Thursday, March 8, 2018

Hiking Otter Creek

Hiking the Thousand Islands:
Otter Creek
1000 Islands #1000islands


The next Thousand Islands hiking trail that we would like to introduce you to is the network of trails at the Otter Creek Preserve.  Otter Creek is just a short distance outside of Alexandria Bay. The main entrance is located on State Route 26 (or Church Street).  Heading away from town, the Preserve is less than a half mile on the right and is open to the public from dawn to dusk.  

Once again, we have Thousand Islands Land Trust (TILT) to thank for this beautiful preserve.  There are nearly two miles of trails that meander through a variety of terrains ranging from open fields, to deep woods, to rock ledges overlooking the water.  Also of note is that some of the trails were created to be accessible to anyone with a handicap including the trail to the observation deck.  One of the first things that struck us was how beautiful, new, and meticulously cared for the trails are.  When you first enter the preserve there is a large kiosk which has a map showing all of the different trails.  Make sure that at a minimum you take the short hike to the amazing suspension bridge that takes you over Lynch Creek.   This professionally designed cable suspension bridge is a work of art (and engineering).  It connects entire the trail system and also provides the experience of being in the deep woods. 

The story of Otter Creek's 115 acre preserve began when the Butts family donated an island that can be seen from the Northern Loop Trail. In 2000, TILT was then given 25 acres and in 2012, it received a grant to purchase the 75-acre Sweet property .  That same year it received a grant through the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation to design and build a trail. In 2015, TILT received a Land Trust Alliance Conservation Partnership Program grant to complete the ADA (American Disabilities Act) sections of the trail, including the accessible lower portion of the observation tower. 





The trail design and engineering was completed by Aubertine and Currier. They are the company also responsible for the pavilion and new yacht house in Clayton. TILT describes the Otter Creek trail as "A beautiful mosaic of 1000 Islands habitats within walking distance of the Village of Alexandria Bay".  How appropriate!






Be sure to see:
Hiking the Thousand Islands...Introduction.

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Wellesley Island State Park.

Hiking the Thousand Islands...The Macsherry Trail.

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Otter Creek.

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Chippewa Bay Reserve Trail.

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Redwood Hill Preserve.

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Grand Lake Reserve.