A mixed species hardwood forest
Hardwood Forest A mixed species hardwood forest © © 2010 Richard Hamilton Smith

Places We Protect

Clintonville Pine Barrens

New York

Explore this unique pine barrens community.

The Clintonville pitch pine-heath barrens sit on a sand delta deposited 12,000 years ago by glacial meltwater. 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.

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 office or 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.