(About this feature: Look for “Sherwood in the Forest” — featuring the trail treks of Rosie the redbone hound and her companion, Daily Messenger reporter Julie Sherwood.)
We got a tip this week about the Thousand Acre Swamp Trail — a 2.9-mile, out-and-back trail in Penfield.
Luckily, I did a little research before outfitting Rosie for the trek. The trail winds through a Nature Conservancy preserve covering more than 500 acres.
The sanctuary of wetlands and forest is a prime birding site and full of critters that are easily scared by large animals. Sorry, Rosie, no bear hunting here!
Understandably, the Nature Conservancy asks humans to leave their dogs at home. I managed to sneak out as Rosie settled down for her nap.
The sanctuary is known for a remarkable variety of animal wildlife. According to the Nature Conservancy, you may see foxes, white-tailed deer, weasels, and coyotes. Some 450 plant species have been documented in the preserve where there are multiple habitats including woods, marsh, and ponds.
The Thousand Acre Swamp Trail has one of the most impressive boardwalks I’ve ever seen.
The boardwalk of the Boardwalk Loop Trail stretches over one-tenth of a mile through the swamp where the cattails grow tall.
The entire Boardwalk Loop Trail, which is actually shaped more like a horseshoe, measures closer to two-tenths of a mile.
The trail is well marked with colorful signs so you don’t have to worry about getting lost.
Enter the trail at the end of a short road next to the Penfield Emergency Volunteer Ambulance at 1585 Jackson Road.
Avoid just following GPS (like I did!) that can lead to other areas that pop up as Thousand Acre Swamp because the entire sanctuary is bounded by Atlantic, Jackson, Plank, and Five Mile Line roads.
Here’s more from the Nature Conservancy about Thousand Acre Swamp: https://bit.ly/3hqnrRG.
TO BE CONTINUED: Watch for upcoming coverage from the Thousand Acre Swamp, where the Nature Conservancy is using new technology to improve access to its public preserves statewide.
As for Rosie — she is back at it, working on next week’s column.
See you on the trail!