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Lakota Wolf Preserve
Ranked #1 of 6 things to do in Columbia
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
new jersey
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2012

good half day visit. wolves are beautiful and haunting!

Thank jugs6686
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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266 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Niskayuna, New York
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Real wolves, real close....the real deal”
Reviewed February 7, 2012

We heard about Lakota Wolf Preserve from a conservation newsletter we get and decided to check it out. You don't need reservations on the weekend, but you do if you're going during the week. In the winter you have to call ahead to see if they're open or going to be open because the preserve is on top of a ridge at the end of a very steep, winding road, so if it is snowy or icy they won't open--too dangerous. They do two tours a day and each one lasts around 90 minutes. You park at a campground parking lot and pay your admission fee there, then hop in the shuttle bus for the trip up to the preserve (or you can walk....it's not that far but it was windy and cold when we were there so we took the bus).

The purpose of the Lakota Wolf Preserve is to give wolves that have been bred in captivity and who have had bad living conditions (like being stuck in some little cage in a road side zoo) a place to live out their lives as naturally as possible. When you get off the bus the guide will lead you upslope about 100 feet so that you are fairly close to the three enclosures (Arctic wolves, Tundra wolves, and Timber wolves). Then the guide gives an incredibly well-presented talk about wolves and wolf ecology and in the process they debunk a lot of myths humans have about wolves. For example, they are almost pathologically afraid of human beings. Normally they would run and hide from us. But the preserve has to generate some money to pay their bills, so the guides have worked with the wolves to get them to accept humans and so the guides can toss treats over the fences and wolves will come close to the fences to eat, so we can see them.

The wolves are beautiful! They just have this quiet majesty to them and even though they look like big dogs you can see and sense the wildness in them. Everyone in our group was really impressed with them.

After hanging with the wolves you go over to another area and another guide displays two of their three bobcats and a pair of red foxes. Again, these are rescued bobcats, like the wolves are rescue wolves. Someone had these bobcats and tried to make them into house pets (really really bad idea) and had them de-clawed! But because you just can't have a bobcat as a house pet as a practical matter (they pee EVERYWHERE and their pee STINKS) they gave them up. Bad news is that without claws they couldn't be released back into the wild (bobcats are native to the Northeast) because they need them to live. So they now get to be the pampered guests at Lakota. The bobcats are beautiful and so incredibly graceful. Even though it was getting chilly, everyone stayed to see the bobcats and foxes. Again, the guides are very knowledgeable and give excellent mini-lectures about the animals and their habitats and habits in the wild.

It's not a zoo....unless you've seen a zoo where the wolves have 10 acres to run around in...and it's not a breeding facility. But it is a great place to see wolves, bobcats and foxes up close and personal and learn all about them at the same time. We had a great time.

One caveat...if you have little kids I would avoid going in the winter. LIttle kids get cold fast and the ones in our group were obviously getting uncomfortably chilly toward the end of the visit.

Visited January 2012
3 Thank John G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
74 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Great slice of nature”
Reviewed February 1, 2012

Up close to the wild. Worth the trip out! The wolves are well kept and cared for. Great other animals there as well.

1 Thank jerseyaruba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Very informative and entertaining”
Reviewed January 29, 2012

I really enjoyed learning about the wolves, foxes and bobcats and seeing them up close. Highly Recommended.

Visited January 2012
1 Thank Shaun G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Valley, NJ
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 25, 2012

I've been to the preserve many times, and support it also. I've brought young grandchildren, some teenagers, and this year my adult family and some friends. Everyone left with a new respect for the animals, and for Jim and Becky that do such a magnificent job of raising the wolves, bobcats and foxes. If we hadn't been there on a really cold day, we would have wanted it to go on for a longer time. Two hours just wasn't enough. We just couldn't get enough of watching them and also wondering what they are thinking of us watching them!
Keep up the wonderful work that you go -- wouldn't it be great to allow them back into the
"wild" and be safe!

Visited December 2011
1 Thank Kathie U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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