Acreage: 26 acres
Trail Distance: 0.25 miles
From Ithaca, follow Rt. 13 north to junction with Rt. 366. Follow Rt. 366 north for 1/2 mile. Preserve is located on both sides of road, next to cemetery. Park on left side.
Etna Nature Preserve
The Etna Preserve, a few miles northeast of Ithaca, was created in February 1991 when Walter and Sally Spofford donated 12 acres to the Finger Lakes Land Trust. The Spoffords had lived in Etna for many years and were avid birders. The original parcel comprising the Etna Preserve consists of approximately 11 acres of woods, wetlands, streams, and floodplains on the east side of NYS Rt. 366, and one acre of land along Fall Creek on the west side of the highway. The Land Trust has maintained a hiking trail that begins at the corner of the cemetery on the east side of the road, passes by the low wetland, crosses a bridge over a tributary stream, and loops through a spruce plantation. The habitat diversity along the trail facilitates bird watching.
In October 2011 the Land Trust accepted a gift of 12 additional acres of land from the Henderson family, which consists of more than 2,000 feet of frontage along one side of Fall Creek, and more than 2,200 feet of frontage along the other side. The parcel is located approximately ½ mile north of the original Etna Preserve (not contiguous). In November 2011 an additional 1.5 acres adjacent to the Henderson tract was purchased, providing more than 1,100 feet of additional protected road frontage. There are no marked trails on these upstream parcels of the Etna Preserve, but the banks of Fall Creek can be walked for fishing or wildlife observation.
Both sections of the Preserve can be accessed from two different road shoulder pull-off parking areas located along Rt. 366.