Twin Cedars Environmental Area
Location: East Avon, Livingston County
Directions: On the south side of Route 5 & 20, east of Route 390. Pull into DEC Region 8 Headquarters. Bear left and park in front of the red A-frame building (obscured by tall arborvitaes). N42o 54.175 - W77o 40.149
Hiking Time: 35-minute loop
Length: 1.0-mile loop on Drumlin Trail (darkened)
1.6 miles of total trails
Difficulty: 3 boots
Surface: Dirt and mowed-grass trails
Trail Markings: Brown and yellow trail name signs at some trail intersections
Uses: Hike & ski
Dogs: OK on leash
Contact: N.Y.S. Dept. of Environmental Conservation
, 6274 East Avon-Lima Road, Avon, NY 14414
(585) 226-2466 www.dec.state.ny.us
Twin Cedars Environmental Area began in 1970 when the DEC purchased farmland adjacent to its offices. In 1974, the DEC purchased another 59 acres and enlarged the pond. In the 1980s the area was developed into an educational area, designed to emphasize the natural and man-made aspects of environmental conservation.
The A-frame building serves as an interpretive center. It is loaded with taxidermied animals, an extensive collection of bird eggs, along with live fish and turtles. The exhibits and displays are designed to test visitors’ environmental knowledge and stimulate their curiosity. It is open year-round, most weekdays from 8:00 AM until 4:30 PM. Call ahead to make sure the interpretive center is open to the public on the day of your visit. The trails are open all the time.
The pond has been stocked with largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegills, pumpkinseeds, and tiger muskies. In 1993, triploid grass carp were added as a biological agent to control aquatic vegetation. Fishing is permitted with a valid license. Any triploid grass carp caught must be returned to the pond.
Hike any loop you prefer. The outer perimeter is 1.2 miles in length. It circumnavigates the pond and takes you along the top of a high drumlin, or glacially-formed hill. The trails have numbered signs along the way. The numbers correspond to the trail guide listed below and help you understand the conservation practices in this environmental area.
Interpretive numbered signs:
#1. Birds can benefit from man-made nesting structures. As you walk the trail, notice the purple martin condos, bluebird houses, wood duck boxes, nesting rafts for geese, and nesting tripods for mallards.
#2. The dike on which you are standing was built to impound naturally flowing water, creating this pond. The pond provides a suitable habitat for many amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, and fish that would not otherwise live here.
#3. This wet area is known as a seep spring, and some of the plants here are unique to this spot. Stepping off the trail could damage this fragile ecosystem.
#4. A clue to unseen moisture, the horsetail is the last surviving member of an ancient group of plants that once grew 40 feet tall.
#5. The pond shallows are rich in aquatic life because sunlight reaches all the way to the bottom. Look for a variety of plants, insects, reptiles, fish, birds, and mammals.
#6. Many of the trees and shrubs here were planted to provide food and cover for wildlife. Can you identify autumn olive, silky dogwood, highbush cranberry, and staghorn sumac?
#7. An area containing only one species of plant is called a monoculture. Notice how these white pines have been planted in rows. These “plantations” can be an effective way to raise timber, but lack the diversity to attract much wildlife. Although it provides shelter to some species, its food value is limited.
#8. This white oak provides a haven for many seedlings under its canopy. Notice the small oaks in the area that originated from this tree. Ground plants compete with the young oaks, so only the strongest survive.
#9. Poison ivy! All parts of this plant are poisonous. It grows as a ground cover, an erect shrub, or a climbing vine. The white berries are eaten by 60 species of birds, but people who touch poison ivy run the risk of forming itchy blisters.
#10. This land was once covered by a glacier one mile thick. As the glacier retreated 15,000 to 20,000 years ago, rock and soil were deposited, forming the hill or drumlin you are standing on.
#11. The tall grass in front of you is switchgrass. It was planted to provide cover for pheasants. Pheasants need tall grass for nesting in spring and hiding from predators the rest of the year.
#12. The area to the left is mowed periodically to keep it in grass. The border between different cover types (water, grass, woods, etc.) is called “edge.” Many animals are attracted to edges because they provide more food and shelter than a single cover type.
#13. Notice that several white cedar trees have fallen over. That’s because a nearby spring makes water readily available near the surface so the roots do not need to be deep. As the tree gets older, a strong wind can blow it over.
#14. This shallow brook has an ecosystem quite different from the pond. What makes it different? What types of plants and animals in the pond would not be found in the stream?
• From the parking area, walk south past the A-frame building, toward the pond.
• Bear left, walking on the mowed-grass dike along the pond.
• At the first junction, a left will take you up the drumlin. (A right will keep you lower on the hill.)
• Continue with the loop, bearing left at each trail junction, until you reach the paved DEC access road.
• Follow the access road back to the parking area.
Date Hiked: ___________