Places We Protect

Arthur W. Butler Memorial Sanctuary

New York

A man sits looking out between trees at a lake while a small rowboat rests upside down nearby.
Butler Memorial Sanctuary Taking it all in at the Arthur W. Butler Memorial Sanctuary north of New York City. © Charles Gleberman Photography

This land’s rugged outcrops and boulder-strewn hills provide a solid foundation for deciduous forests, flowing streams, and swamps teeming with flora and fauna.



Why We Selected This Site

In 1954, Mrs. Butler donated 225 acres of land to The Nature Conservancy in honor of her husband, making it the organization’s first donated preserve and the first wildlife refuge in the town of Bedford. Through additional donations and purchases it has grown to its present size.

What We Do Here

Each fall, visitors flock to the preserve to observe migrating birds of prey. Visitors can find interpretive materials that explain the phenomenon of mass migration and help to identify the many raptor species passing overhead.

The Nature Conservancy is helping protect and conserve Arthur W. Butler’s natural landscape by analyzing deer impact on the forests and managing invasive species to encourage forest regeneration.

Additionally, we’re increasing access to nature by providing transportation to this preserve, a key part of our equitable preserve access efforts. Learn more about this initiative in an interview with Preserve Stewardship Coordinator Marcela Maldonado Medina.




Open year-round from dawn until dusk.


363 acres

Explore our work in New York


  • Hours of Visitation

    Arthur W. Butler Memorial Sanctuary is open year-round from dawn until dusk.

  • What to See

    Wildlife: The Robert J. Hammershlag Hawkwatch is an excellent spot to observe a variety of hawks, falcons and other raptors during the autumn hawk migration. Other animals on the preserve include white-tailed deer, red fox, coyote, great-horned owls, barred owls and screech owls. The summer brings songbirds such as wood thrush, warblers and scarlet tanagers.

    Plants: There are six forest communities on the preserve: oak-dominant mixed hardwood, oak-hickory, mixed mesophytic, hemlock-mixed hardwood, hemlock dominant and wetland swamp forest. There are also several areas of white pine and Norway spruce plantations.

  • Hunting Information

    Arthur W. Butler Memorial Sanctuary is open during hunting season (Oct 1 - Dec 21, Dec 26 - Jan 1) to bow hunting only. Written permission is required to hunt on Conservancy lands. To learn about our hunting program or to obtain permission to hunt, please visit our New York hunting information page.

  • Preserve Trail Map

    Explore all that Arthur W. Butler Memorial Sanctuary has to offer in our trail map.

  • Guidelines

    To help ensure that this special place can be enjoyed for future generations, please leave no trace and carry out what you carry in. Camping, littering, hunting, fires, or removal or destruction of plants or animals are prohibited. See our full preserve visitation guidelines for more information.

Nature’s Wonders at Butler Memorial Sanctuary

Get a sneak peek at the diversity of plants and scenic overlooks available for exploration at our preserve. Click each photo to enable a larger view.

Find More Places We Protect

The Nature Conservancy owns nearly 1,500 preserves covering more than 2.5 million acres across all 50 states. These lands protect wildlife and natural systems, serve as living laboratories for innovative science and connect people to the natural world.

See the Complete Map