Are you an aspiring Ornithologist or bird enthusiast?
The Montezuma National Wildlife refuge is the perfect setting to observe thriving wildlife in a marsh that was once used by indigenous people for hunting and fishing. It is designated as an Audubon Important Bird Area as it is a home for waterfowl, marsh birds, shorebirds, raptors, warblers, woodpeckers and more all year round. It also boasts to be one of the first sites in New York State to reintroduce more than 20 bald eagles back into the wild since the 1970s. You can also view displays and get information from their volunteers at the visitor center; So grab your camera, lunch and a friend to come explore what these ancient marsh lands have to share with you.
Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter each have their own activity that keeps the Refuge humming with excitement. The Wild Life Drive is closed during the winter, however you can still walk, cross country ski or snow shoe on their nature trails.
Visit their site for a detailed description of each species found there during each season.
ACTIVITIES TO ENJOY
See their full list of activities here:
Boating – motorized
Boating – non-motorized
There are a few different ways to experience the tours and trails depending on the season. There are several Refuge trails of various lengths and difficulty- like the 1.5-mile trail loop where you can get a better view of wildlife on the observation platform .
Explore the area via Automobile tour on the 3.5-mile driving loop, the center’s most popular attraction. You will drive one-way along the edge of the Main Pool where you can observe many wildlife, depending on the season you go. The Wildlife Drive ends on State Route 89, where you can access other viewing areas like the North Spring Pool, Tschache Pool, May’s Point Pool, Knox-Marselluls Overlook. Taking Route NY-89 north will bring you to Savannah, NY, where you can visit the refuge’s Sandhill Crane Unit, as well as the Montezuma Audubon Center and the Northern Montezuma Wildlife Management Area. The Wild Life Drive is closed during the winter, however you can still walk, cross country ski or snow shoe on their nature trails.
Other overlooks, kiosks, viewing towers and platforms can be found on the maps provided at the visitor center. Guided tours and shorebird walks are also available and great for the whole family. Contact the center for more information.Self Guided cell phone tours are another option if you are feeling adventurous. See their list of trails here.
PLAN YOUR VISIT
Start your day at the Visitor Center, open beginning of April to the beginning of December (weather permitting), where an array of educational materials, including taxidermy representations of animals that can be seen in the refuge, maps, brochures and more are provided along with knowledgable volunteers to answer any questions.If the visitor center is closed, information is always available in the attached sun room. There is also a gift shop, the proceeds from which go directly back into Montezuma’s conservation and educational programming.
For the full list of rules, regulations, hours of operations, maps and other visiting informations, see their visitor’s guide.
PRO TIP: Check out their interactive map before you go.