|Things To Do
Wild Wings is fortunate to be located within Mendon Ponds Park, considered the “gem” of the Monroe County Parks System. Mendon Ponds Park is the largest Monroe County Park consisting of 2,500 acres which include ponds, woodlands, wetlands, and a bog. The park offers a wonderful opportunity to view evidence of glacial activity 10,000 years ago which formed the park’s eskers, kames and kettle holes. In fact, the park has been designated a National Natural Historic Landmark. There are many activities to be enjoyed throughout the year.
Beginning right at Wild Wings’ doorstep is the Bird Song Trail. An activity enjoyed for years by visitors is hand feeding the park’s chickadees. A little sunflower seed placed on an outstretched palm attracts the birds that land, quickly snatch up a seed or two, and then fly a short distance away to either eat the seed or stash it for another time. Sunflower is available in The Cottage Store for a nominal fee. The blue bird houses in the field just to the south of Wild Wings can at times attract blue birds in good numbers.
Just outside the Wild Wings Cottage Store entrance is the house which for many years was the Mendon Ponds Nature Center. Wild Wings maintains two rooms of nature exhibits there for visitors to enjoy. Behind the old Nature Center is Sharon’s Sensory Garden in which grows a varied collection of plants selected for providing for opportunities to touch, smell and see. A waterfall combines with the nearby plants and trees to create a tranquil, natural sound, especially when a breeze is blowing. The garden’s pathway is wheelchair accessible.
Bordering the north end of Wild Wings are the stables where the Monroe County Sheriffs Department horses are kept. While the area is not designed to handle visitors, be sure to catch a glimpse of the horses as you enter or leave the Wild Wings parking lot. Feeding and touching of the horses is strictly prohibited.
There are benches and picnic tables at Wild Wings and throughout the park. Snacks and refreshments are available in the Wild Wings Cottage Store. Six lodges including The Cobblestone House and seven shelters are available for rent. There are a number of recreational areas. Roughly 30 miles of trails cover a variety of terrain from easy to moderately difficult to walk. The southern part of Mendon Ponds is a nature preserve, including beautiful Quaker Pond where beaver dam and lodges are readily viewed.
The park is a favorite spot for local birders. A wide variety of habitats exist which produce both expected and the occasional rare species. The glacial ponds provide a spot for waterfowl to gather. The residents include nesting owls and hawks. Blue birds, pileated woodpeckers, and turkey are also residents. The local bird clubs all schedule visits to the park which are open to non-members.
Horseback riding is allowed on designated trails. The park is a popular spot for hiking, running and orienteering. There is a car top boat launch located off Douglas Rd. which can be used for all non-motorized boats. Fishing is available in some locations for visitors over 16 with a valid fishing license. In the winter, snowshoe rentals are available at The Wild Wings Cottage Store. Two hills in the park are designated for sledding. There are groomed trails for country skiing. A youth camping ground is accessible from Hopkins Point Road.
The park hosts the Mendon Ponds Winterfest, The Outdoor Expo sponsored by the Adirondack Mountain Club, and the annual carriage ride through the park during the Walnut Hill Festival. There are local trail and road running events every year.
Come and enjoy Wild Wings and Mendon Ponds Park year round.