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Hiking in Onondaga County
The 67.5 acre Butternut Creek Recreation and Nature Area is located off Kinne Road between Butternut Drive and Cedar Bay Road in the Town of Dewitt. Currently there is the 0.9 mile Butternut Creek Trail and a 0.25 mile boardwalk trail that travels into a wetland available to explore. The Butternut Creek Rec & Nature Area has other proposed trails that they hope to construct in the future.
The area is generally flat with a sharp upward slope on the southern end near the Wegman's parking area off NY 5/92. The western section of the area contains secondary forest growth and brush. The eastern section of the area is dominated by freshwater wetland. A nature trail is in the development stages as well as finishing the boardwalk trail through the wetland area to create a loop. From looking at the "proposed map" of the area, it looks like there will be multiple opportunities to create your own loop hike in the future. You'll find more info from the Town of Dewitt website.
The main trail at the Butternut Creek Recreation and Nature Area is the 0.9 mile Butternut Creek Trail. The trail is paved as it travels 0.7 miles south from the main parking area off Kinne Street to the Wegman's parking area. The trail also crosses Kinne Street and climbs, then soon crossing the Old Erie Canal on a nice bridge (see panorama above) before ending at the junction of the Old Erie Canal Trail. The trail never really gives visitors any glimpses of Butternut Creek from the trail, until you reach the Old Erie Canal Trail. There you'll turn left and are able to view the creek from the Canal Aqueduct over the creek.
There is also a boardwalk trail the runs about 0.25 miles into the wetlands of the area from the Butternut Creek Trail. The boardwalk has two overlooks with benches. The boardwalk ends abruptly with no warning, so be aware as you bike or walk. There are plans in the future to extend the boardwalk/trail to create a loop off the Butternut Creek Trail. Look below for a few pictures and a current (Aug 2013) map of the trails in the Recreational Area.
Directions: A parking area is located on Kinne Street in Dewitt, just east of the I-481 overpass about 0.2 miles from the three way stop at the corner of Butternut Drive. The GPS coordinates are N43 02.507 W76 02.954 for those who have a GPS devise. You may also park in the Wegmans parking area near where the trail reaches the parking area (no signs 8/2013). The GPS coordinates are N43 01.995 W76 03.342.
Benches along the paved Butternut Creek Trail
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