Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness
The Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness known as the Otis G. Pike Wilderness Area or the Fire Island Wilderness, is a federally protected wilderness area located on Fire Island, a barrier island off the south shore of Long Island, New York, United States; the 1,380-acre wilderness is contained within the larger Fire Island National Seashore. The wilderness area, named for former New York congressman Otis G. Pike, is the only federally designated wilderness area in New York State, one of the smallest wilderness areas managed by the National Park Service; the Otis G. Pike Wilderness area is located on Fire Island, a barrier island along Long Island's south shore, about 32 miles long and 0.5 miles wide at the widest point. The 1,380-acre wilderness area is seven miles long and located on the eastern side of Fire Island; as part of the Fire Island National Seashore, it is managed by the National Park Service, is the only federally designated wilderness in New York State. The wilderness includes pine forests, grassy wetlands, dunes that serve as habitat for white-tailed deer and migratory waterfowl.
The wilderness area does not technically include the beaches. Hiking, back-country camping, fishing access are available within the wilderness; the wilderness is 50 miles east of New York City. Access to the Otis G. Pike Wilderness can be obtained either from Watch Hill or Smith Point County Park, accessible year round by car or bus; the Wilderness Visitor Center is located on the eastern edge of the wilderness, adjacent to Smith Point County Park. Owned Bellport Beach is located near the central area of the wilderness; the United States Congress designated the Otis Pike High Dune Wilderness Area in 1980. The wilderness area is named for former New York Congressman Otis G. Pike, who co-sponsored the bill which created the Fire Island National Seashore and worked hard to secure public support and the legislation's passage through Congress to establish the new national park. Old Inlet, just west of Smith Point County Park in the wilderness, has been the site of breaches of Fire Island causing the Atlantic Ocean to join with the Great South Bay.
The most recent breach occurred during the high tides associated with Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. The breach was 276 feet wide on the Atlantic side a week after the storm and 856 feet wide on April 5, 2013. National Park Service officials have been debating. Contingency plans put in place to manage breaches within the wilderness area called for initial monitoring of the breach. Although some residents have called for closure of the breach, due to perceived increases in flooding after the breach's opening, the breach has been responsible for increased water quality in Great South Bay, becoming polluted by suburban runoff prior to the breach's formation. Officials moved to close two breaches which formed on either side of Moriches Inlet following Hurricane Sandy — one in Cupsogue Beach County Park and the other in Smith Point County Park; as of 2015, a final decision on whether to close the Old Inlet breach has not been made, although a draft plan for action was scheduled to be released in summer 2016.
Smith Point County Park Outer Barrier Fire Island Wilderness - National Park Service Otis Pike Fire Island High Dune Wilderness - Wilderness.net
Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor in New York, in the United States. The copper statue, a gift from the people of France to the people of the United States, was designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and its metal framework was built by Gustave Eiffel; the statue was dedicated on October 28, 1886. The Statue of Liberty is a figure of a robed Roman liberty goddess, she holds a torch above her head with her right hand, in her left hand carries a tabula ansata inscribed in Roman numerals with "JULY IV MDCCLXXVI", the date of the U. S. Declaration of Independence. A broken chain lies at her feet; the statue became an icon of freedom and of the United States, a national park tourism destination. It is a welcoming sight to immigrants arriving from abroad. Bartholdi was inspired by a French law professor and politician, Édouard René de Laboulaye, said to have commented in 1865 that any monument raised to U. S. independence would properly be a joint project of the French and U.
S. peoples. Because of the post-war instability in France, work on the statue did not commence until the early 1870s. In 1875, Laboulaye proposed that the French finance the statue and the U. S. build the pedestal. Bartholdi completed the head and the torch-bearing arm before the statue was designed, these pieces were exhibited for publicity at international expositions; the torch-bearing arm was displayed at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876, in Madison Square Park in Manhattan from 1876 to 1882. Fundraising proved difficult for the Americans, by 1885 work on the pedestal was threatened by lack of funds. Publisher Joseph Pulitzer, of the New York World, started a drive for donations to finish the project and attracted more than 120,000 contributors, most of whom gave less than a dollar; the statue was built in France, shipped overseas in crates, assembled on the completed pedestal on what was called Bedloe's Island. The statue's completion was marked by New York's first ticker-tape parade and a dedication ceremony presided over by President Grover Cleveland.
