Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge is described as one of the best-kept secrets in Western New York. The refuge abounds with wildlife for a realistic outdoor experience any time of the year.
Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge in Basom is mid-way between Rochester and Buffalo NY. The 10,828-acre sanctuary provides nesting, feeding, resting and staging areas for migratory wildfowl. The environment attracts over 266 species of birds, 42 species of mammals, and amphibians, fish, reptiles and insects. Bald eagles have nested in the refuge since 1986. The wildlife refuge meets the needs of american woodcock, black tern, black ducks, osprey, and peregrine falcons, visiting the sanctuary.
Its largely flat terrain has freshwater marshes and hardwood swamps fed by Oak Orchard Creek. The creek winds westward from the east before emptying into Lake Ontario following a 20-mile route. State hatcheries annually release brown trout, salmon and steelhead for sport fishing in the creek. The southern part of the creek during winter is nearly ice-free due to a power plants heated water releases.
Swallow Hollow Nature Trail, Onondaga Nature Trail and Kanyoo Trail are each less than 2 miles. An elevated parking area 1/2 mile north of the Kanyoo Trail has Cayuga Marsh Overlook yielding overhead views of the marsh.
Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge is one of 540 National Wildlife Refuges operating in the US. They managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and are dedicated to wildlife conservation. East of Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge is Oak Orchard National Wildlife Refuge. To avoid confusion between the two wildlife areas the federal government named the western area Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge in 1964. The Iroquois Indians is a Native American Federation residing in the northeast. Their federation was originally made up of five tribes: Cayuga, Oneida, Mohawk, Seneca and Onondaga with the Tuscarora entering the federation in the 1800's.
Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge is at 1101 Casey Road, Basom, NY. It is 2 miles south of Medina on route 63 and a few miles north of Alabama NY.
Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge Hours
Monday through Friday 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Basom is a hamlet on route 77 were Bloomingdale Road travels west. At one time it had a railroad station. Medina is a village 3 miles north of the wildlife refuge with 6,065 residents. It was founded as a stopover on the Erie Canal.
Alabama a town of 1,869 population is a few miles south of the wildlife refuge on route 63, at the intersection with route 77. A restaurant is on one corner with a small market on another.
Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge is an hour drive of 46 miles from Rochester. Drive US 490 west, route 531 west then route 31 west and route 8 south. Follow signs to the refuge.
Here is one review of Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge:
“This is one place where I feel honored to see my tax dollar put to good use!!! Thanks to all who tend this little piece of heaven”