When the Wild Walk opens on July 4, visitors to the Adirondacks will get to see the region’s lush landscape and diverse wildlife from a new perspective. Billed as a “High Line for the Forest,” the Wild Walk is an elevated nature trail and interactive museum that weaves into the treetops of Tupper Lake in northern New York.
Set on 80 wooded acres inhabited by more than 70 species of birds, as well as bats, butterflies and flying squirrels, the trail consists of a series of winding bridges and platforms that rise up to 40 feet above the ground. Along with strategically placed observation points, it features family-friendly attractions like an oversized bald eagle’s nest, a spider web big enough to catch humans and a realistic reproduction of a massive white pine whose hollowed core can be explored through a spiral stairway.
“The best way to understand nature is without any walls,” said Howard M. Fish, director of communication at the Wild Center, the natural history and science museum that conceptualized and built the Wild Walk, located minutes away from the center’s main building. “We wanted to use the forest as an exhibit and to create a learning experience across the entire walkway.”
The Wild Walk (along with the Wild Center) was designed by Charles P. Reay, whose career began at the Charles Eames studio in the ’60s, when the firm collaborated with Eero Saarinen to design the IBM Pavilion for the 1964 World’s Fair in Queens. Admission to both the center and the walk, which is open until Columbus Day: $20 for adults; $13 ages 5 to 17; free for children under 5.