I can barely walk right now – I hike literally everyday – at least seven miles per, but today the stairs at Clark’s Reservation kicked my butt.  They are depicted here in this scale model, located inside the Nature Center at the park.


They were built in 1878 by James McFarlane who had purchased the property to turn it into a summer resort.  Patrons could take the stairs to catch a boat ride on the meromictic lake.  Descending them now is like living in a dream.  They are of the rustic old-timey variety – and there are a lot of them.


And when you get to the bottom you see this sign, reminiscent of a Scooby Doo cartoon, that reads Danger Quicksand.  Is quicksand really real?  Really??!!




Clark’s history is a fascinating one.  The land had first been divided to be allotted to Revolutionary War veterans in the 1700s.  For some unknown reason, nobody collected it and so, it was reassessed, sold and sold again until Mary Clark Thompson purchased the lot of it and donated it to the state of New York in tribute to her father.  It is a New York State park, one that is free to the public and open dawn to dusk every day.



It is located at 6105 E. Seneca Turnpike, Jamesville, New York 13078. ((315) 492-1908)



There is a Nature Center there.  Cameron Aloi is the resident naturalist.  He is a student at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.  He will be there to answer your questions (as he was today) on the weekends from 11 am – 4 pm.  Other volunteers, part of the network known as the Council of Park Friends (CPF), take turns manning the museum during the week.



They are responsible for the nature center’s maintenance and also offer many programs to educate the public in regards to the flora and fauna of the park.  CPF welcomes new members with a tax deductible gift as low as $20 per year.



Upcoming events include a photography hike on August 17, 2019 at 1 pm and the annual volunteer meeting on September 12, 2019.  See their web-site for the deets.




My favorite part of my visit was seeing the great collection of taxidermy wildlife.  They would be ideal for my classroom.  OMG, the drawings we could do!  Pheasants and bobcats are on my dream classroom wishlist (true story, that). <3




3 thoughts on “Clark’s”

  1. Karen, what a great article on the Clark Reservation and the wonderful nature center housed there! After seeing the model of the stairs from the lakeshore to the center, it is no wonder that your leg muscles are stiff and sore this evening. Wishing you a speedy & complete recovery! I have lost count of the times I have driven by the Reservation, but always on the way to an appointment or scheduled meeting. That is about to change … Clark Reservation is now on my list of “must-see” places here in Central New York. Thanks for opening this reader’s eyes to yet another one of the places we are so blessed with here in our local area … it is greatly appreciated!

  2. Thank you for this wonderful write up! One quick correction-the stairs were not built by James McFarlane in 1878. The original stairs that he built were wooden and went straight down! The current staircase was built later sometime after the park was declared a state park (can’t think of the date off the top of my head).
    And as for the “quicksand” sign…no one knows who put that up. It was not the state! There is not actual quicksand. However, in the spring and sometimes into the summer, the ground is so water saturated that many people have lost their shoes in it! One woman even got stuck and had to have people help her out…leaving her shoes behind!

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