Otter Creek Preserve

A beautiful mosaic of 1000 Islands habitats within walking distance of the Village of Alexandria Bay.

  • Otter Creek by Chris Murray
  • Otter Creek. (photo by Steve Sturtz)
  • Otter Creek Preserve
  • Otter Creek Preserve
  • KidsTrek on Otter Creek Preserve
  • Otter Creek Bridge Trail
  • A group on the Observation Tower

Directions to the preserve: Street address is 193 Church Street, Alexandria Bay. Within walking distance of the Village of Alexandria Bay, Otter Creek Preserve is on State Route 26 in Alexandria Bay. At the intersection of State Rt. 12 and State Route 26, turn south (away from the Village). The Preserve is four-tenths of a mile from the intersection on the right. The Otter Creek Nature Trail is open to the public year-round. ATVs and snowmobiles are not permitted on the preserve.

Otter Creek Suspension Bridge TILT’s Otter Creek Preserve opened to the public in the fall of 2015 and is TILT’s newest preserve. Located in the Town of Alexandria, this Preserve offers 1.9 miles of trail for walking, hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, it also offers dramatic views of both Otter Creek and Lynch Creek. A portion of the trail is ADA-accessible, including a wildlife observation tower that overlooks the Golden-winged Warbler Demonstration Area, highlighting TILT’s shrubland bird management. A cable suspension bridge connects the trail system and provides the experience of being in deep woods.

Preserve History

Although the story of Otter Creek as a public preserve is just getting started, the history of putting the pieces together to create the approximately 115 acre preserve began six years ago. The idea began as early as 1999, when the Butts Family generously donated an island, which can be seen from Otter Creek’s Northern Loop Trail. In 2000, TILT was then gifted a 25 acre parcel on the mainland from the Otter Creek Development Corporation. In 2009, a second island within the creek was acquired and then in 2012, TILT received a North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant to purchase the Sweet Property, which added 78 acres to the Preserve. The final pieces, both at the left and right of the entrance drive of Otter Creek were acquired in 2014 and 2015, completing the Otter Creek Preserve.

Give A Gift Towards Stewardship of the Land!

The Butts Family Conservation Fund was created to support the perpetual conservation and stewardship of the Otter Creek Preserve & Nature Trail. This Fund allows the River communities and all nature lovers visiting the 1000 Islands to enjoy the preserve and the important wildlife and landscape we protect. Join us today by making a donation to the Fund to help us protect this critical wildlife habitat, ensure clean air and water, and enable present and future generations to connect with nature. Give now.

Otter Creek Suspension Bridge view Building the Otter Creek Nature Trail

In 2012, TILT received a Consolidated Funding Grant through the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation in order to design and build a trail at Otter Creek, utilizing existing trails and giving the public the opportunity to enjoy this unique landscape. In 2015, TILT received a Land Trust Alliance Conservation Partnership Program grant to complete the ADA (American Disabilities Act) sections of the trail, including an ADA accessible lower portion of the observation tower.

Trail design and engineering was completed by Aubertine and Currier. A unique stone wall created through a partnership with the Thousand Islands Arts Center surrounds the welcome kiosk as a seating space for visitors. A mulched trail leads you down the Central Collector Trail to both the Southern Loop and Northern Loop Trails, which are both rustic hiking trails over granite outcroppings, providing excellent views of wetlands, beaver ponds and Otter Creek. Following the Northern Loop or Bridge Trail, you will experience Otter Creek’s suspension bridge, unique to this area and providing you with great views of Lynch Creek. Keep your eyes peeled for Wood Ducks and Great Blue Herons, both of which frequent the upper pools of the Creek for dabbling and fishing.

ATVs and snowmobiles are not permitted on the Preserve.

Related Projects

  • A TILTrek observes the Golden-winged Warbler habitat at Otter Creek.

    Shrubland Species Management: Golden-winged Warbler

    The St. Lawrence Valley Partnership for Golden-winged Warblers is working to improve habitat for and provide education about this declining species.

  • Opening up grasslands on Grenadier Island

    Habitat Management & Restoration

    Stewardship involves maintenance and/or restoration of essential habitats, per a preserve's individual management plan.

  • Suspension bridge at Otter Creek under construction

    Trail Construction & Maintenance

    The Land Trust currently owns and manages over 20 miles of multi-use recreational trails throughout the greater Thousand Islands region. These rustic trails open the door to TILT’s Signature Preserves and are accessible to the public year-round, providing individuals with unique outdoor experiences across a variety of landscapes.

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