Due to COVID, we’re seeing a surge of people exercising outside, in our parks, and in our parklands. While the city provides plenty of sanctuary locations, perfect for yoga or walking, the outskirts of Buffalo are a virtual treasure map of inspirational oases.
A couple of weeks ago, my parents decided that it was time that they explore Greater Buffalo. They made a pact that they would visit a new nature destination each week. When I heard about their plans, I asked if they would send me some photos of their excursions, when warranted.
Incredibly, my mom and dad have done a bang up job of unearthing some spots that are not only inspirational, they are also relatively unknown (to me, and possibly to you).
Their weekly journey started off with a trip that took them 23 miles outside of the city, to “… an enchanting 1 1/2 mile walk on meandering paths through lush green foliage. Sunlight filtered in through the canopy of trees with sightings of frogs, toads, squirrels, tiny fluttering butterflies, and brilliant dragonflies. The only sounds were of birds, and a small, tranquil, cascading waterfall!”
Even after hearing the description of the surroundings, and viewing a handful of photos, I was stumped as to where they had visited. “It’s the Lockport Nature Trail,” my mother told me. “The trail is perfect for all ages, it’s well maintained, with wayfinding markers, a stream, old growth trees, and it’s dog-friendly if leashed. Bikes and kids are also welcome. There are wide paths, so no chance of poison ivy or ticks.”
Armed with this information, my wife and I are going to head out to walk this trail in coming days, while practicing the “leave it better than you found it” mantra. Since fewer people are frequenting beaches and other regular haunts this summer, more people are searching for these types of restorative natural escapes, across the country. That means that there is more litter, vandalism, illegal all-terrain vehicles and camp fires, and general degradation of natural surroundings (see article in TIME). Therefore, it’s more important than ever to be respectful of these treasured landscapes. Yes, pay a visit, but keep in mind that there are limited budgets to maintain these natural resources.
Directions: Follow Waze – then just follow the outer route which gives you the mile 1 1/2 walk – visitors will see the map shortly after entering