Trees of the Adirondacks: Northern White Cedar on the Heron Marsh Trail (17 May 2015)

Upcoming Events at the Paul Smiths VIC

Earthshine Yoga Studio LogoYoga Retreat
24 July or 7 August 2016

The VIC is hosting a One-Day Yoga Retreat by Earthshine Yoga on 24 July and again on 7 August. The retreat will promote physical, mental and spiritual health. Yoga sessions, breath work, meditation, and unstructured time in the natural environment will support the participants self-inquiry as they let go of the details of daily life and discover the peace and connectivity of their unencumbered being. The retreat includes an outdoor yoga practice in the morning and an afternoon practice; the location will depend in the weather. The cost is $95. A vegetarian lunch and snacks are provided.

Ed Williams: Missing Out.  From the 2015 Life on the Lakes Art Show. Life on the Lakes Juried Art Show
3 July - 1 August 2016
Artists Reception: 10 July 2016, 2:00 - 5:00 PM

Every summer, the Paul Smith’s College VIC hosts a juried art show around the theme “Life on the Lakes.” In 2016, the show will hang 3 July through 1 August 2016. An artist reception will be held on 10 July 2016 from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Free. The VIC has invited Jeanne Danforth to serve as the juror for the 2016 Life on the Lakes show. Ms Danforth is a member of the Adirondack Artists Guild Gallery, located at 52 Main Street, Saranac Lake. Her work has been exhibited throughout northern New York, including several times at the Paul Smith's College VIC. Artists interested in paricipating in this year's Life on the Lakes show will find more information here: Life on the Lakes Art Show 2016 Prospectus (PDF)

Yoga on the Deck 2016Yoga on the Deck
Mondays and Wednesdays, 27 June - 9 September 2016

Enjoy the relaxing, strength-building benefits of yoga in a serene outdoor setting. Union (yoga) with nature, humanity and the universe is truly felt, intensifying your experience. Participate in Sun Salutations while actually reaching for the sun. Enjoy a stunning playlist courtesy of the birds and the breeze. Feel rooted while holding Tree pose in the forest. Instructor Jackie Foster is a Registered Yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance. This class is open to all abilities. Participants are asked to bring a mat and a large towel. Some mats and props will be available. Cost: $15 drop-in fee; five-class pass: $60; Ten-class pass: $100.

Mushrooms of the Adirondacks: Hygrophorus conicus on the Heron Marsh Trail at the Paul Smiths VIC (24 July 2013)Mushroom Walks with Susan Hopkins
Selected Tuesdays and Saturdays, starting 25 June 2016

Join mushroom expert Susan Hopkins for a casual walk in the woods to look at all mushrooms and fungi. We will discuss and identify poisonous and edible species and point out some of medicinal value too. This walk will take at least 2-2 ½ hours and be held rain or shine. All walks start at 10:00 AM. Bring a lunch if you want to stay longer after the foray. You can lunch on the picnic tables under the pavilions, while using books and reference materials provided by Susan for more study. $15 per person for Friends of the VIC. $20 for nonmembers.

Guided Nature Walks: Barnum Bog from the Boreal Life Trail BoardwalkGuided Nature Walks
Wednesday - Sunday, starting 18 June 2016

Learn more about nature in the Adirondack Mountains on a guided nature walk at the VIC. The walks are offered at 1:00 PM, Wednesday through Sunday, starting 18 June and continuing through 28 August. Participants meet in the VIC building at 1:00 PM for an hour-long walk exploring different aspects of nature in the Adirondack Park. Participating in nature walks is an excellent opportunity to hone your skills as a naturalist, while enjoying beautiful scenic vistas from the VIC's well-maintained trails. Walks are underwritten by Friends of the VIC. Free for Friends of the VIC. $10 for nonmembers.

Guided Canoe Trips: Explore the Adirondacks by canoe!Interpretive Canoe Paddles
Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. starting 18 June 2016

Explore the Adirondacks by canoe! These two-hour trips provide a chance to explore the varied aquatic habitats at the VIC. Learn more about the plants and animals that make their home in Adirondack wetland habitats, as you paddle up Barnum Brook through a bog to Barnum Pond. Canoes, paddles, and personal flotation devices are provided.  The paddle begins at 10:00 AM and ends around noon. Trips are scheduled Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 10:00 AM, beginning 18 June and continuing through 28 August 2016. The price is $20 per adult; Friends of the VIC: $15 per adult. Preregistration is appreciated, but not required. If you wish to preregister, call the VIC at (518) 327-6241.

