Gull Bay Preserve

434 acres in the Town of Putnam

TRAILS
Please see the trail guide at right for a map and additional details.  The Gull Bay guide is in the process of being updated to reflect new trails.

From the parking area, walk a short distance following an old logging road to the preserve's kiosk. From here the blue trail continues on the logging road uphill for less than half a mile, ending at an overlook that peeks out to Gull Bay and to the south over Lake George.

The yellow and orange trails start from the blue trail near its northern and southern end, respectively. The yellow trail follows the pond's western ridge and creates a loop through a fern-laden forest at the pond's northern end.

The more popular and well-used orange trail breaks from the blue trail just downhill from the overlook. The orange trail begins with a rocky downhill climb, but levels out beyond that for a lovely hike that passes vernal pools and varied habitats full of wildlife in all seasons. The trail ends with a short loop that leads close to the pond's shore for great wildlife viewing.

The orange and yellow loops are connected by the red trail. You may also follow the red trail further north along a second beaver dam and across a stream to another overlook that provides an expansive view of the ponds and wetlands. This trail climbs a steep rocky ledge; please hike with caution!

BACKGROUND
This woodland hillside property contains old logging roads and two wetland swamps which represent the southern portion of Sucker Brook, one of the most important wetlands in the Lake George watershed. In autumn, significant numbers of migratory waterfowl rest in the wetland before their journey south to warmer climates. The western side of the property has a magnificent scenic vista of Lake George. The Lake George Land Conservancy has established two miles of hiking trails and hosts nature excursions on the property as part of its “On the Land” field trip series.

The Gull Bay Preserve has long been a popular destination for those wishing to see a great blue heron rookery (nesting colony) during its active season of March through July. Unfortunately our 20-30 nesting herons seem to have abandoned the site. Though rookeries may be used for decades, there are several factors that may cause site abandonment, including increased predation, a loss of food availability, human disturbance, and death of trees supporting the nests.

We hope to see a return of these majestic birds in the future, but for now guests can still enjoy watching the pond's resident beavers and other waterfowl.  When watching any animal, please keep a safe distance and use caution to reduce disturbance and stress on the animals.

Lake George Land Conservancy • 4905 Lake Shore Drive • P.O. Box 1250 • Bolton Landing, NY 12814 • (518) 644-9673

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