Lime Hollow Center for Environment & Culture encompasses nearly 430 acres of beautiful rolling hills, valleys, forests, fields, streams, numerous ponds, a peat bog, and a great diversity of flora and fauna. With over 12 miles of open trails, Experience Cortland took a morning to explore.
We set out from the Visitors Center on McLean Road. There are 5 different parking areas to choose from depending on what trail you want to visit. We choose to park right at the Visitor Center to visit the trail for all accessibility trail and then for the Eric Kroot Art Trail and Tamarack Art Meadow.
When the Visitor Center is open you can go in and grab a map, there’s a shop, and an exhibit area. The trails are open dawn to dusk so additional trail maps are available at the start of the accessibility trail. Even if the Visitors Center is closed, there are bathrooms available that are accessible from the outside.
The “Trail for All” is about two-tenths of a mile that is designed for wheelchair access. If you want to explore more of Lime Hollow, there is a trail-ready wheelchair with mountain bike tires available.
Before we started our adventures, we put on sunscreen and covered ourselves in bug spray. Make sure to wear long pants, long shirts, and socks as to not expose your legs, feet, or ankles. Ticks are found at Lime Hollow. Follow their helpful guide for taking precautions here.
Setting off it doesn’t take long for the first pause to look around at the flora and fauna. The tall pine trees along one side of the trail are more inviting than ominous. You can spot a wooden lookout point with a bench at the far edge of the trees. On the other side of the trail are bird houses nestled along the flora and you can hear water moving swiftly down the creek.
You pass over the bridge and follow the trail (which is well maintained) and as you move closer to the Eric Kroot Art Trail, we began to notice wooden faces on the trees. Definitely a stopping point to capture their faces and put a smile on your face. Each one we saw had a different expression.
The trail opens up to a field with art sculptures. This is the Eric Kroot Art Trail and Tamarack Art Meadow. The first, and our favorite sculpture was this large moon like face with a hawk and owl sitting on top. The sculptures are whimsical from a bear to a turtle. Located in the middle of the trail is a sitting spot enclosed in tree branches.
The art trail is an evolving, ongoing project where campers brainstorm, design and constructs a unique art project. As we explored another sculpture that stood out were these five totem poles. I visit the Lime Hollow website for more information and discovered that it is called the “Totem of Service.”
“Comprising 5 individual totems, each one a standing pole carved and painted to reflect various groups of individuals, our project is an artistic portrayal of the importance of service and community. These totems are fully visible from anywhere in the Art Meadow, with each pole at a different height to reflect the significance of individual or group involvement.
Individuals who have served on Lime Hollow's Board of Directors, both past and present, have the tallest totem; the second tallest is for current and past staff members. Two smaller totems, at roughly the same height, creatively depict Camps Gracie and McLean, our two-summer day-camp locations for children ages 6 to 9 and 10 to 13, respectively, and the largest source of incoming revenue for the organization. Finally, our smallest totem represents the Knee-High Naturalist program, which exposes area toddlers to nature exploration and appreciation.
Each of these 5 totems represents a core component of Lime Hollow's programming and support, yet none of these features would be possible without active involvement from the Cortland community in one way or another.” -via limehollow.org
The last trail that we explored was the Lehigh Valley Trail. Perhaps an often question that we get asked when we share news or photos of Lime Hollow is “are their dog-friendly trails?” and the answer is yes! The Lehigh Valley Trail runs East to West across Lime Hollow that travels about 2.5 miles from the Lamont Circle subdivision to the SUNY Cortland West Campus. The trail is an abandoned railroad bed, so your journey is easy to navigate.
This unique spot in Cortland County is a wonderful way to enjoy the great outdoors all year long. Hiking and simple wandering to cross country skiing and snow shoeing, you really should take advantage of the Lime Hollow Center for Environment & Culture.
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