Photo: Betsy Darlington

Kingsbury Woods Conservation Area

These 48 acres of forest protect over 6000 feet along the upper reaches of Lick Brook in Ithaca.

Natural History

Downstream from Kingsbury Woods, Lick Brook carves a spectacular gorge on its way to the Cayuga Inlet below; here, however, the headwater streams course gently through old fields that are gradually reverting to hardwood forest.

In the southern section of the woods stand several giant old oaks.  Dwarfing the surrounding, much younger hardwoods, these “wolf trees” once upon a time spread their impressive branches in an open field with broad views of the surround countryside.

The trail also skirts a vernal pool teeming with the activity of wood frogs, salamanders, insects and birds.

In April 2011, a tornado with winds in excess of 100 mph swept through the preserve and destroyed many of the trees. We are now watching with interest as the forest rapidly recovers.

History

In 2008, Sheela Kingsbury generously donated the 48 acre forest, containing over 6000 feet of frontage on the upper reaches of Lick Brook.  With the addition of this property, the Land Trust now has secured over 300 acres in the Lick Brook area, helping to protect Cayuga Inlet water quality and stem the tide of development on this lovely hillside.

Public Use

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

Directions

From Ithaca, go south on Rt. 96B, past Ithaca College. About 2 miles past the college, make a right onto Comfort Road. Go 1.6 miles and turn right on Jersey Hill Rd. At the split in the road, continue to follow Jersey Hill Rd (a left). Go a short distance and park in the parking area on the right, just before the bridge; the trail is on the left opposite the parking area.