Every time I drove down Springfield Road in Wilmington, I always wondered about the DEC sign for anglers and the smaller sign for the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge and Rehabilitation Center. We finally drove down to check it out and I am so glad we did.
The refuge includes a one mile hiking trail that also serves as a public fishing access. This is a beautiful trail that winds along the West Branch of the Ausable River. You can take the trail to the Rehab Center or you can just go down the driveway to see all the animals. The first time we went, we walked down the driveway and thought we were intruding on someone's home until we saw all the enclosures and were greeted by Wendy and Steve taking the wolves for a walk.
The wolves presence helps keep predators away from the various hawks, owls, and falcons in the other cages. On the outside of the cages are descriptions of the animals. The wolves and birds of prey that have been rescued here have beautiful views of Whiteface and the river valley.
If you are lucky to be there when Wendy and Steve are tending to the enclosures, they will educate you on the wildlife. Steve was kind enough to take one of the Great Horned Owls out to talk to us about this amazing bird's hearing and strength.
Some of the animals can recover from the injuries that brought them here and when ready are released back into the wild. If some have permanent injuries they are used in educational demonstrations where you can see them up close.
I highly recommend a visit to see the Wildlife Rehab Center. Visiting is free, however they do accept donations.