Introducing the Braman Nature Preserve

3 May

Six years ago, from January through December 2016, I took on an ambitious project. I challenged myself to visit 100 east-side parks and walk or bike or run at least a mile of the trails at each one — if there were any.

I called the project my “2016 Tour de Parks,” and I chronicled my journeys in a blog. (It’s still online; if you’re interested, click this link.) My quest was ultimately successful. I notched my last park in early December, and by the time I was done I’d actually visited 102 parks.

So you’d think I’ve seen every park and natural area there is to see in our town. But recently I heard about a nature preserve which lies only a few miles east of my home, and has existed for more than 10 years: the Braman Nature Preserve.

I decided that I should check it out, too. So last Sunday my husband and I headed out to explore it and take a short hike.

The Eva and Harlan Braman Nature Preserve is located at 1775 Ridge Rd., near the Town of Webster’s easternmost border. It’s very easy to drive by (we did, twice). There’s no large sign announcing its existence. But basically, the entrance is just east of Basket Rd., across Ridge from the intersection with Ridge Rd. Junction.

The preserve is comprised of about 60 acres of former farmland, now fields, and about 11 acres of forest. The land was donated to the Genesee Land Trust in 2011 by Laurel Bruns and Gary Braman in honor of their grandparents, Eva and Harlan Braman. About 1.5 miles of grassy trails are regularly mowed into the fields and through the woods.

The hike begins along a path which at this time of year is very muddy and swampy, although the Land Trust workers have tried to mitigate the mess by putting down a rudimentary boardwalk along part of it. That path leads to a large field — which only looks large until you take a second path leading to another field which is probably four times larger.

The main trails generally follow the edges of these two fields, but one does dip into the woods for a bit along Halesworth Lane, so for a while you can admire some very nice residential back yards. Having a trail map is helpful to keep from wandering onto the farmer’s property to the west (because the trails are not particularly well marked). Birdsong filled the air at every step of our hike. There was never a time when I COULDN’T hear 104 traffic and nearby construction vehicles, but the birds managed to drown it out most of the time. It’s a very peaceful hike.

There is a sign at the trailhead which warns that the trails are seasonally wet and muddy. That was an understatement. My sneakers, socks and pants all went into the washer when I got home.

The reason the Braman Preserve crossed my radar is that the Genesee Land Trust would like to create a six-space gravel parking lot at the park’s entrance. I saw an announcement about their plans in a recent Town newsletter.

A parking lot would be a great improvement. Right now the only place to park is along the shoulder of busy Ridge Rd. A parking lot would certainly encourage more nature lovers to discover this beautiful preserve. (It would also be great if the Trust could build a few more boardwalks to traverse the swampiest areas!)

So check it out sometime for yourself, even before they build the parking lot. Just don’t wear any shoes which you can’t afford to get muddy.

Here are a few photos from our hike, and scroll to the bottom to see a trail map.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

(posted 5/3/2022)

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email me at missyblog@gmail.com. “Like this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

(posted 5/4/2022)

One Response to “Introducing the Braman Nature Preserve”

  1. Kathy Taddeo May 3, 2022 at 8:29 pm #

    Great find, Missy!
    Sent from my iPhone
    >

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