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Seneca Meadows Wetland Preserve

1977 State Route 414

Seneca Falls, NY 13165


Seneca Meadows Education Center at 1977 State Route 414 in Seneca Falls, New York, USA.


Education Center

The Education Center is located on State Route 414 in the Town of Seneca Falls in Seneca County.

Wetland Preserve

The wetland preserve is located on the next road parallel to and east of State Route 414--Black Brook Road. The Preserve is on the west side of the road across from the intersection of King Road. It is well marked with a sign and fairly obvious with a long fence visible from the road.


The education center and the preserve are not currently connected. The drive from one site to the other is approximately 3 mi./4.8 km.


The education center and preserve are owned by one of North America's larger non-hazardous waste management corporations--IESI. It operates a huge waste management facility on State Route 414 called Seneca Meadows. IESI owns the land on which the education center and preserve are located.


The prairie as seen from the Main Loop. The large mound of soil in the distance id IESI's waste management facility--Seneca Meadows--more than a mile to the west.


The education center is open only on Tuesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and is staffed by a person from the Montezuma Audubon Center (MAC). Inside are displays about the preserve and about recycling. In conjunction with MAC, it offers nature programs.


Behind the center is a small field with a mowed perimeter trail. A pond just to the north of the center also has a trail.


The 450-acre preserve is made up of several habitats that fall into the two general categories--woods and prairie. The amount of standing water depends on the amount of rainfall, but there are some permanent pools and some large stands of cattails.


Originally farm land, the open land was seeded and is now a lush meadow of native and non-native herbaceous perennials and grasses. Trees have been planted in some areas to extend the woods.


The preserve has two overlooks. This one is the Prairie Overlook. There are no benches here, though it would make a great place to have a picnic lunch.


Although the woods is dense with trees, especially mast trees such as beech, hickory, and oaks, including the native bur oak, the understory is thick with native and non-native woodland plants, ferns, fungi, and some shrubs.


The mix of these two general habitats makes for an interesting and rewarding outdoor experience.


A sunflower (Helianthus sp.) decorates the prairie with its small, bright yellow flowers.


There are 7 mi./11.2 km. of trail. These trails vary from the Ada Trail (crushed limestone), to the woodland trails (bark chips), to the Main and Blue Heron trails (medium-sized crushed limestone). All trails are dry and require no special footwear. Jogging is permitted.


Beware: There is a considerable amount of poison ivy in the woods, however, if you stay on the trail, you should not come in contact with it.


Biking is permitted, however, because of the bark chips and medium-sized crushed limestone, touring bikes are not recommended. Most of the trails are flat. Except for the Prairie Overlook Trail (.2 mi./.3 km.), there is only one hill, and it is slight. This is a good ride for beginners and individuals who can't manage a long hike.


Most of the trails are flat and covered with medium-sized crushed limestone. This is part of the Main Loop.


Photo ops are everywhere. There are many plants to photograph, though, in the prairie, you may find them waving a bit in the wind. The prairie also offers lots of butterflies and some dragonflies and other insects in season.


Spring, before the tree leaves create too much shade, is probably the best time to photograph the woods, though late summer and early fall provide some interesting fungi.


A large specimen of Laetiporus sulphureus grows on dead wood along the Woodland Trail.


The trails will make for good cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, however, you will need to time it just right as a too-thin coating of snow over the course limestone may allow the sharp stones on the Main and Blue Heron trails to damage your equipment.


As this is a new preserve, wildlife is limited but will continue to increase. Spring will provide good opportunities to see a variety of reptiles and amphibians in the prairie pools. Tree frogA yellow woolly bear, the caterpillar of the Virginia tiger moth (Spilosoma virginica) travels along the Esker Trail.s already inhabit the woods. Raccoons and other small mammals seem to be investigating the trails when they can do so without too much risk. Indiana bats are thought to roost in small islands of trees in the prairie, and bat boxes have been installed in the trees to attract them. In the prairie, birders should watch for sparrows, swallows, and bluebirds. In the wetlands, watch for red-winged blackbirds, bitterns, herons, and puddle ducks. In the woods, watch for woodpeckers, warblers, vireos, thrushes, blue

jays, chickadees, nuthatches, brown creepers, and perhaps woodcock and snipe.


Only the Ada Trail is accessible to wheelchairs and electric chairs. This is a .6 mi./1 km. trail near the parking lot with prairie plants and a couple of small pools of water.


Dogs are permitted on the trails and must be leashed at all times. Water is not accessible, so bring your own.


There is a portable toilet that is wheelchair accessible. There are no picnicking facilities, however, there are tables and a pavilion at a Town of Seneca Falls park called Vince's Park, which is nearby at the intersection of State Route 318 and an apparently unnamed connector road to U.S. 20.


Brochure and Trail Map (pdf) (10MB)

(N.B.:True size is 11 in. x 17 in.)

See also: http://senecameadows.com/


Most of the wet spots are small and at eye level, making it difficult to see any birds feeding there. Bring your binoculars.


Cayuga-Seneca Canal

Montezuma Audubon Center

Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge

Montezuma Winery

Seneca River

Women's Rights National Historical Park


Updated 6 September 2013








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