From the gorges that cradle the Cornell campus to bogs, glens, meadows, old-growth forests, and wildflower preserves, we steward over 3,600 acres of biologically diverse landscapes in central New York. To support research and teaching at Cornell and beyond, we manage a system of preserves that represent the full range of ecological communities found in the Finger Lakes region. Each of our natural areas is unique—shaped by its geological history, bedrock, soils, topography, hydrology, as well as humans, plants, animals, and other life.
One of the most dramatic examples in the local region of a valley slope over-steepened by glaciers.
Cayuga Marsh is part of a large, nearly pure cattail marsh at the north end of Cayuga Lake.
This aquatic system is relatively pristine and noted for the presence of rare species and high biodiversity.
Explore lake cliffs, forests, shrub thickets, meadows, and a gorge with a 35’ high waterfall.
Here you can explore forest, old orchard, or shrub thicket, and managed meadows in the Cascadilla Creek Valley.
The locally rare plant species fringed gentian (Gentianopsis crinita) is located in this natural area
Part of a larger area nominated for National Landmark status for of the old-growth forest there.
Long appreciated as one of Ithaca's most beautiful wooded gorges and for its cascading series of waterfalls.
One of the few remaining areas of floodplain forests and marsh around the mouth of Cayuga Lake.
This area includes abandoned farm fields, upland forest and swamp forest.
A variety of forest communities include beech-maple, hemlock-northern hardwood, chestnut oak and mixed forests.
Observe a floating mat sphagnum-heath peat bog from a short boardwalk.
Noted for its complex, rolling glacial topography, abundance of amphibians, and quantity of rare species.
MORE TO EXPLORE
We offer online tools for locating and learning about plants in our gardens and natural areas.
Use this interactive map to locate our gardens, natural areas, waterfalls, parking, outdoor art, and more.