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Level - Easy
Completely level and following the shoreline of Skytop Lake, this walk totals 2.1 miles, including back and forth distances between the Lodge and lake. Attached to the trees along the trails are 42 interpretive plaques describing the trees, shrubs, geology and ecology. Scenic vistas open not only to the 75-acre Lake but also to distant views of the Lodge and the rugged cliffs of West Mountain.
Migratory waterfowl such as Canada geese, mallard, black duck, bufflehead, wood duck, common and hooded mergansers, ring-necked duck, lesser scaup, goldeneye and as many as 60 loons at a time stop to rest on the Lake each year, as well as an occasional osprey and bald eagle. Muskrats and river otters dine on freshwater mussels, leaving empty shells on the shore or in the shallows. In spring, the ringing sounds of breeding American toads and the melodies of warblers, vireos, tanagers and other songbirds fill the air. Marsh marigold and pink lady slipper blossoms also appear at this season, followed by blue flag iris, cardinal flower, and other beautiful wildflowers through the summer. Northern water snakes and huge fishing spiders – both shy and harmless species – bask in the sun on rocks along the shore.