This trail is actually comprised of 4 different trails that meander around the perimeter of the peninsula. Several shorter nature trails either interconnect, lead to overlooks or guide you to ponds and wetlands offering a closer look at different habitats. To circle the peninsula, the distance is 4.4 miles round trip. Begin the hike by the nature center on a paved path following signs to Eel Bay Trail. Here you will enter a mixed hardwood environment. Interpretive signs offer details. Shortly, you will reach Eel Bay Trail, which naturally offers views of Eel Bay. Within a very short distance, North Field Loop Trail intersects from the left. This trail connects to East Bay Trail which is actually at the end of your hike. Traveling on to about 1/2 mile, you'll see Sand Cove Trail which leads to trails that actually bisect the peninsula. Continuing around the shore's perimeter, Sand Cove Trail ascends to lovely large rocks where anglers find success. At .8 mile, you will find yourself at the top of a 70-foot cliff rewarding you with spectacular views of the river. A short spur trail takes you down near the water's edge offering interesting views of glacial potholes. Back on the main trail you'll hike to a slight point where the trail becomes The Narrows Trail. As the trail weaves inland, Rocky Knob Overlook is a great side trip offering panoramic views, resting benches and more interpretive signs. The slender body of water below is called The Narrows which separates Wellesley Island and Murray Isle. After reentering The Narrows Trail, the path heads south to reach another outcropping of rock at 1.25 miles. From this point, you'll get another impression of The Narrows. Shortly after the trail heads east, you will be on South Bay Trail where more spur trail opportunities await. This area is lush with a changing hardwood forest, wetlands and several marshes. As the trail wraps left, it will become East Bay Trail. Various habitats from maple, oak and a pine forest to wetlands with boardwalks are found along this last stretch of trail. The remaining .5 mile of your hike, you'll see where North Field Loop Trail enters from the left. Recall this is the same trail you passed at the beginning of your journey. There is one more opportunity to visit a wetland before the trail forks and heads right to the parking lot and left to the nature center.
Directions: From Alexandria Bay, NY, Take Interstate 81, Exit 51. Turn right at off-ramp and then right onto Country Road 100. Continue straight about 2 miles. Trail begins by the nature center.
Elevation Gain: 100 feet
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Wellesley Island State Park, New York
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