Zenda Farms Preserve and the LoisJean & John MacFarlane Trail

Directions to the Preserve, 38973 Zenda Farm Road, Clayton, NY: From Clayton, take State Route 12E west toward Cape Vincent. Travel 1.3 miles from the stop light and turn right (north) onto Zenda Road. The first left is the drive into the farm. Just past that left is a parking area for the trail, which is on the right of Zenda Road.

Click here for the Zenda Farms Preserve map and MacFarlane Trail guide


Zenda Farms Preserve

Zenda was a dairy and beef farm that operated through the 1950s. Now, its agricultural history is preserved for future generations to discover and its pastures and hay meadows are preserved for nesting grassland birds.

Northern New York hosts some of the highest quality habitat for grassland birds in the northeastern United States. Many of these species are in serious decline in eastern North America, so keeping the meadows open is an integral part of Zenda’s management plan. 

We are regularly asked where Zenda got its name. Its original owner, James Hackett, was an actor in the early 20th Century. His favorite role was the title character in the 1913 film The Prisoner of Zenda. Hackett, whose mother was born on Wolfe Island, built the original house and boathouse and loved to visit the property.

In 1939, Merle Youngs purchased the property. The Youngs Rubber Company manufactured condoms among other things. Mr. Youngs slowly acquired neighboring farms and created a large state-of-the-art dairy and beef farm. He implemented new management techniques and new equipment: this was the site of the first automatic bottling plant in the area.

Zenda is now the site of the annual Community Picnic at the beginning of the Summer season, as well as numerous TILTreks, KidsTreks and often, TILTKids Camp. A local farmer grazes cows on the pastures and cuts the hay from the meadows. The mowing takes place after August 1st to allow nesting grassland birds to fledge their young.

TILT's management plan for the future of Zenda Farm is to establish the preserve as a model for land conservation through community involvement and learning within its ecologically diverse and culturally historic farm setting.

Volunteers can help TILT's conservation work on one of the two annual Preserve Stewardship Days, or become trained as a Preserve Stewardship Volunteer and help TILT monitor the health of the preserve!

Zenda Community Garden, Kids Korner Garden and Natural Play Area

The Zenda Community Garden provides fresh, locally grown produce for participating families. Gardeners select plants, prepare the garden, weed and harvest, and then take home a share of the produce. In 2013 an adjacent Kids Korner Garden and Natural Play Area were added - both open to the public!

The LoisJean and John MacFarlane Trail

A new trail around the perimeter of the meadows was completed in 2011. Named for Zenda Farm donors & benefactors, the LoisJean and John MacFarlane Trail is a low-impact, 1.5-mile-long trail for jogging, hiking and cross-country skiing. The trail surrounds one of the grasslands conserved for nesting birds, so please, keep your dog on a leash until after the nesting season is complete!

Click here for the Zenda Farms Preserve map and MacFarlane Trail guide

Accred Seal

Thousand Islands Land Trust (TILT)
PO Box 238  135 John Street  Clayton, NY 13624
T: 315-686-5345  F: 315-686-4290

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