The Gull Bay Preserve is a nice option for those who are looking for a moderate, family-friendly hike.
Location: Sagamore Road, Putnam [view map]
Hike Length: 0.6 – 2.6 miles round-trip (additional hike optional)
Start Time: 10:00 am
Photo Time: 10:43 am
Approx. End Time: 11:15 am (without hiking orange trail)
Gull Bay’s overlook is just a short hike from the parking area, about 0.3 miles that follows an old logging road. This is the primary climb but is moderate, with a gradual ascent. Once at the view point the Hike-A-Thon group will wait here and gather for their photo op when the helicopter arrives.
Optional: After the photo, the group may choose to explore Gull Bay’s 1-mile orange trail. The orange trail begins with a short, 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. Click here for brochure and trail guide.
About Gull Bay:
This woodland hillside property contains old logging roads and two wetland swamps and ponds 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. Because of its important habitats, Gull Bay is a key part of LGLC’s Lake George Wildlife Refuge, a project that also includes the Last Great Shoreline to the north.
Once a popular destination for those wishing to see Gull Bay’s great blue heron rookery, the site seems to have been abandoned. 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.