Grindstone Island Where the Cultural and the Natural Come Together

Grindstone Island Nature Trail


Grindstone Island
Where the Cultural and the
Natural Come Together

Welcome to the Grindstone Island Nature
Trail. This trail wends its way from Canoe Point
to Picnic Point through land owned by the State
of New York and land owned by the Thousand
Grindstone Island Nature Trail
Canoe Point
= Trail
= Edge of island
native species like tartarian honeysuckle
(Lonicera tartarica) (smooth edged, opposite
leaves) and common buckthorn (Rhamnus ca-
thartica) take advantage of the cleared areas to
5. Drainage Ditch and Den Tree
Purple flowering Look for the drainage ditches along
raspberry the trail. These were dug to drain

Islands Land Trust (TILT). It is jointly managed
by TILT and the Thousand Islands Region of the
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and
Historic Preservation.
The interior of Grindstone is a mixture of
hardwood forests and abandoned farmland.
Grazing beef cattle are the last vestige of agricul-
ture left on the island. TILT is preserving open
space on the island by creating forest, meadow,
and wetland preserves so that this magnificent
island will always reflect the biodiversity of the
1000 Islands Region.
Grindstone Island is the fourth
largest island in the 1000 Is-
lands Region. It is 7 miles long
and 3 miles wide. Its early resi-

Herb robert
robertianum) -
Small pink flower
with frilly leaves
excess water from their fields.
Ahead, on the right is an old tree
with an opening in the base. This is
a den tree. It is hollow in the cen-
ter, providing the perfect place for
raccoons, foxes and other mammals
to make their den. Birds and squir-
rels use hollow branches located
farther up into the canopy, or upper story, of the
6. Oak Point
Look at the beach and water in front of you. Imagine you were here over two hundred years ago as a member of the Algonquin or Iroquois tribes. Both these

dents were Native Americans of
the Iroquois and Algonquin
tribes. With settlement by Euro-
pean immigrants early in the
eighteenth century (mostly from
the United Kingdom and France)
Grindstone was heavily logged and cleared for dairy farming.

1. Pin Oaks – A long way from
Bedstraw (Galium sp.)-
Leaves are in whorls around
square stem. Small flowers.

3. Walnut Grove
two warring tribes
and a hairy stem
could be found on
the island at that
time. The pin oaks
are proof of this as
are the many artifacts that have been found
throughout the island. Watch along the trail for
various amphibians (frogs and toads). Leopard

During the next one hundred years, the
island saw the creation of shipyards, the quarry-
ing of stone, and the manufacture of a fine ched-
dar cheese. All of these industries are now gone
and most of the original farmhouses have been
destroyed. The island still has a small year-
round community, a Methodist church that holds
services throughout the summer, a community
hall (Dodge Hall), and a cultural center located in
a one-room schoolhouse.
Please do not pick any plants or flowers along the trail, but leave them for everyone to see. Enjoy your walk!
Ruffed Grouse
(Bonasa umbellus)-
A brown, chicken sized bird that
lives on the edge of woodlands. It
explodes from its hiding spot when
Pin oaks (Quercus palustris) are
usually found only as far North
as the Hudson River Valley near
Albany. Native Americans are
believed to have brought seed-
lings to the Island several hun-
Pin Oak leaves dred years ago. It is not likely
that these trees will produce
new seedlings. The flooding which this species needs to continually populate an area no longer occurs due to natural changes and human water level controls.
2. Boundary Marker
The red, triangular BOUNDARY signs along the
trail mark locations where land ownership
changes from State Park land to land owned by
This section of the trail passes
through a grove of black walnut trees
(Jugulans nigra). Early settlers to
Grindstone Island probably planted
these beautiful and useful trees. The Black
wood from the trees is used to make walnut leaf
anything from cabinets to gunstocks.
Their husks make a yellow-brown dye. In many areas of the United States the large, old black wal-
nuts have been harvested and not replaced.
4. Old Field
Much of the land between the rocky outcrops on
Grindstone Island was once used for grazing and
hayfields. Many of these fields are now abandoned,
allowing brushy species to take hold. Gnarled ap-
ple trees (Malus sylvestris) may be found through-
out these areas. Gray dogwood (Cornus racemosa),
red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) and red rasp-
frogs have smooth, spotted skin and American
toads have tan coloration and large bumps or glands on the back of the head. The abundant moisture and plentiful supply of insects make this an excellent area to find both species.

Poison ivy (Rhus radicans) is
nearby. It has a woody stem with
three leaflets, each of which has a
few coarse ridges or teeth on its
edge. The berries (if present) will
be grayish or whitish. There are
many plants besides poison ivy
that have the leaves in clusters of Poison Ivy

Teach children to stay on the trail.

Black River Map
Teach children to stay on the trail.
Not only can they get lost or injured, going off the trail can damage fragile plant life
For everyone’s safety, there should be no running on the trail.
Teach your children to respect nature by treating the outdoors kindly. NEVER
leave trash of any kind behind. ALWAYS bring a trash bag and carry out what you bring in.
Teach your children to look at certain things with their eyes and not their hands. Look closely at flowers, insects, frogs,
lizards and the like – but leave them where you find them.

Poison Ivy
Poison ivy is a common plant in upstate
New York. Learn to identify its three-leaf
pattern and avoid touching it. If you do,
wash your hands immediately with soap and water.

muscles warm up and become flexible.
Increase your pace after 5-10 minutes.
Walk at a pace that allows you to
talk easily – If you are too out of breath
to speak, you are probably working too
Pay attention to your body – Stop walking if you feel out of breath, dizzy, nauseated or have pain.
Slow down at the end – Toward the end of your walk, slow your pace to let your pulse return to its normal resting rate.
If you are new to exercise – Check with your doctor before starting a


Welcome To The New Trail Jefferson County, New York Web Site.

jeffersoncountywalkingtrail map
Walking is the most popular exercise and recreational activity in the U.S. People all across northern New York are discovering that walking and hiking are safe and healthy fun. It’s a low-impact exercise that will help you ease into a greater level of fitness. It also helps reduce the risk of heart attack,stroke,and Type 2 diabetes,while helping to manage blood pressure,weight and stress levels.

Hiking and walking are also a great way for families to enjoy being together. No TV, no telephones,no computer or video games, Hikes are a perfect time for families to communicate.

you can do more than hike on these trails

We encourage you to get out and get moving, no matter how you like to enjoy nature. Many trails are great for strollers, handcycles, bikes and wheelchairs. Many are fine for dogs, as long as they are on a leash. Most are great for cross country skiing or snowshoeing.

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