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Lindsay-Parsons Preserve

Saturday 06/25/2022 10:00 am

Hike rating:

Distance – 3 miles; Terrain – Easy; Pace – Moderate with frequent stops; Overall rating – Easy

Event/Trailhead location:

The Lindsay-Parsons Biodiversity Preserve of the Finger Lakes Land Trust is south of Ithaca on Route 34/96, 1/2 mile south of the hamlet of West Danby (click for map). The parking lot is on the east side of the road at the crest of a rise. Beware of oncoming traffic when turning into the parking lot.

Hike Leader:
Tom Formanek


Hike leader contact information will be sent in the email acknowledging that you have registered for this hike. 

Hike Details:


Quick Hike Details

This is a loop hike of 3 miles rated easy. This hike will proceed at a moderate pace with frequent stops for birding at the direction of the hike leader.

We will hike several linked trails in the Lindsay-Parsons Biodiversity Preserve.

The hike begins and ends at the preserve parking area on NY Route 34/96 in West Danby.

Dress appropriate for the weather, wear sturdy boots, bring water and insecticide if you use it.

If you will have trouble navigating to the trailhead, email the hike leader.

Check the website the day of the hike for any changes or cancellations.


Detailed Hike Description

Today we will hike some of the trails in the Lindsay-Parsons Biodiversity Preserve in the Town of Danby.  The preserve is a protected natural area owned and managed by the Finger Lakes Land Trust. In past years when we did this hike earlier in the season, we also visited a nearby great blue heron rookery. At this time, though, the nestlings are all out of the nest and off taking fishing/frogging lessons, so there isn’t a lot to see.  If anyone is interested we can stop by. 

From the land trust’s descriptions: Located astride the Cayuga Inlet, the 510-acre preserve has more than three miles of trails leading visitors through a widely varied landscape of forests, meadows, brushland, streams, ponds, and other wetlands. Hiking, skiing, birding and nature walking are all popular actvities here. The preserve’s diversity stems from its glacial history. Glacial action resulted in the steeply carved hillsides that characterize the inlet valley as well as the undulating topography of the valley floor.

The terrain includes steep hillsides, a 15-acre lake, glacial kettle ponds, wetlands, open fields and extensive woodlands. The preserve’s value for wildlife is enhanced by the fact that it borders Danby State Forest; it is the land you see directly below Thatcher’s Pinnacles on the Abbott Loop trail. The diverse habitats found in the preserve are home to an equally diverse variety of flora and fauna. River otters, beavers and the occasional wandering black bear can be found here. The preserve provides an exceptional place for bird watching; in May 1995, during a two-hour period, 76 species of birds were counted!

This is an easy hike through several diverse habitats.  There are several marked trails, and we will traverse some of them. Trails on the property lead to old fields, forests, Lake Coleman, and a beaver pond, where the beavers have done an impressive job cutting down trees and flooding low lying land in their territory. 

The Finger Lakes Land Trust owns and manages Lindsay Parsons along with over 40 other nature preserves, and on over 100 other protected lands through conservation easements. The mission of the Land Trust is to conserve, protect and preserve unique natural areas, landscapes and farmland in the 12-county region of the Finger Lakes. The land trust now counts over 27,500 acres of natural areas under protection. For more, go to: or

If you use gps, set your destination to: 2406 West Danby Road, Spencer. Driving from Ithaca, take Routes 13/34/96 South. At 3.3 miles from EMS, where the highway divides, continue in the left lane, on Routes 34/96. Lindsay Parsons is about another 3.7 miles south. It is just 0.5 mile south of the little hamlet of West Danby. Look for the parking area on the left. Look for cars and hikers gathering.

Bring waterproof hiking boots or shoes, water, and dress in layers for the weather. Bring insecticide if you use it.

The West Danby area has a healthy population of deer ticks. Light colored, long pants, long sleeve shirt, and gaitors recommended. A post hike shower to identify ticks recommended.

If you are unfamiliar with Lindsay-Parsons trailhead, email the hike leader at the address above.

Registration is closed!