Central & Western New York

Hikes, Events and Work Days

Connect with Nature in Central & Western New York

Pick from three great ways to connect with nature — sign up now for a bird walk, hike or volunteer activity. 

Space is limited and registration is first come, first served. Please wear weather-appropriate clothing and footwear and bring your own drinking water, snacks, binoculars and/or camera. Depending on the weather, don't forget sunscreen, hat and insect repellent. No pets, please. For work days, please bring work gloves and loppers or hand saws if you have them. Most activities are rain or shine but please check your e-mail the morning of the event in case there are any last minute messages.

Questions? Email cwnyevents@tnc.org or call Harshita Sood at (585) 546-8030 x7927. 

member bird walks

Spring migration is a magical time of year in Central & Western New York, and a recent Nature Conservancy study showed lakeshore and urban wilds are both critical to migratory birds.

This is a special chance for our members to explore some of the region's top urban spots for migrating songbirds with Chapter Director Jim Howe and special guest birders. All walks are easy, slow in pace and begin at 7:30 AM. Space is limited so sign up today!

Seneca River Preserve, Baldwinsville
Wed., May 11, 7:30-9:30 AM

Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo
Thurs., May 12, 7:30 - 9:30 AM

O.D. von Engeln Preserve, Freeville
Thurs., May 19, 7:30 - 9:30 AM

Cobbs Hill Park, Rochester
Fri., May 20, 7:30 - 9:30 AM

hikes & WALKS

Birding the Swamp
Thur., May 5, 7:30 - 9:30 AM
Join the Rochester Birding Association's spring birding trip to Thousand Acre Swamp, which has a bird checklist of 120 species. Jay Greenberg and Richard Ashworth will lead the easy 2.5 mile walk in search of a variety of breeding birds and migrants through habitats including include swampy woods, drier woods, a marshy area, meadows and a pond.

Extreme Ecology
Sat., May 14, 10 AM – 1 PM
Join naturalist Steven Daniel and discover one of the last and finest examples of alvar grasslands in the world – Chaumont Barrens. Its thin soils, often saturated in spring, yet dried out by midsummer, and its glacially scoured exposed bedrock create an unusual, extreme ecology. Learn about this special environment, as we walk along an easy 1.5-mile trail, hoping to find birds like prairie warbler, special plants and some unusual and rare butterflies.

Discover Rob’s Trail West
Sat., May 14, 10:00 AM – 1 PM
Join us on a very challenging hike as we descend from one of the highest elevations in Hemlock Lake watershed to the eastern shore of Hemlock Lake. Hikers will get a sneak peek of the Conservancy’s upcoming newest trail system, learn about the history and ecology of the Finger Lakes Region and marvel at the local splendor.

Mystery Plants
Sun., May 22, 10 AM – Noon
Join The Nature Conservancy and botany enthusiast Carol Morris as we explore the Eldridge Wilderness Preserve, discovering lichens, mosses, ferns, conifers and flowering plants. Carol Morris is retired biology professor of Tompkins Cortland Community College. This is a moderate hike over mostly flat terrain with some wet areas.

Where Wildflowers Bloom
Sat., June 11, 10 AM – Noon
Join The Nature Conservancy and Friends of the Thousand Acre Swamp Sanctuary to learn about the stunning array of spring wildflowers emerging from the forest floor. Volunteer Carl Herrgesell and special guests will lead this easy hike on mostly flat terrain. Come see one of nature's showstopping displays at a one of our best-loved local preserves.

Rebuilding a Wetland – Part 1
Sat., June 18, 10 AM – Noon
Visit the Honeoye Inlet restoration project area before construction begins and learn about nature based restoration techniques we are implementing to improve water quality to Honeoye Lake. This two part hike series will describe the benefits of natural floodplains and the impacts of stream channel modifications as well as the work just getting underway and the response we expect to see.

Pollinator Picnic
Sat., June 25, 10 AM – Noon
Join us on a hike through the Thousand Acre Swamp and learn how we, with local partners are building butterfly and other pollinator habitat. We will explore a recent habitat restoration project, and if we are lucky may see some butterflies during their peak summer flight. This will be an easy hike over generally flat terrain and is suitable for all ages. However, it is advised that attendees bring bug spray, portions of the hike will travel through mosquito habitat.

Moss Lake: A Glacial Ice Cube
Fri., July 22, 10 AM – Noon
Explore a unique ecosystem and habitat created by glaciers over 10,000 years ago. Learn about plants that have adapted to eat meat in this nutrient poor floating sphagnum moss bog community. This will be an easy hike over generally flat terrain and is suitable for all ages.

Paddle Hemlock Lake
Sat., July 30, 9 AM – 1 PM
Experience New York’s largest undeveloped Finger Lake in this guided, moderately strenuous paddling trip. Explore Hemlock Lake’s pristine waters and forested coastline as you learn from Conservancy staff about The Nature Conservancy’s role in protecting this incredible natural asset. Along the way we will look for wildlife and discuss conservation – both past and present - in the Finger Lakes. Attendees MUST provide their own canoe/kayak, paddles and personal flotation devices.

Work Days & Citizen Science

Thousand Acre Swamp
Sat., April 9, 10 AM – 1 PM
Help with our spring clean-up of Thousand Acre Swamp, one of Monroe County's largest wetland systems. Activities may include moderate trail work and boardwalk repair and vegetation clearing.

Chaumont Barrens
Sat., April 23, 10 AM – 1 PM
Come help us restore this rare alvar grassland habitat by removing invasive brush species in priority meadows. We will also perform seasonal maintenance of the hiking trail.

Lake Julia
Sat., May 21, 10 AM – 1 PM
Help us perform seasonal trail maintenance at our beautiful Lake Julia Preserve nestled in the foothills of the western Adirondack Mountains. Activities may include moderate trail work and clearing.


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