Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Hiking Wellesley Island State Park


Hiking the Thousand Islands - Wellesley Island State Park
1000 Islands #1000islands

We are pretty sure that almost every time we hike a new trail it becomes our new favorite.  One of the advantages to hiking at Wellesley Island State Park is that there are enough beautiful trails that one could have a new favorite on every visit.  After hiking on Wellesley Island for several years now, we have hiked almost all of the trails in this beautiful State Park. However, we also learned that the park has purchased some more land and is planning to add several more new trails in the near future. One of the features we appreciate about the trail system in addition to the trails themselves is how detailed the trail maps are, and how well marked the trails are.  

There is a delightful variety of habitats to choose from among the different trails so that one can essentially choose your own adventure on each visit (or choose a lot of adventures on the same visit). There are miles of river shoreline, deep woods, wooded wetlands, boardwalk marshes, granite outcrops, and several other features unique to this park.
There are some fascinating glacial potholes to see on the Eel Bay trail, a seasonal screened Butterfly House, and a seasonal 16 passenger Voyageur Canoe (yes, you read that right - 16 passenger) that offers tours of Eel Bay.   Also note that like the Otter Creek Trail System, Wellesley Island State Park has a quarter-mile accessible trail that includes access to picnic tables and the butterfly house. In addition to the trails, you should make a point to visit the Minna Anthony Common Nature Center which is essentially a nature museum filled with displays and interesting information for nature lovers of all ages.
It is hard to recommend just one favorite place to start but we love the Pond Loop which is accessed from the lovely Middle Trail, and also the breathtaking views along the Narrows.  

One can choose easy and well groomed trails or venture to a little more challenging hikes with moderate climbs.  But regardless of the path chosen, there is always plenty to see, natural beauty and wildlife to experience at Wellesley Island State Park.


Link to trail map:

https://parks.ny.gov/parks/attachments/WellesleyIslandTrailMap.pdf

Be sure to see:
Hiking the Thousand Islands...Introduction.
Hiking the Thousand Islands...The Macsherry Trail.
Hiking the Thousand Islands...Otter Creek.