Paul Smith's College VIC

Nature and education: Welcome to the VIC!

The Paul Smith's College VIC offers year-round environmental education and outdoor recreation opportunities. Before exploring the property’s outstanding trail network, stop by the visitor center’s nature museum and learn a few things about Adirondack ecosystems. While you’re there, you can ask staff about trail recommendations, and check out the art gallery and butterfly house before hitting the trails.

Outside of the visitor center, a 25-mile trail network begins. Take the wide, easy path down to Heron Marsh and birdwatch from one of the viewing platforms. If you want something longer but just as easy, continue straight to the boardwalk over the marsh — this is an amazing opportunity to walk through a wetland without getting wet — or bear right and follow Barnum Brook to the Boreal Life trail, where another boardwalk winds past pitcher plants and bog rosemary to a viewing platform overlooking Barnum Pond.

Longer treks include a loop around Black Pond and a hike up Jenkins Mountain. The former provides a feeling of solitude, the latter ends with a stunning view of water and mountains. Follow the links below for more detailed descriptions of the VIC trails.

Winter at the VIC

The VIC trails are free to use in the summer, but in winter the property becomes a cross-country ski center. For a small day pass fee (season passes are also available), visitors can use snowshoe, backcountry, and groomed cross-country trails. The groomed trails are maintained for both classic and skate skiing, and they take skiers through the variety of habitats on VIC’s property.

The VIC is open daily in summer, and closed Mondays and Tuesdays in winter. Call or check the website for more information.

VIC trails

Heron Marsh Trail: A 3-mile loop with plenty of viewing platforms and vistas along the way.

Jenkins Mountain Trail: Follow the path for 4.5 miles as it climbs 900 feet to the summit, where outstanding views await.

Woods and Waters Trail: A 3-mile-long trail, one way, over gently rolling terrain and a floating bridge on Heron Marsh.

Boreal Life Trail: An easy, 1-mile loop through a bog-like habitat that includes a long boardwalk.

E-Newsletter Signup Form

On The Map
8023 Route 30
Paul Smiths, 12970
(518) 327-6241

Upcoming Events

Friday, October 27th, 2017
To event remaining 9 days
Tour the studios and galleries of local artists June 30 and July 1-2 | July 28-29-30 | Aug. 25-26-27 | Sept. 29-30 and Oct. 1 | Oct. 27-28-29 | Nov. 24-25-26...
Saturday, October 28th, 2017
To event remaining 10 days
Tour the studios and galleries of local artists June 30 and July 1-2 | July 28-29-30 | Aug. 25-26-27 | Sept. 29-30 and Oct. 1 | Oct. 27-28-29 | Nov. 24-25-26...
Saturday, October 28th, 2017
To event remaining 10 days
Pendragon Theatre fans will take a terrifying trip down memory lane and back to the nightmare of high school when they attend this year's installment of Ghost Tales 2017: ZOMBIE PROM! There will...
Sunday, October 29th, 2017
To event remaining 11 days
Tour the studios and galleries of local artists June 30 and July 1-2 | July 28-29-30 | Aug. 25-26-27 | Sept. 29-30 and Oct. 1 | Oct. 27-28-29 | Nov. 24-25-26...

Recent Blog Posts...

Monday, October 16th, 2017
Submitted by guest blogger: Jeremy Evans On a recent Saturday, my family and I awoke to perfect hiking weather - cool and clear with low humidity. My wife and I chose Azure Mountain because we...
Saturday, October 14th, 2017
My friend Peggy and I had planned a camping trip to Lake Harris but due to a bout of uncooperative weather, we cancelled and Peggy came to visit me for a few days. We figured...
Monday, October 9th, 2017
Get ready, get set, get lost! Leaving downtown Saranac Lake heading west on Route 86, it’s straight and scenic driving for 8 miles. The only tough part is keeping your eyes on the road...
Monday, October 2nd, 2017
One of the premiere pleasures of our Adirondack fall foliage season is taking to our roads for maximum viewing angles. The varied geography here changes from lush forest to scenic meadows, with...
Fly to Saranac Lake via Cape Air The Adirondack Regional Airport, your "Gateway to the Adirondacks," provides quick and convenient access to and from Logan International in Boston, MA. Daily flights are provided...
Adirondack Traditions: Alive! From our friendly family-run businesses, to our love of nature, find out why we're the Adirondacks' coolest place.
Sign up for our weekly newsletter.
Interested In
Sign Me Up!