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We manage a system of over 3,600 acres of preserves that represent the full range of ecological communities found in the Finger Lakes region for research, teaching and enjoyment.

Our natural areas are free and open to the public year-round from dusk to dawn.

To help protect these natural areas, please:

Leave no Trace. Whatever you carried in, please carry out with you.

All dogs must be on a leash at all times and clean up after them. Violators are subject to fines.

Obtain a permit to collect materials from our natural areas.

Obey trail signs. Some trails are closed in winter or during severe weather because they are extremely unsafe. For trails that are open during winter, use caution as some are not maintained during winter.

The following items are prohibited in our natural areas:

  • Alcohol
  • Swimming
  • Motorized vehicles
  • Horses*
  • Bicycles*
  • Camping and campfires

*Bicycles and Horses are allowed on multi-use recreation trails found in the Purvis Road Wetland, Upper Cascadilla Natural Area, and the Mitchell Street Hawthorn Thicket.


To find out whether hunting at each natural area is restricted or allowed with a permit, visit our deer management page.

Gorge Safety

Visit Cornell University’s Gorge Safety Website for guidelines on how to enjoy Cornell’s gorges safety and to get the latest updated on trail conditions.