One of the best parts about my job at Grow is that I get to visit many fantastic outdoor locations in Western New York. The most recent location on our Go Outside Map I chose to visit was the Clarence Escarpment Sanctuary. The small park offers two short trails around a large marsh full of bird houses, and up the escarpment full of trees. I grabbed a friend and headed the Sanctuary on Greiner Road in Clarence. A word of caution, you won’t find it on Google maps!
After we drove through the intersection of Greiner and Goodrich, the pull-off for the Sanctuary was on the right less than a quarter of a mile past the intersection. Signs in the parking area informed us that the Sanctuary was acquired through the assistance of the Nature Conservancy. This plot of land is located in a residential area, so preservation of this marsh is crucial for the wildlife that share it.
We descended into the swamp area with high hopes of spotting the waterfowl that live here. A couple of ducks were swimming, leaving thin trails through the bright green algae. The bright fall colors surrounded the swamp, and a constant crunching symphonized our hike. We crossed the bridge to begin the steep climb up the escarpment. The view from the top was spectacular! The cliff had some neat rock formations as well, such as Troll’s Cave.
We came back down from the escarpment and over the bridge to find the Boy Scout Walkway. This wooden platform allows you to walk out over the swamp and get a better view of it. Here we observed the many different plants growing in the marsh, such as cattails and different types of swamp grass.
Unfortunately, while looking at all the swamp plants, my friend and I noticed quite a few plastic bottles and cigarette packs in the water. This type of litter is disheartening and cruel to such a beautiful piece of land. We have to remember that it is our job to keep the earth clean. We have an abundance of parks and outdoor recreation areas in Western New York, and if they continue to be disrespected in this way, we may lose some of them.
So I encourage you to visit Clarence Escarpnt Sanctuary, but please take out what you take in. Maybe clean up some trash while you are there. It is a lovely little park that can be hiked in 15 minutes if you are in a time crunch, or can be strolled about more leisurely.
For more pictures of the Sanctuary, check our Facebook page!