Washington County, New York is a beautiful place to live, work, and play. But did you know that it’s also a great place to go wildlife watching?
After all, the wild spaces within Washington County are abundant! From sleek wild pheasants and elegant, prancing deer to adorable black bears and the long-legged moose, many incredible species are native to this area. And, with its diverse habitats which include forests, fields, wetlands & waterways, it’s easy to see why such a range of critters call this place home.
So, come visit this magical place and get a little wild yourself! And while you’re here, be sure to check out some of the neat local events happening year-round on our community event calendar!
Discover some of our top tips for wildlife watching within Washington County:
Tips for Wildlife Watching in Washington County
While in the great outdoors here in Washington County, you’re likely to run into some local wildlife. Here’s some ways to ensure you have the best encounters possible:
- Stay quiet: Noise can scare away wildlife, so be sure to keep your voice down.
- Be patient: Wildlife can be shy, so it’s important to be patient and wait for them to come to you. But don’t get too friendly – after all, we want our wildlife to stay wild and safe!
- Use binoculars: Binoculars will help you see wildlife from a distance, and are one of the most useful pieces of equipment for any nature-lover.
- Wear comfortable shoes: You’ll be doing a lot of walking, so make sure to wear comfortable shoes, as well as seasonally-appropriate apparel!
- Bring a camera: A camera will help you capture memories of your wildlife watching experience, as well as the people you go with.
With a little patience and planning, you’re sure to have a great time wildlife watching in Washington County.
Curious about the critters you might find?
Types of Animals in Upstate New York
From majestic deer to soaring eagles, this area is home to many wildlife species! Here are just a few of the animals you might see while on a nature adventure in Washington County:
- Birds: This county alone is home to over 200 species of birds, including songbirds, waterfowl, raptors, and shorebirds. Some of the most common birds to see include bald eagles, great blue herons, raptors, ducks, geese, and turkeys.
- Mammals: Washington County is also home to a variety of mammals, including deer, bear, coyotes, foxes, raccoons & squirrels.
- Reptiles: Occasionally, you may even find see some reptiles, such as snakes, turtles, and lizards.
- Amphibians: Plus, you’ll find many amphibians here, such as frogs, toads, and salamanders!
- Insects: And of course, no wildlife watching experience would be complete without seeing some insects! You’ll find a dazzling variety of bugs here in the warmer months, including butterflies, moths and bees.
To learn more about New York’s wildlife, explore the Animals, Plants and Wildlife page from the NY Department of Environmental Conservation. Or, peruse their Checklist of Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds and Mammals of New York State for more info!
Best Places to View Wildlife
There are many great places to go wildlife watching in Washington County. Here are a few of our favorites:
- The Battenkill: Whether you’re an avid angler or bird-watcher, you’ll find plenty of animals along the banks of the Battenkill. Dive into ways to enjoy this river.
- Carter’s Pond Wildlife Management Area: As one of the area’s best spots to drop a line, it’s no surprise you’ll also find many wildlife watching opportunities at Carter’s Pond!
- Washington County Grasslands: Wild about birds? This special place is critical to the conservation of several native bird species, including the endangered short-eared owl!
- East Bay Wildlife Management Area: Another protected Bird Conservation Area, East Bay is a gorgeous spot with great opportunities for wildlife watching, birding, trapping, hunting and more. Enjoy this wetland area’s informational signage and large parking area while taking in the view!
- Hudson River Greenway: The Hudson River Greenway travels from Whitehall in Washington County all the way down to New York City! And, it’s an ideal location to see birds, mammals, insects and more.
- Empire State Trail: Whether you’re a biker or walker, you’ll have the chance to see many different species along this paved trail on a quiet day! Plus, it travels along some of the most scenic locations in the area, so you’ll enjoy the view, too.
No matter where you go, you’re sure to see some amazing wildlife in Washington County. So grab your binoculars and head out for a day of wildlife watching!
If you’d like to learn more about this area’s incredible biodiversity, be sure to stop in at The Pember Museum & Library during your visit! Their collection of over 7,000 objects covers a fascinatingly wide range of natural history.