Helmer Nature Center

Helmer Nature Center

Helmer Nature Center was the backdrop of my summers growing up in West Irondequoit. Nature Camp was a place of fun and learning, but also of hard work taking the fresh wood chips from the Christmas trees and spreading them down the trails.

We learned to become stewards of the land. I first learned about water striders and penny cleaners, first heard the sound of bullfrogs, tasted maple syrup, and learned how to master Capture the Flag and classic campfire songs.

Helmer Nature Center Nature Camp
Nature Camp in the mid-80s

Helmer Nature Center comprises 45-acres which are owned and operated by the West Irondequoit Central School District as an outdoor classroom. The roughly 1.5 miles of trail, made primarily of wood chip, boardwalk, and hard-pack gravel, are easy to navigate and clearly marked.

Helmer Nature Center bridge
Helmer Nature Center benches
Helmer Nature Center bridge
Helmer Nature Center boardwalk
Helmer Nature Center pathway
Helmer Nature Center
Helmer Nature Center stairs
Helmer Nature Center
Helmer Nature Center
Helmer Nature Center bog
Helmer Nature Center sunlight

The Trail

There are sloped portions that take you down to the valley floor where the terrain around you is hilly and tree covered making it peacefully quiet.

In the winter, you can rent snowshoes to help you enjoy the trails year-round.

Helmer Nature Center
Helmer Nature Center

Maple Weekends

In mid- to late-March, the Helmer Nature Center hosts 2 maple syrup-related events. On the first weekend, learn about the maple sugaring process, and on the second weekend, enjoy a pancake breakfast!

Helmer Nature Center

More information about Helmer Nature Center

Cost: Free

Located in Irondequoit (get directions)

More information: facebook.com/HelmerNatureCenter +  trail map

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Have you visited Helmer Nature Center?

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COVID-19 NOTE: Some of the information you find in our articles may currently be inaccurate due to closures and cancellations.

Please follow the most current recommendations from the CDC and New York State for spending time away from your home. The great outdoors can provide a well needed respite & escape during stressful times. Please move quickly through parking lots, trail heads, and scenic areas. If crowded, choose a different park, trail, or time to visit. Please day trip responsibly.