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Hiking in Madison County
New York State Lands


Nelson Swamp

 

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DEC Map of Nelson Swamp

 

Nelson Swamp Unique Area is located approximately 20 miles southeast of Syracuse within the Madison County towns of Cazenovia, Fenner and Nelson. From US 20, which passes through the swamp, a traveler's gaze is often drawn to a low lying landscape of wet meadows, deciduous woods and dark groves of cedar and pine.

From the US 20's hilltop perspective, one can follow the Chittenango Creek as it meanders on its circuitous journey north to Lake Ontario.  Chittenango Creek, which is the dominant water course within the swamp, was commonly referred to as Chittening by settlers but was derived from the Oneida word "Chu-de-naany" meaning "where the sun shines out".

Observation deck along Chittenango Creek

The 0.7-mile Nelson Swamp Interpretive Trail provides opportunities for people with disabilities to access a northern white cedar swamp and learn about its natural and cultural history.

A segment of the North County Scenic Trail passes through Nelson Swamp on the abandoned grade of the West Shore Railroad. The elevated grade offers the best opportunity for accessing interior sections of the swamp without impacting sensitive wetland soils. A trail head kiosk and parking area are located adjacent to Stone Quarry Road.

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