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Palmer Woods
Forest Data
42 28 43 N
76 29 52 W
838 to 921 feet
Ithaca East
Total Acres
35 acres
Old Growth
20 acres
Forest Type
secondary old growth
mixed hardwood

Palmer Woods
Triphammer Road
Ithaca, New York

Palmer Woods is an isolated, 43 acre remnant of mixed hardwood forest surrounded by residential areas and a golf course. The woods are located on Triphammer Road in the Town of Ithaca and the Village of Cayuga Heights, north of the Cornell University campus. The woods are identified as a Tompkins County unique natural area, and have been studied and inventoried extensively.
Aerial Photo
Palmer Woods
Ithaca, New York
click to enlarge

PHOTO www.nysgis.state.ny.us

The site's topography is quite varied, ranging from a shallow, wet stream bed on the north to a dry, flat-topped knoll in the northwest. Several well-traveled trails cross the forest. Parts of the forest were gouged out in the early 1900's for fairways and greens of a golf course, but since abandoned to revert to meadows regenerating into young forest of mostly red maple and white pine. Consequently, the woods has two arms that extend west along the stream, and south.
Palmer Woods

Ithaca, New York

PHOTO DYarrow 4/14/03

The property includes a diversity of vegetation types, including not only old growth forest, but young forest, meadow, and wetland. Old growth forest covers over half the site, remarkably undisturbed, dominated by very large oaks, including many black oaks. The knoll's summit and upper slopes are covered by old growth forest dominated by black, red and white oaks, with substantial size pignut and shagbark hickory, and a few white pine and hemlock. Red and sugar maple, beech and hemlock are also present, especially on north-facing slopes. In the thicker, richer, moist soils along the creek, and the shallow slopes, sugar maple, basswood, white ash, bitternut hickory, and hornbeam are more common.

Directions to
Palmer Woods

from Ithaca
  • take NY 13 north to Triphammer Road
  • turn right onto Triphammer Road
  • continue to Hanshaw Road intersection
  • stay on Triphammer Road another ? mile
  • Palmer Woods are on the left
  • parking is not available nearby

    from north (Cortland)

  • take NY 13 south thru Dryden
  • continue on NY 13 to Triphammer Road
  • exit, then turn left
  • continue as above

  • First Survey
    February 15, 2003

    February 15, 2003 was a very cold, ten degree day with a steady wind whipping the chill in the faces of survey team members. This was the training event to initiate the Finger Lakes survey team. Nearly two feet of snow covered the ground. The team was divided in two groups; one hiked west along the stream, the other traveled south over the knoll and out along the southern spur.

    The Earth Restoration and Reforestation Alliance www.championtrees.org updated 4/14/2003