Visitor Guidelines

The Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy encourages public recreation and education on our nature preserves. CWC’s nature preserves are open to the public from dawn to dusk, with the exception of our Houston Hollow Preserve in Celoron, NY, which is only open by special appointment or for special events. Some properties have well defined trails, and some are wild places with no trails. When visiting a CWC preserve, be cognizant of your surroundings and come prepared with a compass, map or other orienteering device. 

When visiting CWC preserves, please follow these guidelines and safety measures: 

  • Clean up after yourselves and remove any litter you see to keep the preserve beautiful and free of items that can be hazardous to wildlife.
  • Collection of plants, animals or other natural features is prohibited.
  • Keep dogs on a leash. In addition to being required by law, keeping dogs on a leash is important for the safety of wildlife and people on our nature preserves. Dogs may kill or harass wildlife, annoy other people or destroy habitats by digging up burrows or disturbing nests. Leashes also keep your dog safe from other dogs, wildlife defenses and other people on our preserves.
  • Clean up after your dog. Our preserves may be wild places, but dog feces adds bacteria and parasites to the water, which can spread disease to local wildlife. It is also unpleasant to others who use our preserves.
  • Do not use bicycles, scooters or motorized vehicles. Wheels tear up the trails considerably more than shoes do and cause erosion of the thin topsoil needed to support plant life. Skis and snowshoes are welcome in the winter when there is adequate snow cover.
  • Do not build fires. Unattended fires may spread, and the dead wood often used for fires is an important part of the forest’s ecology, providing valuable habitat for a variety of plants, fungi and animals.
  • Do not camp in the nature preserve.
  • No trapping of wildlife is permitted. 
  • Hunting is permitted at many of our preserves. Please see our interactive preserve map to see which preserves are open to hunting, and call us at our office (716-664-2166) with any questions. All hunting laws must be followed on CWC preserves.