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Making peace with the great outdoors, especially in Winter

The next day, I decided to investigate the Mabel Reynolds Nature Preserve with a friend. This conservation area is also owned by the Town of Skaneateles and located on Benson Road. There is no designated parking area for this conservation area yet. I felt the best place to park was on Reynolds Road a few hundred feet from the intersection of Benson Road and Reynolds Road. The Mabel Reynolds Nature

Preserve has land on both the north and south sides of Benson Road and we hiked on the south side. Never having been to this property before, it wasn't apparent where to enter the trails so we cut our own trail to start.

Deer tracks were plentiful but we didn't actually see any. Once we got through some thick underbrush, we came into a trail along a stand of tall pines. That trail continued on for quite a distance all the way to the neighboring farm field. The property is about a 1/3 - 1/2 mile deep from the edge of Benson Road, but since the trails meander the actual distance walked is much greater.

When we came back out, we took a different trail back to Benson Road. It was then that we saw a closed gate on the property further down Benson Road. Had we entered there we would have avoided the underbrush and had an easier walk along the pines. If anyone is interested in exploring this part of the Mabel Reynolds Preserve, I suggest that you enter through the gate area. Take a hard left and after a short distance you will see the trail open up to the right along the pine trees.

My third hike was on the Guppy Falls trail which is on the west side of Gully Road. If you park in the parking lot and walk north, you will find a set of stairs with some railings. The steps are covered in deep snow so be sure to hold on to the railings going up and down that area. At the top of the stairs the trail goes left or right. We went left and followed the yellow trail markers along the Rudl Trail. This trail takes you along a ridge overlooking a picturesque gorge. About a 1/4 mile ahead is an overlook area to view Guppy Falls. This time of year it's partially frozen but still flowing.

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