This week's edition of Explore CNY brings us real close to the Utica downtown area.

Just a quick drive up Route 12 and you'll find the Swale Pond Bird and Wildlife Sanctuary...if you're lucky or perseverant. We were initially tipped off by the useful All Trails app, which describes the Swale Pond Loop as an "easy" mile-long hike. But, here's the really strange thing: It's very difficult to find any information online about Swale Pond. Go ahead, we dare you to try and locate an exact address. One of the only references that comes up is this one.

All that aside, it's a very enjoyable little hike that the whole family can enjoy. Plus, if you drive around the vicinity, there are some great sights--like the three camels in one family's back yard. Yes, you read that correctly. Go see for yourself on Dover Road, or just see 'em in our brief gallery of pics:

Swale Pond is part of something called The Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust. The land encompasses over 2,000 square miles, about 100,000 residents, and 41 towns in portions of Jefferson, Lewis, Oswego and Oneida counties. Here's their two-pronged message, straight off their website:

OUR MISSION
Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust’s mission is to protect the wildlands, working forests and farms of the Tug Hill region and surrounding areas, and to promote appreciation of the region’s natural and cultural heritage, for present and future generations.

OUR VISION
Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust envisions a Tug Hill region that includes a healthy mix of wild forest lands, healthy working forest lands and farms that support thriving people and communities, ecologically, economically and socially.