Tupper Lake, New York's famous The Wild Center is officially reopened as of May 1 for outdoors excitement, learning, and fun for the entire family.
Following its annual month-long closure for spring cleaning, The Wild Center is excited to reopen on Saturday May 1. The nature-based Adirondacks science center will be operating as an outdoors-only experience for the time being in its ongoing effort to protect the health and safety of patrons and employees as the pandemic continues. In addition, the Center will maintain their enhanced operational procedures and cleaning protocols including timed ticket reservations, limited capacity and the use of face coverings.
The Wild Center will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the Center is will be open seven days a week. Timed reservations, which may be made online, by phone or email prior to arrival, give guests access to the award-winning Wild Walk, immersive Forest Music experience and hiking trails across the 115-acre campus. Wild Center naturalists will hold live animal encounters and drop-in educational programs throughout the day in specific locations around the outdoor campus.
Visitors can take a behind-the-scenes look at The Wild Center’s favorite otters as they lounge in their outdoor play yard, or talk with a Naturalist to learn flash facts about some of the resident ambassador animals, including a porcupine and raven.
The Wild Center is also partnering with two different nationally known artists who will create very different outdoor sculptures at its Tupper Lake campus, a new addition to this year's lineup of attractions. The first is a collaboration with Tupper Arts to bring the widely-collected, Adirondack-based artist, Barney Bellinger to the Center. Well known for his rustic furniture, photography, oil painting and sculptural metal work, this new outdoor exhibit will feature large sculptures made out of found materials such as salvaged steel, copper and iron. Inspired by the Adirondacks, and giving new life to discarded materials, Bellinger will have a selection on display throughout The Wild Center’s grounds beginning in mid-June.
In August, stick sculpture artist Patrick Dougherty will be on-site to create larger-than-life pieces by bending, interweaving and fastening together twigs found in the Adirondacks. Volunteers will assist with the process and guests will be able to watch Dougherty’s Stickwork both in real-time and from a live-stream camera on The Wild Center’s website, in addition to viewing the final product in-person in late summer.
“Our visitors are going to be so amazed by the incredible beauty and creativity in this year’s outdoor exhibits. We are so fortunate to be partnering with Tupper Arts to bring these new creations by premier artist Barney Bellinger to our audience -- they will inspire and delight. And I can’t wait to see one of Patrick Dougherty’s Stickworks evolve. I think it will be so exciting to see it grow organically on our site to the final sculpture right in our backyard,” shared Hillarie Logan-Dechene, Deputy Director of The Wild Center. “We always seek fun and interesting ways for our visitors to make lifelong memories in nature. Something new emerges each season at The Wild Center, and this season is a great one to come back again and again.”
And returning for yet another summer, naturalist-led canoe trips take guests through the Raquette River’s Oxbow as they explore different marsh habitats. Canoe trips will run daily from Friday, May 28 (Memorial Day Weekend) to Monday, September 6 (Labor Day Weekend) and are available by reservation for an additional fee. How's that for some local fun?
Visitors may access digital maps, audio tours and self-led scavenger hunts through their Wild Center mobile app to round out their adventures. The Wild Center’s indoor portion will only be accessed for bathrooms for the time being. The gift shop, Waterside Cafe, and Flammer Theater will remain closed for now.
For more information on guidelines and reservation information, visit The Wild Center’s Visit page: www.wildcenter.org/visit/.
Have you visited this famous Tupper Lake attraction? We'd love to hear your feedback in the comments section below.