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Niagara Escarpment Preserve

This preserve has limited access and is only open through guided hikes. 

Niagara Escarpment Preserve
Location: Lockport, Niagara County
Size: 45 acres

Hiking difficulty: Easy

The 45-acre property on Leete Road in Lockport includes 1,000 feet of the Niagara Escarpment, prime soils, 21 acres of contiguous mature hardwood forest with several unique woodland plants, and 19 acres of rare restored grassland habitat. In 2011, the Western New York Land Conservancy purchased its first property on the Niagara Escarpment, called the Frank L. and Julia Dersham Young Niagara Escarpment Preserve.


Since 1888, when Peter Young settled near Lockport, the Young family had farmed this property, known as the Young Family Farm. Through wars, the Great Depression, and prosperity, the family cleared fields and grew hay, corn, wheat, soybeans, and tomatoes. They grazed dairy cows, tapped sugar maple trees, and developed vineyards, fruit orchards, and tree farms.

Peter’s son, Frank L. Young, expanded the farm and also served the Town of Lockport as school trustee, justice of the peace, and assessor. The most recent owner, Frances Young Harrison, a third-generation member of Young family farmers, retired from active farming at age 87. She and her family chose to honor their family’s heritage by protecting the land forever.


In 2021, preserve neighbors and stewards, Lee and Carla Smith, as well as another co-owner, sold an additional 9 acres to the Land Conservancy so that the land would be protected forever.

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