Birds of the Adirondacks  Common Yellowthroat at the Paul Smiths VIC (28 Nay 2016)Teddy Roosevelt Bird Walks
Selected Thursdays and Saturdays, beginning 9 June 2016

Join John and Pat Thaxton, Adirondack bird guides and NYS Licensed Guides, from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM on a series of bird walks to search for the VIC's summer resident birds. By June, the birds are setting up nesting territory, singing, and showing off their mating displays. You will be challenged to see and hear many of the bird species identified by a young Teddy Roosevelt in his research while visiting Paul Smiths in the 1870s. Birders meet at the VIC building at 9:00 AM. The cost is $20/person. Free for Friends of the VIC Warblers; $15 for Friends of the VIC. This program is made possible through donations from Friends of the VIC. Please call (518) 327-6241 to preregister.

Mourning Warbler.  Photo by Larry Master.  Used by permission.Great Adirondack Birding Celebration
3 - 5 June 2016

Join us for the 14th annual Great Adirondack Birding Celebration — the longest running boreal birding festival in the Northeast. You may sign up for one or more of the scheduled events, taking advantage of our a la carte pricing. The three-day event will offer a wide variety of activities designed to appeal to both experienced and beginning birders, including all-day birding field trips on Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning field trips to boreal birding hot spots, and informative lectures and workshops.

Fragment of a painting by Denise Leavitt - Birds of a Feather 2016Birds of a Feather Invitational Art Show and Sale
1 June - 2 July 2016

Each year a group of regional artists are invited to submit artwork with birds as the subject matter for an art exhibit timed to coincide with the Great Adirondack Birding Festival, which is held at the VIC during the first weekend in June. The 2016 Birds of a Feather Art Show will feature the following artists and photographers: Meg Bernstein, Karla Brieant, Jon Chodat, Shawn Halperin, Russ Hartung, Anne Hughes, Denise Leavitt, Merrell Leavitt, Gail McKay, Mark Paul, Susan Runyon, Lee Ann Sporn, Edith Urban, and Cris Winters. A reception will be held on Saturday, 4 June 2016, from 2:00 - 5:00 PM. Free. Slide show from the 2016 Birds of a Feather Invitational Art Show and Sale.

Gardening with ChildrenGardening with Children
Saturday, 28 May 2016

Learn the benefits of introducing your children to gardening at a lecture and hands-on workshop offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Franklin County. Gardening teaches children to better appreciate nature and to respect their environment. Gardening also encourages children to explore the outdoors and develop a connection with the natural world. It promotes creativity and self-discipline, introduces children to what it means to be self-sufficient, promotes making good food choices and allows them to personally observe the cycle of life. Free.

VIC Volunteer PotluckVolunteer Potluck
Thursday, 26 May 2016

VIC volunteers serve in a variety of roles: manning the front desk, providing information to visitors, staffing the Butterfly House, and helping maintain trails. Volunteers gather every month for a potluck dinner – to get the scoop on upcoming events and activities, sign up for volunteer opportunities and organize training sessions.  All volunteers, as well as individuals who might be interested in becoming one, are invited to these monthly get-togethers. Bring a dish to pass and a place setting.  Meet and greet at 5:30 PM; dinner is at 6:00 PM. 

Feathers and Fibers Art Exhibit Reception
Sunday, 22 May 2016

Anne Hughes: Turkey in the StrawUnique pieces by artist Anne Hughes are on display in the VIC Sun Space Gallery. Anne Hughes works in grasses, rushes, sedges, feathers, bark, ferns and a multitude of other textures, all natural in each piece. With no formal art training, Anne creates unique compositions using ordinary commonplace things found in nature.  “To find the unexpected beauty of anything natural – like the “wrong” side of the Adirondack white birch bark, or the different stages of development of the flowers and stems of grasses, sedges and rushes (destined to be mowed by the highway maintenance crews), or the incredible beauty of bird feathers…… and to take them and compose something creative and unique - that is what excites me the most.  That is my true passion. And I believe there is no better place on Earth to pursue my passion than right here in the Adirondacks.”The artist will host a reception on Sunday, 22 May, from 3:00 to 5:00 PM. Come enjoy the show and enjoy some light refreshments.

Adirondack Wildflowers: Pitcher Plant on Barnum Bog at the Paul Smiths VICWetland Detectives Training Workshop
Saturday, 14 May 2016

Join the Wetland Detective Monitoring Corps!  Become a citizen scientist and learn how to collect information on plants, birds and amphibians in Adirondack boreal wetland ecosystems.  The workshops will provide a brief overview of the project, boreal wetlands, and phenology – the study of biological timing and cycles. We will listen to frog and bird calls and examine wetland plant leaves and flowers. Finally, we will show you how to record observations of these animals and plants.  Free. The workshop runs from 10:00 AM to noon. Please RSVP to Steve Langdon – – to reserve a seat.

