Located on a hillside overlooking the Susquehanna River Valley, this 96 acre refuge is the Center's primary site. Four miles of nature trails wind their way around open woodlands, meadows, a small stream and a gorge.
Our nature trails are a perfect place to see wildlife, stroll along our wooden walkway trail, enjoy the sounds of the creek in the gorge, capture that perfect picture, read our interpretive educational signs, or simply take in the beauty that is the Waterman Center.
Our nature trails are varied and diverse, offering hikers a range of opportunities as they explore our property. The woodland trail winds through a mature forest of hemlock, ash, Hawthorne, spruce, aspen and other plant species. The gorge offers a small waterfall and various critters in the creek. The meadows are in several stages of secession and offer another look at nature.
Hiking trails are open daily dawn to dusk at no cost every day of the year. The trails are available for Cross Country Skiing or Snowshoeing in the winter. (Ski and Snowshoe rentals are available through the interpretive center.) Educational programs for people of all ages take place in our outdoor classroom, teaching the interdependence and diversity of the natural environment. Visitors can spend all four seasons exploring what the trails have to offer.
Surrounding the museum are the Lolita Waterman Wildlife Gardens. These gardens were designed to help landowners learn how to incorporate native plantings into their own landscape plans. The gardens also help visitors learn how to attract wildlife to their yards. The gardens include a small pond containing frogs.
There is a special 500 ft children's trail named Nokomis' Trail of Tales, where each section of the trail features a local animal. There are wooden cutouts, seating, laminated storybooks, and other accessories relating to each animal. Developed by girl scouts in 2009, the completeness and attention to detail makes this trail one of the highlights of any visitor's trip to Waterman Center. This trail ends at the wildlife gardens making the short trek to the frog pond a definite feature of this short, but memorable trail.
The interpretive building houses a museum where visitors will find exhibits and interpretive displays about local wildlife. The museum building also houses the Center's Nature Shop, classroom space, a reference library, bathrooms and offices. The building is open 9-4 Monday through Friday and 10-4 on Saturday. Closed Sunday.
Visit the live birds of prey year around here at Waterman Center. These hawks and owl cannot be released into the wild for a variety of reasons and are used in teaching programs. Click on our Raptor page to learn more about these magnificent birds.
403 Hilton Road
Apalachin, NY 13732