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Hiking in Oswego County

Rice
Creek

 

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An instructional and research unit of the State University of New York College at Oswego, this state property consists of the 26-acre Rice Pond surrounded by 400 acres of land in several stages of growth from open fields to mature forests.

Trails provide access to the various habitats around the station. The building contains two lab/classrooms, a lecture room, and exhibit areas with an indoor viewing gallery.  Hiking, birding, exhibits, lectures and workshops are some of the activities available at Rice Creek.

Rice Creek Field Station is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Trails are open year round from dawn to dusk.  You can find a trail map and more information on this property from the Rice Creek Field Station website.  All trails are open to hiking.  Biking is only allowed on the Orange Trail.

Here's info on some of the hiking trails at Rice Creek:

Red Trail (1.5 miles) - This trail passes through hedgerows, woodlands, pine and spruce plantations, skirts a pond, passes through an open field, crosses a stone fence and travels through a mature hardwood forest.  The trail begins just east of the maintenance shed on the north side of the parking area. 

The trail features a mature forest that is at least 100 years old as well as the remnants of farming that was done on this property prior to 1955 including a stone wall, hedgerow and a pond.

Green Trail (1.25 miles) - The Green Trail actually features two trails, the Carlita Snygg Memorial Trail and the Wildflower Trail.  The Snygg Trail travels through young woods and wetlands bordering the upper reaches of Rice Pond and Rice Creek, past areas of beaver activity, through a locust grove, and through shrub lands and an evergreen plantation.  The Wildflower Trail consists of several loops which branch from the first section of the Snygg Trail.  It features a number of local trees and native wildflowers.

The Green Trail starts at the east end of the lawn by the field station and enters the wild flower display area in the forest south of the entrance road. After traversing the wildflower area, it crosses the old bed of Brownell Road, and proceeds in a southerly direction with raised walkways providing passage through wetlands along the upper reaches of Rice Pond. Eventually it loops back through the forest to reenter the wildflower area near the point of beginning.

This trail features numerous wildflowers as well as a beaver area including a beaver dam.  The area along this trail is a favorite to observe birds.

Blue Trail (2.0 miles) - The Blue Trail passes through several different habitats, including a conifer plantation, open meadow, transitional hardwoods, wetland forest, and travels along Rice Creek and Rice Pond.

The Blue Trail begins just west of the herb garden and loops back in a southeasterly direction to the point of beginning.  The trail features evidence of former farm activity including a stone fence and farm lane.

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