New York State Vacation – Paul Smiths VIC

Heron Marsh, Paul Smith's VIC, New York (Image © F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh, Paul Smith’s VIC, New York (Image © F. P. Dorchak)

As I’d mentioned, last month I’d traveled to upstate New York. While there I managed to take a hike on a really cool trail called the Heron Marsh Trail, which winds around (take a guess!) Heron Marsh, but also travels over the Shingle Mill Falls. This is one of many trails that are located at Paul Smith’s College Visitor’s Interpretive Center (VIC). It’s located north of Lake Clear on Route 30, where I lived as a kid in upstate New York (if that pointer on the map stays put as it was when I viewed it, we lived right around where that pointer is—a little to the left—on the south side of Lake Clear). Here is some more information about the VIC.

I took all of these photos with my Nikon D3400, except for the video at the very end.

I chose this destination because of the terrain, proximity, and amount of time I had available. I’ve been on this trail before and really loved it. As mentioned, I’d grown up in the area. So me “playing outside” was not far from how this trail looks…except that I lived across from a lake, not a marsh, but who’s quibbling….

While there, I hadn’t brought any bug dope and shopped their store to see what they had, and found an incredible local product I’d written about last week. Man, this stuff worked better than anything I’d ever used!

So, I signed the ledger, filled up my water bottle, and headed out. It was already warm (I mention this because in my video at the bottom of this post, you can quite clearly see the sweat pouring off my face!).

Overlook Platform, Paul Smith's VIC (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Overlook Platform, Paul Smith’s VIC (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

My first stop was at a slightly raised wooden “overlook area” platform, just above ground level, instead of raised like the one shown here, and it extended a little ways out over Heron Marsh. It’s a beautiful area. I stop to take a couple of shots with my Nikon, then decided to change lens. I removed the 300mm lens from the camera body, carefully set it down on the bench (carefully placed in a space in-between two boards so it wouldn’t roll), while I got the 55mm lens—when the danged thing takes on a life of its own and decides to roll off the bench and drop off the platform!

Arrgh!

I look over the railing…and find it nestled in the brush below.

NOT in the waters of the marsh!

Waters of the Marsh. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Waters of the Marsh. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Inhaling a sigh of relief, I hop off the platform and retrieve the lens.

Heron Marsh Dragonfly (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh Dragonfly (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

As I hike in and out, around and through the beautiful terrain and trees, I find multitudes of dragonflies! Not just one or two, but literally clouds of the beautiful fliers! I love dragonflies! Of course, it’s hard to catch them (nooo, not running around trying to catch them in my hands…geeze, I’m not 12 anymore…with my camera), but I tried, and got a nice one here. There were different colors, including my favorite blue ones.

Into The Woods

There is so much to say and show about this trail that is absolutely stunning and gorgeous! the bulk of the interior of the trail looked like these images:

Heron Marsh Trail Interior. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh Trail Interior. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh Trail Interior. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh Trail Interior. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh Trail Interior. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh Trail Interior. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh Trail Interior. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh Trail Interior. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh Trail Interior. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh Trail Interior. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

When Ya Gotta Go, Ya Gotta Go

A couple of times along the trail were these iconic structures:

Adirondack Outhouse. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Adirondack Outhouse. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Yes, that, my friends, is an Adirondack outhouse! Having used leaves (TMI?!) out in the middle of nowhere, I’m here to tell you that you will appreciated these fine, fine structures when you come across them! At least in the Adirondacks, they are loosely placed and usually have toilet paper…and also have that iconic crescent moon. They are humble, Spartan, and wonderful!

Adirondack Outhouse. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Adirondack Outhouse. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Adirondack Outhouse. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Adirondack Outhouse. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Adirondack Outhouse. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Adirondack Outhouse. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

We’ll Leave The Light On For Ya

Also as I hiked this trail, I came across an interesting version of a shelter:

Marsh Trail Rustic Shelter. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Marsh Trail Rustic Shelter. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Marsh Trail Rustic Shelter. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Marsh Trail Rustic Shelter. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

This one was probably constructed just for fun (I forgot to ask about it upon my return), but who knows…maybe a trail worker or two constructed it for his or herself as they worked the trail…but I tend toward they might have built it just for fun, or to use the cleared-brush for something, so they didn’t have to haul it out or burn it….

Paul Smith's VIC Trail Markings. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Paul Smith’s VIC Trail Markings. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Over all the trails were well-marked, and I did have their trail map…but at the very end I came to an intersection that wasn’t very clear and actually not obviously marked. A volunteer guy came walking past and I asked for directions, and he showed me what was not obvious by the lack of trail markings. As I walked on, I did later notice there were the smaller, round, trail-markers higher up on the trees. But still, not well-marked there.

