Lime Hollow Nature Center
Covered Bridge at the Lime Hollow Visitor Center

Safe Summer Hiking at Lime Hollow

Trails at Lime HollowSummer is a wonderful time to explore the trails, creeks, and fields at Lime Hollow Nature Center. With over eight miles of trails and nearly 400 acres of land, Lime Hollow has endless opportunities for people of all ages to enjoy the natural world this summer.

That being said, a little time spent properly preparing for your Lime Hollow adventure can help ensure it’s an enjoyable one. Follow these safe hiking tips to make sure you don’t get “caught in the rain.”

  • Before your hike, study a trail map to familiarize yourself with our trails; carry the map with you to orient yourself periodically as you hike. Maps are available at our Visitor Center, at several of our trailheads, and online.
  • Consider the amount of time you have to hike, and choose an appropriate route; if you only have 30 minutes total – or, say, 20 minutes of daylight left -- you won’t have time to hike a 4-mile loop!
  • Check the weather report: if rain is in the forecast, pack a raincoat and plan accordingly; if it’s going to be hot and muggy, bring extra water and consider hiking earlier in the day or later in the evening when it’s cooler.
  • If possible, carry a daypack or fanny-pack that includes the following items: water, sunscreen, sunglasses, bug repellent, and a trail map.
  • Consider bringing along some of the following fun items as well: camera, birding and wildlife guides, binoculars, nature journal, and -- for those who like to see things up-close -- a magnifying glass!
  • If our Visitor Center is open, don’t hesitate to ask the attendants questions about the trails, what you might see, or if they have any recommendations.
  • Traveling with children? Take a few minutes to show them the trail map, cover good-hiking habits like staying on designated trails, and teach them to “stay put” if they find themselves separated from you on the trail. You may even consider giving your children emergency whistles.
  • There are numerous mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, and other creepy crawlies living at Lime Hollow; there are also several plant species you’ll want to avoid having contact with. Please acquaint yourselves with these before you hike – steering clear of the dangerous ones, and observing them all will respect whether they pose a risk or not. After all we’re just visitors…
  • Have fun!

Lyme DiseaseSpecial note: May was “Lyme Disease Awareness Month.” Bacteria transmitted by a deer tick’s (Ixodes scapularis) bite causes Lyme disease; however, it is important to remember that not all deer ticks are infected with this bacteria.

Deer ticks inhabit wooded and grassy areas during the months of May through August; nymphal (young) deer ticks are active from May through July, and their bite is responsible for most Lyme infections. Since ticks are so small, it is oftentimes hard to see them and feel their bite. That is why it is important to follow these few, simple steps to protect yourself from ticks:

  • When in areas where ticks may be present, wear light-colored clothing, including long pants and long-sleeved shirts; tuck your shirt into your pants, and your pant legs into your socks.
  • Use insect repellent to reduce your risk of being bitten; use sparingly, especially on children.
  • During your hike, check for ticks on your skin and clothing, and brush off any ticks on your clothing. Don’t forget to also check your children and pets.
  • Do a thorough body check for ticks at the end of the day. If you find a tick, it’s important to remove it within the first 36 hours to reduce your risk of infection. To remove a tick follow these New York State Department of Health guidelines:
    • Using tweezers, grasp tick near the mouth parts, as close to the skin as possible.
    • Pull tick in a steady, upward motion away from skin.
    • DO NOT use kerosene, matches, or petroleum jelly to remove tick.
    • Disinfect site with soap and water, rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.
    • Record the date and location of tick bite. If rash or flu-like symptoms appear contact your health care provider immediately.

For more information on ticks and Lyme disease, visit the New York State Department of Health website at http://www.health.state.ny.us/diseases/communicable/lyme/.

By following these guidelines, you’re sure to have a great time exploring the outdoors this summer.