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Guided Watershed Tours

Join Us for Our 2023 Guided Watershed Tours!

For the fifth year in a row, we are happy to offer Guided Watershed Tours. Join our staff and expert guest naturalists for outdoor education programming featuring diverse ecological themes in the Ausable, Boquet, and Saranac River watersheds. Watershed tours are designed to engage local citizens of all ages in outdoor recreational activities, while also inspiring participants to be active stewards of their local environment. Celebrate or kindle your appreciation for the natural beauty of the northern Adirondacks and leave with a better understanding of what threatens our local environment - and what you can do to protect these biodiverse habitats. 

What to Expect

All guided watershed tours are free and open to the public, though donations are accepted. Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. All participants must be vaccinated for COVID-19. Tours will last one to four hours and are subject to weather with rain dates in place. We will follow all CDC and NYSDOS COVID-19 safety guidelines. There is a maximum of 12 participants per tour, and registration in advance is required.

For questions and to register, please email or call (518) 637-6859.

Upcoming Tours:

• Tuesday, September 26th: AsRA River Restoration Projects Tour, 3pm to 5pm
Theme: The Science Behind River Restoration
Location: Wilmington and Jay
Join AsRA's Executive Director and Stream Restoration Manager on a tour of our River Restoration projects. We will travel throughout the watershed to view past and current projects and discuss the science behind this important work.

• Friday, September 29th: Birding Walk, 9am to 11:30am
Theme: Migratory Birds of the Ausable
Location: Peru
Derek Rogers, extraordinary birder and Stewardship Manager for the Adirondack Land Trust, will lead a bird walk along the Ausable Marsh. Late September is an exciting time at this location and often reveals some of the more uncommon sparrow species that migrate through the Champlain Valley. The Ausable Marsh is also excellent for viewing a variety of waterbirds, including herons, egrets, and a variety of shorebirds. It's an "anything can happen" type of location.

• Wednesday, October 4th: Fall Nature Walk, 9:30am to 11:30am
Theme: Fall Along the West Branch Ausable River
Location: Lake Placid
Naturalist and outdoor guide Elizabeth Lee will lead a walk to observe changes on the land in the upper reaches of the watershed that contribute to the river's health in the following year. We'll follow an easy trail of just over a mile and look at natural and human history playing out seasonal dynamics.

• Sunday, October 8th: Exploring an Old Growth Forest, 10am to 2pm (This tour is currently full, but please email or call to be added to the waiting list as spaces sometimes open up)
Theme: Ancient Trees of the Saranac
Location: Saranac Lake
Join Dan Spada on a walk to and through one of the largest remaining tracts of old growth forest in New York State. We will explore exemplary eastern white pine and red pine groves as well as truly amazing northern hardwood forest. The walk is on relatively even terrain with little elevation gain and will be approximately 3 miles long. 

• Saturday, November 4th: Moss Identification Walk, 10am to 12pm
Theme: Mosses in the Boreal Forest
Location: Paul Smiths
Local bryologist and contributor to the Northern Forest Atlas Project Ray Curran will lead a late fall moss identification hike. In this tour, participants will be introduced to the morphology and ecology of the most prominent moss species along the VIC Boreal Life Trail. What we see and learn can serve as a foundation for future bryophyte investigations or just enhance one's appreciation of the biology in full view at the VIC.

• Sunday, November 5th : Winter Tree Identification, 10am to 12pm
Theme: Trees Minus Leaves, Plus Conifers
Location: Wilmington
Local naturalist, writer, photographer, and Adirondack guide Ed Kanze will lead a late fall tree identification hike. In this tour, we'll observe trees and other objects of interest along the way, and weather permitting, we'll enjoy a fine view from the overlook. The walk is on a hiking trail with some slight elevation gain and will be approximately 2 miles long.

This project has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) under assistance agreement (LC00A00981-0) to NEIWPCC in partnership with the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP). Matching funds provided by guest naturalists.      


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