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Hiking in Cayuga County

Dorothy McIlroy
Bird Sanctuary


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The preserve, located along the Lake Como outlet, is in the Town of Summerhill in Cayuga County.  A pleasant 1.4 mile hike utilizing the yellow and blue trails awaits you. The preserve is owned by the Finger Lakes Land Trust and their website has more information on Dorothy McIlroy Bird Sanctuary.

The hike is fairly easy and can be done by all family members.  From the parking area, take the mowed path past the kiosk and into the woods.  Now your following the yellow blazes.  Veer right at the "trail split".  At the blue blazed trail junction, turn right and follow the blue blazes to the overlook platform with two benches.  This overlook gives you nice views of the wetland area.  From here turn around and follow the blue blazed trail back to the yellow trail.  See below for a video of this part of the hike.  Stay straight on the yellow trail.  At the "split" continue straight back to the kiosk, mowed path and parking area.  Your total loop hike is 1.4 miles.

We have maps below to assist you in planning your hike. One is from our hike when we visited this area in August 2009 and the other is from the Finger Lakes Land Trust website. We have also included pictures from our hike and a video of the hike along the blue trail from the overlook back to the yellow trail junction.

From Cortland, follow NY 281 north to the intersection with NY 90. Turn left (west) on NY 90 and follow for 5 miles to Lake Como Rd. Turn right on Lake Como Rd. and continue for about 2 miles until you come to Fire Lane A.   Make a right onto lane to find the parking area on the right. This road is a one lane dirt road (Fire Lane A) but is drivable for vehicles of all types.

NOTE: Fire Lane A may be inaccessible during the winter.

Sign at the parking area for start of trail

Start of the loop section of this hike

View of the wetland from the observation platform



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