Wild Edible Walks 2016 LogoWild Edible Walks
Most Wednesdays, 11 May - 17 August 2016

Join Wild Edibles instructor Pat Banker, from Cornell Cooperative Extension Franklin County, to learn how to identify wild edibles, while exploring the history, culinary uses, and historic medicinal uses of many of the plant species found in the Adirondacks. The walks will take place at noon most Wednesdays during the spring and summer and will last approximately two 1/2 hours, with a follow-up in the VIC Building to view sample flours made from white pine cambium, dandelion, and red clover. Specimens of other wild edible plants that are in season, but not available on the walk, will also be available for viewing and discussion.  The walks begin at 10:00 AM and run through 12:30 PM. The cost is $20 per person; $15 per person for Friends of the VIC.  Please call 518-327-6241 to register by 5:00 PM the day before the walk. 

Adirondack Mammals: White-tailed Deer at the Paul Smiths VIC (18 June 2013)New York Deer Management Update
Tuesday, 10 May 2016

On 10 May, the VIC is hosting one of a series of public meetings held by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation: New York Deer Management Update.  This event is intended to inform NYS deer hunters and the public about current issues in deer management and to set the stage for updating DEC's Management Plan for White-tailed Deer in New York State. DEC will provide an overview of NY's deer management program, outline progress on current deer program activities including a brief explanation of DEC's recent decision to encourage hunters to voluntarily pass up young bucks, and discuss current management priorities, including urban-suburban deer over abundance, reducing deer impacts on forests, and other issues.

Gardening with Limited MobilityGardening with Limited Mobility
Saturday, 7 May 2016

Join us at 10:00 AM for a lecture on gardening with limited mobility, offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Franklin County in the theater at the Interpretive Building. While millions of aging gardeners live with some sort of physical disability, gardening remains perhaps the single, most practiced leisure activity enjoyed by people age 55 or older. The key to gardening with limited mobility lies in eliminating the physical boundaries that would otherwise make gardening burdensome by bringing the soil up to a comfortable, workable height and choosing plants that don’t require a tremendous amount of upkeep. Free.

Forest Research and Demonstration Area (FERDA) plot at the Paul Smiths VIC (12 August 2013)An Introduction to Forest Harvesting and Regeneration Methods
Friday, 29 April 2016

If you would like to learn about forest regeneration and harvesting practices and long-range conservation planning, Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Paul Smiths College Visitors Interpretive Center (VIC) would like to invite you to attend a free class – An Introduction to Forest Harvesting and Regeneration Methods. The program gets underway at 10:00 AM on Friday, 26 April 2016, in the Interpretive Building at the VIC. Woodland owners and those looking to purchase forest land are encouraged to attend. We will be walking to the VIC's Forest Ecosystem Research and Demonstration Area (FERDA) plots to examine what each forest-harvest treatment looks like and to interpret how, after several years, each of these applied treatments has affected forest plants and wildlife. So, please come prepared to hike.

Shingle Shanty PreserveArmchair Lecture Series: Shingle Shanty Preserve
Thursday, 21 April 2016

Join us on Thursday, 21 April 2016, for a lecture on the Shingle Shanty Preserve by Project Manager Steve Langdon. The lecture will cover the flora and fauna at the Preserve, as well as ongoing research. As Project Manager at the Preserve, Langdon runs the day-to-day operations of the Preserve and Research Station. The lecture runs from 7:00 to 8:30 PM. Cost of the lecture: $5 per person. Free for Friends of the VIC.

Earth Day 2016Earth Day Volunteer Potluck
Thursday, 21 April 2016

Friday, 22 April 2016, is Earth Day, when events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection. The theme this year is "Trees for the Earth." Help celebrate Earth Day by coming to our Volunteer Potluck on Thursday, 21 April. The potluck is held every month on Thursday. VIC volunteers gather to get the scoop on upcoming events and activities at the VIC, sign up for volunteer opportunities, and organize training sessions. All VIC Volunteers are welcome to this potluck. Bring a dish to pass. We will meet for hors d’oeuvres at 5:30 PM, followed by dinner at 6:00 PM. Volunteers are invited to stay for the Armchair Traveler Lecture at 7:00 PM.

Plein Air Painting at the VICNew Moon Art Show: Plein Air Paint-Out
20 April - 31 May 2016

This month, the New Moon Art Show features works created by invited Plein Air painters who were out on the VIC trails from 15 to 17 April. Artists participating in the exhibit include: Nancy Brossard, of Lake Clear, Frances Gaffney of Wevertown, Sandra Hildreth of Saranac Lake, Charles Atwood King of Malone, and Edith Urban of Onchiota. The show hangs from 20 April through 31 May 2016. Free admission.