 

On The Boardwalk…

About a third-or-so of the way into the trail, you come across a really cool and long (900 feet!) boardwalk that cuts right across the marsh itself! It was here I did my first selfie video, which I’ve posted at the end of this post. Coming out of the trail’s interior toward the boardwalk looked like this:

Heron Marsh Boardwalk. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh Boardwalk. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh Boardwalk. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh Boardwalk. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh Boardwalk. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh Boardwalk. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh Boardwalk. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh Boardwalk. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Here is where I did the video. I stopped halfway across the boardwalk and took shots of what was before-and-behind me:

Heron Marsh Boardwalk One Way... (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh Boardwalk One Way… (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh Boardwalk The Other Way. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh Boardwalk The Other Way. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

And this is what the boardwalk was keeping you out of:

Heron Marsh Sans Boardwalk. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh Sans Boardwalk. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

I’m not sure what these blue things are, I wish they came out better, but they were beautiful:

Blue Things on Heron Marsh. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Blue Things on Heron Marsh. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Dead Wood

Heron Marsh. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh Trail. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh Trail. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Pristine Scenery!

The beauty of this area was draw dropping! I was so amazed to have it all to myself! And it was so quiet…except for the noises that you want to her: the wind, dragonflies, toads. The relaxing scent of pine…and the scent of the dirt, the humus, the woods. Absolutely wonderful…

Heron Marsh. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Seeing The Marsh For The Trees. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Seeing The Marsh For The Trees. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Waterfall

Making my way around the marsh, toward the end of the trail, you come across Shingle Falls. This is just a small waterfall with a small bridge over it. It’s kinda hard to see in these shots, but there is a “fall” in there, a ledge, over which falleth said water. In the second image is a big rock near the top, and along the straight rock face of that rock…and off to its right…is the waterfall part. In the third image you can see it a little better.

Shingle Falls. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Shingle Falls. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Shingle Falls. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Shingle Falls. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Shingle Falls. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Shingle Falls. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Frame Worthy!

There were just so many frame-worthy shots I took, that it’s hard to get them all in here! But I’ve included as many of the neat images I’ve taken as possible. I would love to enlarge some of these and frame them!

Heron Marsh. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)Heron Marsh. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

Heron Marsh. (Image © 2018 F. P. Dorchak)

And, finally (thanks for sticking with me!), here is my first selfie video…sweat and all! Sorry about its huge display size, I cannot figure out how to resize it. But when you hit play, mouse over the screen image icon at the bottom right, beside the “HD,” and select the “Enable Fullscreen mode.” That’ll make it bearably viewable. :-] While it wasn’t all that hot when I started out, the humidity was of course there, and all my walking around in cargos (no shorts—which you don’t really wanna do in the bug-infested woods anyway), well, I sweat sitting in the shade.

As for the backward hat, no, I’m not asserting my nonconformity or dominance against humanity or the elements…it’s simply because I was taking lotsa pictures and the cap’s bill gets in the way of using the camera.

Happy Fourth of July! Enjoy your summer!

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About fpdorchak

Speculative fiction author. I write gritty, Twilight Zone-like fiction. Please check out my website: https://www.fpdorchak.com/! Thank you for stopping by!
This entry was posted in Fun, Leisure, Nature, Photography, To Be Human, Vacation and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to New York State Vacation – Paul Smiths VIC

  1. Wendy Brydge says:

    Beautiful photos, Frank! What a nice area for hiking in. It’s exceptionally nice that they have outhouses along the way — what a bonus! Also, I believe those pretty blue flowers are wild flag irises.

    BTW, for me, one of your photos has a broken link and won’t display. The one labeled: “Heron Marsh Trail Interior”. I mention it in case it’s something you can fix instead of being just a glitch on my end!

  2. Karen Lin says:

    Lovely. Have you ever considered writing for Atlas Obscura? Unusual travels and sites with lovely photos…

  3. xtian54 says:

    Great article and photos. This was one of my mother’s favourite places, not only to explore but to explain — she worked as a volunteer for a time.

  4. Paul says:

    Wow, Frank — most of these pics are breathtaking! Seriously, they look like something I’d see in a coffee-table book or a photography magazine. Very impressive! I’m about ready to pack up for a hike here based solely on these pics …

    • fpdorchak says:

      Thanks, Paul, that’s very kind of you! It’s amazing what a good camera can do with a stunning setting, huh? I’m even amazed that I took these photos! :-]

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