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Lordship’s Nature Trails:
The Bluffs ‘Down Under’

Bring Your Camera And Prepare To Explore ...

Trails slice the nature area from the Bluffs to Russian Beach, and one long trail flows down the middle. Drone photo by Will Bileca.

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Migratory birds and Monarch butterflies know a good landing spot when they see it. So do other wildlife that pass through or make this their permanent home.


With an abundance of nourishing wildflowers, berries and protective trees and bushes, it’s a nearly 10-acre natural habitat nestled between the Lordship Bluffs and Russian Beach in Lordship. And if you’re a Lordship resident who’s yet to fully explore what’s down under the Bluffs, come along …




The grassy Lordship Bluffs (from the western edge of Lordship Road to the western edge of Spruce Street) - and the habitat trails and Russian Beach below the Bluffs - are owned (in a land trust) and maintained by the Lordship Improvement Association (LIA) for the enjoyment of Lordship residents.


Three sloping paths and two staircases descend from the Bluffs to form short trails that cut through the nature area to the beach. And paralleling the Bluffs ridge and shoreline, one long trail gently curves though the center of this habitat.


Bring your camera! You’ll enjoy sights in all seasons – especially in spring, summer and autumn, when flowers and shrubs are abuzz with wildlife and ablaze with blooms.


See the LIA’s evolving Field Guide to identify some of these delights.


Also fascinating when in bloom and buzzing with bees and Monarch butterflies is the Trial Pollinator Pathway Garden, located just to the left of the staircase at the foot of Laurel Street. It’s designed to be “sustainable” – watered only when flowers are first planted, and weeded … well, often. Visitors are encouraged to bring rocks up from the beach to place at the garden’s border as a hedge against neighboring weeds.




On the trails, wear shoes and long loose-fitting clothing (or insect repellent) to protect from sharp stones, brambles, broken glass (unfortunately) and ticks. And be alert for the shiny three-leaved poison ivy bushes and vines, which are abundant here.


Of course, also take out when you bring in, and consider bringing a bag to collect any trash left on the trails or beach.


And please don’t damage or cut down trees or shrubs that are growing in this area. Interfering with nature hampers the environment, adversely affects wildlife, and destroys the natural beauty we come here to enjoy. See: Safeguarding The Lordship Bluffs



With the help of neighborhood volunteers, the LIA has been managing the natural habitat area between the grassy Bluffs and the sand at Russian Beach for many decades. Among the many specific and ongoing projects are:


  • Erosion control: Installing snow fences and by the sand to reduce wind erosion and create protective dunes.

  • Allowing natural vegetation to grow and support a diverse animal population.

  • Clearing and maintaining nature trails through the vegetation.

  • Spreading wood chips on the trails to suppress ticks and provide cushioning for walking.

  • Planting native pollinators to attract species along the trails.

  • Installing bird houses along the trails.


The LIA also spends considerable sums annually to control invasive species through flush cutting, precise herbicide application and other methods.


Going forward, the LIA has hired a consultant to advise on beneficial vs. invasive species, and the removal of unwanted vegetation.


For more about the LIA and its many projects, please visit Enjoy the Lordship Bluffs – and thank you for your support!

Seasonal blooms are a delight on your walk.

Most trails get a fresh carpet of mulch in spring.

The Trial Sustainable Pollinator Garden is a must-see in summer.

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Be on the lookout for poison ivy (clusters of three leaves) ... shy bunnies ... and flittering butterflies.

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