Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Hiking Morgan Island



Hiking Morgan Island
#1000islands #ThousandIslands

The Morgan Island Trail is a beautiful .6 mile loop located in Kring Point State Park. Morgan island is accessible by a lovely bridge not far from the main entrance of the State Park which is at the end of Kring Point Road about 7 miles east of Alex Bay. 
While it is not a long hike, it is about as scenic a hike as you can experience here in the Thousand Islands since the loop takes you along the main shipping channel of the St. Lawrence Seaway while meandering around this lovely forested island. 
There are facilities available and also plenty of places to picnic, swim, fish, or just sit and watch ships go by. 

If one wanted a longer hike, the 100-site campground on the mainland is quite scenic, as well, with a view of the river from every site, and a sandy beach for swimming.  But Morgan Island itself is for day use only. In addition to the hiking trails, it has a covered picnic area reserved from Noon to 3:00 PM each day for the local fishing guides for shore dinners. There are also remnants of numerous structures used by the former owners before the island was acquired by NYS. It is definitely worth the visit (and a place we frequently go to hike and explore).


Be sure to see:

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Introduction

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Wellesley Island State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...The Macsherry Trail 

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Otter Creek

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Chippewa Bay Preserve Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Redwood Hill Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Grand Lake Reserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Foster Blake Woods Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Morristown Red Barn Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Zenda Farms Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Jacques Cartier State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Sissy Danforth Rivergate Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Maple City Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Chaumont Barrens Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Carnegie Bay Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Morgan Island

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Hiking Carnegie Bay Trail


Hiking Carnegie Bay Trail
#1000islands #ThousandIslands

We were completely taken by surprise to learn that there is a small nature trail located just outside of Alexandria Bay. In fact, one has to drive into A-Bay to access it. The Carnegie Bay trail is located on Carnegie Bay Road off of High Street which is a right turn on Walton Street heading into the Bay from Rt 12E. It was apparently created, in part, through a NYS Environmental Protection Fund grant. We heard about the trail from the A-Bay website but found very little information about what to expect.
We were delighted to find a true nature trail down a fairly wide mowed path through a variety of terrains. It starts in an open meadow filled with wildflowers and then breaks off in several directions. From what we could tell there is no trail map, and a little over two miles of wandering and looping trails.

We headed toward what looked the most foresty and had a nice walk in the woods before coming to a road (most of the other trails don't end at a road). We followed the road to the golf course and then found another trailhead behind the clubhouse which took us back into the woods, the meadows, and back to our car.
It was a beautiful and easy nature hike so close yet so completely removed from all the crowds and busyness of the Bay! We’ll be back!


Be sure to see:

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Introduction

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Wellesley Island State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...The Macsherry Trail 

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Otter Creek

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Chippewa Bay Preserve Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Redwood Hill Preserve


Hiking the Thousand Islands...Grand Lake Reserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Foster Blake Woods Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Morristown Red Barn Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Zenda Farms Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Jacques Cartier State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Sissy Danforth Rivergate Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Maple City Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Chaumont Barrens Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Carnegie Bay Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Morgan Island

Friday, July 6, 2018

Hiking Chaumont Barrens Preserve


Hiking Chaumont Barrens Preserve
#1000islands #ThousandIslands

Just when we thought we have covered all of the best hiking spots in the area, we discovered the Chaumont Barrens Preserve Nature Trail.  In fact, this trail is owned and maintained by the world-renowned Nature Conservancy.  That caught our attention as did their description of the property: “Chaumont Barrens Preserve is one of the last and finest examples of alvar grasslands in the world, and is a link in the chain of North American alvars forming an arc from Jefferson County through Ontario, and all the way to northern Michigan.” They call the preserve trail a “Mosaic of rare habitats and unique geology” (see link below for trailmap).  We of course had to go see it for ourselves and we discovered there was beyond our expectations!
First, how to get there. The preserve is only about 10 minutes south of Clayton. From Clayton take Rt 12 to Depauville. Take a right across from the gas station and then a quick left onto Depauville Road (Rt 125). Go about three miles then take a right onto VanAlstyne Rd.  There is a parking area a little over a mile ahead on the right.
After following a short path to the kiosk, be sure to grab a brochure that allows you to do a self-guided tour around an approximately 2-mile loop. There are 12 little markers along the well worn trail that coincide with the information on the brochure (we definitely recommend doing this on your first visit). The Chaumont Barrens Preserve Trail is not only an amazing trip through a wide variety of terrains but is also a trip back into the ancient and earliest geological history of the area.
In fact, on one of the first stops is a bedrock with fossils of primitive marine animals, such as cephalopods, that lived in the ocean. This stop is called the cancerous pavement barrens.
Other stops on the Trail map include fissures, rubble barren, deciduous limestone woodland, coniferous limestone woodland, and Alvar grassland. You could say that is a trail with something for everyone.

We were pretty much awed with the entire hike. It was an amazing experience and one we most highly recommend to our fellow nature hikers. There is only one caution we would give. We did hear of one case of a couple who wandered off the trail and getting lost. The trail is very well marked but it is essential to consciously stay on it, and not head off to explore uncharted territory (or to follow unmarked paths or deer trails).
We will most definitely be going back to the Chaumont Barrens Preserve.



Be sure to see:

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Introduction

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Wellesley Island State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...The Macsherry Trail 

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Otter Creek

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Chippewa Bay Preserve Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Redwood Hill Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Grand Lake Reserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Foster Blake Woods Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Morristown Red Barn Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Zenda Farms Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Jacques Cartier State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Sissy Danforth Rivergate Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Maple City Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Chaumont Barrens Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Carnegie Bay Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Morgan Island