Fernow Trail, also known as the Fernow Plantation Loop, was named after Bernhard Fernow. He was one of the fathers of modern forestry and the first chief of the US Forest Service. Look for brochures in the register box for information which corresponds with numbered stations along this easy interpretive trail.
How to get there
From downtown Saranac Lake, head west on Route 3 toward Tupper Lake. Turn right onto Route 30 toward Fish Creek. Continue for 1.1 miles to the trailhead parking on the left. Once on the trail, keep to the right to follow your route in back to the trailhead.
By the numbers
- 1.1 mile loop
- Elevation gain: less than 20-feet
This is a great place to see wildlife, in any season. Deer frequent the area. This trial commemorates the earliest efforts at professional forest management in this country.
This is a wonderful trail through a mixed forest of mostly evergreens. The trail was designed in a lollipop loop formation, so you can loop back to your car. The trail enters the forest and goes through a large stand of spruce and pines. At just over 0.25 miles the trail splits, heading right you can continue on a level course in a counter-clockwise direction. In under one mile you will be back at the intersection near a large glacial erratic.
Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing
This loop trail makes for an excellent introduction to snowshoeing or skiing, and is suitable for the entire family. As you enter the trail you soon come to the trail register, be sure to sign in.
Once you start out the trail moves ever so gently through the forest with only small rolling hills. Large stands of pine tower over you as the open forest is easy to see through. About a half mile down the trail it splits and become a lollipop loop. The loop itself is quite short, only about 0.5 miles in total before it comes back to this spot. A tight canopy makes the snow a bit thinner in spots.
For best snowshoeing conditions wait until later in the season.