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Peak Winter Raptor Season

Marsh Hawk

Recent reports from the refuge noted at least 10 Short-eared Owls, at least as many Northern Harriers and one Rough-legged Hawk at the refuge. The hawks may be seen at any time of day but dusk is the most reliable time to see the owls. Dusk is also a good time to watch the interactions that can take place between the Harriers and Owls. The parking lot is often times a good location from which to view the owls but anywhere along the trails can be productive as well. We do ask that you respect the wildlife and remain on the trails at all times. Enjoy the birds.

About the Complex

Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge Complex

This complex also includes Wallkill River and Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuges.

Shawangunk Grasslands is managed as part of the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Learn more about the complex 

About the NWRS

National Wildlife Refuge System


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  

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Important Things to Know

  • People Making a Difference – Volunteer John B. Blenninger

    John Blenninger

    The story of Mr. John B. Blenninger and his volunteer career at Shawangunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge is truly inspiring. Starting in 1997, Mr. Blenninger dedicated 18 years to litter patrol and cleanup at the refuge’s parking area and along its roadsides. In fact, the first 2 years of his 18 year cleanup effort began before the land was officially established as a National Wildlife Refuge in 1999. Since then, Shawangunk Grasslands NWR has benefitted greatly from Mr. Blenninger’s declared role as “Litter Patrol Volunteer”. Mr. Blenninger’s love for natural areas is contagious and his work demonstrates his passion. Cleaning up after the occasional dumping of trash at the refuge parking area and along the roadsides goes way beyond preserving the aesthetics of the refuge. Removing garbage also protects wildlife and the habitat they depend on. Mr. Blenninger hopes the refuge remains as it should, pristine and free of litter, as he hangs up his volunteer cap to enjoy the next of life’s adventures. The staff who administers Shawangunk Grasslands NWR is incredibly thankful for his time and dedication. If you are interested in volunteering to make a difference please contact, or 973-702-7266 x 10.

  • Plan your visit

    Short-eared Owls

    Shawangunk Grasslands NWR is a natural area without restroom facilities or potable water sources. Please plan accordingly before visiting.

    Information to plan your visit.
  • Things to do

    Trail in Winter

    Shawangunk Grasslands offers a variety of ways to enjoy the refuge including wildlife viewing, photography and hunting.

    Learn about activities on the refuge
Page Photo Credits — Shawangunk Grasslands - Steven Brooks., All photos courtesy of USFWS unless otherwise noted., Shawangunk grasslands in winter - Steven Brooks, Winter at Shawangunk - Steven Brooks, Spring meadow - Steven Brooks, Short-eared owl - Ed Frampton
Last Updated: Feb 13, 2015
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