Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, Seneca Falls

4.4
#1 of 11 in Wildlife in Finger Lakes
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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Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge Reviews
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TripAdvisor
  • You drive by it all the time. Take the time to visit it. Stop and smell the flowers. They have alot to offer. A trip well worth it.  more »
  • I have lived here for many years and drove by countless times before I finally decided to stop and visit this refuge. It was such a treat and I only wish that I had stopped long ago! There are trails ...  more »
  • We were in the area and decided to visit. We started out at the visitor center where you can see what birds are currently in the area (and stuffed examples of many birds) and got a map, then took a ni...  more »
Google
  • Montezuma National Wildlife refuge provides resting, feeding, and nesting habitat for waterfowl and other migratory birds. Montezuma is situated in the middle of one of the most active flight lanes in the Atlantic Flyway. The refuge is located at the north end of Cayuga Lake in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State. The refuge contains 9,809 acres and is situated in Seneca, Wayne, and Cayuga Counties. The refuge is 35 miles (56 km) west of Syracuse, 40 miles (64 km) north of Ithaca, and 45 miles (72 km) east of Rochester. Fun fact
  • The visitors center was staffed with a very friendly and knowledgeable volunteer. The bird drive was great, though we'd like to also do the mile hike around the center sometime too. We didn't bring binoculars with us (bring yours if you have them), but they do lend pairs in the visitors center too. And thank heavens they do! It is awesome to see the birds so close through the binoculars. Visible by the naked eye too, but way better with the binoculars.
  • stopped here on 9/21/2017, beautiful place to bird watch or take a walk in nature. well maintained peaceful place:)
  • It is absolutely beautiful here in every season. Great place to take the kids.
  • 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.

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