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
While butterflies can be found on the refuge in all the warm seasons right up until a killing frost, late June through mid July is usually the most active time of the year. Over the next few weeks, the greatest variety of species can be found. Many of the small grass skippers will be active along with several swallowtail species, sulphurs, hairstreaks, fritillaries and much more. The best place to look for butterflies is in the open fields with full sunlight and a diversity of flowers for nectaring. Milkweed is one of the most desired nectar sources and it is plentiful along many of the refuge trails. The north loop of the Dagmar Dale Trail, The Liberty Loop Trail and Winding Waters Trail can all be excellent places to observe these beautiful creatures. If you are out looking for butterflies, please do not attempt to capture them with nets as this can damage their scales. Close focusing binoculars are the best way to observe them.
On July 12, the 15th annual butterfly count will be conducted on the refuge. Refuge staff and volunteers will spend an exhaustive day in the field to count all the species and numbers of individuals that can be identified. The data from this count and all other counts in North America is compiled in a data base maintained by the North American Butterfly Association (NABA). Results of the count will be posted later in July.
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: Jul 18, 2014