There are two new spots in the Finger Lakes with trails open to the public.

In Lansing, hikers can choose from a shorter trek or a longer one, and both locations offer a gorgeous view of Cayuga Lake.

“We all recognize that 95% or more of the Finger Lake shoreline is private property. So, people who can't live on the lake have very limited options,” said Andrew Zepp, president of Finger Lakes Land Trust

What You Need To Know

  •  Two new hiking trails opened in Lansing along Cayuga Lake

  • Sims-Jennings Preserve at Cayuga Cliffs and Cayuga Shores Wildlife Management Area have hundreds of acres and trails to explore

  • There's a goal of preserving nature with acquiring this land

Sims-Jennings Preserve at Cayuga Cliffs is owned by the Finger Lakes Land Trust.

With almost 2 miles of hiking trails, and over 200 acres, this natural area opened to the public last month near State Route 34B.

FLLT owns more than 31,000 acres and works in 12 counties to protect nature.

“The whole basis for what we do is working to identify those lands that are most important to conserve, but then not telling the landowner what to do with the land, but instead understanding their personal and financial goals and, work with them to achieve them with conservation as the as the goal,” said Zepp.

He says many of their projects take years to come together.

“Tourism is a major economic activity here. And many people come here to enjoy the outdoors. So, as we secure sites like this, we help ensure the scenery and the water quality and the habitat, but also, we provide these great places for people to go,” said Zepp.

A short trip down the road is Cayuga Shores Wildlife Management Area. It was purchased by New York for $2.5 million from the state's Environmental Protection Fund. With 3,500 feet of shoreline, they say this is one of the largest stretches remaining of undeveloped shoreline along Cayuga Lake. 

The New York State DEC has 150 wildlife areas across more than 250,000 acres.

“The challenge is we're a little late in the day here in terms of protecting water quality. We have some serious challenges with harmful algal blooms. Now, climate change is raising the stakes on erosion and runoff,” said Zepp.