The Goetchius Wetland contains approximately 36 acres of marshy wetlands
and hardwood forests. The wetland is home to a variety of amphibians,
birds, mammals, and some unusual grasses and sedges. The wetland
is part of a much larger, and very important, wetland, the western part
of which drains north to Six Mile Creek, and ultimately into the St.
Lawrence River; and the eastern part of which drains to the West Branch
of Owego Creek, then south to the Susquehanna and the Chesapeake. The
preserve occupies the eastern portion of this large wetland complex.
The preserve is a good place to listen to frogs, watch birds,
and practice your tree and wildflower identification skills.
One of the woodland portions of the land is
called "Mary's Woods," named after the previous owner of the woods, Mary
Willsey. A sign in her memory has been placed at the beginning of the trail
into the woodland. The only trails on the preserve are in Mary's Woods, but
much can also be seen and heard while walking along Flat Iron Road.
Aerial View of Goetchius Preserve
The Goetchius Wetland Preserve is located on Flat Iron Road in the Town of
Caroline. To get there from Ithaca, take Route 79 East to Flat Iron Road
in the Town of Caroline. Turn left onto Flat Iron Road and go north for
approximately 0.2 miles. The preserve starts on the left at the first stream
that crosses under the road, and extends north to a large farm field. The
southern, woodland portion of the preserve is located behind the houses and
trailers on the left of Flat Iron Road and extends south to the cemetery
along Route 79.
To get to the trails in Mary's Woods, there is a right-of-way at the north
end of the lawn, north of the last house (blue) on the left, and just south
of the shrubs and trees that border the southern part of the wetland. During
dry weather, you may drive onto the right-of-way and park. Then walk
westward, staying near the shrubs and trees until you get to the trailhead
at the woods.