately one mile and the water is well-sheltered/mostly calm.


There is a deep area good for brook trout, and only accessible by boat. As a result, there's not much angler competition. There is a limited amount of shoreline fishing but it’s decent in a few spots. At the end of the trail which is 0.4 miles from the parking area and slightly further along the shore on the east side via a short herd path. At the deepest it is around 20 feet, but the best fishing is had from the deeper portion and the finger on the NE side, which is accessed best by boat.

Fish species: brook trout, bullhead


From the parking area which should be plowed out regularly, you will need to cross the road to access the trail. This trail is a good, mellow introduction to snowshoeing.

Pharaoh Lake

The namesake of the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness is indeed a beautiful location! It is surrounded by Forest Preserve and completely peaceful. The lake itself is 441 acres, the largest lake in the Wilderness Area and, one of the largest lakes in the Adirondacks completely surrounded by Forest Preserve lands.

How to get there

Please see the DEC website for directions, as this lake can be accessed and hiked to via many trailheads in the area.


This is a beautiful paddle, but will require some work. Paddlers will be required to carry their boats here. No motors are allowed.


Good things come to those who walk — that’s what Pharaoh Lake is all about. From the south, it’s a 4-mile hike into this 442-acre lake, but once you get there you’ll find brookies and lake trout. In 2012, the lake got an air-stocking of 2,000 5-inch brookies, but it’s the lakers that make the hike worth it. Your daily limit is three lake trout of at least 15 inches. Keep in mind that the use or possession of baitfish is prohibited here. Access is from Pharaoh Mountain Trail and during the summer’s warmer weather, you’ll want to carry in a lightweight canoe or inflatable boat to get away from shore and to target the cooler, deeper waters.


There are several lean-tos available at the lake.


This remote location is a fine spot for waterbirds like loon and merganser, or raptors such as bald eagles, kingfishers, and many kinds of hawk. This area includes wetlands, boreal, and mixed forest habitats.

Find out more

Read our blog post: Hiking in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness

Putnam Pond State Campground

Putnam Pond Campground is perfect for every camping need. It's location near a wilderness area is prime for exploration, but the maintained facilities take away some of the backcountry stress.


Large, well-forested campsites with lots of privacy. This is a key start-off point for hiking in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area.

Choose from interior site camping, which requires a boat for access, or the developed area where visitors can rent a canoe or rowboat.

Day users can pay a small fee to use the facilities even if not camping.


There are rowboats and canoes available for rent for paddling on Putnam Pond only. Kayaks and canoes are allowed on the ponds in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area, though they must be portaged at least 0.5 miles to access any of the other ponds.


Putnam Pond is a popular pond for boating because of its spectacular scenery. The only point of public access to the pond is located at the campground. Motor boats are allowed on Putnam Pond.


Fish species in area ponds are smallmouth bass, yellow perch, and northern pike.


This campground is in an especially lush environment for water birds. Putnam Pond flows into North Pond, is surrounded by Rock and Clear ponds to the west, and Haymeadow Pond and Cranberry Marsh to the east. Expect to see such wetland birds as tanagers, warblers, vireos, and woodpeckers, and perhaps even the elusive American Bittern.


You have successfully entered this contest. Be sure to check your inbox for your customized travel inspiration.

Success! Message Sent.

Thanks for being awesome. We have received your message and look forward to talking with you soon.

Thank you!

Thanks for being awesome. You can now download the guide.