Apalachin Preserve Nestled In Middle Of Highway
A nature preserve in Tioga County is hidden in plain site. The Apalachin Marsh is situated between the eastbound and westbound lanes of future Interstate 86, just a few miles east of Owego.
The marsh is maintained and managed by the Waterman Conservation Education Center under an agreement with the New York State Department of Transportation.
Area residents several decades ago worked to save the marsh before construction started on Route 17.
The state eventually recognized the site as a protected wetland area. The highway's eastbound and westbound lanes split between Apalachin and Owego to take traffic around the marsh.
According to the Waterman center's website, the marsh now is considered to be one of the best spots for birdwatching in New York state.
Visitors may enter the marsh by using a walkway and then a tunnel under the eastbound lanes of Route 17. Vehicles may be parked at a small area on the north side of Route 434, about one-half mile east of Hilton Road.