The statue was administered by the United States Lighthouse Board until 1901 and by the Department of War. Public access to the balcony around the torch has been barred since 1916. According to the National Park Service, the idea of a monument presented by the French people to the United States was first proposed by Édouard René de Laboulaye, president of the French Anti-Slavery Society and a prominent and important political thinker of his time; the project is traced to a mid-1865 conversation between de Laboulaye, a staunch abolitionist, Frédéric Bartholdi, a sculptor. In after-dinner conversation at his home near Versailles, Laboulaye, an ardent supporter of the Union in the American Civil War, is supposed to have said: "If a monument should rise in the United States, as a memorial to their independence, I should think it only natural if it were built by united effort—a common work of both our nations." The National Park Service, in a 2000 report, deemed this a legend traced to an 1885 fundraising pamphlet, that the statue was most conceived in 1870.
In another essay on their website, the Park Service suggested that Laboulaye was minded to honor the Union victory and its consequences, "With the abolition of slavery and the Union's victory in the Civil War in 1865, Laboulaye's wishes of freedom and democracy were turning into a reality in the United States. In order to honor these achievements, Laboulaye proposed that a gift be built for the United States on behalf of France. Laboulaye hoped that by calling attention to the recent achievements of the United States, the French people would be inspired to call for their own democracy in the face of a repressive monarchy." According to sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, who recounted the story, Laboulaye's alleged comment was not intended as a proposal, but it inspired Bartholdi. Given the repressive nature of the regime of Napoleon III, Bartholdi took no immediate action on the idea except to discuss it with Laboulaye. Bartholdi was in any event busy with other possible projects. Sketches and models were made of the proposed work.
There was a classical precedent for the Suez proposal, the Colossus of Rhodes: an ancient bronze statue of the Greek god of the sun, Helios. This statue is believed to have been over 100 feet high, it stood at a harbor entrance and carried a light to guide ships. Both the khedive and Lesseps declined the proposed statue from Bartholdi; the Port Said Lighthouse was built instead, by François Coignet in 1869. Any large project was further delayed by the Franco-Prussian War, in which Bartholdi served as a major of militia. In the war, Napoleon III was deposed. Bartholdi's home province of Alsace was lost to the Prussians, a more liberal republic was installed in France; as Bartholdi had been planning a trip to the United States, he and Laboulaye decided the time was right to discuss the idea with influential Americans. In June 1871, Bartholdi crossed the Atlantic, with letters of introduction signed by Laboulaye. Arriving at New York Harbor, Bartholdi focused on Bedloe's Island as a site for the statu
Saratoga National Historical Park
Saratoga National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park located in the Town of Stillwater in eastern New York, forty miles north of Albany. The park preserves the site of the Battles of Saratoga; the park preserves the site of the Battles of Saratoga, the first significant American military victory of the American Revolutionary War. Here in 1777, American forces met and forced a major British army to surrender, an event which led France to recognize the independence of the United States, enter the war as a decisive military ally of the struggling Americans. First authorized as a New York state historic preserve in 1927 on the sesquicentennial of the Battles, the Battlefield was made part of the National Park System in 1938 when Saratoga National Historical Park was authorized by the United States Congress; the Visitors Center offers a 20-minute orientation film, fiber-optic light map and artifact displays. A brochure is available for a self-guided tour of sites in the four-square-mile battlefield in Stillwater.
General Philip Schuyler's Schuyler House is located eight miles north in Schuylerville. It is a restored house museum open by tour; the Saratoga Monument is in the nearby village of Victory. The park is located on the upper Hudson River southeast of Saratoga Springs, it contains the famous Boot Monument to Benedict Arnold, the only war memorial in the United States that does not bear the name of its honoree. The memorial was donated by John Watts de Peyster, a former Major General for the New York State Militia during the American Civil War who wrote several military histories about the Battle of Saratoga; the Marshall House, on the National Register of Historic Places, lies eight miles north of the main entrance to the park on U. S. Route 4 and NY 32 north of the village of Schuylerville, it was made famous by Baroness Frederika Riedesel in her Letters and Journals relating to the War of the American Revolution, the Capture of the German Troops at Saratoga. This house was built in 1770-1773. During the closing days of the Battles of Saratoga, Baroness Riedesel sheltered there together with the wives of officers of the British army and wounded personnel.
