The Baker Woods Preserve, in the foothills of the ADKs is home to abundant wildlife including black bear, trout, blue heron, beaver and even the occasional passing moose. The Preserve includes extensive river and wetland habitats, a red pine plantation in transition, a shady hemlock grove and native coniferous and hardwood forests.
More than 8 miles of hiking trails are open daily for visitors from dawn to dusk. Paddlers will also be pleased to find a beach launch on the Indian River just a short distance to carry or cart your boat (about .2 mile on flat, packed gravel trail) from the parking area.
What We'll Do: We will break into groups and paddle and/or hike at our own pace. This preserve is meant for exploring. The trails are very well marked with wooden signage throughout and paper maps are usually available at the check-in kiosk. Brand new trails (not yet updated on maps) accessible by crossing the river which offer good possibilities for wildlife sighting. The Indian River is very slow moving in this area- making it easy paddling upstream or downstream.
PADDLE: If you plan to paddle, wear quick dry clothes, water shoes and bring your canoe/kayak, paddle, PFD w/whistle, hat, sun glasses, sun screen, insect repellent, towel, water, snack and lunch.
HIKE: If you plan to hike, wear comfortable hiking clothes, sturdy hiking shoes, hat, (hiking poles optional) bring sun screen, insect repellant, water, snack and lunch.
TIN WOMAN: If you do both, you will become a member of the "Tin Woman" Branch of the Finger Lakes Region of Women Outdoors Meetup Group!
Be prepared: If we have not had sufficient hot temperatures leading up to this event, expect a few residual black flies to be sharing the environment.
Facilities: Plenty of benches and picnic tables. Primitive but well maintained outhouse on site (no running water).
Travel: The Preserve is about 30 miles/45 minutes from Rte 81 Exit 45 traveling east on Rte 3 then taking shortcut (that bypasses Carthage) by following Rte 3A from Deferiet to Fargo and then picking up Rte 3 East again to Natural Bridge.
Enroute: Your last best chances for hot or cold drinks , restroom facilities and gas are at the Stewart's Shops on Rte 3 - in Black River (about 19 miles/ 26 minutes )- OR- Stewart's Shops on Rte 3 in Great Bend (about 14.5 miles/ 19 minutes before getting to Baker Woods).
On your way back home, be sure to stop at "Treats and 'tique's" for ice cream cone, sundae or a milk shake. Right on Rte 3 in Natural Bridge near intersection with Depot St. But be forewarned- their portion sizes are humongous!
For more information on Baker Woods Preserve (BWP):
This free event is open to members and non-members of Women Outdoors. Non-members are invited to join us on two events to see what you think. The third time's a charm - we'll ask you to join Women Outdoors at that point. You can join now by clicking on Join Us.
*** RSVP and Cancellations – IMPORTANT – PLEASE READ ***
Please respect the trip leader and update your RSVP if you sign-up but then are unable to attend. Please also RSVP early, especially if there are only a few signed up. Events may be cancelled due to lack of attendance, as well as changes in weather or other circumstances. If you must cancel at the last minute, call or text the event host/trip leader (see your registration confirmation for contact details) and let her know who it is who is calling/texting. Be sure to copy down the address, directions, and trip leader contact information to bring with you as there might not be good cell service at the event location.