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Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, Seneca Falls

4.3
#1 of 11 in Wildlife Areas in Finger Lakes
Wildlife Area Nature / Park
Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge is a wildlife preserve operated by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, encompassing part of the Montezuma Swamp at the north end of Cayuga Lake. The refuge lies between the cities of Rochester and Syracuse, New York (5mi east of Seneca Falls, and 10mi west of Auburn), including parts of Seneca, Cayuga, and Wayne counties. Most of the refuge lies in the Town of Tyre, in the northeast corner of Seneca County.The Montezuma Marshes were designated a National Natural Landmark in May 1973; the citation notes that "A small, 100-acre area within the site is one of the best examples of undisturbed swamp woodlands in New York or New England."The New York Northern Montezuma Wildlife Management Area borders the national wildlife refuge and protects additional parts of the Montezuma Swamp.A significant spot along the Atlantic Flyway, the Refuge provides crucial habitat for migratory waterfowl and other birds.HistoryThe Finger Lakes Region was formed by the melting glaciers of the last glacial period, over ten thousand years ago. The northern and southern ends of the lakes gradually developed into extensive marshes. First the Algonquin Indians and later the Cayugas of the Iroquois Nation were the earliest known inhabitants to reap the rewards of the bountiful life in the marsh. The name "Montezuma" was first used in 1806 when Dr. Peter Clark named his hilltop home "Montezuma" after the palace of the Aztec Emperor Montezuma in Mexico City. Eventually the Marsh, the Village, and the Refuge all acquired the name.
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147 reviews
Google
4.5
  • This is a small wildlife refuge on route 5&20 near Seneca falls ny. Small visitor center and gift shop. Interesting eagle and osprey sightings. Saw one bald eagle and many osprey in nest. Lots and lot...  more »
  • Have driven by Montezuma Refuge hundreds of times on the NYS Thruway, but never took the time to drive through and enjoy. We decided to get off exit just before the refuge, found our way to the entran...  more »
  • The proximity of this wildlife refuge to the interstate ruins the atmosphere. There was also a lot of construction going on when we visited. It is a pretty place and I'm sure there are lots of birds a...  more »
Google
  • Montezuma is a wonderful experience. I've known about this place for years and have passed over it many times traveling east on the New York State Thruway. Even though it was out of season (June 11) I was able to take some great photos, two of them are going to be printed for my show in July. Montezuma is easy to find. Stop by the visitor center. Very friendly and knowledgeable staff will answer your questions. Highly recommended.
  • Tune into 1610AM. I got there when it was dark so I couldn't see anything...I'll update my review when I go back. Otherwise it was beautiful!! I'm back! It's even more beautiful in the day time! Unfortunately, the road down to the Eagle was blocked so I couldn't get pictures of that, but everything else was just as I expected it! Tons of birds, turtles and fish. Places to sit and a nice trail as well as photo blinds to get better pictures. You aren't supposed to leave your car except for designated areas. They also have a phone number to call for a guided tour. Scratch not seeing Eagle. They opened the road just before I was leaving. The crown jewel of the entire place, I'm so glad I was able to see it up close. Definitely coming back.
  • Wonderful park located right by the highway. Did not have to pay to visit, the park is one big loop that you can visit in your vehicle, during my visit the loop was under construction so we had to turn around. We were able to experience some great wildlife. Saw many herons, ducks and their little ones, one beaver, frogs, fish and more. Would recommend anyone in the area to stop by for a short visit.
  • Quiet & relaxing. Saw a few birds & geese but nothing unusual. Had always wanted to see & glad I did but wouldn't go back.
  • Absolutely lovely. Public-accessible gravel road that travels through the reserve for pleasant and captivating viewing.