Late summer is a great time to get outside. The days are still warm and the afternoons are golden and getting cooler. Why not take some time to get outside and take a hike? Another bonus of taking a hike this time of year are the beautiful native plants you can see in the woods surrounding the trail. The following is a short list of a few places you can take a hike locally here in the Binghamton area to see a variety of native plants, birds and much more.
Finch Hollow Nature Center
This nature center is a county park located in Johnson City on Oakdale Road. It offers a great network of trails that surrounding a pretty reservoir that take you from field to forest and back again. The nature center offers both self guided trails and themed walks that are great for children. The center features two-classroom schoolhouse featuring over 300 mounted birds and animals by the late, and regionally famous, Lee Loomis. In the fall visitors can expect to see pretty blooming wildflowers and the pollinators and birds that feast upon them. A great hike for all ages.
Chenango Valley State Park
Photo credit: chesbayprogram via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC
This state park, along route 369 in Port Crane, features two kettle lakes – Lily and Chenango. Kettle lakes are formed when glaciers retreat and are very deep. This park is huge and offers hiking in the warm months and cross country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter months. It’s long trails are great for seeing meadow and forrest shrubs, perennials and a variety of native grasses. In the fall you will see Joy Pye Weed, blooming milkweed, Asters to so much more that attract wildlife. Enjoy the cool grove of Hemlocks in the summer months, a peaceful place to sit for awhile before continuing on your hike. Other natives to note while hiking are Hackberry and a large stand of Cimicifuga, or snake root – a tall, summer blooming beauty that prefers shade.
Wolfe Park is located in the town of Chenango on Dorman Road. It features 182 acres worth of trails that are free and open year round. This mostly forested park features almost 4 miles of trails that wind up and around through the woods. You will be able to see a wide range of northern hardwood forest plants including Maple, Oak Beech and more. In the fall this is a beautiful hike and you can go for a quick jaunt or a longer hike.
Photo credit: waitscm via Visual hunt / CC BY
The IBM Glen is located in the Town of Union and is most easily accessed from Robinson Hill Rd. between Johnson City and Endwell. The Glen is made up of over 200 acres and features a beautiful cascading gorge home to many rare ferns native to New York. The trail features a large stand of old growth Hemlocks worth making the trip for. There are two stone bridges, natural stone steps and some of the largest and oldest trees in Broome Country. For directions visit the Waterman Center website at www.watermancenter.org.
Photo credit: Skylark – Qiu via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC
Greenwood Park is a country park located in the town of Maine, and many don’t know that it was our very first county park. It features a beautiful spring fed pond filled with fish and is surrounded by self guided hiking trails that double and cross country skiing and snowshoeing trails in the winter. The combined trail system is approximately 6.5 miles! Enjoy hiking through a large stand of Red Oaks and Bigtooth Aspen. See a variety of woodpeckers as they dart from tree to tree. This park offers dense forest as well as cool understory areas where many low growing natives flourish. Come for a hike and stay for a picnic – this park is great for all ages and many different types of activities.