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!


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.

Brandy Brook Flow on Cranberry Lake was my latest destination. This is a nice easy hike, a little over 7 miles round-trip. At one time, this was home to the floating camps of lore. There are several very nice campsites along the way. The trail has several intersections to other locations, and the Cranberry Lake 50 follows it for a ways.

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.

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!

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

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…

It was a chilly 9 below zero morning, but the full moon and clear skies made for an amazing sunrise. And now the trail is broke, so check it out for yourself.

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.

What a lovely time we had exploring the several waterfalls along Tooley Pond Road. If you haven't been yet, it's a must go! As a group, we visited Banford Falls, Twin Falls, and Rainbow Falls. Along the three trails we learned about the location's history as an iron mining site and scavenged for wild edible plants.  

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.

Found some beautiful white water lilies on Tooley Pond, bobbing on the wind-rippled water.

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.

Thought that was awfully big for a beaver:)

We did a "tour" of the waterfalls for my 21st birthday yesterday. Some of the falls had no trails so there was some bushwhacking but it was still really fun! The views were great.

I spent this Sunday afternoon visiting the cascades along Tooley Pond Road before hiking the Tooley Pond Mountain loop. The afternoon was gray, but the brightly colored leaves along the banks of the Grasse River more than made up for it. No surprise that this is a popular place for "leaf peepers"! Seems to be a popular place for wildlife too - a black bear rambled across the road in front of me and another visitor mentioned seeing one in the area the day before.

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.

My first time seeing Pitcher-plants.

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!

The trailhead for copper rock falls, is 8.9 miles from the DeGrasse end of the Tooley pond road, and is the only one on the left side of the road. It's just a short hike back to the river, and the trail is well marked. It's a lazy series of falls, and was running quite high when we were there, due to heavy rains this past week, and probably some ice jams downstream from use. The name comes from the copper colored spots on the rocks here, most likely from rusted iron ore content.

Driving down the Tooley Pond Rd

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.

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

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.

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

Early morning sun light over the Oswegatchie River in early July.

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?

I had to ski into an easement to do some work today and I ran into this guy. He was chomping on a tasty white pine and was very content. We chatted for a while, as you know porcupines are not the most talkative creatures, but he was very thoughtful and thought it would be ok if I took his photo.

Mountain biked up to the Burntbridge Pond leanto Saturday. Bushwacked through swamp east of the pond into the Conifer Easement (the Forest Preserve boundary is remarkably well signed in this very remote swamp). Saw some beautiful pitcher plants, heard a barred owl around 2 am. Have encountered loons, bear and bald eagles here in the past.

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

A road less traveled, holds more beauty.

I found this gal working on a nest next to the parking area at Tooley Pond. About an hour later I helped another, bigger snapper across the road near the turn from Route 3 to Mt. Arab. I guess it is nesting time for snapping turtles! Please watch out on the road.

What a great day for some snowshoeing! It was a little chilly but with the sun and 3' of snow to break trail through, we were sweating in no time. Tooley Pond mtn was a great little hike in SLC and several waterfalls along the road made the trip even better. I would definitely recommend this for anyone looking to try snowshoeing up a mountain for the first time or anyone looking for a quiet, peaceful getaway.

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.