Places We Protect

Silver Lake Bog Preserve

New York

A lake surrounded with dark green forests.
Silver Lake Preserve View from the bluffs of our Silver Lake Bog Preserve © John DiGiacomo

See spectacular views and explore diverse habitats.

Overview

Description

With a 200-foot bluff overlooking Silver Lake, the Silver Lake Bog Preserve provides spectacular views. Peatlands like Silver Lake Bog are islands of boreal habitat in a sea of upland temperate vegetation, greatly enhancing our regional biodiversity. The plants and animals that live here are unique to these habitats—they are specially adapted to live in very moist and acidic conditions and live nowhere else. The bog began to develop after the glaciers retreated and continues to accumulate carbon year after year. In fact, one-third of all land-based global carbon is stored in northern peatlands like this one.

This 98-acre preserve has a half-mile boardwalk that provides access to get a closer look at the diversity of plants, such as sphagnum moss, evergreen leaves, pitcher plants, ferns, and wildflowers that make up the understory of forest floor. The boardwalk connects to a mile-long natural dirt tread trail with an average grade of 10% that leads through a hemlock-northern hardwood forest to a pine ridge with the bluff overlooking Silver Lake.

Access

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Hours

Open year-round from dawn until dusk.

Highlights

The variety of habitats on the preserve host a large diversity of plants and animals, including pileated woodpecker, wood frog, porcupine, snowshoe hare, olive-sided flycatcher, pitcher plant, bunchberry, hobblebush, balsam fir and cinnamon fern.

Size

98 acres

Explore our work in New York

Visit

  • Hours of Visitation

    This 98-acre preserve, located on Old Hawkeye Road in Black Brook, NY, is open to the public from dawn to dusk all year round for recreational, educational and, with written permission, scientific use. Please note the boardwalk can be slippery when wet. The Conservancy does not plow the preserve parking area in winter.

  • What to See

    This site gives the Conservancy an opportunity to learn about and protect diverse natural communities within a small area. Possible sightings include, but are not limited to: 

    • Animals: Many birds reside in the bog and hardwood forest including the black-backed and pileated woodpeckers, and the olive-sided flycatcher. A number of frogs, snakes, and salamanders also consider this preserve their home. Snow shoe hair, red fox, and black bear have been sighted on occasion as well. 
    • Plants: Tamaracks are characteristic of bogs along with black spruce and cedar. Shrubs such as mountain holly grow along the boardwalk as well as sheep laurel, Labrador tea, and blueberry. Sphagnum moss is the dominant ground cover and can hold 25 times its weight in water. Carnivorous plants such as the pitcher plant, draw nutrients not from the soil, but from insects that fall prey to their trap. Yellow birch, hemlock, and red spruce shade the bluff trail. 
  • Preserve Trail Map

    This preserve provides an ideal opportunity to connect people with nature. Explore all that Silver Lake Bog has to offer in our trail map.

  • Guidelines

    We invite you to enjoy the Preserve and remember that every visitor has an impact. Staying on marked trails is a simple way to protect the Preserve's natural areas. Walking off trail causes erosion, tramples plants, and can increase the likelihood of spreading invasive species. Please follow these guidelines: 

    • No removal or destruction of plants or animals.
    • No camping.
    • No fires or cooking.
    • No bicycling.
    • No littering.
    • No hunting or trapping.
    • All dogs must remain on a leash, and owners must remove dog waste. 
    • Please pack out what you bring in!

Explore Nature's Wonders at Silver Lake Bog

Get a sneak peek at the diversity of plants, wildlife and scenic overlooks available for exploration at our preserve. Click each photo to enable a larger view.

A bird in the center of the frame with gray features on its body and face, white feathers on its neck leading up to its face, and red feathers on the top of its head. The bird is perched on a tree.
A view from above a brown boardwalk going through green vegetation and trees on each side of the path, with a blue sky and clouds in the background.
A view looking down a dark brown boardwalk with ferns and green vegetation lining each side.
A view from atop a gray boulder on the righthand side of the image looking out onto a blue lake with green trees lining the shore.
Aerial view of red pitcher plants set against sparse green shrubbery.

Find More Places We Protect

The Nature Conservancy owns nearly 1,500 preserves covering more than 2.5 million acres across all 50 states. These lands protect wildlife and natural systems, serve as living laboratories for innovative science and connect people to the natural world.

See the Complete Map