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Finger Lakes National Forest
More than 16,000-acres of forest lies on the "Backbone Ridge" that divides Seneca and Cayuga Lakes and makes up the Finger Lakes National Forest. The Forest has more than 30 miles of interconnecting trails that offer numerous opportunities to interact with and observe all types of wildlife rangi...
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Five Rivers Environmental Education Center
Description: Five Rivers Environmental Education Center encompasses more than 450 acres of broad fields, abandoned orchards, forests, gurgling streams, tranquil ponds and rich wetlands. Owned and operated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Five Rivers provides year-round educational programs, offering both guided and self-guided opportunities for visitors to see and directly experience wildlife.

View exhibits on the natural history of the area at the visitors center. The indoor birdwatching window is a great place to observe many species of birds from only a few feet away. Head outdoors for a walk around Five Rivers’ trails where, depending on the season and time of day, you’ll encounter a variety of waterfowl, wetland and forest birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals small, large and in between.

Wildlife to Watch: Watch for the state bird, the eastern bluebird, around nest boxes at the edges of fields in the spring and summer. See robins on lawns, tree swallows darting around the ponds, bobolinks cavorting in the fields, and great crested flycatchers and pileated woodpeckers in the woods. Over the past four decades, 225 different species of birds have been recorded.

On the ponds, expect to see Canada geese nesting early in the spring, leading their goslings in the summer, or gathering for the trip south in the fall. The ponds and streams are also home to wood ducks, mallards, muskrats, beavers, painted and snapping turtles, salamanders, spring peepers, American toads and a variety of other frogs. Bass, bullhead and sunfish are easily seen along the edges of shallow ponds in the spring.

Take a quiet walk along the North Loop Trail in the morning or evening, and you’re likely to encounter white-tailed deer. Eastern gray squirrels boldly scurry about all day long. Listen and look for red-tailed hawks soaring overhead. Cross-country skiers sometimes hear screech owls and great horned owls at dusk along the Vlomankill Trail in winter.

Special Tips: Trails are open from sunrise to sunset, year-round. The visitors center is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., closed on Sundays and state holidays.

518-475-0291, 56 Game Farm Road, Delmar, NY 12054, www.dec.ny.gov/education/1835.html

Other Activities: Center grounds are open every day, year-round, from sunrise to sunset. You can More than 10 miles of trails take visitors through all of Five Rivers’ landscapes. Two short, level trails close to parking and the visitors center are wheelchairaccessible. A well-maintained network of gentle footpaths is designed to beckon the visitor ever further into nature. Brochures for interpretive trails are available at the visitors center and at trailhead kiosks. Additional wildlife guides and publications are available upon request at the visitors center. Educational programs are offered year-round. See below for the center’s web address, where you’ll find a schedule of upcoming public programs and events, as well as maps and much more.picnic, walk (ski) the trails, and observe wildlife.

Ownership: NYS Dept. of Envronmental Conservation 
Size: 450 acres 
Closest Town: Delmar

Facilities:
RestroomsParkingCross Country SkiingHikingPicnic tablesVisitor CenterHandicap AccessibleDrinking Water

Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing:
SpringSummerFallWinter

Five Rivers Environmental Education Center
Map
Use link below please

Driving Directions:
From the NYS Thruway/I-87, take exit 23 at Albany. Keep to the right to travel onto US 9W south for 1.2 miles, and continue straight through the traffic light as US 9W merges with NY 32 south. When the road forks, keep right and continue on NY 32 south/Delmar Bypass. Stay on NY 32 to the end at Van Dyke Rd. Turn right onto Van Dyke Rd. At the traffic light, turn left onto NY-443 west/ Delaware Ave. After about 1 mile, follow the sign for Five Rivers and turn right onto Orchard St. Turn left onto Game Farm Rd. The center is on the right.

Map Link

 
Five Rivers Environmental Education Center : Wildlife Viewing Area