Her account of the travails of those around her, her keen insight into the personalities of the principal officers of both the British and American armies and her devotion to her husband in peril have led some commentators to name her as the first woman war correspondent. The Marshall House was bombarded by the Americans. Within are conserved cannonballs and other reminders of the ordeal suffered by those who took refuge there; the Marshall House is the sole surviving structure in the battles' area. The property is owned. Lossing, Benson J. Pictorial Field-Book of the Revolution, I. 1850. Stone, William L. translator. Letters and Journals relating to the War of the American Revolution, the Capture of the German Troops at Saratoga, by Mrs. General Riedesel. Joel Munsell, Albany, N. Y. 1867. National Park Service: Saratoga National Historical Park Saratoga: The Tide Turns on the Frontier, a National Park Service Teaching with Historic Places lesson plan The Marshall House website
Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site
Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site was established by the U. S. Congress to commemorate the life and accomplishments of Eleanor Roosevelt. Once part of the larger Roosevelt family estate in Hyde Park, New York, today the property includes the 181 acres and other historic features that Eleanor Roosevelt called Val-Kill, it is located two miles east of Springwood. Eleanor Roosevelt shared Val-Kill with her friends Nancy Cook and Marion Dickerman. At Val-Kill, they established Val-Kill Industries to employ local farming families in handcraft traditions; the Roosevelts used Val-Kill's relaxed setting for entertaining family, political associates, world leaders. Nancy and Marion sold their interest in the property to Eleanor and moved to Connecticut shortly after the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945. Val-Kill became Eleanor Roosevelt's primary residence and the place most associated with her. After her death, Val-Kill was converted into rental units and sold to developers. A public campaign ensued to save Val-Kill and it was declared a National Historic Site in 1977.
It is now managed by the National Park Service. Franklin encouraged Eleanor Roosevelt to develop this property as a place that she could develop some of her ideas for work with winter jobs for rural workers and women, she named the spot Val-Kill, loosely translated as waterfall-stream from the Dutch language common to the original European settlers of the area. There are two buildings. Stone Cottage, the original cottage, home to Marion Dickerman and Nancy Cook, which they sold back to Eleanor in 1947 and a large two-story stuccoed building that housed Val-Kill Industries and which would become Eleanor's home after Franklin's death, it was the only residence that she owned. Eleanor Roosevelt hosted workshops for Encampment for Citizenship here; the larger house was converted into four rental units after Eleanor's death in 1962, in 1970 the land was purchased by a private company for development purposes. Public reaction to this sale developed into a preservation campaign and the possibility of making the site a national memorial.
In May 1977, Val-Kill was designated the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site by an Act of Congress, "to commemorate for the education and benefit of present and future generations the life and work of an outstanding woman in American history." In 1984 the Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill negotiated an agreement with the National Park Service and made Stone Cottage its home. In 2008 the Eleanor Roosevelt Center moved from Stone Cottage to a new facility at Val-Kill. In 1998, Save America's Treasures announced Val-Kill Cottage as a new official project. SAT's involvement led to the Honoring Eleanor Roosevelt project run by private volunteers and now a part of SAT; the HER project has since raised $1 million, which has gone toward restoration and development efforts at Val-Kill and the production of Eleanor Roosevelt: Close to Home, a documentary about Roosevelt at Val-Kill. Due in part to the success of these programs, Val-Kill was given a $75,000 grant and named one of 12 sites showcased in Restore America: A Salute to Preservation, a partnership between SAT, the National Trust and HGTV.
