Lily Dale's Nature
Technically, Lily Dale is an island! We have the lake on one side, beautiful forest on the other and a large marsh separating us from the rest of Cassadaga, our closest neighbor. Spending time in nature is an important part of spiritual development and we are dedicated to ensuring the wonder of this place is preserved for future generations.
Throughout the far end of Lily Dale are beautiful forests to explore. Find trails through them that start along their edges. Look for signs of beavers, deer, lots of chipmunks & squirrels, bunnies and all types of birds.
Leolyn Woods is one of the most significant and unique Old Growth Forests in the Northeast and is found at the top of South Street. The Leolyn Woods is thousands of years old, populated by centuries old trees; most common are ancient Hemlock, Basswood, Maples, Red Oaks, White Pine, Black Cherry, and Cucumber Magnolia. Please enjoy reading the information about the trees on Shepherd Hooks.
Inspiration Stump is a retreat found at the end of a quiet trail of the Leolyn Woods. It is not unusual to become aware of the spiritual energies while in an open and receptive state at the Stump. Demonstrations of mediumship are presented twice daily at 1:00 PM and 5:30 PM. This tradition dates back the establishment of Lily Dale in 1879. Mediums have been holding services at the site affectionately known as “The Inspiration Stump” which was named after a sacred pine that once grew there. In inclement weather, a bell will be rung to indicate the location of the service.
The Lily Dale Pet Cemetery honors our beloved pets that have crossed over to Spirit. Pets are much loved in Lily Dale and the residents have made a lovely spot in the Leolyn Woods, a spiritual place, to honor their loved companions. The legend is that on February 13, 1900, the Lily Dale Pet Cemetery was created when horses fell through the ice on Cassadaga Lake during “Ice Harvesting”. These horses were eventually taken from the icy waters and transported up South Street to the Leolyn Woods. Topsy, who was a beloved pet and worker for Lily Dale is buried in the pet cemetery.
The Boulevard Path
Take a walk through our beautiful Boulevard trails that begins at the end of East Street and finishes at the Lily Dale beach. All along the pathway are informational Shepherd Hooks about tree identification.
The Fairy Trail Village
The fairy trail entrance is between the Healing Temple and the Fire Hall. Walk the paths in this picturesque forest and spend some magical moments with our wood elves, gnomes and sprites. And if you happen to see a little flash of light out of the corner of your eye, look quick! You might catch a glimpse before they pop into their Fairy Village houses.
About the place and how to get to it.
Our Play Places
Children, dogs, and adults alike can enjoy a good time at Lily Dale's recreational facilities.
Lily Dale Beach
The Lily Dale Beach is open 11AM – 6 PM during season. A qualified life guard is on duty. Our beach is a grassy/sand mix offering picnic tables, restrooms, and plenty of parking. Follow Cleveland Avenue to the end and you will see our Beach sign. You can read the rules for the beach on our FAQs.
Join us on Friday nights from 6:30 PM- 8:00 PM for a drumming circle. Drumming has been practiced around the world for centuries as a way to connect with the rhythm of life. All season long, Friday nights will come alive with the beat of drums in the park near Lily Dale Beach. $10.00
The Dog Park
A newer addition to Lily Dale, our dog park is open to dogs who are up to date with their vaccinations. Please bring proof to the office in order to gain access to the park. A donation to support park maintenance is encouraged.
Children's Acre Playground
Located next to the Andrew Jackson Lyceum, the Children's Acre Playground features slides, swings, see-saws and more!
In addition to the many beautiful gardens around people's homes (count the bat houses you see in yards!), Lily Dale maintains a number of gardens around the grounds.
The Butterfly Habitat
The Butterfly Habitat is located opposite the Bough House Restaurant. It was built in 2017 under the direction of the Lily Dale Environmental Committee with many community helpers. The Habitat is a garden space for birds, butterflies, frogs and other wild life. It provides the essential elements needed by all wild life such as natural food sources, clean water, cover and places to raise their young.
The Rain Garden
The idea behind our Rain Garden is quite simple. If polluted rainwaters cannot reach our lake waters, then pollution from vehicles, especially the heavy summer traffic and winter snow control, can be controlled and the stresses on Cassadaga Lakes ecosystem are mitigated. The runoff is channeled down into the garden where the plants and soil filter the water.
We have planted, to the greatest extent possible, plants that are native to our area. These plants are able to withstand brief intervals of standing water and tolerate drought. They also have deep roots that allow water to seep into the soil and do not require fertilizers or other chemicals. Most importantly, they provide a natural habitat for beneficial insects and lakeshore creatures to flourish in safety.
Lillie Memorial Fountain
The Lillie Memorial Fountain can be found in Melrose Park facing the main entrance gate. The design of this beautiful bronze fountain is that of a graceful female figure holding a bowl above her head. It stands as a memorial to the life work done for Spiritualism by Mrs. R. Sheppard Lillie, and her husband, John T. Lillie. The fountain was presented to the Assembly by Oscar Erzkus and the Sheppard Lillie Church of Buffalo, NY.
The Lily Dale Labyrinth was established and planted by Fellowships of the Spirit in the fall of 1991 as a gift to the Lily Dale Assembly’s members and guests. It is slightly set back from the road on East Street beside the Children’s playground. Labyrinths can be found all over the world and have been used for many different purposes, including ceremonial and ritual, throughout the ages.