Cranberries and sphagnum moss at Spring Pond Bog Preserve in New York
Spring Pond Bog Cranberries and sphagnum moss at Spring Pond Bog Preserve in New York © Harold E. Malde

Places We Protect

New York

Spring Pond Bog Preserve

Explore a unique habitat of bogs and ferns found nowhere else in the state.

The second largest open expanse of peatland in New York, Spring Pond Bog Preserve provides a unique habitat for plants and animals found nowhere else in the state.  It contains a patterned peatland with ridges (strings) and wet depressions (flarks).

Why We Work Here

Spring Pond Bog is a peatland composed both of bogs and fens. Bogs rely on water from the atmosphere and are thus poor in nutrients and have low species diversity. Fens, in contrast, receive both surface and groundwater, and tend to be more diverse than bogs. It is vital that we protect areas like Spring Pond Bog because they are essential to the biodiversity of the Adirondacks.

The half-mile trail leads through a hardwood forest, along an esker with views of the spruce swamp, to a point with magnificent views of Spring Pond Bog.  There is also a boardwalk trail through a smaller "teaching bog" off the main trail. Built by volunteers during the summer of 1998, it allows visitors to take an up-close look at the bog without disturbing the plants. Note: Because it is located beyond a private gate, access to Spring Pond Bog requires written permission. Contact the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy for a gate pass.

The wetlands and surrounding forest provide habitat for more than 130 species of birds, including boreal species like spruce grouse, black-backed woodpecker, gray jay, and short-eared owl.

The bog contains a variety of typical northern bog plant species such as pitcher plant, leather leaf, bog laurel and Labrador tea, as well as several rare species. Plants must adapt to this nutrient-poor environment. The pitcher plant actually traps and "eats" insects. The leaves of the pitcher plant form a vase that holds water. Insects that venture in are trapped by downward pointing hairs, fall into the water, and are digested by the plant.

This preserve is located in the Town of Tupper Lake.