The Trails

A pond along the Maintenance Road

A woodland pond along the Maintenance Road

Five and one half miles of well-maintained, well-marked trails afford visitors fabulous views of field, forest, and pond.

Visitors are welcome to walk the trails, or in winter ski or snowshoe. Trails are not for bikes, motorized vehicles (except as noted below), or pets… sorry.

Trails are open from dawn until dusk daily and are free of charge to the public. Donations are always appreciated.

Trail maps are available at the front desk during building hours. If you arrive after hours, just follow the diamonds and you shouldn’t get lost.

This Overlook is finished now and gives a good view of Big Pond.

This Overlook is finished now and gives a good view of Big Pond.

Blue = .5 miles. This trail starts at the parking lot and follows a paved trail to an overlook. The trail is newly repaired and perfectly smooth for wheelchairs and strollers. You will pass by a few small ponds where you should keep your eyes open for frogs and turtles. When you get to the overlook, you will have a wonderful view of our biggest pond, appropriately named “Big Pond.” From the overlook, you could turn around and follow the paved trail back the way you came, or you could continue on the mowed grass to an intersection. Turn right on the Maintenance Road for a shortcut back to the building, or go straight for the longer path through the woods.

A Day Camp group rests on the boardwalk that crosses Spatterdock Pond

A Day Camp group rests on the boardwalk that crosses Spatterdock Pond

Orange = about 1 mile. The Orange trail makes a big loop around our second-biggest pond – Spatterdock Pond. This trail also starts at the parking lot heading out the paved trail. When the paved trail takes a sharp right, however, keep going straight onto the mowed grass trail. Continue straight ahead to a small pond, then turn right. Follow the trail to the Red Pine Woods – a plantation that is over 40 years old. At the far end of the Red Pines, you’ll find a photo blind that looks out over Spatterdock Pond. You will then cross the boardwalk into a hemlock woods. A very small increase in elevation brings you into a hardwood stand. Take a right at the huge old oak tree and cross the embankment. Midway along the embankment you will see a water control device. We can use this to raise and lower the water level in Spatterdock Pond. (We have several of these water control devices on other parts of the sanctuary.) Continue along the trail keeping the pond on your right. When you get to the southeast corner of the pond, bear to the left and you’re on your way back to the building.

Spatterdock Pond changes a great deal through the seasons. In summer it is covered with duckweed and Spatterdock Lilies (of course). By fall, if the level is not too low, the water is clear and reflects the brilliance of the foliage. In winter, the water is mostly frozen and cattails release their seeds.

Spatterdock Pond in Summer Cattails in Spatterdock Pond in Winter

Yellow = about 2 miles. The longest loop takes you all the way around Big Pond. As with the Orange and Blue trails, start out the paved trail from the parking lot.  When the paved trail takes a sharp right, continue straight onto the grassy trail.  For a short section the Yellow and Orange trails are one.  Soon you will come to an apple tree at the edge of a clearing.  The Orange trail goes straight here, but you will turn left and follow a trail to our Picnic Pavilion.  This is also the main location of our bird banding station.

From here you will go into the red pine woods and re-join the Orange trail as it heads to the back of Spatterdock Pond via a long wooden boardwalk.  You will traverse a hemlock woods, then a hardwood forest and come to an intersection where a right hand turn will take you the rest of the way around Spatterdock Pond on the Orange trail.  Instead, you will continue straight, following Yellow signs that take you over another wooden bridge and into more hemlock woods.

Continuing this path takes you eventually to the embankment of Big Pond which you will cross, through another woodsy area to a large field.  At the edge of the field there is a spur trail to your right that dead-ends at a photo blind.  If you choose to explore, retrace your steps to return to the Yellow Trail.  At the edge of the field is an Adirondack shelter.  Pass by it and walk along a hedge/tree row that separates Audubon’s property from our next door neighbors’.

At the far end of this field, you can take a right and follow the maintenance road back to the parking lot, but the Yellow Trail continues straight ahead past another couple of marshy ponds on your right.  A sharp right hand turn when you get close to the road will take you through some woods.  When you get to an intersection, turn left to return to the parking lot.

Google Map:

Click “View Larger Map” to see map in its own window.

Using Power-driven Mobility Devices for Access

Jamestown Audubon Society strives to connect people to nature, so we encourage everyone to visit. To permit the greatest number of people access to the Audubon’s trails while ensuring the safety of all those using the trails, we have developed the following Policy and Procedure. (BOD 3-7-11)


Southwestern Central School student Terrel Rawson didn’t miss a beat when he attended a fieldtrip at Audubon with his class. The Universal Trail (blue on the map, and also referred to by staff and volunteers as “The Paved Trail”) makes for easy access for wheelchairs, strollers, and walkers.

Due to the inability of Power-driven Mobility Devices to safely navigate the trails of the Sanctuary, which have many significant tree roots, soft and wet areas, and stairs, power-driven mobility devices are permitted only on the following trails of the Audubon Center and Sanctuary: the Blue Trail north of the Maintenance Road and the Maintenance Road.

Power-driven Mobility Devices are further limited on these two authorized trails whenever these trails have snow or water on them. While on the Blue Trail north of the Maintenance Road and the Maintenance Road, Power-driven Mobility Devices will be limited to a speed of 2 miles an hour, so that they can safely traverse these trails in the presence of other visitors and programs, which frequently include children of all ages.

Power-driven Mobility Devices other than wheel chairs are not permitted within the building due to the confined quarters and the frequent and unpredictable presence of children in the building.

Every effort must be made to minimize the noise and impact on the wildlife since the primary purpose of the trails is to view wildlife.

What to do if you want to use a Power-driven Mobility Device on the Trails

Anyone wishing to use a Power-driven Mobility Device on the designated trails will check in at the front desk, show the front desk person a valid, State-issued, disability parking placard or card, receive a map highlighting the trails which are safe to traverse that day, and sign in on the attendance log.

Upon completion of his/her use of the trail, the individual shall inform the front desk that he/she has returned.