Sweedler Preserve


Trail Map   compass.gif (1320 bytes)

Location:                       South of Ithaca, Tompkins Count
Directions:                     From Ithaca, head south on Route 13/34/96. Just south of Buttermilk Falls State Park, turn left (S) on Sand Bank Road. Bear right onto Town Line Road. Park on the right side of  the road near the Finger Lakes Trail sign.   N42o 23.747 - W76o 31.984
Alternative Parking:        Parking area adjacent to confluence of Routes 13 and 34/96   N42o 23.897 - W76o 32.741
Hiking Time:                  1 hour loop
Length:                         1.4-mile loop
Difficulty:                       4 boots
Surface:                        Dirt trail
Trail Markings:               White and blue blazes
Uses:                            Hike
Dogs:                            OK on leash
Contact:                        Finger Lakes Land Trust
, 202 East Court Street, Ithaca, NY  14850  
                                    (607) 275-9487   www.fllt.org

                                     Cayuga Trails Club , PO Box 754, Ithaca, NY  14851   www.lightlink.com/ctc

                                     Finger Lakes Trail Conference , 6111 Visitor Center Road, Mt. Morris, NY  14510
                                     (585) 658-9320   www.fingerlakestrail.org


Like much of the land in the Finger Lakes region, most of the Sweedler Preserve was cleared for farming after the Revolutionary War. However, poor soil led to abandonment of the farms and their return to forest. Since the 1800s, Lick Brook, which runs through the preserve, has been a popular picnic and hiking spot, primarily because of the many waterfalls. The Finger Lakes Land Trust acquired this unique land through a bargain sale from owners Moss and Kristin Sweedler in 1993. By selling the Lick Brook land for far below market value, the Sweedlers helped preserve this beautiful land and did us all an immense favor.

In its plummet to Cayuga Inlet, Lick Brook  carved a deep gorge with dangerous cliffs. Please stay on the trail, away from cliff edges. In 2001, the Finger Lakes Trail, which runs through the preserve, was rerouted to provide a gentler climb

up the hillside. White blazes denote the current Finger Lakes Trail. The steep trail along the edge of Lick Brook is now a blue-blazed side trail. To best view the waterfalls the trail directions instruct you to hike to the bottom of the valley following the white-blazed Finger Lakes Trail, then watch for waterfalls on your way back uphill along the blue-blazed trail. This will facilitate seeing the waterfalls without leaving the trail.

Trail Directions

• From the parking area along Town Line Road, head downhill (NW), following the white blazes.

• Watch for the white-blazed trail to turn right. Continue following the white blazes to Spring Brook.

• At Spring Brook, turn left and follow the trail downhill, still marked by white blazes.

• When you reach the valley floor, follow the white blazes as they turn left toward Lick Brook.

• Leave the main trail to walk into the Lick Brook stream bed (if the water is low enough) to get a view of the bottom waterfall.

• Now, return to the trail and follow the blue-blazed trail steeply up the hill, watching to the right for the procession of waterfalls.

• Continue straight as the blazes turn to white and you pass the white trail to the left.

• You’ll reach the parking area gasping for breath but sated with the beauty of Lick Brook.


Date Hiked: ___________


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