Located on the eastern shore of Cayuga Lake in Lansing, Bell Station is a remarkable property that features 3,400 feet of pristine shoreline, wooded hillsides, extensive fields, and several small streams with cascading waterfalls.
Follow the trail down to the lake and delight in discovering native plants, such as trillium and wild ginger, along the way. Let the lake breezes enliven your senses as you skip rocks along the water’s edge, or look for signs of wildlife. Bald Eagles are frequently seen on the property and waterfowl seasonally congregate off the shoreline.
The property was originally acquired by New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG) for a nuclear power plant that was never built. Shortly after NYSEG announced plans to auction the property to the highest bidder in September 2021, the Land Trust urged the community to get involved.
Fortunately, the community rallied and made its voices heard. Civic groups and local elected officials requested the cancellation of the auction and more than 4,000 citizens signed a petition calling for the same. Governor Kathy Hochul responded and secured a commitment from NYSEG to cancel the auction and instead negotiate directly with the Finger Lakes Land Trust (FLLT) on a sale of the entire 480-acre property.
The FLLT had been pursuing the conservation of Bell Station for a number of years. Its interest was shared by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) which designated the FLLT as its agent to pursue acquisition of the land. In May 2022, the organization purchased the property.
The FLLT plans to transfer the lakeshore portion of the property to the DEC to be managed for recreational uses including hiking, wildlife watching, hunting, and fishing. In partnership with the Town of Lansing, the organization is also exploring the feasibility of utilizing 200 acres of the property for solar energy production.
During the early bow-hunting season, from October 1 – November 17, bow hunters will be hunting on the Bell Station property in locations that are at least 150 feet from the hiking trails, and the trails will remain open to the public during that time. Hikers must stay on marked trails at all times.
During the regular gun and late muzzle-loader hunting seasons, from November 18 – December 19, the whole preserve will remain open to the public. Firearm hunters will be allowed to hunt on the Bell Station property in locations that are at least 500 feet from the hiking trails, and the trails will remain open to the public during that time. Hikers must stay on marked trails at all times.