Photo: Chris Ray

Tapan Mitra Preserve

Bordering more than 2,000 acres of previously protected open space, the Tapan Mitra Preserve connects to miles of hiking trails. Formerly known as the Cayuga Inlet Conservation Area, the preserve was renamed in 2019 in honor of the late Tapan Mitra, a leading economic theorist and long-serving Cornell University professor.

Natural History

Its wild, wooded hillside and streamside meadows can be seen from Robert Treman State Park as well as nearby State Route 13.  Public fishing rights extend along both banks of the Cayuga Inlet through this preserve.

The property also protects a short, but key, segment of the popular Finger Lakes Trail, allowing hikers to pass through woods and fields rather than having to negotiate roads in this area.

All dogs must be on a leash and kept in full control by their owners. Please do not allow your dog to chase wildlife or intimidate other visitors.


Recent History

In 2006, the Land Trust purchased these 123 acres located within the towns of Ithaca and Newfield, just south of the Sweedler Preserve at Lick Brook.  Previously owned by John Babcock, this property features more than a mile of frontage on the Cayuga Inlet.  The land also borders Robert Treman State Park and a natural area owned and managed by Cornell Botanic Gardens.

This property was acquired with significant financial support from Cornell University, Tompkins County, the Town of Ithaca, and numerous individuals. In 2019, the Land Trust received a bequest from the estate of Tapan Mitra. During his life, Dr. Mitra collaborated with the Land Trust to identify key priorities of the organization as a part of his estate planning process. This collaboration led to the renaming of the preserve.

Land Acknowledgment

The Finger Lakes Land Trust recognizes that our nature preserves exist on the homeland of the Haudenosaunee. We hope to honor indigenous peoples’ ongoing relationship with the land by conserving wild places forever.

Public Use

Please see our public use policies for recreational activities on nature preserves.

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Go Finger Lakes is the free web site created by the Finger Lakes Land Trust to promote recreation and conservation. Use the interactive map of 50+ hiking, biking, paddling, skiing, and outdoor adventure destinations across the region!


From downtown Ithaca, follow NYS Route 13/34/96 south for approximately three miles, following signs for Spencer. Immediately after the overpass, turn left. At the stop sign, turn left and after approximately 400 feet, turn right into the parking lot.