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Finger Lakes Land Trust acquires scenic woodlands above Canandaigua Lake

The Finger Lakes Land Trust (FLLT) recently acquired 58 wooded acres on the east side of Canandaigua Lake, located on Viewboard Road in the town of Middlesex, Yates County.  The land was identified as a priority for protection due to its location on a prominent hillside overlooking the lake’s eastern shore. 

The property is located on a steep forested ridge revered by the Seneca — Onöndowa’ga:’ in their own language — as the birthplace of their people. Serving as a scenic backdrop at the south end of the lake, the ridge extends for more than three miles and goes by many names including Nundawao, Great Hill, South Hill, or “the Whaleback.”

The FLLT will manage the property as a nature preserve, keeping its wildlife habitat intact and ensuring that its steep slopes continue filtering runoff to Canandaigua Lake. The organization is focused on protecting additional lands in this environmentally sensitive area, well-known for its scenic beauty.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

This latest acquisition is the sixth project that the FLLT has completed on this ridge. The Great Hill Nature Preserve was established here in 2000 and spans 255 acres on the hill’s south end. More recently, the organization acquired the mouth of Clark Gully on the south side of the ridge and protected 63 acres with a conservation easement on private property—both of which share a boundary with High Tor Wildlife Management Area.

Photo: Chris Ray

This acquisition was made possible by an internal loan from the Land Trust’s Opportunity Fund. Fundraising is now underway to cover the cost of acquiring this land and provide for its long-term stewardship. For additional information, or to support this effort, please contact Senior Director Kelly Makosch at (607)-275-9487 or [email protected].

By working cooperatively with landowners and local communities, the Finger Lakes Land Trust has protected over 29,000 acres of the region’s undeveloped lakeshore, rugged gorges, rolling forest, and scenic farmland. The FLLT owns and manages a network of over 45 nature preserves that are open to the public and holds perpetual conservation easements on 172 properties that remain in private ownership.

The FLLT focuses on protecting critical habitat for fish and wildlife, conserving lands that are important for water quality, connecting existing conservation lands, and keeping prime farmland in agriculture. The organization also provides programs to educate local governments, landowners, and residents about conservation and the region’s unique natural resources.

Information on the region’s premier destinations for outdoor recreation may be found here, a resource created by the FLLT to encourage people to get outdoors. Additional information about the Finger Lakes Land Trust may be found here.