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The Sterling Nature Center

Our location is in the stunning northeast corner of Cayuga County, New York. Our extensive 1,400-acre area offers a multitude of options for our visitors. In 1998, in collaboration with the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, the county implemented conservation easements to safeguard Lake Ontario's shoreline, wetlands, and other vulnerable areas.


Explore the Beauty Lake Ontario Shoreline: As you explore our nature center, you'll be treated to a magnificent view of nearly two miles of Lake Ontario's picturesque shoreline. Take in the beauty of the glacially-formed bluffs, leisurely walk along the stony beach adorned with cobblestones, and revel in the awe-inspiring vistas of the lake.



Trails: Our park provides visitors with ten miles of excellently maintained hiking trails that traverse through beautiful forests, wetlands, meadows, and fields. You can find detailed trail descriptions and maps at our kiosk located near the parking area.


Wildlife: Experience the breathtaking wildlife at Sterling Nature Center. The Heron Trail boasts a beaver-made wetland where a colony of great blue herons resides. From the cozy observation area, you can delight in the tranquil scenery of these magnificent birds and their nests. Keep a lookout for ospreys, ducks, kingfishers, and beavers as you explore the park.


Engage and Discover Interpretive Center: Our interpretive center, located in our former farmhouse, is the perfect place to gather information and explore all the park offers. Please stop by and browse our small gift shop while learning about the area's fascinating natural history. We are confident that you will find our center a valuable resource for your visit.

We host diverse events that honor nature and community throughout the year. Be sure to attend our Art Inspiration festival, a yearly celebration where art and nature are intertwined through photography, painting, sculptures, and crafts. To stay informed about upcoming events, follow our Facebook page.


Plan Your Visit Hours and Admission: Open from dawn to dusk year-round, Sterling Nature Center invites visitors to bask in the tranquility of nature. We offer free admission to ensure everyone can enjoy our park.


Facilities: For your convenience, we have restroom facilities at the interpretive center and a porta-potty near the parking lot.


Accessibility:  While most of our trail system is not universally accessible, we've designed the Lakeview Trail to accommodate visitors with the greatest accessibility needs. This trail meanders around the interpretive center and leads to an observation deck with a stunning view of the lake.


Pet-Friendly: We welcome dogs at Sterling Nature Center but require them to always be on a leash. We ask owners to clean up after their pets to maintain the park's cleanliness and serenity.

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