Acreage: 170 acres
Trail Distance: 2 miles
From Bath, take Rt. 415 east and turn left onto Telegraph Road. Continue on Telegraph Road for 4.2 miles to the intersection with Vielie Rd. Make a left on Vielie, park on the left shoulder of the road, preserve is on your left.
Parker Nature Preserve
Unwind to the songs of Blue-winged Warblers, Eastern Towhees, and Chipping Sparrows as you pass through abandoned fields, shrubland, and young forest, on your way up the trail to the former hilltop meadow, now young woods. Continue past the meadow to the wonderfully diverse mature forest on the western side of the hill.
Named after their grandsons, Chris and Mike Parker, the 170-acre preserve was donated by Gene and Joan Lane in 1993. Like so much land in these parts, the Parker Nature Preserve was once a farm. One hundred years ago, the entire property probably was agricultural, but only the more level, eastern portion was still farmed in recent memory. Near Velie Rd., the old stone walls of the barns give silent testimony of those days. The farmhouse, burned down by an arsonist, has now been buried.
Today, the old farm has a fine mature hardwood forest on the west and south slopes, young woods on the east slope, and young trees/shrubland and small wetlands on the gently sloping eastern portion of the property. The mature forest provides ideal habitat for the Scarlet Tanager, Black-throated Green Warbler, and Golden-crowned Kinglet. Blue-winged Warblers, Yellow-throats, Yellow Warblers, Song and Field Sparrows thrive in the brushlands.
The farm pond where children used to splash has leaked and is now a cattail marsh, the sound of laughter now replaced by the croaks, peeps, and squawks of frogs and Red-winged Blackbirds.