Located on the shores of the St. Lawrence River in Clayton, New York, the Thousand Islands Land Trust (TILT) is a dynamic not-for-profit land trust dedicated to provide a balance between preserving natural areas and ensuring that responsible development may continue to occur.
The Thousand Islands Land Trust owns more than 4000 acres of land and much of this land is open to the public.
25th Anniversary of Work and Tradition
TILT started twenty five years ago when landowner conservationists on Grindstone Island, one of the largest of the Thousand Islands, and several men and women from other islands, acted to conserve the scenic, recreational, natural and historic character of the Thousand Islands Region.
Islands, Grasslands, Forests, Shoals, Shoreline, and Beaches
Today the land trust works along the St. Lawrence River from its start at Cape Vincent, east (down river) about 30 miles to the Chippewa Bay area. More than 8,000 acres of natural lands are protected through TILT's land or conservation easement ownership.
Holdings include shoreline, grasslands and forest, small islands and shoals, marshes, and a natural sand beach that is a traditional focus of recreation along the river.
Forts, Farms, and Trails
Not all of TILT properties are natural in nature - several historic sites protected by TILT include an 18th century British fort site, a 1930’s state-of-the-art cattle farm and a 22 mile recreational rail-trail. Recreational trails are popular along the River, they afford users a glimpse of the area. In addition to the rail trail known as the Sissy Danforth Rivergate Trail, TILT maintains the Grindstone Island Nature Trail between Canoe Point & Picnic Point State Parks, as well as the Macsherry Trail at Crooked Creek. Both are self guided nature trails.
Walking in the Woods or Fields
· Macsherry Nature Trail - three mile Nature Trail at Crooked Creek Preserve offers spectacular views of Chippewa Bay.
· Grindstone Island Nature Trial - three mile Nature Trail to the foot of the island linking Canoe Point and Picnic Point State Parks.
· Rusho Farm and Howard-Smith Preserves - adjacent parcels on Grindstone, totaling over 300 acres. Important for grassland nesting birds and other wildlife. Pothole restoration has provided breeding, nesting, and resting habitats for waterfowl and amphibians
· Mid River Farm Preserve - 133 acre farm at the head of Grindstone; 2,500 feet of preserved shoreline; walking/riding trail; this property is actively farmed.
· Songbird Forest - once known as the Delaney Farm on Grindstone, 230 acres of forest and meadows, adjacent to Picnic Point State Park.
· Zenda Farm Preserve - 400 acre historic farm landscape; 107 acres managed for meadowlarks and bobolinks; 81 acres is used by tenant farmer. A new hiking and cross-country ski trail will be built in the fall of 2010.
Kayaking, Boating or Fishing
· Crooked Creek Preserve - 1,155 acres bordering almost 4 miles of this significant watershed, east of Alexandria Bay. Visitors go to this preserve for hiking, hunting, boating and nature viewing.
· Potter's Beach – This 600 foot, naturally sandy beach at the head of Grindstone Island, is permanently preserved for recreational use.
· Otter Creek Preserve - just south of Alexandria Bay near route 12, 25 acres of rock outcrops and forest.
· Delaney Bay Marsh - about 100 acres of wetlands with a fish ladder to reclaim natural habitat for Muskrats, Northern Pike and other wetland species.
Bicycling or ATV excursions
· Sissy Danforth Rivergate Trail - a 24-mile multi-use trail on the former historic railroad bed, for walking, hiking and bicycling, four-wheeling and snowmobiling.
Thousand Islands Land Trust, 135 Water Street. Clayton, NY
Office hours are 8:30a.m. to 5:00p.m. weekdays, [TILT recommends you call first as "with fewer staff than acres of land or miles of trails to steward, TILT staff, may be out of the office some of the time.]
Thousand Islands Land Trust
P.O. Box 238
Clayton, New York 13624
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. or Call: 315-686-5345. Fax comments or questions: 315-686-4290.