Location: Town of Chili, Monroe County
Size: 275 acres
Description: Brookdale Preserve is home to many unique plants and animals. It contains wooded wetlands, an open wet-meadow, and hardwood uplands. The Preserve is home to a Floodplain forest which is a rare ecological community in New York State and one of the only examples in Monroe County. Prior to becoming a nature preserve, the property had lain fallow for several decades, after being used as agricultural land. The Preserve is now in various stages of succession— which is the process of change in the species structure of an area over time. In areas that were once agricultural fields, grasses and wildflowers like asters, goldenrods, and hawkweed are now common. In the older wooded areas, towering oaks and hickory trees have grown even larger providing well deserved shade and tranquility to hikers passing below, and food and homes for wildlife. Brookdale is also home to an exceptional variety of frogs. From late march through late April listen for calls from Spring Peepers, Wood Frogs, Tree frogs and more. For Birders, early spring is a great time to spot migrating birds including hermit thrush, white throated sparrows, and a variety of warblers. By late spring to early summer song and swamp sparrows, red-winged black birds, and cat-birds are common nesting among the trees. While the summer lends itself to abundant wildlife and biodiversity, it can also bring pesky mosquitoes. Autumn brings beautiful colors to the red maples and other hardwoods on the property and winter is a great time to look for animal tracks in the snow.
Trail Description: A trail leads ½ mile (each way) through a wooded wetland, mown utility right-of-way, woodland, and meadow, ending at a pond. The trail surface consists of sections of mulch, boardwalk, mud, and grass.
History: Prior to becoming a nature preserve, the property had lain fallow for several decades, after being used as agricultural fields. Several areas were mowed periodically, including the area around the farm pond. The Preserve is now in various stages of succession. This Preserve was donated to Genesee Land Trust in 1998 as part of a resolution to an enforcement action brought against RG&E by New York State Department of Conservation.
Driving Directions: Brookdale Preserve is north of Brook Road, bordered on one side by the Genesee Valley Greenway Trail. From the intersection of Rte 252 (Jefferson Road) and Rte 383 (Scottsville Road) in Chili, go south on 383, turn west on Brook Road. Parking at the trailhead is available in the New York State Department of Parks parking lot on the right, about 1000 feet west of Rte 383.
Approximate Address of Parking: 66 Brook Road, Scottsville
GPS coordinates: 43.077352,-77.709582
Genesee Land Trust staff photos