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“Animal lover's must”

Seacrest Wolf Preserve
Ranked #2 of 5 things to do in Chipley
Certificate of Excellence
Santa Rosa, California
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Animal lover's must”
Reviewed January 14, 2014

It's one thing to see animals, but it is entirely different to interact with them. The excitement we felt when five wolves surrounded us and two actually gave us kisses, or when one jumped up on a log where we were sitting and let us scratch it, was a once in a lifetime thrill. It was a learning experience as well as chance to be with the wolves for three hours. Then as an added perk, we held skunks and a groundhog (so cute), hand fed a raccoon and petted arctic foxes. We camped there and fell asleep to the howls of the magnificent wolves. Great staff helped make this a six star attraction.

Visited January 2014
2 Thank Marilyn C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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134 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Jacksonville, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“very disappointed”
Reviewed January 11, 2014

What they are doing is great but there were WAY TO MANY people in the tour, at least 150 (about 1/3 were young children) It was boring, except for the wolves, bc you were held prisoner in an enclosure while 60+ groups had pics taken. Tours should capped. With less people they could do more in a day or just split the group into two and do the two parts concurrently. If this doesn't work for the wolves, then just have less people. The speakers didn't have mics, so it was hard to hear them, therefore hard to enjoy and pay attention to what they were saying part of the time. Also, as another person said, less propaganda and more wolf info.
The other problem I had was the enforcing of rules...how about volunteers be on the same page about enforcing rules rather than fussing at people who unwittingly break rules. For instance the rules say no hats or sunglasses, many people had on hats, nothing was said. Wolf steals a hat and the volunteer says, kind of nasty,,,"that's why we tell you not to wear hats". Person comes through the gate with sunglasses volunteer says no glasses, person puts them in pocket in front of that volunteer, when they fall out later, another volunteer yells.."no sunglasses are supposed to be in here". Just, having been to other places like Cattyshack and St Augustine Wild Reserve, which were outstanding even though there was no animal interaction, Seacrest volunteers made me feel unwelcome. I felt trapped and lectured rather than informed. One question I never got to ask, "do they breed wolves or take in relocated, injured, and domestic surrenders?"
Oh and last....they might want to mention that kids under 12 will probably get bored. Most of the kids around us ended up being ill behaved, but understandably so. However, it doesn't change the fact that it also affected our experience.

Visited January 2014
5 Thank gsmith0220
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Fantastic experience made mediocre by too large of a tour group.”
Reviewed January 4, 2014

I like the preserve and the work this group does very much. You can tell they care a great deal about the wolves and their habitat. However, there must have been 150+ in our group on a Saturday afternoon. Despite the preserve's instructions to call in advance for reservations, it appears you can just show up and fill out the required disclaimer forms. The result for our group was an hour-long wait during the first phase of the tour while every family/couple cycled through for a picture taken by the staff photographer (tourists are only permitted disposable-type wet film cameras unless you pay the additional pro photography fee). The staff also does not allow you to depart the fenced habitat while the guides are actively giving the presentations, which effectively keeps you captive along with the animals until you transition between habitats.

You will hear about the move to pull the gray wolf from the endangered species list, which is a fairly emotional topic for the staff. At one point a female staff member appeared to hijack one of the presentations to give a soapbox speech about America being for sale, "powerful interests," lobbyists, etc. This went on for quite some time, and at one point it became incoherent enough that I was unable to explain it to my 9 year-old daughter, who really just wanted to learn about the wolves.

So bottom line here is that based on the stories and recommendations from others, I don't think this is a typical experience at this preserve, but prepare yourself and your family for some waiting around and some tedious lectures on the evils of the politicians in Washington. If those things don't bother you too much, you'll really enjoy the experience.

Visited January 2014
3 Thank fairly_picky1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Springfield, Missouri, United States
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A Must Visit!!”
Reviewed December 29, 2013

We made our reservations late and they promptly responded that there was room on the tour and gave helpful information to get there and what to expect. We had rain in the forecast and a large group of people on the tour (around 100). The staff (paid and Mainly Volunteer) fell all over themselves answering questions, working with the animals and ensuring the visitors had the interactions they wanted.

They tour was very informative and the staff extremely knowledgeable and well informed, with up to date information. We expected a one-two hour tour and partly due to the size of our group it was closer to three and we made it four, interacting with the small animal exhibit and speaking with the staff.

I can not say enough good things about the Seacrest Wolf Preserve...you MUST experience it yourself.

Visited December 2013
1 Thank Jon P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
267 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 178 helpful votes
“Best attraction EVER”
Reviewed December 7, 2013

Okay, their mission is educational and noble. And, one cannot help but come away with a better appreciation of wolves. But it's pure fun.

The owners and staff couldn't be nicer, but that's not really the point. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get up close and personal with wolves. And up close and personal you will get! Some of the wolves (they have 40, in four packs) are stand offish. But others just love people... absolute affection hogs. They're huge, magnificent, and as noted, up close and personal!

It's a little off the beaten path, but well worth the drive. As an added bonus, they have a campground (we didn't stay) just a few feet from the wolves.

We've done a bunch of stuff, seen many things, but this is very high up there on our list of "best adventures ever".

Visited December 2013
1 Thank Klomo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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