Photo: Bill Hecht

Finger Lakes Land Trust Expands Conservation Lands at Wesley Hill Nature Preserve Near Honeoye Lake

The Finger Lakes Land Trust (FLLT) has expanded its Wesley Hill Nature Preserve in the towns of Richmond and South Bristol, Ontario County, with the purchase of 38 forested acres. With this latest addition, the preserve now encompasses 428 acres of conserved lands near the southern end of Honeoye Lake.

Nestled within the scenic Bristol Hills between Canandaigua and Honeoye lakes, the Wesley Hill Preserve protects diverse stands of mature forest, open meadows, and 3,895 feet along the immense Briggs Gully, one of the largest gorges in the Finger Lakes region. Briggs Gully forms the southern boundary of the preserve and serves as a major tributary to Honeoye Lake.

Briggs Gully photo by Matt Sitler

Located in an Audubon-designated New York Important Bird Area, the Wesley Hill Preserve is situated within a growing complex of conserved lands including Cumming Nature Center, Honeoye Inlet Wildlife Management Area, and Harriet Hollister Spencer State Recreation Area. With approximately 2,500 feet of road frontage on Gulick Road, the new 38-acre addition to the preserve protects scenic forested views in this area. Collectively, these lands play an important role in maintaining Honeoye Lake’s water quality by stabilizing steep, erodible slopes that reduce nutrient runoff.

All of these lands are located within the proposed Hemlock to High Tor Greenway—an ambitious effort by the Finger Lakes Land Trust and its partners to create a corridor of conservation lands extending from the shores of Hemlock Lake in the west to High Tor Wildlife Management Area and the community of Naples in the east. Conserving this intact corridor will allow for the continued movement of wildlife through the area while also protecting recreational resources such as the Bristol Hills Trail, a branch of the Finger Lakes Trail.