Important Things to Know

Peak Winter Raptor Season


Recent reports from the refuge, as of mid December, noted at least 10 Northern Harriers, 3 Short-eared Owls and a variety of other raptors – Red-tailed Hawk, Cooper’s Hawk, Merlin and Bald Eagle. There has also been a Northern Shrike here since late November. Rough-legged Hawks should also be arriving anytime now. 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 and there is an observation platform just off of the parking lot 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.

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
What's Happening

Great Thicket National Wildlife Refuge Approved!

In October 2016, Dan Ashe, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), and Wendi Weber, Northeast Regional Director of the Service, approved Great Thicket National Wildlife Refuge (NWR)—a new refuge dedicated to managing shrubland habitat for wildlife in the Northeast. The Service can now start working with partners and willing-seller property owners to identify opportunities to acquire priority lands in fee simple or conservation easement within the designated focus areas of Great Thicket NWR.

Learn more

About the Complex

Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge Complex

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

Read 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