Shawagunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge
Wallkill (Orange County)
Why we love it
If you’re into all things avian, grab your binoculars and wing it here. The site of a former Army air base, this refuge now features 590 acres of meadows, one of only two valley locations big enough to support all species of grassland birds, many designated endangered or threatened. The variety changes seasonally — raptors in winter, arriving songbirds during spring, bobolinks and goldfinches over the summer, and sparrows come fall — so you’re always guaranteed an eyeful. And when wildflowers bloom, butterflies arrive, adding to the dazzling aerial display.
- Flat surface on old runways and other paved areas
- Outstanding opportunities for birdwatching and photography
Directions, hours, etc.: https://www.fws.gov/refuge/shawangunk_grasslands/about.html