Mossy Point Preserve
Location: Wales, Erie County (please park at the Hunters Creek Park lower parking lot. There you will find the trailhead; please click on the Google Maps button above to view)
Size: 216 acres
Hiking difficulty: moderate
Mossy Point is located at the headwaters of the Niagara River along Hunters Creek near East Aurora, and it is a vital component of a much larger ecosystem that safeguards the Niagara watershed, the source of our region’s fresh water. The deep woods also provide important habitat for nesting Great-horned Owls and woodland warblers, and the massive oaks, rolling hills, and misty valleys found here are enchanting. Wildflowers and multiple varieties of ferns cover the forest floor in the spring. Beautiful hemlocks give the land color even during the snowiest winters. The clear waters of Hunters Creek flow over small shale ledges into the cool pools below year-round.
In the early 1920s, Buffalo’s Charles and Florence Kennedy purchased a massive property in Wales. Hunters Creek ran right through the middle of the land, carving small waterfalls and a deep gorge. They spent countless days with their five children hiking the creek, searching for crayfish, and having adventures in the forest. Charles and Florence’s children eventually grew up and had children of their own.
These grandchildren moved all over the country. As the years passed, the family had less time to visit and maintain the land, and in 1994, they sold the forest to a private landowner. In 2019, the Land Conservancy purchased Mossy Point from the private landowner. This purchase could not have happened without the many individual, state, and foundation donors who helped us raise the funds.
The preserve is open to visitors from dawn to dusk for hikers, snowshoers, and nature lovers of all ages and backgrounds. Visitors should park at the Hunters Creek County Park lot. This is where the trailhead begins. Dogs are not permitted at Mossy Point.