Plants and Animals View All
Once the basin of a large glacial lake, Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park is now characterized by gently rolling sand plains, small wetlands and vernal pools. Colorful Karner Blue butterflies float gracefully through the air in the spring and summer, and their larvae find nourishment in the native lupine and wildflowers that cover the ground.
In 1996, The Nature Conservancy, the Town of Wilton and partners established the Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park as a special community-based conservation program—a balance between people, community and habitat. The program's mission is to conserve ecological systems and natural settings while providing opportunities for environmental education and recreational experiences.
The Nature Conservancy, together with local, state and federal agencies, is applying the best conservation science toward restoring and managing the Karner blue butterfly's habitat, using the following strategies:
The program represents a partnership between The Nature Conservancy, the Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park, Inc., the Town of Wilton, and the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation and Saratoga County. Additional partners include the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation.
Twelve miles of trails are open to the public for a variety of non-motorized uses. They can be accessed through five trailheads.
The preserve supports more than 120 species of birds and more than 70 species of mammals, reptiles and amphibians including eastern hognose snakes, eastern spadefoot toads, Blanding’s turtles, Karner blue butterflies and frosted elfins. Plant species include pitch pine, little bluestem grass and wild blue lupine.
Development and land conversion are causing habitat fragmentation and loss. Open areas are becoming reforested due to fire suppression and the decline of agriculture, reducing available habitat for blue lupine and other plant species that provide nectar to butterflies and food for their larvae.
Wilton Wildlife Preserve and Park seeks to protect wetlands and vernal pools, which provide important breeding grounds and habitat for a diversity of reptiles and amphibians including the state-threatened Blanding’s turtle. In addition, the park focuses on the recovery of the Karner blue butterfly and the state-threatened frosted elfin.
Camp Saratoga, 310 acres, 5 miles of trail:
Old Gick Farm, 135 acres, 1.75 miles of trail:
Fox Parcel, 89 acres, 1.14 miles of trail:
Neilmann Parcel, 140 acres, 1.9 miles of trail:
Opdahl Farm, 35 acres, 1 mile of trail: