Saturday, June 9, 2018

Hiking Morristown Red Barn Preserve Trail

Hiking Morristown Red Barn Preserve Trail
#1000islands #Thousandislands

Updated: Hiking Morristown Red Barn Preserve Trail, June 15, 2019:
Last June we were among the first to hike (and blog) the new Red Barn Preserve Trail in Morristown.

The folks at the preserve have been really busy over the past year. Patty described some of their updates, and a little more of the preserve's history in an article she wrote for Thousand Islands Life.

We won't repeat any of that here (see below), but wanted to announce some of the updates since our first blog.  We were excited to finally be able to go there in person, hike the new trails, and see all of the new additions the Gateway Museum has added since our last visit.

We enjoyed the new trail loop that takes you a little closer to the rookery. 

Close up photo of blue herons in nest (above) sent to us by the president of the Gateway Museum in Morristown NY, Dean Shelato. This photo taken by Greg Perry. All other photos by Bob & Patty.

We noticed several new benches put in various lovely spots along the trails, as well as a strategically located half-moon house near one of the prettiest views in the preserve. 

But there are still a lot more additions planned in the coming days. We'll keep you posted!

Original Red Barn blog (June 15, 2018):

We interrupt this regularly scheduled hiking blog with a brand new trail we hiked for the first time today. Though the Morristown Red Barn Preserve Trail unofficially opened to the public on May 26th it has not yet had its official grand opening and some of the trail markings aren't even in place. But that said, we had to check it out and are so excited about this new nature trail that we figured we would move it to the top of our list. The Red Barn Preserve is located on River Road East, a short distance beyond the village of Morristown. For those who would like it a little more exact, the coordinates to the main trailhead are N 44 34.713 W 75 39.590. Though, coming out of Morristown there is now a new parking area and a sign for the Blue Heron Rookery Trail which ends up at the Red Barn. The trail is open from dawn to dusk. The Gateway Museum in Morristown has been working closely with the Thousand Island Land Trust (TILT) to develop a system of trails across the property. This is only just the beginning.
We loved the variety of terrain that started with a meadow trail, wandered through a deep forest, and then took us over a newly built 300-foot boardwalk over a beautiful marsh. 

And, yes, the rookery is easily observable in the distance. One has the option of walking back to the car just a short way down the road or turn around and do the whole lovely walk in reverse (which is what we opted to do - it was just as beautiful the second time). We estimate the trail to be about three-quarters of a mile in one direction. Since some off the trail is over a marshy area, the museum recommends wearing waterproof shoes. Again, the trail is so new that the trail markers are still colored ribbons but by the time you visit we are sure that a lot more progress will have been made.  No matter, though, since the natural beauty of this amazing trail is already in place and just waiting to be hiked. But in the near future they will be adding new signage, bench seating, and possibly an observation tower. I guess we’ll have to go back soon! 
Addendum:  After blogging about our hike, we heard from the President of the Morristown Gateway Museum, Dean Shelato, who shared the following update we thought we should pass on:

The Gateway Museum is very excited about receiving a Grant for $ 12,250 to do a second trail next Spring and to complete some maintenance projects on the Red Barn. If we are successful raising money- we plan to convert the Barn into a public use facility and host small events at-this site   including museum lectures, quilt shows, artist shows and maybe even weddings. But it's the hiking trail that excites us the most. Thanks to Eagle Scout candidate Evan Coslar from Troup 9 Heuvelton, on June 16th Evan and 15 other boy scouts and volunteers spent the day improving the trail and building a small bridge over a stream. With these improvements and the presence of 50 blue herons on the nesting site visible from our boardwalk we now have the finest - if not the most interesting hiking trail in the North Country!

Be sure to see...
Hiking the Thousand Islands...Introduction

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Abbé Picquet Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Carnegie Bay Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Cerow Recreation Park Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Chaumont Barrens Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Chippewa Bay Preserve Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Coyote Flats State Forest

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Downybrook Nature Reserve 

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Foster Blake Woods Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...French Creek WMA 

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Grand Lake Reserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Grass Point State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Jacques Cartier State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Kanik Nature Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Keewaydin State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Lonesome Bay State Forest

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Macsherry Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Maple City Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Morgan Island

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Morristown Red Barn Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Otter Creek

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Pulpit Rock State Forest

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Red Lake Indian River Trail 

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Redwood Hill Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Rock Ridge Trail 

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Sissy Danforth Rivergate Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Wellesley Island State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Zenda Farms Preserve