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Skidmore College
Sustainability

North Woods Stewards

The North Woods Steward program employs one student in the academic year and two students every summer to maintain trails and lead fun and educational programming. These students manage invasive species (like burning bush and garlic mustard), monitor protected species, explore research projects, and complete trail upgrades. 

Thanks to a steward research project in 2013, the college made a commitment to remove all burning bush and Japanese barberry from campus. Burning bush was used extensively in landscaping across the northeastern US because of its brilliant red fall foliage, but it out-competes native plants and squashes forest diversity yielding thick understories of burning bush. Burning bush is a large part of the understory in the North Woods, and each year summer stewards monitor specific sites near protected species to ensure those areas stay clear of invasives. In 2022 and 2023, our stewards built two bridges to traverse stream crossings. Through 2023, the Sustainability Office and stewards worked with ESS Capstone students to proposed an accessible trail upgrade in the woods.

The North Woods Stewards Program is a great opportunity for students looking to gain skills in conservation work, education and outreach and to apply concepts learned in the classroom right in Skidmore’s North Woods. Steward positions are posted on the Now Hiring page. Email questions, concerns, and/or trail feedback to northwoods@skidmore.edu.

Stella and Jacob stand with tools in their hands amidst a stairwell they've just built.7 sustainability people- staff and students- stand lined up on a boardwalk they just repaired with thumbs up

Learn More the North Woods

We have maps posted by trail entrances, so you'll have guidance while you're out and about. Click here for a printable PDF.

Image includes land area in green highligh, frisbee golf in light yelllow. The 3 miles of trail include a purple section, green, blue, orange, and red sections.

 

Get a gander at our brochure for the North Woods trails, including some quick facts and history about the land.

The North Woods is valued by Skidmore’s students and faculty and the Saratoga community at large. Please ensure the North Woods stays an enjoyable place for years to come by following our guidelines and regulations. We prohibit fires, camping, biking, and littering. We ask that all dog walkers leash their dogs for the safety and comfort of all trail users. Review the complete list of regulations linked here.

Take a stroll through the past by exploring past newsletters and reports at this link to North Woods Pulications.  In addition, for years our North Woods Stewards recorded their work and projects in this for a blast to the past.