What's Your Nature?

Become a Nature Up North explorer to share your encounters with wild things and wild places in New York's North Country. Post your wildlife sightings, landscape shots, photos from your outings, and even your organization's events!


Got out on the water and paddled cranberry lake with a group! Got to get off and explore some rocks, go for a chilly swim, and camp out! It was so fun to be outside and enjoy being with new friends!

Taking out the orange raft to paddle cranberry lake with a group of people who quickly became friends!

Saw a ton of these beautiful red trilliums on Cranberry Lake! A lovely way to start the morning after sleeping in the lean-to. 

Red trilliums in the woods!

A great day snowshoeing on the Peavine Swamp Trail. 

To read more about it- https://hikingthetrailtoyesterday.wordpress.com/2022/02/06/peavine-swam…

The lean-to Looking out over the Oswegatchie On the trail To the lean-to Old school showshoes were perfect

The Moore Trail runes from Wanakena to Inlet, and follows along the Oswegatchie River. This is always a fun 4-mile hike any time of year. For More on this - https://hikingthetrailtoyesterday.wordpress.com/2017/10/29/the-moore-tr…

A nice day of social distancing was had at Streeter Lake in Aldrich (Fine NY) was had over the weekend. This is always a favorite of mine, and being nearby makes it a nice last-minute hike.

I have wondered about a road/trail that used to run from near the mausoleum to the old railroad bed on the west side of the lake. This road or trail shows up on several topographic maps from a century ago. I was able to find remnants of the road for a bit, but it soon turned into a full-on bushwhack. It's a pretty rough piece of real estate, so be prepared if you try it.

We finally got a chance to hike to Colvin's Great Corner monument today. A long (12 miles) but rewarding trip that I can finally scratch off my list. We hiked south from the old Schuller estate in Aldrich (Fine). This was a great day of social distancing- we saw one family camping at the Streeter Lake lean-to.
The monument was set in 1904 to give a more fitting marker to the point of the Totten & Crossfield and Macomb lines, and St Lawrence & Herkimer county lines.

The good weather earlier in the week made for a nice day of social distancing at Streeter Lake in Aldrich (Fine NY). Though Streeter Lake is a common destination for me, this was my first trek there via the Tamarack Creek Trail. The trailhead starts from the Youngs Road in Star Lake NY.

The trip to High Rock is an annual paddle for me- it is a classic Adirondack paddle that I never tire of. The leaves are past peak, but the spruce & pine still offer vibrant greens to the landscape. The water is very low right now and makes paddling a bit difficult. There are a few beaver dams that are obstacles and there are a few other tight spots that will hopefully be taken care of with the spring high water. Round trip is a little over 7 miles round trip.

I brisk 47-degree morning on Streeter Lake was perfect for an early paddle. Loons, pitcher plants, and sundew plants made it even better.

A nice hike to the Middle Branch of the Oswegatchie River. This long-abandoned trail was once a logging railroad for the first 1.5 miles. Altogether it is around 5-miles round trip.

The crisp, bright morning was perfect for a hike along the Lost Pond nature trail. This is a wonderfully laid out trail that loops around Lost Pond and treks through several different forest systems. I just missed the state stocking trout into Cranberry Lake by a half hour, but there was still plenty of fish hanging around the boat launch. A very nice and easy short hike.

While flipping logs and stumps, I flipped a stump to find two red-backed salamanders about 5 cm apart.

At the end of my herping for the day, I flipped one more stump to find not one, but two spotted salamanders! They were my second and third of the day, and overall my favorite amphibian (I mean look at those chubby heads and costal grooves!). This was a great way to end my day outside enjoying nature and its wonders.

While I was out herping on this beautiful Saturday, I flipped a log to find this wonderful creature amongst the leaf litter!

The Moore trail is always a favorite. The trail follows along the Oswegatchie River from Wanakena to Inlet. The trail is starting to break up a bit, so it was rough going even in snowshoes, but microspikes would have been worse. for more on the Moore trail- https://hikingthetrailtoyesterday.wordpress.com/2017/10/29/the-moore-tr…

A nice but chilly snowshoe trek to the Cathedral Rock fire tower. There was well over a foot of snow so it was tough breaking trail.The storm broke for a little bit and showed some great blue skies and great views of Cat Mountain over 4 miles away.

An early July trip to Wanakena for a walk on the Dead Creek Flow trail yielded some great encounters! This very mellow trail, with mostly imperceptible elevation change, cuts through deciduous woods and grasses past swamps and beaver ponds. Conifers mix in to some stretches of trail. Accordingly, there was a nice diversity of flora and fauna, including deer, birds, and more dragonflies than I have ever seen in one place.

Just some of the flora & fauna we came across on a recent trek to Cat mountain, near Cranberry lake. A great long hike, but well worth it.

On my way back from a hike at Carry Falls reservoir, the sun setting against the overcast skies were too good to pass up.

Just a quick hike up Cranberry Lake's Bear Mountain. Temps were in the 30's, and not another soul around. I always enjoy the first snow hike of the season.

Very nice paddle around the river. First trip out we did 7.5 miles. Nice scenery with lost of birding opportunities. Plante of waterfowl can be seen including mergansers, ducks and loons. Very enjoyable place to kayak and spend the day.

Streeter Lake has long been a favorite place for me. Whether it's hiking the old Schuler tract with the "potato patch" and the mausoleum , or paddling the lake-I always enjoy ever minute of it. Definitely an overlooked gem, maybe that's a good thing.

A nice hike at Streeter lake, through the Schuler ( of the Schuler potato chip company) tract. About six miles covered the trip across the potato patch, the lean to, crystal lake and the Schuler family mausoleum. We hiked close to trailess Pansy pond, but the bushwhack looked pretty wet & miserable, so we passed on that. Located in the Aldrich pond state forest.

I nice day to be on the trails. First up to the fire tower- 2.25 miles round trip.... then the Peavine swamp lean-to, 2.8 round trip. The last pitch up to the tower is sketchy today. I didn't bring crampons (i could have used em). I hate ice!

We found this rather large, unusual moth on the outside of our chicken coop. Anyone know what it is? It stayed there for at least several hours in the hot sun and was gone by the next day.

A great sunny January day was perfect to hit the big pine trail in Wanakena on snowshoes. The 140'+ pine is pretty impressive, as are several other trees on this trek. Also found a pitcher plant sticking out of the snow at a near by bog. Read more about it here- https://hikingthetrailtoyesterday.wordpress.com/2018/01/31/big-pine-tra…

It was perfect weather for camping! Sunny and warm we had a great time on the beach and swimming in the water. The sunset was gorgeous and we could not have asked for a better weekend.

The Oswegatchie River is as wild as any in the Adirondacks. In the Winter, her looks are often deceiving, almost in an attempt to lure you in.

A female Goldenrod Crab Spider waits patiently amongst the Daisies, for her next meal.

Fall day at Wolf Pond Watson's East Triangle.

In most cultures, a Dragonfly is seen as a symbol of change. It spends most of it's life in adolescence, only briefly experiencing life to the fullest before it passes on, Nothing is forever. Never take anything for granted. It can all be gone and over before you realize it. Spread your wings and fly.

Fall at Wanakena, New York

Multicolored sunset looking towards Blue Mountain in the Hamlet of Oswegatchie, in the Foothills of the Adirondacks.

Northern NY is famous for it's spectacular sunsets. This flaming August sunset certainly lived up to, and surpassed expectations.

Incredible sunset over Star Lake, in the foothills of the Adrirondacks, captured with only a cell phone, and completely unedited.

A short hike past the Big Pine in Wanakena led to a floating bog on the left side of the trail. Logs laid out across the peat allowed us to walk out and view pitcher plants (Sarracenia purpureas). Great little spot - I'd love to explore more of the peat bog habitats in this area of the Adirondacks.

This old growth white pine in Wanakena may be the largest tree in St. Lawrence County. Estimated to be 300+ years old, it somehow avoided the loggers' saws when this area was heavily logged in the early 1900s. These photos are my attempt at taking a vertical panorama; photos really can't do this mighty tree justice. Check out more info on how to get there at: http://www.cliftonfineadk.com/#!bigpine/csmy

On a two-day backpacking trip around the High Falls Loop, starting from Wanakena and passing by Cranberry Lake, I came across this beautifully constructed beaver dam. I had crossed several beaver dams over the course of the day but this one stood out right at the edge of the swampy trail. I had to stop to marvel at the work of nature's architects for a few minutes before the sun began to drop below the trees. What an amazing sight to see!

Macro view of Dandelion spores.

The warm April Sun,rejuvenates and with it, brings life back to the frozen harsh Winter landscape. Photo: Freshly opening buds on a Lilac bush graciously welcome the warming sun.

Although difficult to work in, sub zero mornings in the dead of Winter in Northern NY, can lead to breath taking landscapes. This is the Icy Little River in the Hamlet of Oswegatchie in the foothills of the Adirondacks,

My dog Lida and I skied into High Rock in the Five Ponds Wilderness this morning. There was just enough snow to make it enjoyable, and the temps were low enough this morning, but by the time we returned between noon and 1 pm it had warmed up enough the snow was beginning to stick to the skis. Can anyone identify what manner of creature left the prints in the snow?

Mushrooms of all shapes, sizes and variety are bountiful and beautiful in the Autumn in the Adirondacks.

A road less traveled, holds more beauty.

This fungus, possibly a False Tinder Conk, was found in Stone Valley park on an overturned tree by the river. It is known to cause a white trunk rot above and below its conk, or the visible "mushroom". The spores are airborne, so they travel until they find a proper host tree stump or scar (generally Aspen). I thought the shape of this fungus was unique, it wasn't a disk shape like others I had seen in my hometown. The size of this fungus was also impressive, as most fungi I've seen of this size were in the spring or summer time.

Mid Winter thawing creates an inter-racial cascade of flowing springs, and marvelous ice formations.

Serene wilderness in a hiker's paradise

Beautiful start to the fall foliage


The ebony jewelwing is a damselfly commonly seen in in the vegetation by streams. The males are notable for their totally black wings and bright blue-green iridescent bodies. The female is black, but maintains the black wings and has a small white spot on the very tip of them.

Dead Creek Trail – Wanakena
The Dead Creek Trail is one of my “go-to” trails that I visit every once in a while. I prefer it in the winter. It’s easy to think you’re in Alaska or the wild north of Canada. Of course, you’re not. You are actually a couple of miles from Wanakena on the old railroad grade from the logging days the ended well over a century ago.