On October 21, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced the addition of 13 new locations to the New York State Birding Trail. These new locations bring the total number of birding trail locations across the state to 325, providing a variety of quality birding experiences for New Yorkers and visitors to enjoy.
“Fall is one of the most beautiful and scenic times to experience the outdoors in New York and it’s a prime time to visit the new State Birding Trail sites,” said Commissioner Seggos. “Birdwatching is one of New York’s fastest-growing recreation and tourism activities and these areas are open for visitors of all ages, abilities, backgrounds, and experience levels to enjoy. I encourage New Yorkers and visitors to take the opportunity to explore these new locations and experience the state’s world-class birding opportunities.”
DEC manages the New York State Birding Trail in collaboration with partners that include the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The statewide trail network includes promoted birding locations that can be accessed by car or public transportation, providing an inclusive experience for all visitors to enjoy birds amid beautiful natural settings with little or no cost or investment in equipment.
State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, “Exploring the New York State Birding Trail is a great way to for people to see and learn about our state’s fascinating species of birds in their native habitats. These new additions to the trail offer even more places to enjoy and appreciate the natural world – and we encourage all to visit.”
Empire State Development Vice President and Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said, “The New York State Birding Trail offers residents and visitors alike new opportunities to explore the state’s great outdoors, and observe the feathered friends that call these majestic Empire State settings ‘home.’ I LOVE NY looks forward to inviting everyone to come be a part of it and experience these new trail locations as the perfect complement to a weekend getaway or an extended trip.”
The newly added locations are on a mix of public and private lands across the state:
- Capital Region: Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail;
- Capital Region: Ann Lee Pond Nature and Historic Preserve;
- Capital Region: Lawson Lake County Park;
- Capital Region: Noonan Preserve;
- Catskills: Landis Arboretum;
- Central – Finger Lakes: Rice Creek Field Station;
- Central – Finger Lakes: Sterling Nature Center;
- Hudson Valley: Hudson Highlands Nature Museum;
- Hudson Valley: 6½ Station Road Sanctuary;
- Long Island: Smithtown Historical Society;
- NYC: Battery Park City;
- NYC: Madison Square Park; and
- Southern Tier: College Lodge Forest.
In addition to State-owned and managed locations for the Birding Trail, publicly and privately managed sites can complete a simple self-nomination process to be considered for inclusion on the trail. Sites all meet criteria to help ensure a positive experience for visitors throughout the state. Additionally, each site will post signage noting it as an official location on the birding trail. For information on the nomination process, see I Bird NY.
New segments of the Birding Trail were opened in a phased approach from October 2021 through August 2022. DEC continues to solicit input from a wide range of New Yorkers and organizations that represent Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities and is making trail information available in both English and Spanish. Bird walks will be held in collaboration with organizations working with BIPOC communities.
The New York State Birding Trail map is available at I Bird NY and provides valuable information on each site such as location, available amenities, species likely to be seen, directions, and more. Digital information on the Birding Trail will be updated periodically, so budding outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to check back often.
DEC encourages birding enthusiasts to visit I Bird NY for more information on where and how to observe birds, upcoming bird walks, a downloadable Beginner’s Guide to Birding (PDF) (available in Spanish (PDF)), and additional resources.
DEC manages and oversees nearly five million acres of public lands and conservation easements and plays a vital role in both protecting New York’s natural resources and providing opportunities for people to enjoy the outdoors. From fishing on scenic streams, hiking and rock climbing, swimming and boating, birding, and nature study, or simply relaxing in a tent under the stars, there are endless adventures to be found. Visit DEC’s website, connect on Facebook, or follow on Instagram and Twitter.
Photo at top: Great Blue Heron. Photo courtesy of the Sterling Nature Center. Photo provided by the DEC.