The Loomis Goose Creek Preserve is located along the shoreline of Chautauqua Lake and is some of the last undeveloped land along the lake. The preserve is primarily wetlands, with Goose Creek flowing through the site. A short trail on the site connects users to a boat launch, and it’s a popular site for paddlers, anglers, birdwatchers and geocachers.
Size: 30.5 acres
Year Conserved by CWC: 2011
Conservation Values: With less than 1 mile of natural shoreline left on Chautauqua Lake, the Loomis Goose Creek Preserve protects an important 480 feet of naturally vegetated lakeshore and 3,600 feet of natural stream front along Goose Creek. The preserve floodplains allow slow percolation of water into the aquifer and utilization by riparian plant communities, which filter and improve Chautauqua Lake’s water quality.
Recreational Use: The Loomis Goose Creek preserve is popular site for CWC-led tours, as well as a destination for hikers, fishermen, botanists, birdwatchers and geocachers. The site’s wetlands, thick mud and deep brush make hiking off-trail difficult. Paddlers can launch at the end of the primary trail. Hunting and trapping is strictly prohibited at this sanctuary.
Location and Parking: The Loomis Goose Creek Preserve is located at the outlet of Goose Creek on the south shore of Chautauqua Lake at the border between North Harmony and Busti. The Ashville Bay Marina borders the preserve on the southwest. A main sign, parking area and informational kiosk are off the north side of Route 394 across from Fardink Road.
Features of Interest: The preserve includes a portion of Goose Creek, which is a major tributary of Chautauqua Lake, and most of the land is forested wetlands. There is a kayak boat launch at the creek and an osprey nest near the parking area.
Species of Interest:
Trees: shagbark hickory (Carya Ovata), silver maple (Acer saccharinum), apple (Malus sylvestris), paper birch (Betula papyrifera), big-toothed aspen (Populus grandidentata), cottonwood (Populus sp.)
Shrubs: red-osier dogwood (Cornus sericea), spicebush (Lindera benzoin)
Wildflowers and berries: calico aster (Aster lateriflorus), common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) choke cherry (Prunus virginiana), raspberries (Rubus spp.), wild onion (Allium sp.), white turtlehead (Chelone glabra), spring beauty (Claytonia virginica), marsh marigold (Caltha palustris), wild strawberries (Fragaria vesca), false Solomon’s seal (Maianthemum racemosum), black current (Ribes americanum), Allegheny blackberry (Rubus allegheniensis), narrow-leaed cattail (Typha angustifolia)
Fish: blackchin shiner (Notropis heterodon), walleye (Stizostedion vitreum), pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus)
Mammals: bobcat (Lynx rufus)
Amphibians: pickerel frog (Rana palustris), spring peeper (Pseudacris crucifer)
Birds: spotted sandpiper (Actitis macularius), mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), great blue heron (Ardea Herodias), red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), osprey (Pandoin haliaetus), wood duck (Aix sponsa), tufted titmouse (Baelophus bicolor), belted kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon), black-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus erythropthalmus), American kestrel (Falco sparverius), purple martin (Progne subis), American redstart (Setophaga ruticilla)