Photo by Nigel Kent

West River Preserve

This 64-acre property borders High Tor Wildlife Management Area and Nundawao, the Finger Lakes Land Trust preserve named in honor of the Seneca people, in this valley that is central to the Seneca origin story.

Natural History

The FLLT partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to restore 64 acres of grassland bird habitat on what was an overgrown, abandoned vineyard. The preserve sits at the south end of Canandaigua Lake within an Audubon Important Bird Area. A scenic overlook with signs interpreting the history of the valley welcomes visitors.

 

History

The surrounding area is the birthplace of the Seneca people, who refer to themselves as The People of the Great Hill, or Onöndowa’ga:’. One of the earliest Seneca towns sat just south of the West River. The West River Preserve, dedicated in honor of Don and Skippy Raines, was established in 2011 through a donation of land by Constellation Brands and the generous support of the Raines family.

Public Use

The West River Preserve will be closed to the public during the bow and gun hunting seasons, from October 1 – December 20, EXCEPT that hunters will not hunt within 1,000 feet of the scenic view point with benches and interpretive signs at the height of land where Sunnyside Roads makes a sharp bend. The public may still visit this location for the scenic view.

Currently, there are no trails at this preserve.

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

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SEE MORE PRESERVES ON GOFINGERLAKES.ORG

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!

Directions

From the intersection of State Routes 21 and 245 in the Village of Naples, take Rt. 245 north for 4 miles. Turn left onto Sunnyside Rd. and drive approximately 0.5 mile to the preserve which is on the left. Parking is available along Sunnyside Rd.