Explore Spring’s Wildflowers at the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy’s Oxbow Preserve

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Article Contributed by
Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy

Spring has finally arrived in Chautauqua County and it’s a great time to get out and see beautiful woodland wildflowers! At 10:30 AM on Saturday, May 18th, Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy Conservation Lands Manager Jonathan Townsend will lead a spring wildflower hike at the 21-acre Chautauqua Creek Oxbow Preserve, located on Lyons Road west of Mayville. The hike will begin at the CWC preserve sign on Lyons Road, and the group will use a newly constructed walkway to access the preserve’s pristine forested lands at the base of a 100-foot-deep gorge.

At this time of year, tour participants can expect to see newly emerging spring wildflowers, including trillium, jack-in-the-pulpit and blue cohosh. Tour participants also will enjoy beautiful views of the preserve’s rich bottomlands, ravines and gorges, including 2,200 feet of Chautauqua Creek. The preserve also contains three clifftop terraces and the remains of the “Dugway,” a bit of engineering that allowed horse and buggies to descend in to the gorge in the latter 1800s.

The hike will take about two hours. The trail may be muddy or wet on the day of this hike, so appropriate footwear is recommended. The Spring Wildflower Hike is free for Conservancy supporters, with a suggested donation of $5 for individuals or $10 for families. Reservations are encouraged, so please call 716-664-2166 or send an email to info@chautauquawatershed.org in advance.

For a map showing the Chautauqua Creek Oxbow Preserve location, visit the “Preserves” tab at www.chautauquawatershed.org. Note that a closed bridge divides the Westfield and Mayville sections of Lyons Road. To gain entry to the preserve, access Lyons Road via Route 430 in Mayville. For more information on this event email info@chautauquawatershed.org or call 716-664-2166.