Note new later start time at 5:00 P.M.
Our destination this week takes us to three preserves, two of which are protected by the Finger Lakes Land Trust: the Bock-Harvey Forest Preserve, Rieman Woods, and Stevenson Forest Preserve. We will do a loop hike around Bock-Harvey and Rieman Woods, then drive the short distance to Stevenson. The land trust now has over 18,000 acres of natural areas under protection, including over 30 preserves.
|Parts of this hike will qualify for the Hike 100 Challenge with the North Country Trail Association. Mileage will be calculated at the hike.|
The Bock-Harvey Forest Preserve was established three years ago. It was donated for public use by the Bock family and is now owned by the Finger Lakes Trail Conference. It is protected by a unique working agreement among the Conference, the Cayuga Trails Club, and the Finger Lakes Land Trust. As a part of that agreement, the land trust holds a conservation easement on the property which prohibits logging and most development; the Cayuga Trails Club maintains the trail, lean-to and other amenities, and is responsible for the preserve's day-today management and protection.
The Bock/Harvey family owned this land for some 200 years and donated it for public use because they thought that was the best way to protect the land and the old growth forest there.
The major natural feature of the preserve and its one-mile loop trail is an old-growth stand of maples and other trees 250 years old or older. Forest groves that have survived to this age are rare in our area. Man-made features are: Locust Lean-to, kiosk, privy, and firepit, and a couple of Leopold benches to rest on as we admire a nice view of the neighborhood. After comtemplation of the past and the future, we'll strike off on the Finger Lakes Trail for Rieman Woods, which is also owned by the Trail Conference and has its own history. After returning to the cars, we will drive a short distance to Stevenson Forest Preserve, which was donated much earlier to the land trust. A dark grove of older hemlocks is one feature at Stevenson; if the weather is clear, we'll be able to enjoy a nice overlook to the north and east from a spur trail.
Bring sturdy, waterproof hiking boots or shoes, water, and dress in layers for the weather.
If you are unsure of navigation to the Bock-Harvey Preserve, Gary will meet you at Eastern Mountain Sports, 722 S. Meadow St. at 4:30 p.m. to guide you.
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