Photo: Roger Hopkins

Bishop Nature Preserve

This low-lying preserve adjoins state land, and can be used as your access point for the Cayuga-Seneca Canal Trail, which runs for several miles along the canal that connects Cayuga and Seneca Lakes.

Natural History

The Bishop Preserve has a rich mosaic of brushland, forest, and wetland.  Interestingly, most of the shrubs and trees are nonnative, many of them invasive.  However, the numerous birds and other creatures attracted to this wildlife oasis find here food, water, shelter, and nesting places—all the necessities of life.  The structure of a habitat can be more important, at least to birds, than the exact plant species found there.  Native species such as white pine, walnut, black cherry, basswood, hickory, maple, oak, flowering dogwood and shadbush are moving in, providing an additional element of diversity.

This low-lying, gently sloping preserve adjoins forested state land, which in turn borders the Cayuga-Seneca Canal.  Several seasonal streams traverse the preserve, emptying into wetlands. These, too, help meet the needs of wildlife.

Some sunny winter day when the snow lies deep, check out the animal tracks and birds at this diverse 30-acre wildlife haven in the Town of Fayette, Seneca County.  Maybe you’ll even spot an owl roosting in the evergreens.

The best times to visit are in the fall, winter, and early spring, when mosquitoes and poison ivy are less in evidence.

History

In 1993, Bruce Bishop contacted the Land Trust, hoping to donate his land in order to protect what had been a labor of love for over 30 years.  He and his wife, Helen, had purchased worn-out farmland opposite their home, and Bruce had put heart and soul into planting 30,000 shrubs and conifers.  Together, they wanted to ensure that the wildlife habitat his labors had provided would be permanently protected.

Public Use

Please see our public use policies for recreational activities on nature preserves.

Directions

From Geneva, go east on route 5 & 20. Turn south (right) onto route 96A. Cross the bridge over the canal, and make the first left, on West River Rd. Park opposite house #536.