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.
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.