SAMFest 2016Science, Art, and Music Festival: The Art and Science of Time
Saturday, 16 April 2016

Paul Smith's College will hold a day-long festival at the VIC celebrating Science, Art, and Music in Paul Smiths on 16 April. This year's festival focuses on "The Art and Science of Time" and features musical performances by North Country musicians, presentations by students, researchers, and educators on topics related to the art and science of time, an art exhibit, demonstrations, a dance performance, and an award-winning documentary about the retreat of ice from the Arctic.  Admission is $5 per person. Friends of the VIC and the Paul Smith's College community are admitted free.

Plein Air Painting at the VICPlein Air Paint-out at the VIC
15-17 April 2016

Invited Plein Air painters will be out painting on the trails at the Paul Smith's College VIC from 15 to 17 April 2016. Spectators are welcome to come and watch! This is a great opportunity to meet with and talk to the artists, get some exercise, and enjoy the natural environment at the same time. The paintings produced over the weekend will be framed and hung in the gallery space at the VIC by April 20 and will remain on exhibit until May 31.

Bog Rosemary on Barnum BogWetland Detectives Training Workshop
Saturday, 9 April 2016

Join the Wetland Detective Monitoring Corps!  Become a citizen scientist and learn how to collect information on plants, birds and amphibians in Adirondack boreal wetland ecosystems. The workshops will provide a brief overview of the project, boreal wetlands, and phenology – the study of biological timing and cycles. We will listen to frog and bird calls and examine wetland plant leaves and flowers. Finally, we will show you how to record observations of these animals and plants. Free. The workshop runs from 10:00 AM to noon. Please RSVP to Steve Langdon – – to reserve a seat.

Apple Tree Pruning DemonstrationApple Tree Pruning Demonstration
Saturday, 9 April 2016

Apple trees (or any other fruit trees, for that matter), if they're going to produce quality fruit, require regular maintenance. Pruning is fundamental. Pruning can improve structure, flowering, and fruiting. Moreover, most commercial orchard owners will tell you that no other practice improves the health and well-being of fruit trees more than proper pruning at regular intervals. Learn how to properly prune your apple trees with Richard Gast from Cornell Cooperative Extension Franklin County. The demonstration begins at 10:00 AM. Free.

Lee Ann SpornThe SAMFest Exhibition: Art Exploring Time
7 April - 19 April 2016

The Paul Smiths VIC is hosting an exhibit of visual arts exploring time; the exhibit coincides with the Science, Art and Music Festival on 16 April 2016. Regional visual artists interested in the concept of time have been asked to experiment with embodying a thought, concept, emotion, or insight. The exhibit is an experiment in how the visual arts can be used in communicating about time through a variety of media: pencil drawings, monotype prints, and collage, as well as oil, watercolor, and acrylic paintings in a variety of styles – some very innovative. The exhibit hangs from 7 to 19 April 2016. Free admission.

Maple Weekend at the VICMaple Weekend
2-3 April 2016

The VIC will be part of the Northeastern New York Maple Producer’s region-wide event.  Come for a tour of our interpretive sugar bush, visit the sugar house, try some maple confections and baked goods, learn about maple sugaring, sign up for our Community Maple Project, and support the VIC by “adopting" a maple or by buying a jug of Paul Smith’s-made maple syrup.  The goal of Maple Weekend is to provide an opportunity to teach the public about the production of maple syrup and other related products and to share the taste of real mouth-watering maple syrup with visitors. This event is designed to showcase the VIC's maple sugaring operation.  

Maple Syrup at the VIC"Sap to Syrup" Maple Workshop
Saturday, 2 April 2016

Work with Paul Smith's VIC sugar makers to experience all aspects of the syrup making process.  The class is hands on. Participants will monitor sap quality, learn to work with reverse osmosis equipment, assist with the wood-fired evaporator, and draw off a finished batch of VIC maple syrup. The program is part of the New York Maple Weekend. The program runs from 9:00 PM to noon. $20 per person. Preregistration required. Limited to 10 participants per session. Contact: Brian McDonnell,

Bethany Garretson: Nature CraftsWorkshops at the VIC: Nature Jewelry
Saturday, 2 April 2016

Join instructor and back-country skills expert Bethany Garretson on Saturday, 13 February, from 10:00 AM to noon for a workshop to create nature jewelry. We'll learn how to make dream catchers, hemlock earrings, and birch bracelets. Bethany Garretson came to the Adirondacks in 2007 to attend Paul Smith's College and instantly found inspiration. Today, an environmental studies instructor at the college, she continues to teach hand crafts and survival skills. 

Past Events

Explore the VIC

The Paul Smiths VIC offers a wide variety of programs throughout the year to educate and inform Adirondack Park residents and visitors about the natural wonders of the Adirondack Mountains. You can help support these programs by joining the Friends of the VIC. More information on Friends of the VIC memberships

Explore the Trails

The VIC trails are free and open to the public, from dawn to dusk, spring through fall. In winter, the trails are open to cross-country skiers and snowshoers for a fee. Day or season passes may be purchased.