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New York

Clintonville Pine Barrens


The Clintonville pitch pine-heath barrens sit on a sand delta deposited 12,000 years ago by glacial melt water. The sandy, well-drained soil gives life to the unique pine barrens natural community.

Why We Work Here

This is one of the best examples of a pitch pine-heath barrens community in New York.  It provides habitat to rare plants including the prairie redroot, and two rare moths--the pine pinion moth and the Acadian swordgrass moth. It is this combination that makes the site of particular interest to The Nature Conservancy.

Photos

Winter Green

Spotted wintergreen is a perennial, evergreen herb native to North America. The nearly pinkish, round flowers, which appear in late July to early August, are found on top of tall stalks.

The preserve is open to the public for hiking, cross-country skiing, and nature study. Download a preserve guide or pick one up from the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, the Adirondack Land Trust office and at the trail register.

Two species that are present that you probably won't see are the pine pinion moth and the Acadian swordgrass moth. These moths are active at night and are sensitive to light. This may be the only site in New York where the pine pinion moth is found.

Many of the plant species at Clintonville actually require fire in order to reproduce or survive competition from non-fire-adapted species. This is especially true of pitch pine trees. Fire burns the pines' fallen needles and debris, releasing nutrients that prepare a seedbed for the regeneration of the forest, and it provides the heat necessary to open the cones and release seeds. Pitch pine is also capable of sprouting needles from buds underneath the thick bark after exposure to fire.

Other trees on the preserve include maples and oaks. You will also find numerous plants and shrubs including blueberry, huckleberry, sheep laurel, sweet fern, bearberry, wintergreen, and pipsissewa.

This 900-acre preserve is located in Clintonville, NY, north of Ausable Forks, in the northeastern part of the Adirondack Park.

Directions

From the north:

  • Take Northway (I-87) exit 34 toward Ausable Forks.
  • At the blinking light in Ausable Forks, turn right onto North Main Street.
  • At the four-way stop, go straight on Golf Course Road for approximately two miles to the intersection with Dry Bridge Road (formerly Palmer Hill Road).
  • Turn right and go 1/4 mile to Buck Hill Road on the left.
  • Proceed along Buck Hill Road ½ mile.
  • Preserve trailhead is on the left.

From the south:

  • Take Northway Exit 30 toward Keene Valley.
  • Follow Route 9 through Upper Jay and Jay to Ausable Forks.
  • At the blinking light, stay straight on North Main.
  • At the four-way stop, go straight on Golf Course Road for approximately two miles to the intersection with Dry Bridge Road (formerly Palmer Hill Road).
  • Turn right and go 1/4 mile to Buck Hill Road on the left.
  • Proceed along Buck Hill Road ½ mile.
  • Preserve trailhead is on the left.

Discussion

Have you been to this preserve? Are you thinking of visiting? See what others are saying about their experiences and add your comments below.

Add Your Comments

Time for you to join the discussion. Tell us about your experience at this preserve. What plants and animals did you see? When did you go? You can help others plan their visit when you share your thoughts. And thank you for visiting one of our nature preserves!

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