Higley Flow State Park (Beaver Pond Trail)
Difficulty: Extremely Easy
Date of Hike: 9/19/10
Length of Hike: .9 miles
Trip Time: 1 hr
It doesn't get easier than Higley. Set in the village of South Colton, just off Rte 56 (between Potsdam and Cranberry Lake), Higley Flow State Park (Park Website Here) is a place that has everything a family needs: a wonderful beach on the Racquette flow, hundreds of campsites, and a handful of walking (and mountain biking or skiing) trails to choose from.
Since I'm sure we'll make it back to Higley many times, I'll keep this brief, sticking to just the short jaunt that my wife, daughter, and I took today. We hiked the Beaver Pond Interpretive Trail. It was a rolling trail that took the hiker through a variety of different habitats, including marshlands, ponds, and different forest settings. It was great for kids, as the variety keeps them interested, and the informational placards (w/ illustrations) helps for everyone to learn something new about where they are.
Looking out over the wetlands
This trail was so well-blazed and easy that my 18-month old daughter hiked about half of it herself. I would say that if you live within a 20-minute drive of this trail, it's worth a visit. With other trails in the area - like the Stone Valley Trail and the Red Sandstone Trail just up the road, Rte. 56 is a wonderful starting point for a great hike in the north country.