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Saratoga National Historic Park
Description: Rolling hills with fields and hedgerows paint a pastoral scene belying the desperate battles that took place here during the Revolutionary War. Primarily visited for its historical significance, this 3,000+ acre park in Stillwater, Saratoga County, hosts many species of birds and mammals. Designated an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society, the park provides breeding habitat for grassland birds. In addition to the battlefield, visit Victory Woods, where exhausted British troops retreated shortly before surrendering. Victory Woods is a separate parcel about 8 miles north of the battlefield.

Wildlife to Watch: White-tailed deer graze in the fields or emerge from wooded margins to feed at dawn and dusk. During quiet moments, you may catch sight of red foxes hunting for unsuspecting cottontail rabbits or field mice. Woodchucks and wild turkeys are also frequently found foraging in the tall grass or along the roadside. The nearby Hudson River offers possible sightings of beavers and muskrats, as well as Canada geese, mallards, mergansers, wood ducks and great blue herons.

In the sky, look for red-tailed hawks, kestrels, harriers and turkey vultures circling on warm thermal updrafts as they search for a meal. Even from a long distance, you can easily distinguish between the vulture and hawk by the way the vulture’s wings are angled upward into a shallow “V” and its glide has a slight rocking motion to it, unlike the smooth, level glide path of the hawk. Several other species of raptors may also be seen. Owls can be heard hooting in the evenings. Grassland birds include American goldfinches, bobolinks and eastern bluebirds. Savannah and grasshopper sparrows are also occasionally seen, as are eastern meadowlarks.

Special Tips: The park is open to pedestrians year-round during daylight hours. The tour road is open from April 1 through November 30 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (later during the spring and summer). The visitors center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but it is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. The walking path through Victory Woods is not maintained during the winter. There is an entrance fee for the park.

This site has some accessible features, including a visitors center.

518-664-9821, 648 Route 32, Stillwater, NY 12170, www.nps.gov/sara

Other Activities: The visitors center has informative historical displays you should see before taking to the paved 9-mile tour road. This road takes you through much of the battlefield. Wildlife viewing is easy, as the animals here have become used to seeing people driving and bicycling around the protected park grounds. Trails are also available for horseback riding, walking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Ownership: National Park Service 
Size: 3,000 acres 
Closest Town: Stillwater

RestroomsParkingCross Country SkiingHikingVisitor CenterHorse TrailsHandicap AccessibleFeeDrinking WaterBicycling

Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing:

Eastern Cottontail - Photo by Bill Banaszewski
Please see map link below

Driving Directions:
Take the Northway/I-87 to Exit 12. Head east on Rte. 67 at the traffic circle. Remain on Rte. 67 through the second traffic circle. At the third traffic circle, stay in the left lane, and take Rte. 9 north. After 1.6 miles, turn right onto Rte. 9P. After 4.5 miles, turn right onto Rte. 423. After 5.5 miles, turn left onto Rte. 32.

Map Link

Saratoga National Historic Park : Wildlife Viewing Area