Photo: Charlie Swain

Houghton Land Preserve

On a hilltop just minutes from downtown Corning, the Houghton Land Preserve offers hardwood forests and fields with easily accessed hiking trails for quiet recreation and nature education.

Natural History

Located on Spencer Hill Road, the property features a mix of forests and fields.  Much of the woods are dominated by towering red, black, white, and chestnut oaks and hickory trees, interspersed with patches of birch, maple, and pine.  The south side of the preserve also features open hillside meadows with abundant blueberry bushes.  In contrast, the north side of the preserve drops precipitously through stands of hemlock.

The preserve’s varied habitats make the property an excellent location for outdoor education and wildlife observation.  Listen for Bobolinks and Field Sparrows in the open meadows.  Look up for a glimpse of a porcupine on a tree branch when the trail dips into the forest or a Yellow-billed Cuckoo tucked in the forest canopy.

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.

The preserve is located in the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and contributes to water quality protection in both the Chemung River watershed and the greater Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Recent History

Located just a stone’s throw from downtown Corning, the Houghton Land Preserve features mature hardwood forests, 2 miles of hiking trails, and scenic meadows with sweeping views of the surrounding hills.

The preserve was a gift from Jamie and Maisie Houghton, who gave their 194-acre property to the Finger Lakes Land Trust in 2016 to create a new nature preserve. Jamie, who passed away in 2022, was the retired Chairman of the Board of Corning Incorporated, a company founded by his great-great-grandfather in 1851. By donating their family land to the Land Trust, the Houghtons kept their deep commitment to the Corning community.

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 Rte 352/Denison Parkway in downtown Corning, turn south onto Chemung Street. Take Chemung Street to Spencer Hill Road and drive about 2 miles to the preserve entrance on your right. From Corning Community College, take Marland Road and continue on Spencer Hill Road toward downtown Corning. Drive about 1/4 mile to the preserve entrance on your left.