WILMINGTON: Human-powered connections

Pull up a map of Wilmington, and the 1-mile connector trail through the Adirondack Land Trust’s 98-acre Three Sisters Preserve reveals a shortcut from village center to wild forests on Hardy Road—no car necessary. New signage and a trailhead kiosk were installed in 2023 to welcome mountain bikers, trail runners, and walkers. The nonprofit Barkeater Trails Alliance (BETA)—aided by the in-kind services of Tahawus Trails and dozens of volunteers—completed a new 3,700-foot downhill “flow” trail to offer more outdoor fun.

LAKE PLACID: Trail improvements

Cobble Hill is a small mountain with a big view, accessed by a 0.8-mile trail that leads hikers to a 2,343-foot summit overlooking downtown Lake Placid. With community partners, the Adirondack Land Trust secured $174,300 in grant funding for professional trail work to improve hiker access and safety while reducing impact to the surrounding forest. Work began in July 2023 and will continue through summer 2024.

HARRIETSTOWN: Trail planning and scientific research

Planning continues for future public access to the Adirondack Land Trust’s 238-acre Glenview Preserve. In the past year, we hosted two community meetings to discuss ideas and share conceptual plans for 3.4 miles of trails. An online survey garnered 75 responses about how people want to interact with nature at Glenview. For a Penn State research team (pictured above), Glenview’s meadows, forests, and bog provided an opportunity to study the songs and gut microbiomes of warbler species.

WESTPORT: Volunteers protect wildflower habitat

Just after spring snowmelt, garlic mustard sprouts in the Champlain Valley foothills. The plant is endemic to Europe, but North American transplants exhaust water and nutrient supplies before wildflowers can bloom. In May 2023 at the Adirondack Land Trust’s 378-acre preserve in Westport, volunteers navigated rocky terrain to remove garlic mustard and make way for purple trillium, bloodroot, yellow trout lily, and more Adirondack flora.

This story first appeared in the Adirondack Land Trust’s 2023 Annual Report. Photo credits: Connie Prickett, Olivia Dwyer, Connie Prickett, Susie Runyon