America the Beautiful Passes Sold Here
Planning a trip? A Federal Parks Pass may save you money. Call 973-702-7266 x 10 for availability.
Refuge Hunt Permits
The process for obtaining a refuge hunt permit has changed. Follow the link and obtain your permit today.
Every Kid in a Park
Free National Park Pass available to all fourth graders.
Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge hosts many free public events throughout the year, including hiking, fishing, bird watching, and kayaking as well as various children’s programs. Check out all of our upcoming events on the events calendar.Events Calendar
About the NWRS
The National Wildlife Refuge System, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife, and plants.
Learn more about the NWRS
Around the Refuge
Almost four years to the day after the flooding rains of hurricane Irene forced the closure of the south loop of the Dagmar Dale Nature Trail, we are pleased to announce that the one mile loop has been reopened. A new bridge was installed this summer where the old farm pond used to be and the trail has been re-routed for a short distance at this point but quickly rejoins the original trail as it winds through field and forest habitats. Some finishing up work still needs to be done on the trail but it is open and can be walked anytime from dawn to dusk.
These days, we hear much about the plight of the Monarch butterfly whose numbers have declined dramatically in recent years, and the efforts to create and/or enhance habitat for this species. As part of our annual habitat work plan here at Wallkill River NWR, we manage many acres of old fields that greatly benefit pollinators. Some fields are mowed on a rotating basis, every 3 to 5 years. In other cases, we will brush hog fields that are being taken over by woody vegetation in order to restore them to early successional habitat. This takes place in the fall after most plants have gone to seed.
This management allows us to maintain early successional habitats with a proliferation of wild flowers and grasses that serve as both nectar sources and host plants for many species of bees and butterflys. In summer these fields progress from milkweeds and Wild Bergamot to NY Ironweed, Joe-pye Weed , Blue Vervain and then to Asters and Goldenrods at the end of summer. These areas also benefit other wildlife such as songbirds, raptors and many mammals.
The federally threatened bog turtle can be found in wetlands throughout the Wallkill River valley and the Papakating Creek Watershed. Endangered by habitat loss and poaching (the diminutive turtle is favored among illegal pet traders), this turtle is an important focus of the refuge’s conservation work. Due to their listed status, refuge public use areas are located away from sensitive bog turtle habitats.
Page Photo Credits All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted.
Last Updated: Sep 04, 2015