The site is managed by the National Park Service in conjunction with the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site and Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site; the NPS continues to partner with SAT and the Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill in the management of the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site. National Park Service: Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill First Lady of the World: Eleanor Roosevelt at Val-Kill, a National Park Service Teaching with Historic Places lesson plan Historic American Engineering Record No. NY-324, "NPS Route No. 401 Bridge, Spanning Fall Kill, Hyde Park, Dutchess County, NY", 4 photos, 1 photo caption page
Hamilton Grange National Memorial
Hamilton Grange National Memorial known as The Grange or the Hamilton Grange Mansion, is a National Park Service site in St. Nicholas Park, New York City, that preserves the relocated home of U. S. Founding Father Alexander Hamilton; the mansion holds a restoration of the interior rooms and an interactive exhibit on the newly constructed ground floor for visitors. The Hamilton Heights subsection of Harlem derived its name from Hamilton's 32-acre estate there. Alexander Hamilton was born and raised in the West Indies and came to New York in 1772 at age 17 to study at King's College. During his career, Hamilton was a military officer, member of the United States Constitutional Convention, American political philosopher, war hero and author of the majority of the pivotal and influential The Federalist Papers, the first United States Secretary of the Treasury. Hamilton commissioned architect John McComb Jr. to design a country home on Hamilton's 32 acres estate in upper Manhattan. The two-story frame Federal style house was completed in 1802, just two years before Hamilton's death resulting from his duel with Aaron Burr on July 11, 1804.
The house was named "The Grange" after Hamilton's grandfather's estate in Scotland. The Grange was the only home Hamilton owned, he traveled there by stagecoach from his law office several times a week, fussed over the landscaping, including a circle of thirteen sweet gum trees symbolizing the thirteen original states; the house remained in his family for 30 years after his death. The Grange might have been Hamilton's rivalrous answer to Jefferson's Monticello. By 1889, much of the congregation of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Greenwich Village had moved uptown; the Grange was in foreclosure and had been condemned for destruction in order to allow for the implementation of the Manhattan street grid just reaching that area of Harlem. The church acquired the house and moved it a half-block east and about two blocks south, conforming to the new street pattern, to what became 287 Convent Avenue; the original porches and other features were removed for the move. The interior staircase was reoriented and retrofitted to accommodate a makeshift entrance on the side of the house that faced the street, the original grand Federal-style entrance was boarded up.
St. Luke's used the house for services and subsequently between 1892 and 1895 erected a Richardsonian Romanesque building on the site that wrapped around the house slightly; the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society bought the Grange in 1924 and turned it into a public museum in 1933. Furniture and decorative objects associated with the Hamilton family were displayed; the Grange was designated a National Historic Landmark in December 1960. The private National Park Foundation purchased the house and property and transferred it to the National Park Service. Congress authorized the National Memorial on April 27, 1962, requiring that it be relocated and the house restored to appear as Hamilton knew it in 1802–1804, considered its period of historic significance, it was at the time determined that the claustrophobic Convent Avenue setting was inappropriate and that the country house should be viewed as a freestanding building. However, the house was not relocated earlier because of overwhelming local opposition to options offered that required moving it out of the neighborhood.
The Grange was administratively listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966. On May 9, 2006, the Hamilton Grange Memorial was closed to the public to allow for extensive architectural and structural investigations as part of a long term plan to move the house to nearby St. Nicholas Park; the park location was judged a more appropriate setting for display that would permit restoration of features lost in the 1889 move. The new location would keep the house in the neighborhood and within the boundary of Hamilton's original 32-acre estate. Work in St. Nicholas Park for tree removal and foundation construction began in February 2008; the actual move of the Grange began with elevation of the building in one piece over the loggia of St. Luke's Church and onto Convent Avenue; these stilts were slowly disassembled to leave the house resting on dollies, where it received interior bracing and was wrapped in two miles of chains. On June 7, 2008, it completed its journey by being rolled one block south on Convent Avenue and one block east on 141st Street to the new St. Nicholas Park location.
