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Nature Centers in the Finger Lakes

Montezuma Audubon Center (MAC)

2295 State Route 89

Savannah, NY 13146



Montezuma Audubon Center in Savannah, New York, USA.


Montezuma Audubon Center is located north of Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge in Wayne County on State Route 89, 2 mi./3.2 km. north of the Hamlet of Savannah.


The building MAC occupies is a state-owned facility on state land operated by the National Audubon Society in cooperation with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The land on which the center sits is part of numerous parcels of state-owned land totalling 7,800 acres called the Northern Montezuma Wildlife Management Area, which itself is divided into several units. The Northern Montezuma Wildlife Management Area is itself part of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex.


The marshes within the complex are listed as a National Natural Landmark. The Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge--part of the Wetlands Complex--is considered critical to migrating waterfowl and was set aside by Congress as an "inviolate sanctuary" for the use and protection of migrating waterfowl along the Atlantic Flyway. The refuge is considered the premier birding spot in the Finger Lakes region.


In addition to providing office space, an auditorium, and a meeting room, MAC provides a gift shop and a large room for possible exhibits. MAC also provides educational programs to school children and the public. Visitors to the region should check out MAC's Web site for local hiking and canoeing trips that it occasionally offers.


MAC is located on 198 acres with two small freshwater wetlands--Merganser Marsh and Sandpiper Shallows--a woods, a swamp, and Crusoe Lake. The swamp and the lake are currently inaccessible, however, there is 2 mi./3.2 km. of rough trail around the wetlands and through the woods and an observation platform overlooking one of the wetlands.


Beware: The mosquitoes can be really nasty in the woods in warm weather.


Trail map (pdf)


One of the two wetlands at the Montezuma Audubon Center.


Biking on MAC property is not permitted, however, the biking along state routes 31 and 89 is excellent with good shoulders. State Route 31 is part of the Erie Canal Trail. The trail around Savannah is on-road rather than off-road and is described in detail with maps in Cycling the Erie Canal, which is available from Parks & Trails New York.


The birding can be rewarding on this small parcel as it is subject to overflow from the refuge. Canada geese, swans, egrets, herons, puddle ducks, red-winged blackbirds, sparrows, swallows, flycatchers, phoebes, bluebirds and other thrushes, blue jays, chickadees, woodpeckers, nuthatches, warblers, vireos, ospreys, red-tails and other hawks, and bald eagles can all be seen here.


For more information about birding at MAC, see: http://www.ilovethefingerlakes.com/recreation/birdingsites-waynecounty-mac.htm


The observation platform on the other side of the wetland is accessible via a trail through the woods.


Photography, especially photographing birds, can be rewarding at MAC, however, most photographers spend their time at the refuge, which is even more rewarding.


Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are permitted on the property. MAC offers a limited number of guided snowshoeing trips.


Dogs are not permitted on the property.


MAC has bathrooms and is wheelchair accessible, the trails, however, are not.


Many wildflowers bloom in the rough meadow behind the Montezuma Audubon Center.


Cayuga Lake State Park

Cayuga-Seneca Canal

Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge

Montezuma Winery

Seneca Meadows Wetland Preserve

Seneca River

Women's Rights National Historical Park


Updated 12 September 2010








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