Summerland Farm Preserve

Follow the Finger Lakes Trail for over half a mile to the highest point on this preserve and experience spectacular sweeping views of the surrounding landscape, extending 25 to 30 miles on a clear day.

Natural History

Within a large area of conserved lands including Potato Hill and Robinson Hollow state forests in southeastern Tompkins County, lies Summerland Farm Preserve, a stunning mix of forest and meadow. Bobolinks and Meadowlarks grace the grassland habitat here, and black bear have been observed roaming the hills. Remnants of old logging roads flow through the forested sections of the property, guiding visitors through large stands of northern hardwoods.


Recent History

These 140 acres were donated by Dr. Ann Boyer, a physician who also donated a conservation easement on an adjacent 15-acre parcel where she maintains a private residence.

Dr. Boyer first fell in love with the beauty of this landscape while visiting a friend who was renting a house on the property. The site of a former commune, the land was up for sale with plans to subdivide it into five-acre lots. Using an inheritance from her mother and a purchase option that was built into her friend’s lease agreement, Dr. Boyer was able to acquire the property before the subdivision plans reached fruition.

The preserve’s namesake comes from fond memories of Dr. Boyer’s childhood. Growing up in the city, her grandmother would take her to a place in the country they called Summerland Farm. As the inspiration for protecting this land from development, this cherished memory now lives on forever at this permanently protected conservation area.

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

During the early bowhunting season, from October 1 – November 17, bow hunters will be hunting on the preserve in locations that are at least 150 feet from the Finger Lakes Trail on the south section of the preserve, and the trail will remain open to the public up to the scenic overlook during that time. Hikers must stay on the marked trail at all times. The Finger Lakes Trail will be closed beyond the scenic overlook.

During the regular gun and late muzzle-loader hunting seasons, from November 18 – December 19, the north section of the preserve will be closed to the public. The Finger Lakes Trail will remain open to the scenic overlook.

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

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The Summerland Farm Preserve is located about 13 miles east of Ithaca. From Ithaca, take Route 79 east to Caroline and turn right onto Level Green Rd. At 1.8 miles, bear left onto Blackman Hill Rd. After 1.2 miles, turn right into the parking area. Carefully cross the road to find the trailhead.