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Trip Recommendations

This page gives suggestions on spots to visit based on the season and the time available. They assume starting in Ithaca.

Spring

2 hours

4 hours

  • Do the Wilson Trail and the Eastern half of Sapsucker Woods.
  • Go towards Dryden stopping first at the George Road Ponds, and then on to Dryden Lake.
  • The Park Preserve.
  • Lindsay Parsons Biodiversity Preserve.
  • Hammond Hill.

All day

  • Round the lake: start at Stewart Park, then Myers. Then head towards Aurora and check the lake at the boathouse for grebes. Keep going North to Union Springs and briefly check the Factory St. Pond and the Mill Pond. Next stop at the Montezuma NWR visitors center and do the Wildlife Drive stopping at Benning Marsh. At the far end, you have lots of choices, after which you can go down the West side of the lake stopping at the Cayuga Lake Creamery:
    • Check out Tschache Pool followed by Mays Point. Drive carefully along Towpath Road.
    • Head towards the Northern hotspots: the Mucklands, Morgan Road, Carncross Road, Railroad Road, and Maarten's Tract.
    • Visit the Montezuma Audubon Center.
    • Visit Seneca Meadows.

Summer

All Day

  • Particularly in the late summer, spend all day at Montezuma looking for shorebirds.

Fall

2 Hours

  • Stewart Park.
  • Half of Sapsucker Woods.
  • In the late fall, check for loons from Myer's Point.
  • Or, try for loons from Taughannock State Park. Join the Loon Watch if it is running.
  • Hog Hole for a Nelson's sparrow.
  • Freese Road Gardens for lots of sparrows, including likely Lincoln's.
  • Mt. Pleasant for migrating raptors.

4 Hours

All Day

Winter

2 Hours

  • Find wintering waterfowl at Stewart Park.
  • Snow Buntings, Lapland Longspurs at Mt. Pleasant.
  • Late in the day check Rafferty Road, Schofield Road and other locations for Short-eared Owls.

4 Hours

  • Summer Hill for winter finches. Maybe a Goshawk if you are lucky.

All Day

  • Round the lake: Myers, Aurora boathouse, Union Springs Mill Pond, MNWR Visitor Center. Go down the West side of the lake stopping at Sheldrake and Dean's Cove.