Otter Creek Preserve
Directions to the preserve: Otter Creek Preserve lies along State Route 26 south of Otter Creek and State Route 12, across the creek from the Alexandria Bay Big M Supermarket. The Otter Creek Nature Trail is currently under construction and will be open to the public soon!
In the meantime, click here for upcoming TILTreks offering exclusive access to the Otter Creek Preserve.
The Otter Creek Preserve is a 107 acre preserve in the Village of Alexandria Bay. Otter Creek’s habitat mosaic owes its existence to one of the unique geological features in North America, the Frontenac Arch, the ecological characteristics of which are the key reasons for protecting and conserving the corridor that connects the Canadian Shield to the Adirondack & Appalachian Mountains, including the Thousand Islands region.
The forested areas in our region are very important breeding habitats for neotropical migratory song birds. Also, the combination of mature oak/pine ridges and field edges is home to a variety of raptors including Osprey, Bald Eagles, Barred Owls, Great-horned Owls, Red-tailed Hawks, etc.
The preserve also features areas of freshwater wetlands and includes NY State designated Class I wetlands. Wetlands are vitally important to the St. Lawrence River because of their ability to store and filter water, improve water quality, provide habitat for birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles, and act as nurseries for fish. The wetland areas on the preserve are in close proximity to known muskellunge spawning grounds and are included in the Department of Environmental Conservation “Strategic Plan for Management of the St. Lawrence River Muskellunge Population and Sportfishery.”
Three stream corridors on the preserve have riparian wetlands and adjacent grasslands, providing loafing, feeding and roosting sites for a variety of dabbling ducks and small water surface areas used by diving species such as Common Goldeneye, Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead and all three mergansers.
Grasslands on the preserve are ideal nesting habitat for for NY State threatened grassland species, including Henslow’s Sparrow, Bobolink, and Eastern Meadowlark, as well as migrating waterfowl.
In partnership with Audubon NY, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Clarkson University, NYS DEC and IRLC, TILT will be enhancing habitat at the Otter Creek Preserve specifically for Golden-winged warblers.
TILT will further develop the system of nature trails leading users through the many habitats on the preserve, including public access, parking, picnic facilities, and an information kiosk promoting the area. TILT intends to partner with the Snowmobile Association to maintain the trails for snowmobiling in the winter months. Motorized vehicle use for recreation purposes will only be permitted during the snowmobiling season. Motorized vehicles will also be permitted for maintenance purposes.
Otter Creek Nature Trail HD from Jim Cummings on Vimeo.