The Lime Hollow Nature Center, located in Cortland, is home to miles of trails, acres of forest and a Visitors Center designed to welcome and educate attendees about the center’s history and the environment surrounding it.
The center, which was funoded in 1993, covers a wide swath of land that includes many different varieties of terrain. There’s swampland, forest, etc, and the preserve has continued to grow since its inception in the early 1990s. In total, at this point, Lime Hollow owns and manages 447 acres of land in and around Cortland, NY.
Though it originated as purely a means to maintain the diverse landscape that it covers, the center has additionally established itself as an educational center as well, with plenty of field trips offered for local middle and high school students as well as educational courses that provide opportunities for higher education students in the area from Cornell University, Ithaca College, Tompkins Cortland Community College, SUNY-Cortland, etc.
The center operates as a non-profit organization, sustained by donations and membership fees. Bikes are currently not allowed on the trails, although the center is trying to make changes that would allow bikes to travel safely on the trails and is asking for help from people who also wish to make that happen.
In summer, there are plenty of trails to explore, but even when the weather turns cold there are still options for those who want to explore. The nature center has snowshoes and cross country skis available for rental, for all age ranges.
As for annual events, the nature center offers several, some held regularly and others a once-a-year occurrence. Maple Sugarin’ Day is scheduled annually, once each spring, and allows patrons the chance to view the process of maple syrup production, along with a pancake breakfast (obviously).
There’s a long list of other events in the coming months that those interested will be able to explore after the brief drive up to Cortland. September includes a nature hike on Sept. 14, a Trail Work Day on Sept. 22 and Science and Suds on Sept. 24. Among other events, the annual Creatures of the Night event is held on Oct. 17 from 5-8 p.m. in anticipation of the Halloween holiday. The center starts its Christmas tree sales on nov. 30, and on Dec. 7 there’s a wreath-making workshop that runs from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Plus, if you’re interested in bringing along your pets, one of the trails is open to dogs on leashes.
Lime Hollow’s hours vary by season, according to its website. The Visitor Center is open Tuesday-Friday from 10am-5pm and Saturday from 12-4 p.m. On Sundays the building will be open from 12-4 p.m., hopefully, depending upon volunteer support. During the Christmas shopping season, the center has extended hours. Please call the Visitor Center at (607) 662-4632 for moer information about a specific day’s hours. Trails are open from dawn to dusk every day.