To set the scene for the Silver Lake Bog, you’ll have to look back to your childhood memory of The Never Ending Story. Atreyu has just lost his horse Artax to the Swamp of Sadness. there in the swamp among the vegetation rises Morla, a giant ancient and wise tortoise with a terrible head cold. Got the picture?
The thought certainly crossed my mind that at any time Morla was going to rise from the moss. The best part, The path through the Silver Lake Bog is nothing like the Swamp of Sadness. There’s a flat, perfectly placed boardwalk through the bog that makes it a great place to visit with people of any physical ability. Unlike the Swamp of Sadness, one could skip along the path through the Silver Lake Bog if they felt inclined to do so.
Today I took the stroll through the bog with my mom to introduce her to more of the Adirondacks without dragging her up a mountain. The grounds around the Silver Lake Bog boardwalk are covered in a thick layer of various types of mosses resembling a shag carpet, Short pines covered in lichen, Trillium, and (correct me if I’m wrong here) a type of Pitcher Plant that I had never seen in the Adirondacks before. It looks like it belongs somewhere deep in the Jungle far away from here. It was great to see my mom so interested in the plant-life. She has always had a thing for gardening, but bringing her to this natural garden really had her inner gardener gearing up for the planting season.
The surroundings in the bog were eerily quiet. No birds, no frogs, barely the sound of trees rubbing together in the breeze. Just silence. This silence didn’t help my imagination while it kept racing back to thoughts of Morla rising from the marshy ground, and it didn’t help my mom who had commented a few times on how eerie the silence was. Even in the open water there were no insects, no larvae, no wildlife at all. Just the two of us, out for a stroll.
At the end of the boardwalk the bright mossy green carpet turns quickly to dirt and rock terrain marked with a sign pointing visitors to the bluffs. The trail to the bluffs is like a whole seprate hike. No more well constructed boardwalk with appropriately placed benches. This was more the trail I am accustomed to. Rocks, mud, tree roots, and fallen trees to hop over, and a slight uphill grade to sweeping views across Silver Lake.
I never did see Morla rise from the bog, but I’m pretty sure he’s out there somewhere. For now I’ll take back with me a great wilderness stroll with my mom through sights I had never witnessed before. I will definitely keep the Silver Lake Bog on my list of easy Adirondack strolls to share with friends and relatives visiting the Adirondack Coast.
Getting there? From the Adirondack Northway (interstate 87) take exit 34. Turn left toward Ausable Forks. In Ausable forks turn right at the blinking light. Left at the next stop sign onto Silver Lake Rd. Follow Silver Lake Rd 12 miles to Union Falls Rd. Turn left on Union Falls Rd. About one mile up Union Falls Rd turn left on Old Hawkeye Rd. The trailhead for Silver Lake Bog is on the right. The Nature Conservancy sign is marked as “Silver Lake Camp Preserve”