New York

Thousand Acre Swamp

PLEASE NOTE: Thousand Acre Swamp is open to bowhunters only during hunting season (Oct 1 - Dec 20), hunting is not near trail system.

With a history reaching back to the Ice Ages, the Thousand Acre Swamp in Penfield is full of unique habitats ranging from marshy lowlands to forested upland tracts.

An extensive boardwalk and trail system winds through the preserve, allowing visitors to observe a unique variety of plants and wildlife. The swamp is one of Monroe County's largest wetland systems, and plays a particularly vital role due to its location and immense biological diversity.  


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Take a virtual tour of Thousand Acre Swamp.

PLEASE NOTE: Thousand Acre Swamp is open to bowhunters only during hunting season (Oct 1 - Dec 20), hunting is not near trail system.

Thousand Acre Swamp is managed by an active group of volunteers – the Thousand Acre Swamp Preservation Committee – that manages the preserve, coordinates all public hikes and provides overall guidance and direction to our conservation efforts. Ten trails on the property show you a world of wildflowers, animals, birds and other natural wonders. Join us for more than 30 different professionally guided hikes and field trips every year. Download the 2014 hike schedule to plan your visit.

For information on how to volunteer, please call (585) 546-8030.

Thousand Acre Swamp boasts a remarkable variety of animal wildlife, including some rare or unusual species. You may see foxes, white-tailed deer, weasels, and coyotes. 

The preserve is also a great place to do some birdwatching. Visitors have spotted, among other species, eastern bluebirds, great blue herons, green herons, black-throated green warblers, wood ducks, woodpeckers, and ruffed grouse. As you walk the trails, look for red and white trillium, jack-in-the-pulpits, trout lilies, marsh marigolds, blue cohosh, witchhazel and cattails. Thousand Acre Swamp also features a number of large silver maple and ash trees.

This 500-acre preserve is located in the Town of Penfield, just outside of Rochester within Monroe County, NY.

  • At the intersection of I-490 and I-590 east of Rochester, take I-590 north one mile to NY-286.
  • Drive east on NY-286 approximately 4.9 miles and then turn left (north) on Jackson Road.
  • Drive approximately 0.5 miles on Jackson Road.
  • The entrance to the Thousand Acre Swamp Sanctuary is indicated by a wooden sign on the west side of Jackson Road (just north of the Sheriff's substation and adjacent to the Penfield Volunteer Ambulance.
  • Turn left and follow the narrow driveway, passing to the left of the house at the end of the drive. Parking is available in the gravel lot (closed in winter).
  • Please do not park in the driveway at any time. A well-traveled path leads about two hundred yards to the forest edge and the beginning of the trail system.

Have you been to this preserve? Are you thinking of visiting? See what others are saying about their experiences and add your comments below.

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