1. The Wilton Wildlife Preserve
Home to the Blandings turtle and the Karner Blue Butterfly, these 2,300 acres of land: Neilmann parcel, Camp Saratoga, the Fox parcel, Opdahl Farm and Old Gick Farm make up the Wilton Wildlife Preserve.
-- The Opdahl Farm is comprised of an old family farm that was in operation from 1936-1972 but now is the home of the Karner Blue Butterfly (more about this later) with flat and well cared for trails. The farm is 43 acres and a photographer's dream with meadows, the old barn and silo and wildflowers.
--Camp Saratoga is made of woodlands, wetlands, streams and a pond. This parcel offers trout fishing in Delegan Pond and wildlife spotting like turtles, herons, belted Kingfishers and beavers.
-- Old Gick Farm is home to the endangered Karner Blue Butterfly (another opportunity to see one) and the threatened elfin butterfly and other species that are of concern like the spadefoot toad and the eastern hognose snake and according to their website there is the possibility of seeing a moose at the overlook near the Delegan Brook. This parcel allows horseback riding along with hunting and fishing during open seasons.
-- Fox parcel is 89 acres that has mowed trails that are gently rolling with wet areas.
--The Neilmann parcel is 145 acres that is primarily wooded and includes part of Miller Swamp-- the largest wetlands in Wilton. If you want to walk the trails be sure to bring plenty of bug spray, there are LOTS of mosquitoes!
2 The Karner Blue Butterfly
The Wilton Wildlife Preserve is one of the few home of the Karner Blue Butterfly. This tiny blue butterfly with a row of orange half moons on its wings is on the state and federal list of endangered species. The Wildlife Preservs areas like Opdahl Farm and Old Gick Farm have been transformed into the perfect breeding ground for these tiny creatures with sandy soil and blue lupine's-- the butterflies host plant.
3. Camp Saratoga (Delegan Pond)
Delegan Pond is a trout fishing pond that is located in the 310 acres of Camp Saratoga. Hunting and fishing are allowed in season. Fishing requires a license and is limited to children 16 and under until July 1st, which makes a great trip for the little ones and opportunity to catch the BIG ONE! Adults can fish after July 1st (2 fish limit) as long as no live bait is used.
4. Camp Saratoga (Picnic Facilities)
Camp Saratoga is more than fishing and nature trails. There are also picnic tables, pavilions and cabins.
5. Park Fest
Another park in Wilton is Gavin Park. Not so much a recreational park (no fishing or trails) but more of a community park. Every year they host what's called Park Fest. This year it will be on Saturday July 9th. It will include a 1k and a 5k run, amusement park rides, craft and food vendors and a fireworks display at dusk. Not only can you have a fun filled day but you can help a worth cause by dropping off a non-perishable food item for the Wilton Food Pantry. Gavin Park is located off of Jones Rd in Wilton.
6. Gavin Park
Not only is it the home of Park Fest, Gavin Park also has after school programs, summer camps, gymnasium, game room, soccer fields, basketball courts, tennis courts and batting cages that are available for a fee.
7. Carnival at Wilton Mall
The Kiwanis Carnival is held in the parking lot of the Wilton Mall. This year it was held from June 9th until June 11th. The carnival included rides, games, food and live performances. The atmosphere is very family friendly and is great for those with small children.
8. The Meathouse
The Meathouse is a fabulous butcher shop with a small town feel. Great customer service (which makes it one of my favorites) delicious meat and local products like Oscar's Smokehouse sausages and Ice Cream Man cakes. Great place to get the fixin's for a picnic.
You can't talk about Wilton without talking about the Wilton Mall which includes clothing stores like J.C Penney's, Bon Ton and Sears along with music stores, a pet store restaurants, hair salons and many others. But that's not the only shopping in Wilton. There is Bed Bath and Beyond, Five Below, Best Buy, T.J. Maxx and Pier One to name a few.
Wilton might seem like an unlikely place to find historical landmarks but if you head to Mt. McGregor you can find the cottage where President Grant spent his last days. Grant was ill with throat cancer when he, his family, servants and doctors came to Wilton. The cottage is open to the public and contains original furnishings, decorations and personal items including the bed that Grant died in. thee is also a gift shop and Visitor's Center. From the Eastern outlook you can see a spectacular view of the Hudson Valley, the Adirondacks, the Green Mountains and the Catskills.
As you drive around Wilton you will historical markers like the one for the Battle of Wilton which was fought during the French and Indian War.
Well, that's my list. If you've been to any of these places in Wilton NY please feel free to comment. Or if you know of other places that would of interest let me know.