While in the area of the Silver lake Bog, I decided that my mom and I should add the Clintonville Pine Barrens to the day. I had heard very little of the Clintonville Pine Barrens. In reading of the brochure at the trail head sign in station, I learned what the Pine Barrens are all about. What would seem like a simple flat stroll through some pine trees was my mom and I actually strolling through a pretty special place.
The Clintonville Pine Barrens is a 900 acre preserve maintained by the Adirondack chapter of the nature Conservancy. The Pitch Pine heath barrens is touted as being one of the best examples of this natural community type in New York State. The Pine Barrens also provides a habitat for other rare plants such as the prairie redroot and two rare moths, the Pine Pinion Moth, and the Acadian Swardgrass Moth. It is believed that the Clintonville Pine Barrens is the only location in New York State where the Pine Pinion Moth can be found.
The Clintonville Pine Barrens is a flat soft walk along pine needles through an open canopy of mostly Pitch Pine. The forest floor is covered with a low growing variety of shrubs and flowers. In the summer months we will definitely be back to pick some blueberries and to search for one of the two illusive moths. On this day, the temperature was low enough to have zero interaction with insects. I would take a minor chill over fighting off mosquitoes any day!
The Clintonville Pine Barrens doesn’t offer any view of distant mountains or serene Adirondack lakes, but to the nature enthusiast, The Clintonville Pine Barrens will provide scenery you won’t find anywhere else. The low slung Pitch Pine tree community is a sight all of its own proving the great diversity of this area. If you’re in the Clintonville area for a hike up Silver Lake Mountain, stroll through Silver Lake Bog, or a visit to Taylor Pond, take a few and stop by the Clintonville Pine Barrens for a stroll through this unique community.
How do I get there? Take exit 34 off the Adirondack Northway (Interstate 87). Turn left on route 9N toward Ausable Forks. At the blinking light in Ausable forks, turn right onto North Main St. At the stop sign continue straight onto Golf Course Rd. At about 2 1/4 miles you’ll find the intersection of Golf Course Rd and Buck Hill Rd on the left. Turn left onto Buck Hill Rd. The trailhead will be ahead on your left. Don’t blink! The trailhead marker is off of the road in a U-shaped parking area big enough for three cars.