On June 20, the Land Trust is holding free outdoor events in all 12 counties of the Finger Lakes to celebrate land and water conservation across the region. Outdoor activities include hiking, biking, paddling and volunteering; see the complete list below for information and directions.  Get outside with the Land Trust and enjoy the lands you love!!

Please dress appropriately for the weather and don’t forget to bring water and snacks!

Photo: FLLT

Photo: FLLT

Cayuga County

10:00 am, Paddle the Owasco Inlet, south end of Owasco Lake, hamlet of Cascade

Join wildlife biologist Sandie Doran and flood control engineer Bruce Natale for a gentle paddle at the south end of Owasco Lake where the Land Trust is currently negotiating conservation easements. Interesting plants and good bird and wildlife viewing await you! You must provide your own canoe or kayak or rent one from South Shore Marina (315-497-3006). Group size is limited to 20 boats – please call the Land Trust at 607-275-9487 to register.

Directions: meet at the county-owned boat launch, just off Fire Lane 1, at the south end of Owasco Lake in the hamlet of Cascade, just off of NY Route 38.

Photo: Peg Wilson

Photo: Peg Wilson

Chemung County

8:00 am, Birding at Steege Hill Nature Preserve, town of Big Flats

Co-Sponsored by the Chemung Valley Audubon Society

Bill Ostrander from Chemung Valley Audubon Society will lead this walk through mature woods to a hilltop shrubby field on our largest nature preserve. Bring binoculars to spot the many warblers and other birds if you have them.  There will be a few binoculars for loan available.  The first half-mile of this hike has a steep uphill grade.

Directions: From Rt. 17/86 in Big Flats, take exit 49. Turn south on Bridge St. from the exit ramp, then at T intersection turn right onto Maple St. At next T intersection turn left on Olcott Rd S.  At next T intersection, turn right on Rt. 64 (unmarked), and right again on Rt. 352. Turn left on S. Corning Rd., cross the river, and turn left on Steege Hill Rd. to find parking area on left, about one mile up.

Photo: Betsy Darlington

Photo: Betsy Darlington

Cortland County

10:00 am, Wildlife Tracking and Signs, High Vista Preserve, town of Scott

With over 20 years of experience in environmental education, tracker and naturalist Linda Spielman will lead a trip to discover what’s been visiting this forest preserve. This trip will focus on interpreting animal behavior by identifying various tracks and other signs.

Directions: From Rt. 41 south of Skaneateles, turn onto Vincent Hill Road West, just north of the Cortland/Onondaga County line. After about 1/3 mile, the road bends to the southwest and there is a small parking area on the right-hand side.

Photo: FLLT

Photo: FLLT

Livingston County

10:00 am, Hemlock Inlet Paddle, Hemlock Lake

FLLT Director of Land Protection Zachary Odell will lead this trip to explore the Hemlock Inlet and the south end of Hemlock Lake. We’ll also spend time exploring the wildlife and history of the Hemlock-Canadice State Forest. This event is limited to 10 boats so please call 607-275-9487 to register. You will need to bring your own canoe or kayak and lifejackets.

Directions: Meet at the gravel parking lot at the southeast corner of Hemlock Lake off of Route 15A in Ontario County. From the north, take I-390 south to the US-20/NY-5 Exit 10 toward Avon/Lima.  Turn left onto US-20/NY-5.  Continue to follow US-20 E/NY 5 to NY-15A.  Turn right onto NY-15A S.  Continue approximately 15 miles.  The NYS Boat Launch is on your right.  There is parking for 10 cars.

Photo: FLLT

Photo: FLLT

Onondaga County

10:00 am – 12:30 pm, Volunteer Work Day at the Hinchcliff Family Preserve, town of Spafford

Want to get a sneak peak at one of the Land Trust’s newest preserves?  Join FLLT Land Steward Jason Gorman to help finalize improvements and ready the Hinchcliff Family Preserve for public access.  Work may include:  trail clearing, spreading wood chips and grassland habitat management.  If time and weather permits, you are more than welcome to join Jason for a hike around the loop trail.  Work gloves and tools will be provided.  Please wear sturdy shoes, and bring plenty of water and a snack.  Please contact jasongorman@fllt.org to let us know if you are able to join us.

Directions: From the village of Skaneateles, head south on East Lake Road (Rt. 41) about 14 miles.  Turn right on Covey Road, which will be the first right past Bacon Hill Rd.  From Homer, head north on Rt. 41 for about 11 miles.  Covey Road will be on your left, just about 1.5 miles past Vincent Hill Rd. and scenic overlook.

Photo: FLLT

Photo: FLLT

Ontario County

10:00 am,  What Lives in Grimes Glen?  Grimes Glen County Park, village of Naples
Join Ontario County Soil and Water District’s educator Edith Davey to look under rocks and explore the creek. Learn about the geological history of the glen, and what the aquatic invertebrate inhabitants of the creek indicate about the water quality.  Great for kids and adults alike. Be sure to wear shoes you don’t mind getting wet. Grimes Glen is at the end of Vine Street in the Village of Naples.

Photo: FLLT

Photo: FLLT

Seneca County

9:00 am, Canoeing, Kayaking and Fishing!  VanRiper Conservation Area, town of Romulus

A summer day, a fishing rod, a canoe or kayak, a beautiful nature preserve on the shore of a beautiful Finger Lake – what more could anyone ask for? Kids and adults alike can enjoy an easy paddle and fishing for sunfish, perch, and bass on Cayuga Lake, launching from the VanRiper Conservation Area. Participants must have their own boats and fishing gear; if you need to rent a boat let us know and we can provide some options. The trip leader can also suggest what type of fishing gear and tackle to bring along. Canoes and kayaks will need to be portaged from the parking area to the lake on a wide, mostly flat and level laneway for approximately 1,500 feet; strap-on wheels are ideal at this location.