The New York Times's David W. Dunlap calculated its speed over the 500 feet at.04 mph. The six-hour event was a popular neighborhood attraction covered extensively in the press; the house was secured to its new foundation, original porches were rebuilt and the original main entrance doorway and main staircase within the entry foyer were restored using original materials. Landscaping around the Grange's new home includes among the tree plantings 13 sweet gum trees as in Hamilton's original garden, a stone wall, a circular garden planted in front to Hamilton's own specifications, paths; the Grange re-opened to the general public on September 17, 2011. A ceremony was held with Hamilton descendants in attendan
Governors Island is a 172-acre island in New York Harbor 800 yards from the southern tip of Manhattan Island and separated from Brooklyn by Buttermilk Channel 400 yards. It is part of the borough of Manhattan in New York City; the National Park Service administers a small portion of the north of the island as the Governors Island National Monument, while the Trust for Governors Island operates the remaining 150 acres, including 52 historic buildings. Today, Governors Island is a popular seasonal destination open to the public between May and September with a 43-acre public park completed between 2012 and 2016, free arts and cultural events, recreational activities; the island is accessed by ferries from Manhattan. The Lenape of the Manhattan region referred to the island as Paggank after the island's plentiful hickory and chestnut trees; the island's current name, made official in 1784, stems from the British colonial era, when the colonial assembly reserved the island for the exclusive use of New York's royal governors.
In 1776, during the American Revolutionary War, Continental Army troops raised defensive works on the island, which they used to fire upon British ships before they were taken. From 1783 to 1966, the island was a United States Army post, from 1966 to 1996, the island served as a major United States Coast Guard installation. About 103 acres of fill was added to the island by 1912. In 1524, Giovanni da Verrazzano saw the called Paggank island, becoming the first European in record to do so. By the Native Americans. In May 1624, Noten Eylandt was the landing place of the first settlers in New Netherland, they had arrived from the Dutch Republic with the ship New Netherland under the command of Cornelius Jacobsen May, who disembarked on the island with thirty families in order to take possession of the New Netherland territory. As such, the New York State Senate and Assembly recognize Governors Island as the birthplace of the state of New York, certify the island as the place on which the planting of the "legal-political guaranty of tolerance onto the North American continent" took place.
In 1633, the fifth director of New Netherland, Wouter van Twiller, arrived with a 104-man regiment on Governors Island—its first use as a military base. He operated a farm on the island, he secured his farm by drawing up a deed on June 16, 1637, signed by two Lenape and Pewihas, on behalf of their community at Keshaechquereren, situated in what today is New Jersey. New Netherland was conditionally ceded to the English in 1664, the English renamed the settlement New York in June 1665. By 1674, the British had total control of the island. After the beginning of the American Revolutionary War, in one night, April 9, 1776, Continental Army General Israel Putnam fortified the island with earthworks and 40 cannons in anticipation of the return of the British Army and navy who had quit New York City the year before; the harbor defenses on the island continued to be improved over the summer, on July 12, 1776, engaged HMS Phoenix and HMS Rose as they made a run up the Hudson River to the Tappan Zee. The colonists' cannon inflicted enough damage to make the British commanders cautious of entering the East River, which contributed to the success of General George Washington's retreat across it from Brooklyn into Manhattan after the Battle of Long Island, the British Army effort to take Brooklyn Heights overlooking Manhattan and the largest battle of the entire war.
The Continental Army forces collapsed after being flanked and withdrew from Brooklyn and from Governors Island as well, the British occupied it in late August. From September 2 to 14, the new British garrison would engage volleys with Washington's guns on the battery in front of Fort George in Manhattan; the fort, along with the rest of New York City, was held by the British for the rest of the war until Evacuation Day at the end of the war in 1783. At the end of the Revolution, the island, as a former holding of the Crown, came into ownership by the state of New York and saw no military usage. Prompted by the unsettled international situation between the warring powers of France and Great Britain and the need for more substantial harbor fortifications, the Revolutionary War-era earthworks were rehabilitated into harbor defenses by the city and state of New York. Noten Island was renamed Governors Island in 1784 as the island, in earlier times, had been reserved by the British colonial assembly for the exclusive use of New York's royal governors.
