Archive for the ‘Feature Pick’ Category

Sterling Nature Center Sunday, July 11th, 2010
Sterling Nature Center - Heron Trail

Sterling Nature Center - Heron Trail

Sterling Nature Center
15730 Jensvold Road
Sterling, NY 13156
Phone: (315) 947-6143

Fee: Free / Pets: Yes

Parking Areas:
N43 22.665 W76 39.457 – (Parking / Trail #3)

Trail Map: Sterling Nature Center
Fishing:  Little Sodus Bay

07/10/2010 (AdvGirl) – This is really an outstanding mid-summer day trip.  The nature trails are well maintained.  The rookery is awesome but there is a lot of other wildlife in the area as well.  McIntyre’s Bluff is located down the lake shore line, follow trail #3 to the lake and then about .25 miles via the rocky shoreline.  We did trails #3, #6, #8 and HBF #1 at a very easy pace and enjoyed the seclusion of the beach on an 85 degree day.

07/17/2010 (AdvGirl) – Our second visit to the center.  We did trails #2, #3, #4, #5, and #9, totaling 4.2 miles.  These trails were a little more challenging with temperatures pushing over 90 degrees.  Trail #4 in particular had a couple of points that were muddy or under water.  This was the only one of the trails that I would consider “buggy”.  The swim in Lake Ontario was revitalizing after this one!

Trail:  McIntyre’s Bluff (HBF #1)
Distance: 0.45 miles / Difficulty: Easy

Sterling Nature Center - McIntyre's Bluff

Sterling Nature Center - McIntyre's Bluff

Trail: Bluff Trail (#2 – Blue Markers)
Distance 1.0 miles / Difficulty: Easy
N43 22.896 W76 39.303 – Intersection of trails #2/#9

Bluff Trail - #2

Bluff Trail - #2

Bluff Trail - #2 - View 2

Bluff Trail - #2 - View 2

Trail: Dogwood Extension (#9)
Distance: 1.1 miles / Difficulty: Easy
N43 23.161 W76 39.098 – Intersection of trails #2 /#9
N43 23.186 W76 38.588 – Traceback Pt. / Parking

Dogwood Extension - #9

Dogwood Extension - #9

Trail: Forest Ecology Trail (#7)
Distance: 0.6 miles / Difficulty: Easy

Trail: Heron Trail (#6)
Distance: 0.8 miles / Difficulty: Easy
N43 22.743 W76 39.501 – Intersection of trails #6/#8
N43 22.854 W76 39.095 – Rookery

Sterling Nature Center - Rooker (Trail #6)

Sterling Nature Center - Rooker (Trail #6)

Blue Heron

Blue Heron

Sterling Nature Center - Dragonfly Pond

Sterling Nature Center - Dragonfly Pond

Trail: Lake Trail (#3)
Distance: 0.2 miles / Difficulty: Easy

Trail #3 / Lake Ontario Intersection

Trail #3 / Lake Ontario Intersection

Trail: Lake View (#8)
Distance: 0.4 miles / Difficulty: Easy

Sterling Nature Center - Trail #8

Sterling Nature Center - Trail #8

Trail #8 Observation Deck

Trail #8 Observation Deck

Trail: Two Tale Trail (#5 – White Markers)
Distance: 0,8 miles / Difficulty: Easy
N43 23.048 W76 38.652 – Trail head

Two-Tail Trail - #5

Two-Tail Trail - #5

Trail: Vernal Pool Trail (#4 – Red Markers)
Distance: 0.7 miles / Difficulty: Easy
N43 23.171 W76 38.691 – Trail head #4/#9

Vernal Pool Trail - #4

Vernal Pool Trail - #4

Vernal Pool Trail - #4 Alt View

Vernal Pool Trail - #4 Alt View

Vernal Pool Trail - #4 Flooding

Vernal Pool Trail - #4 Flooding

Trail: Wetland Loop (#1)
Distance: 3.5 miles / Difficulty: Unknown
Note:  Currently under construction

“Located on the shore of Lake Ontario, where 1400 acres of wetlands, woodlands and meadows are bordered by two miles of undeveloped lakeshore with Sterling Creek to the South and Nine Mile Creek to the North.  Ecologically sensitive areas are protected with a conversation easement.

The center was established by Cayuga County in 1997 to mange the natural resources and foster and understanding and appreciation for the natural environment through guided and unguided nature study and interpretive programs.”

— Cayuga County Parks & Trails



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Lakeview Wildlife Management Area Wednesday, May 26th, 2010
Lake View Natural Beach

Lake View Natural Beach

Lakeview Wildlife Management Area
Fee: Southwick Beach State Park Entry Fee
Pets: Yes

Parking Area:
N43 45.889 W76 12.882 (Southwick State Park)

Trail Maps:
DEC Map – Lakeview Wildlife Area
Southwick Beach Trail Map

Fishing:  Lakeview Marsh Wildlife Management Area Ponds

Trail: Lakeview Natural Beach Trail
Distance: 6.5 miles (round trip) / Difficulty: Easy
GPS: N43 45.889 W76 12.882

Trail: Southwick Big Beach Trail
Distance: 0.7 miles (round trip)/ Difficulty: Easy

Trail: Southwick Big Dead Maple Tree Trail
Distance: 0.2 miles (round trip)/ Difficulty: Easy

Trail: Southwick Unnamed Trail
Distance: 1.2 miles (round trip)/ Difficulty: Easy

05/22/2010 (AdvGirl) – This was my initial visit to Southwick Beach, although my wife had been there several times.  Let me tell you, there is a lot of beach here.  Due to the time (and the heat) we opted for the Lakeview Beach trail.  After you move away from the State Park, there is so much beach and not a soul in sight.  The entire walk was on the sand with little to no elevation.  There are two wooden decks — one going to Lakeview Pond and the other, a lookout onto Floodwood Pond — to check out along the way.  As there were a few additional short trails in the area (and a fishing spot I want to try just minutes away from the park) a return trip for additional details will be forthcoming.

Lake Ontario From Lakeview Pond

Lake Ontario From Lakeview Pond

Boardwalk Between Floodwood Pond & Lake View Natural Beach

Boardwalk Between Floodwood Pond & Lake View Natural Beach

Natural Beach - Floodwood Pond Return Point

Natural Beach - Floodwood Pond Return Point

Taughannock Falls State Park Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Taughannock "Upper Falls" - Gorge Trail

Taughannock Falls State Park
Fee: State Park Fees Apply
Pets: w/Restrictions

Parking Area: N42 32.307 W76 36.514 (Overlook)
Parking Area: N42 32.727 W76 35.969 (South Rim / Gorge)
Parking Area: N42 32.835 W76 35.786 (Picnic / Fishing)

Trail Map: Taughannock.com

Trail: North Rim
Distance: 1.5 miles (1-Way) / Difficulty: Easy
GPS: N42 32.766 W76 36.030

Trail: South Rim
Distance: 1.125 miles (1-Way) / Difficulty: Easy
GPS: N42 32.727 W76 35.969

Trail: Gorge Trail
Distance: 1.5 miles (Round Trip) / Difficulty: Easy
GPS: N42 32.727 W76 35.969

Trail: Multi-use
Distance: 2.0 miles (Round Trip) / Difficulty: Easy

05/01/2010 (AdvGirl) – We started this hike on the South Rim trail which is easily seen from the parking area.  Although I indicated “easy” for this hike, the multiple sets of stairs going to the rim can get you winded.  Once we were on the rim, the trail is very easy going from there.  A similar staircase is on the North Rim entrance, which seemed to be a less aggressive incline.  The South Rim connects to the North Rim trail over the upper falls and continues back to the South Rim parking lot.  From the same parking lot you will find the Gorge Trailhead.  This is a very easy paced hike to the lower observation area of the upper falls.  A nice set of easy trails connected to a very nice park filled with amenities.

Taughannock Falls - Lake Side

South Trim Trailhead

More South Rim Stairs ...

More South Rim Stairs ...

North Rim Trail

North Rim Trail

Taughannock Lower Falls - Gorge Trail

Gorge Trail

Gorge Trail View

Taughannock Upper Falls

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