There are interesting man-made and geologic wonders to discover at MacKay Wildlife Preserve in Caledonia. You’ll find a sea of round, moss-covered boulders, a diverse collection of hardwoods, and unusual land formations.
The incredible rocks found within the preserve’s 26 acres have been studied by geologists, and some were determined to be 380 million years old. They contain fossils from our tropical-sea days. Cal-Mum science teachers take classes here to explore the geology and biodiversity.
A peaceful retreat and educational experience
Along the nature trail you’ll find signage that tells the story of some of the trees, features, and formations around you.
Quiet places to sit and observe
There are perfectly-placed benches throughout the preserve. The park’s designer built and placed the benches himself, and when you learn about MacKay Wildlife Preserve’s history, you’ll discover they have a story of their own.
The trails are defined yet rustic.
We never got lost, but never felt as though we had been shuffling through a curated experience. They pathways felt natural, like trails the deer had created on their search for food and water; paths of least resistance.
A well-defined border
The property is bordered on the east by Spring Street and by a fieldstone wall on the west. The southern border is an active rail line that delivers to Jones Chemical (the old NYC Peanut Line), while the northern border is the inactive Lehigh Valley Line, which is cut just west of Spring Street.
Rochester railfans are incredibly lucky that passionate preservationists before us saw the value in retaining structures we can still appreciate today.
Our nature centers, wildlife preserves, management areas, etc., all serve to protect and sustain life, while making nature accessible to people to enjoy and learn from.
Winter in MacKay Wildlife Preserve
More information about MacKay Wildlife Preserve
- Cost: Free
- Located in Caledonia, 30 minutes / 25 miles from Rochester (get directions)
- More information: ilovethefingerlakes.com
- Read the story about the park as told by Barry Ganzhorn, the Caledonia resident who spearheaded efforts to save the 26-acre pristine wood- and wetlands from being logged away. This is a true passion project we have all benefited from. His story is one of community, family, personal hardship and finding our identity.
What is your favorite time of year to visit MacKay Wildlife Preserve in Caledonia?
Share with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!