Bring your canoe or kayak to the preserve and meet trip leader Chris Olney at 9:00 am, with the goal of being on the water by 9:30-9:45am. Don’t forget to also bring drinking water, snacks, hat, water-shoes, sunscreen, binoculars, fishing gear, and paddle!  This event will be limited to 8 canoes or kayaks, so call the Land Trust to register early at (607) 275-9487.

Directions: From the south: The preserves are approximately 23 miles north of Ithaca; 2.6 miles north of County Rt. 138; and 2 miles north of the Thirsty Owl winery. The parking area on the right side of Rt. 89. From the North: The preserves are approximately 15 miles south of Seneca Falls; ½ mile south of Swick Road; and 800 feet south of North Cayuga Lake Road. The parking area is on the left side of Rt. 89.

Trail signs

Schuyler County

10:00 am, Mountain Bike Ride, Finger Lakes National Forest, town of Burdett

Join local mountain bike enthusiasts Steve Gelb and Adam Zawislak for a 2+ hour mountain bike ride through the Finger Lakes National Forest.  The Land Trust has protected three properties within the forest and is working on a fourth project that will help further buffer these lands.  Bring your own bike, helmet, water, snacks and a dry change of clothes.  The ride will cover intermediate level terrain with a medium pace on the Burnt Hill Trail and multi-use portions of the Interloken Trail. Beginners are welcome.  Meet at the Blueberry Patch parking area.

Directions: From the south, take NY 14 north (Exit 52 off State Route 17) to Watkins Glen, NY. In Watkins Glen, turn right at the Fourth St intersection onto NY 414 north. Go approximately 9 miles north, past the Hector Ranger Station of the Finger Lakes National Forest. 0.5 miles past the Ranger Station, turn right on Schuyler County Route 2. Follow County Route 2 for 4.0 miles until you reach the Blueberry Patch Campground and parking area. From the north, take NY 414 south to Hector, NY (Exit 41 off I-90). In Hector, 0.5 miles past Wickham’s Plaza, turn left onto County Route 2, the second asphalt road on the left. Follow County Route 2 for 4.0 miles until you reach the Blueberry Patch Campground and parking area.

Photo: FLLT

Photo: FLLT

Steuben County

10:00 am, Hike at Parker Nature Preserve, town of Bath

Join local staff member and Senior Field Representative, Kris West at our Parker Nature Preserve for a hike that will focus on the natural history of the property, succession from farm to forest, bird life, and tips for beginning birders.  Please dress for the weather and bring binoculars if you have them.

Directions: 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.

Photo: FLLT

Photo: FLLT

Tioga County

2:00 pm, Tree Identification Walk with Akiva Silver, Logan Hill Nature Preserve, town of Candor

Join Akiva Silver, naturalist, landscaper, and outdoor educator at one of our newest preserves!  Akiva will lead a walk that will focus on identification, natural history, wildlife value, the role of invasive plants, as well as survival uses of trees and shrubs.  The walk will last two hours or more so please come prepared with appropriate clothing and footwear for the weather and terrain.

Directions: From Ithaca, take Rt. 96B south towards Danby and drive approximately 18 miles to Candor. At the first gas station in Candor, turn right on Mill St., cross the creek, and turn left at the T intersection onto Rt. 96 – Main St.  After passing Candor Central School on the left, turn left into the United Health Services parking lot at 54 Main St.  Land Trust volunteers will determine, based on the number of attendees, if a carpool to the preserve is necessary.  The parking area of the preserve cannot accommodate more than ten cars.  Please arrive on time! Please call the Land Trust with any questions at (607) 275-9487. ***If the Mill St. bridge is closed, continue on 96B, then turn right at the next gas station onto Main St./Route 96. United Health Services will be on the right.

Photo: Rick Lightbody

Photo: Rick Lightbody

Tompkins County

10:00 am, Story Walk! Ellis Hollow Nature Preserve, town of Dryden

Join Valerie Akers, local educator and founder of Corner of the Sky Preschool, for a reading adventure through the fern-carpeted forests of the Ellis Hollow Nature Preserve. Designed to encourage an early love of nature and reading, Story Walk highlights a children’s book, with pages individually laminated, grouped into small sections, and then placed along the trail. Ms. Akers will guide the group through the preserve, stopping along the path to read “The Bee Who Spoke” by Al MacCuish.

Directions: From Ithaca, follow Ellis Hollow Road 2.5 miles past East Hill Shopping Plaza. Turn left on Genung Road, then right on Ellis Hollow Creek Road. Preserve entrance is located 0.2 miles past intersection, on left side of road.

Photo: Nigel Kent

Photo: Nigel Kent

Yates County

10:00 am, Hike at Bare Hill State Unique Area, town of Middlesex

Join Land Trust Executive Director Andy Zepp for a tour of Bare Hill State Unique Area on the east side of Canandaigua Lake.  Andy will host a discussion on FLLT conservation activities within the Canandaigua Lake Watershed.  Come with any questions you have about the Land Trust’s work in this area, conservation easements, or priorities for the future.

Directions: From Canandaigua, south on Rt. 364, right on Town Line Road, left on Bare Hill Road, right on Van Epps Rd to the parking area.



Many thanks to our generous sponsors!


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