Article Contributed by
Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy
At 10:00 AM on Saturday, March 3, the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy will lead a 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, where 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. Most of the preserve consists of 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.
There may be snow cover on the day of this hike, so consider bringing snowshoes depending on conditions. The Winter Adventure Hike is free for members, with a suggested donation of $5 for non-members. Reservations are encouraged, so please call or email the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy in advance to let us know you’re coming.
For a map showing the Chautauqua Creek Oxbow Preserve location, go to the CWC website and click on the “Preserves” tab. Note that a closed bridge divides Lyons Road. To gain entry to the preserve, access Lyons road via Route 430. Lyons Road is not plowed all the way to this site. Participants may need to park on the roadside before the snowbank and walk a few hundred feet north to the preserve.
The Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy is a member-supported not-for-profit organization, which works with landowners to conserve and enhance the landscape features, which protect important habitats and collect, store, filter and deliver clean waters to our Chautauqua lakes, streams and groundwaters. To date the CWC has led efforts conserving over 1,000 acres of land across Chautauqua County. Access, stormwater and erosion control improvements to this preserve were partially funded by the New York State Conservation Partnership Program/Environmental Protection Fund administered by the Land Trust Alliance and NYSDEC, Holt Appraisals, and CWC members, with in-kind support from Ecostrategies, numerous volunteers, and the Town of Chautauqua Highway Department.