Photo: Chris Ray

Finger Lakes Land Trust Adds to New Nature Preserve in Tompkins County Opening Spring 2024

The Finger Lakes Land Trust (FLLT) purchased 24 acres as an addition to its new Sims-Jennings Preserve at Cayuga Cliffs in the town of Lansing, Tompkins County. This addition will allow the organization to prepare the preserve for public access with a projected opening of spring 2024.

Originally acquired by the FLLT in 2021, the 224-acre Sims-Jennings Preserve features 4,000 feet of wooded bluffs overlooking the eastern shore of Cayuga Lake, located directly across from Taughannock Falls State Park. Conservation of this property secures scenic views, protects grassland bird habitat, creates new recreation opportunities, and helps safeguard the lake’s water quality by prohibiting development on its steep slopes.

An aerial view of fields and hedgerows with a lake in the distance

Photo: Chris Ray

Plans are underway to build a parking area and trailhead on the newly acquired property. The FLLT also plans to design and create a pollinator garden at the entrance to the preserve which will feature miles of trails with views of the lake.

“This addition greatly expands the preserve’s frontage on State Route 34B,” said FLLT Executive Director Andrew Zepp. “We are now able to move forward with plans to open this scenic nature preserve to the public.”

As the FLLT proceeds with opening the Sims-Jennings Preserve, it is also working nearby with New York State to establish a state-owned wildlife management area featuring Cayuga Lake shoreline at Bell Station. For additional information about the Sims-Jennings Preserve, including maps, photos, and a video, visit

The purchase was made possible with support from individual contributions and Tompkins County’s Natural Infrastructure Capital Grant Program.