The Governor's House survives as the oldest structure on the island. By the late 1790s, the Quasi-War with France prompted a national program of harbor fortifications and the state of New York began improvements as a credit for its Revolutionary War debt. In February 1800, the island was conveyed to the federal government, which undertook the reconstruction of Fort Jay and new construction of two waterfront batteries, Castle Williams and South or Half Moon Battery. Two forts were built; the first, Fort Jay, was built in 1794 by the state of New York on the site of the earlier Revolutionary War earthworks, was a square four-bastioned fort of earthworks and timber. A sandstone and brick gate house topped with a sculpture of an eagle dates to that time and is the oldest structure on the island. From 1806 to 1809, Fort Jay renamed Fort Columbus was reconstructed in
Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge
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, including parts of Seneca and Wayne counties. Most of the refuge lies in the northeast corner of Seneca County; the Montezuma Marshes were designated a National Natural Landmark in May 1973. A significant spot along the Atlantic Flyway, the Refuge provides crucial habitat for migratory waterfowl and other birds. Mammalian species that roam this refuge include raccoon, muskrat, red fox, beaver, gray fox and bats; the 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 developed into extensive marshes. First the Algonquin Indians and 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; the Marsh, the Village, the Refuge all acquired the name. There were no dramatic changes in the marsh until the development of the Erie Canal in the 19th century, when it became apparent that feeder canals from Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake would in time link these lakes with the main line. With canal construction, there arose the possibility of draining the marshes, an act was passed relative to the draining of the Cayuga Marshes. Work first began on the canal system on July 4, 1817, the completion was marked by the first passage from Lake Erie to New York City on October 26, 1825. Construction of the Seneca-Cayuga canal began in 1818 and by 1828 boats passed from Geneva to the Erie Canal at Montezuma; the Erie Canal did not affect the marshes as the Seneca River still flowed directly from Cayuga Lake into the marshes. In 1910, the widening and reconstruction of the Seneca and Cayuga extension of the New York State Barge Canal altered the marshes.
A lock was built at the north end of Cayuga Lake and a dam was constructed at the outlet of the lake. This lowered the level of the river by eight to ten feet and the waters drained from the marshes; the meandering rivers were deepened, thereby creating additional drainage-ways. In 1937 the Bureau of Biological Survey, which became the US Fish and Wildlife Service, purchased 6,432 acres of the former marsh; the Civilian Conservation Corps began work on a series of low dikes which would hold water and restore part of the marsh habitat that had once existed. The refuge was opened in 1938 as the Montezuma Migratory Bird Refuge. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 7971 which established the Bird Refuge on September 12, 1938; the refuge provides a stopping point for waterfowl and other migratory birds. The refuge restored marsh land lost to drainage from the construction of the Cayuga and Seneca Canal that linked the Finger Lakes to the Erie Canal. In May 1973, the refuge was designated as the Montezuma Marshes National Natural Landmark by the Secretary of the Department of the Interior.
On September 22, 2000, "Harmony With Nature" - an eight-person team of musicians from around the country - performed a concert at the refuge featuring the music of the late John Denver. This concert at Montezuma NWR marked the first time a musical show had been held on federally protected wildlife land; the 10,004-acre preserve is composed of swamps and channels and is a stopping point for migratory birds. Planners hope to increase the size of the preserve through donations and purchases of surrounding properties; the New York State Thruway passes through the north end of the preserve. While passing motorists can glimpse the preserve as they speed along the Thruway, they may obtain a better view from the 3.5-mile road that begins at the visitors center south of the Thruway. The refuge has an area where bald eagles have been nesting in recent years. In addition to providing wildlife habitat, the refuge provides opportunities for people to observe wildlife; the refuge is open during daylight hours seven days a week.
The 3.5-mile Wildlife Drive is a one-way auto tour that provides many opportunities to observe and photograph wildlife. The main feature of the drive is the 1,600-acre wetland which hosts a rich diversity of waterfowl and other wildlife; the drive is open most of the year with the exception of winter. The two-mile Esker Brook Trail and the 3⁄4-mile Oxbow Trail are available to hikers and walkers. A visitor center and gift shop are open from April 1 to December 1 and have educational brochures and specimens about the refuge and its wildlife. List of National Wildlife Refuges List of National Natural Landmarks in New York Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge webpage New York State's Northern Montezuma Wildlife Management Area webpage Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex