Where to Visit
The Western New York Land Conservancy owns or holds conservation easements on several properties that are publicly accessible. Several of the Land Conservancy’s farm properties have u-pick sales or are community supported agriculture (CSA). Below are descriptions of these properties.
Stella Niagara Preserve
The Stella Niagara Preserve, located across from the Stella Niagara Education Park at 4421 Lower River Road in Lewiston, is now open to the public. Visitors can walk along its trails and launch a kayak at the landing. Visitors should park at the Lewiston Senior Center at 4361 Lower River Road, using the lot closest to Pletcher Road. More information about the Stella Niagara Preserve can be found HERE.
Kenneglenn Scenic and Nature Preserve
Kenneglenn is a 131-acre preserve owned by the Land Conservancy. It includes forests, small wetland areas, and a spectacular gorge on Hunters Creek. Kenneglenn is located just north of Hunters Creek County Park at the intersection of routes 20A and 78 in the Town of Wales. The driveway is located off of Old Strykersville Road. This is a long single lane drive with two-way traffic. Kenneglenn has daytime use hiking trails. More information about Kenneglenn can be found HERE. For driving directions, click HERE. To download a trail map, please click HERE.
The Owens Falls Sanctuary
The Owens Falls Sanctuary features two magnificent waterfalls that were formed by a 2,000-foot long stretch of Mann’s Creek that flows through a 100-foot deep ravine. Its mature hemlock and beech woods, seasonal woodland pools, and forested wetlands are home to migrating birds, breeding frogs and salamanders, and dense patches of rare wildflowers. The property also includes mature headwater forests, which, along with the wetlands, are vital to maintaining water quality in the Buffalo River and Niagara River watersheds. More information about The Owens Falls Sanctuary can be found HERE. Get driving directions on Google by clicking HERE.
Mill Road Scenic Overlook
The Mill Road Scenic Overlook is located on Mill Rd. in Aurora, between Sweet and Blakely roads. It is one of the most iconic locations along the Western New York Southtowns Scenic Byway. A roadside pull-off with benches allows visitors to enjoy breathtaking views across the Cazenovia Creek valley and see the grassland birds that nest on the property like the bobolink and eastern meadowlark. The pull-off is open to visitors, although there are no trails through the property. The Town of Aurora owns the land and the Land Conservancy placed a conservation easement on it to protect it in perpetuity. More information about the Mill Road Scenic Overlook can be found HERE.
Niagara Escarpment Preserve
Owned by the Land Conservancy, the Niagara Escarpment Preserve includes 36.5 acres of grassland and forest on a gently sloping section of the Niagara Escarpment. It is located in Lockport on Leete Rd., just east of Sunset Drive. The highlight of the preserve is its wildflowers, especially spring ephemerals. Please note that the trail system is not well marked, so the preserve can only be accessed by appointment with the Land Conservancy or while on one of the Land Conservancy’s scheduled hikes. More information about the Niagara Escarpment Preserve can be found HERE.
North Tonawanda Audubon Nature Preserve / Klydel Wetlands
The North Tonawanda Audubon Nature Preserve is a Buffalo Audubon Society nature preserve. The Land Conservancy co-owns and has a conservation easement on portions of the preserve. The preserve includes 36 acres of forested wetlands and has several walking trails that are open to the public. The preserve is located near Ruie Road in North Tonawanda, and trails can be accessed from Fairfield Dr., Birch Dr., Woodward Ave., Linwood Ave., Daniel Ave., Sunset Dr., or Kincaid Ave. Audubon holds regular nature hikes at the preserve, including owl prowls.
Nature View Park
Nature View Park is a 1,254-acre park owned by the Town of Amherst. The Land Conservancy holds a conservation easement on the park, making it the Land Conservancy’s largest protected property. The park includes forests, wetlands, and meadows. It has many walking trails that are free and open to the public. The parking lot for Nature View Park is located along the southeast side of Tonawanda Creek Road, between Sweet Home Road and Campbell Boulevard across the street from Amherst Veterans Canal Park. The parking lot is marked with signs. More information about Nature View Park can be found HERE.
Bond Lake Grassland Restoration Area
The Land Conservancy has been working to restore grassland habitat at Bond Lake County Park for several years. Bond Lake is 551 acres and also features five lakes, scenic views, and lots of recreational opportunities. Visit the Niagara County Bond Lake page for more information about the park.
Owned by the Land Conservancy, Brown’s Marsh is a 43-acre property that includes a large pond, a small stream, a meadow, and a forested area. It is located in Allegany County along NYS Rt. 417, just east of downtown Wellsville. There is a parking lot for visitors located along this road. Visitors can walk around the berm that encircles the pond. This is a great place for a short hike after work, and to watch birds and take photographs. The surrounding Allegany hills are majestic in all four seasons, especially in the fall when the foliage changes colors. Please note that fishing and boating are not permitted.
Lytle Nature Preserve
The 75-acre Lytle Nature Preserve was donated to the Town of Lockport by William F. Lytle in 2008 and is protected by the Land Conservancy with a conservation easement. The property has diverse habitats including wetlands, mixed hardwood and pine plantations, farmland, and open meadows, including 47 acres of grassland being maintained as habitat for birds and other wildlife. The preserve can be accessed from Walnut Ln. off of Old Niagara Rd., just northeast of the City of Lockport. The preserve is located near the historic Erie Canal and is a great place to enjoy nature near the city.
Root Down Farm
The Root Down Farm is a very popular community supported agriculture (CSA) farm located on 5850 Shimerville Rd. in Clarence Center. The property was protected through Clarence’s innovative “Greenprint” open space preservation program, and the Land Conservancy holds a conservation easement on it. CSA shares are available in every season, and the farm is open to the shareholders for u-pick vegetables, herbs, and flowers. More information about the Root Down Farm can be found HERE.
Greg’s U-Pick Farm
Greg’s U-Pick Farm is located on 9270 Lapp Rd. in Clarence Center. The property was protected through Clarence’s innovative “Greenprint” open space preservation program, and the Land Conservancy holds a conservation easement on it. It is a family-owned farm featuring over 12 acres of u-pick strawberries, eight acres of u-pick blueberries, half an acre of blackberries, and two acres of red raspberries. Their fall harvest includes a u-pick pumpkin patch and a corn “maize.” Unlike many u-pick fruit operations, they welcome and encourage children of all ages to come and experience the fun of u-pick! More information can be found HERE.
Cazenovia Creek Nature Sanctuary
The Cazenovia Creek Nature Sanctuary is a 6.5-acre nature preserve in the Village of East Aurora owned by the Village. It was protected in 2011, and is an example of how the Land Conservancy can assist with a land transaction. Although the Land Conservancy does not own the preserve or hold a conservation easement on it, we helped put the pieces together that led to its creation. The preserve offers walking trails right down to the east branch of Cazenovia Creek. The preserve can be accessed from South St. near the end of S. Grove St. Visitors are offered beautiful views of the creek and a diverse array of flora.