Southern Adirondack Audubon Society

Protecting the environment through the preservation of natural habitats
 and the advancement of environmental education

Birding the Bog Meadow Brook Nature Trail

in the Town of Saratoga, Saratoga County, NY


The Bog Meadow Brook Nature Trail is a two-mile trail following an abandoned railway through open marsh, wet meadow, and forested wetland habitats.  There is a parking area on either end of the trail and benches and interpretive signs along the way.  The diverse habitat, level terrain, and accessible location make for a very pleasing half-day of birding.

Photo of trailhead signboard


NOTE:  There are two entrances to the trail.  The Meadowbrook Road access provides a shorter walk to the seating area overlooking the pond, and in spring or rainy periods, may be the only access to this viewing area as beaver activity affects the water level.  If walking in from Rt.29 at these times, be advised that calf-high waterproof footwear may be required!

Rt. 29 Parking:  From exit 15 off the Northway go north on Rt. 50 for .3 miles.  At traffic light turn right onto Wiebel Ave.  Go 1.1 miles and turn left at traffic light onto Rt. 29.  At .5 miles parking and trailhead is on the right.

 Meadowbrook Rd. Parking:  From exit 14 off the Northway go South on Rt. 9P for .6 miles.  Turn left onto Meadowbrook Rd. (County Rt. 65).  At 2.2 miles parking is on left.  Follow the sign about 200 yards along the road to the trailhead, located behind a guard rail.

The trail accessed from Rt. 29
The  marsh and forest areas provide
diverse habitat for nesting species.

View to the north from the small footbridge
                    over the creek.
View to the north from the small footbridge over the creek.

Many species of waterfowl use this area.
Many species of waterfowl use this area.

Meadowbrook Rd. entrance with trailhead
Signage along the trail highlights some of the flora and fauna.


Birding Bog Meadow Brook

Due to its varied habitat, this trail has great potential for migrants and residents alike.  The popularity of this trail has led to an impressive list of recorded species. 

Spring hosts both Rusty and Red-winged Blackbirds, along with Common Grackles which may be found in the marsh areas and wooded edges.  Gray Catbird, American Robins, and European Starlings are common throughout, as well as Song and Swamp Sparrows.     Baltimore Orioles add their brilliant color to the shady woods.  Resident Canada Geese, Mallards, and Wood Ducks can be seen in the open water.  They are joined by Hooded Mergansers and Ring-necked Ducks when the water level is high.  When the water is very low, Solitary Sandpiper and Spotted Sandpiper can be seen probing for food in the mud.   Warblers found in spring have included Wilsonís, Nashville, Mourning, Blackburnian, Magnolia,  Palm, Tennessee and Canada - 26 species in all! American Woodcocks have been seen performing their courtship flights from the trail.  Also, American Bittern has been heard in the grassy area 100-200 feet from the north trailhead off of Rt. 29.

During summer Turkey Vultures can be seen soaring overhead.  Woodpeckers can be seen and heard throughout the trail; they include Downy, Hairy, Red-bellied, Pileated, and Northern Flicker.  Over the larger bodies of water Tree Swallow and Barn Swallows can be found catching insects in flight.  Belted Kingfishers will perch on a dead tree and plunge head first into the water for a meal of fish.  Look for both Great Blue Heron and Green Heron while walking along the bog.  Also seen during summer are American Kestrels. 

As fall approaches American Goldfinch and Cedar Waxwings can be seen flying about.  Look for Eastern Phoebes and Eastern Wood Pewees perched on low branches on the water edges.  Also be alert for Ruby-throated Hummingbirds making their way south for the winter and Ruffed Grouse which may be flushed while walking the trail.  American Tree Sparrows will soon be seen as they move into the area to spend the winter months.

Resident Blue Jays, Northern Cardinals, and American Crows can be observed during the winter, as well as other times of the year.  As the snow begins to fall, Dark-eyed Juncos join the Black-capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, and White-breasted Nuthatches among the trees.  In late winter be on the lookout for Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglet.