Photo: Bill Hecht

Houghton Land Preserve

On a hilltop just minutes from downtown Corning, the Houghton Land Preserve offers hardwood forests and fields with easily accessed hiking trails for quiet recreation and nature education.

Natural History

Located on Spencer Hill Road, the property features a mix of forests and fields.  Much of the woods are dominated by towering red, black, white and chestnut oaks and hickory trees, interspersed with patches of birch, maple, and pine.  The south side of the preserve also features open hillside meadows with abundant blueberry bushes.  In contrast, the north side of the preserve drops precipitously through stands of hemlock.

The preserve’s varied habitats make the property an excellent location for outdoor education and wildlife observation.  Listen for Bobolinks and Field Sparrows in the open meadows.  Look up for a glimpse of a porcupine on a tree branch when the trail dips into the forest or a Yellow-billed Cuckoo tucked in the forest canopy.  The preserve is located in the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and contributes to water quality protection in both the Chemung River watershed and the greater Chesapeake Bay watershed.

History

Located just a stone’s throw from downtown Corning, the Houghton Land Preserve features mature hardwood forests, 2 miles of hiking trails, and scenic meadows with sweeping views of the surrounding hills.

The preserve is a gift from Jamie and Maisie Houghton, who gave their 194-acre property to the Finger Lakes Land Trust in 2016 to create a new nature preserve.  Jamie is the retired Chairman of the Board of Corning Incorporated, a company founded by his great-great grandfather in 1851.  By donating their family land to the Land Trust, the Houghtons are continuing their deep commitment to the Corning community.

Public Use

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

All dogs must be on a leash and kept in full control by their owners.  Please do not allow your dog to chase wildlife or intimidate other visitors.

From October 1-November 17 bow hunters will be hunting on the preserve in locations that are at least 150 feet from marked hiking trails, and trails will remain open to the public during that time. Hikers must stay on marked hiking trails at all times. During the regular gun hunting season, from November 18-December 19, the marked hiking trail will be open for hikers only on Sundays. The entire preserve will be closed to the public Mondays through Saturdays while hunting is occurring near the trail.

Directions

From Rte 352/Denison Parkway in downtown Corning, turn south onto Chemung Street. Take Chemung Street to Spencer Hill Road and drive about 2 miles to the preserve entrance on your right. From Corning Community College, take Marland Road and continue on Spencer Hill Road toward downtown Corning. Drive about 1/4 mile to the preserve entrance on your left.