Listen and watch for the many birds that make Genung Nature Preserve their home. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot a tall Great Blue Heron stalking fish and frogs in the creek.
Dedicated in July 2007, the Genung Nature Preserve stretches along a mile of Fall Creek as it takes a great loop on its way to Cayuga Lake. The preserve is open for people to explore an easy trail through various habitats and enjoy a quiet respite from the noise of everyday life. A small parking lot is just off the southwest side of NYS Route 38, and the trail starts from there. The trail wanders through shrubby areas, a grove of musclewood (or ironwood) trees along the bank of Fall Creek, some of the wildest hawthorn trees you will ever see, then larger hardwood trees such as swamp white oak, red oak, sugar maple, basswood and shagbark hickory.
Listen and watch for the many birds that find the place a great refuge, especially in the spring — Ovenbirds, Northern Waterthrushes, Chimney Swifts, Northern Rough-winged Swallows, Ruffed Grouse and even Pine Warblers, to name a few. If you’re lucky, you may spot a four-foot tall Great Blue Heron stalking fish and frogs in the creek.
In 2005, long-time Village of Freeville resident, Mildred Sherwood, donated her 53-acre former family farm to the Finger Lakes Land Trust in memory of her parents, Albert and Mildred Genung. With her and the Village’s approval, the Land Trust transferred the land to the Village, subject to a conservation easement held by the Land Trust. This easement permits improvements that will benefit public access. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program provided financial support.
Please see our public use policies for recreational activities on nature preserves.