My obsession with the Adirondacks can sometimes overshadow the pure beauty of home. Recently I was reminded of a little gem almost in my backyard called the “IBM Glen” or “Glen”. The Glen is part of the Waterman Conservation Education Center.
The sound of leaves crunching underfoot can be soothing or even thought provoking, oak trees are my favorite. They are strong, powerful and their leaves fascinate me. The day was cloudy but still beautiful to be outdoors as I wandered up a portion of Gray’s Creek. Some ice and snow lingered in the depths of the forest where the sun’s warm hands could not touch. Water flowed smoothly over the various small waterfalls muffling the sound of the noon fire whistle. As I made my way out of the creek and up the hillside the scurry of chipmunks was entertaining to watch. The tap, tap, tap of a woodpecker caught my attention as I scanned the woods. Unsure but I believe my new friend was either a Yellow-bellied sapsucker or a Downy woodpecker, no matter this one was very determined.
Continuing to crunch along I would end my day with a wonderful 4.25 mile walk in the woods. It was nice to slow down and just take in life.
The IBM Glen comprises over 200 acres in the Town of Union, in the heart of the so-called Triple Cites region of New York State’s Southern Tier. The IBM Glen contains a mature forest with some of the oldest and largest trees in Broome County, and its cascading gorge is the region’s finest. For centuries people have enjoyed the Glen’s majestic trees, cool waterfalls, colorful wildflowers, and abundant bird and animal life. We know that the region’s native inhabitants must have loved this magical spot, and when white settlers began to arrive in the 18th century one of the first homesteaders built next to the Glen.
In the IBM Glen, a carefully-built trail with natural stone steps and bridges, including two stone arch bridges, was built in the 1930’s or 1940’s. Stone fireplaces and picnic tables can be seen along the Glen’s trail.
The IBM Glen is a mature forest of maples, dark green hemlocks, tall oaks and occasionally a white pine or two that is three feet in diameter which towers over them all. The “old growth forest” is located close to the stream and is an important part of The Glen for people to see.
Wildlife has many different types of homes in The Glen. From reptiles to birds to mammals and amphibians, people of all ages can walk through The Glen and enjoy all of the different types.
Waterman Center obtained the property in 2004 when a group of people convinced IBM not to log the old growth trees and sell the land, but rather to turn it into a refuge for people to enjoy.
The IBM Glen is a “Place for All Seasons”! Walking is the most popular sport of those who use the trails at The Glen but there’s also room for those who snowshoe and cross-country ski in the winter.