Jefferson County’s Hidden Ecological Treasure
*Website about Chaumont Barrens from Nature.org
Info: I don’t normally list trails that don’t allow bikes or pets but this one is rather unique.
An Alvar landscape preserve, formed by glaciers 10,000 years ago or more. Be careful where you walk and do not disturb anything or take samples, lots of things to see, holes and fissures, moss and unusual flowers and other flora and wildlife, Spring is a good time of year to see the flora. No vehicles allowed, no bikes, no pets. Lots of bird-watching also. Watch for marine fossils, rare native grasslands, limestone bedrock fissures, moss gardens, shrub savannas, spring and autumn wildflowers.
Directions: Take I-81 to exit 47, turn west off the ramp onto 12F, about 1 and a half miles to Paddy Hill. Turn right and cross the Black River, then turn left onto 12E and go through Brownville. Several miles will bring you to Limerick and then to Chaumont. In Chaumont take the first right on Morris Track Road (County Route 125) and go about 3 miles. Turn left onto Van Alstyne Road just after the cemetery on the right. About 1.25 miles down you will find the Chaumont Barrens parking lot on the left (it can be hard to spot so keep your eyes out for it). Also see bottom map below.
Coordinates/Waypoint(s): 44 06.085N -76 04.435W (parking lot)
Trail Distance: Approximately 2 miles.
Date/Time Open: Daylight hours early May to mid-fall.
Mountain Biking Allowed: No.
Regular Biking Allowed: No.
Hiking/Walking Allowed: Yes.
Difficulty: Not very. But conditions can get very warm in the summer and there are rock holes and fallen logs to watch out for.
Cross-Country Skiing: No.
Pets Allowed: No.
Built on Former Railroad Bed: No.
Special Instructions: This is a nature preserve. Stay on the trail and use stepping stones when provided. Avoid boots or shoes with heavy tread. No pets. Obey the rules and closures that protect fragile plants. Don’t forget to sign the guestbook (behind the info display).
For More Information: (716) 546-8030 or Land Stewart Gerry Smith 7:30AM to 9:30PM (315) 688-9798 or page at Nature.org website.