Trip Planner:   USA  /  New York State  /  Finger Lakes  /  Seneca Falls  /  Wildlife Areas  /  Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge
Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, Seneca Falls
(4.3/5 based on 130+ reviews on the web)
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.
Choose to start, finish, or center your holiday on a trip to Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge by using our Seneca Falls trip itinerary planner.
Source
Create a full Seneca Falls itinerary
map

Plan your trip to Seneca Falls

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans in Finger Lakes by other users

1 day in New York State BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, shopping, hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 18 days in New York State BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS July, teens, popular PREFERENCES: July, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Corning BY A USER FROM ISRAEL December, kids, popular PREFERENCES: December, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Ithaca BY A USER FROM ISRAEL December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 12 days in New York State BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 32 days in New York State BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in New York State BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM December, teens, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 20 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in Finger Lakes BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Ithaca BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in New York State BY A USER FROM TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • I would have given a 4 but we didn't see much of anything but geese. It would have been better to go at a different time of year maybe. The visitor center was very nice and informative. Kids would lov...  more »
  • Had driven by here on the thruway many times and finally got the chance to visit. Great spot to spend a few hours on a Saturday. There are many great spots to see all the birds and other wildlife. The...  more »
  • Our first visit to the area and we were not disappointed. We took advantage of the well marked trail and then did the drive. Highlight was our first ever sighting of a Bald Eagle, albeit an immature s...  more »
Google
  • I was a little disappointed with this wildlife refuge. I think we just went at a bad time, it was very hot and dry. It seemed to be dried up like a desert. The water was very pretty, but the trail to it was just eh, there wasn't much for us to see. I did enjoy climbing up to look out of the binoculars but didn't see any birds. I'm sure this park is normally very beautiful and full of wildlife but perhaps a very hot day in June is not a good time to visit?
  • Not too far off the interstate, this is a wonderful place to take a break from a cross-country drive and take a relaxing hike in nature. They also have a driving tour, but that strikes me as sort of missing the point of a wildlife refuge! Extra points for their cell-phone interpretive your, their accessible viewing platform, and their canal-facing sign and dock for boaters. Well done!
  • Nice little drive and views. Great for the ultimate wildlife watcher.
  • Interesting mix of walking path and a loop around the marsh that that can be driven , biked or walked if your really energetic . On the walking path there is a elevated overlook deck that gives a panoramic view of the area as well as a ground level deck a way down the path that extends into the edge of the marsh. Not a lot of excitement for little ones besides the visitors center but with patience and careful searching wildlife will be spotted. Lots of birds noticeable. The slow drive around the loop not only provides nice views of the marsh , birds and various water foul but we had a turtle cross the road in front of our car as well as 2 foxes a little further down... you can leave any hiking or hill tackling gear at home. This is strictly flat easy walking.
  • My favorite NWR! Every time I visit, I'm treated to an amazing array of waterfowl. Go during the spring and fall migrations to see tens of thousands of birds of all kinds... and muskrat and beaver, too!