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Hiking in Onondaga County

Rand Tract


The Rand Tract is better known for its most popular feature, Webster Pond.  It's a 97 acre natural area off the west side of the 2000 block of Valley Drive in Syracuse.  The property is owned by the City of Syracuse and is administered by the Department of Parks, Recreation and Youth Programs.

In 1960, a long term agreement was signed with the city and the Anglers Association of Onondaga.  The AAO manage the property as a wildlife sanctuary.  Webster Pond is open to the public everyday, year round from sunrise to sunset.  Visitors can purchase corn to feed the ducks for a small donation to the AAO.  They ask that you do not feed the ducks and geese any crackers or bread.

History of Rand Tract

In 1795, the New York state legislature granted Ephraim Webster a square mile of land.  Webster's "Square Mile" was subdivided over the years until Herbert and Elaine Rand purchased 97 acres in 1925. The Rand's farmed the land until 1944, when they deeded the property to the City of Syracuse, except for the site of their house, 1942 Valley Drive. This land is still referred to as the Rand Tract.

Over the years there have been many proposals for the Rand Tract from building a school to creating a landfill.  In 1973, then  Mayor Lee Alexander accepted a recommendation from the city's Commission on the Environment to keep the Rand Tract "forever wild."

Hiking Trails at Rand Tract

We will be exploring this area at some point to gps and create maps as well as pics plus info on the trails at Rand Tract.  Do you have any info to share about the trails?

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