The Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park is also a place, a very special place. Located in Saratoga County, New York, the Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park is part of the geologically significant Saratoga Sandplains. This area of ancient sand dunes, small but important wetlands and diverse ecological communities is home to the federally endangered Karner blue butterfly. This one-inch blue beauty is the catalyst behind an effort to conserve this increasingly rare landscape.
While working to ensure a future for the Karner blue butterfly and other imperiled species, the Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park invites people of all ages to enjoy the protected lands, appreciate the area’s beauty, and value nature’s importance.
Whether you are a nature lover, outdoors enthusiast, or lifelong learner, the Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park is a place to enjoy and a cause worthy of your support.
Primary Access Points And Trail Heads
Old Gick Farm
Wildlife Species Often Seen
Karner Blue Butterfly
Frosted Elfin Butterfly
Eastern Hognose Snake
Eastern Spadefoot Toad
Best Seasons And Times For Viewing
Hiking, nature viewing and hunting in the Spring, Summer and Fall, and XC Skiing and snowshoeing in the Winter.
Related Sites Or Experiences
Lake Champlain Birding Trail
Washington County Grassland IBA
Identify And Describe The Management Organization
The beginnings of the Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park (WWPP) date back to the 1980s. At that time, The Nature Conservancy (a not for profit conservation organization) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation were working in the towns of Wilton and Northumberland to identify and monitor populations of the endangered Karner blue butterfly.
Then, in 1996, a 1.1 acre parcel harboring the Karner blue butterfly was being auctioned off by Saratoga County. The Nature Conservancy approached the Town of Wilton and asked if the Town would take ownership of the property and transfer it to The Nature Conservancy.
Then town supervisor Roy McDonald said yes. In fact, he said, not only would the town take the step to protect that parcel, but that one parcel would be the beginning of a 3,000 acre preserve for the butterfly and a park for people.
That was the beginning of a partnership between the Town of Wilton, The Nature Conservancy, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. From the beginning, the focus has been conservation, education and recreation.
The group created an advisory board comprised of partner representatives and interested citizens. The group became incorporated in New York State in 1998 and a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2001.
Saratoga County joined the partnership a few years later.
Today, there is an active Board of Directors made up of partner representatives and area citizens. The mission statement guides the organization’s actions.
Site is Child-friendly