The Northrup Hill Wildlife Sanctuary is a diverse 24-acre wildlife preserve in the Town of Rathbone, Steuben County, New York. The land was acquired as a gift from the Northrup family to be used as a nature preserve and is located behind the Northrup Hill Schoolhouse, a building on the USDI National Historical Register. This sanctuary has a diversity of habitats including grasslands, early successional hardwoods, and white pine-hemlock- hardwood forest leading down to a wetland-marsh at the north end. The elevation of this sanctuary is 1700 feet with nice views of the surrounding country side with benches for visitors to enjoy the view. The soils are alluvial in the Arnot, Chippewa, Lordstown and Mardin soils series. Trails are open to the public during daylight hours.
From Corning, take Route I86 to exit 44A for Route 15 (I99) South. Follow Route 15 South to exit 8 for Route 417-Addison. Turn right off the ramp and follow Route 417 to Addison. In Addison, turn right onto CR 119 (by Wades Hardware Store). Continue on 417 to Rathbone and turn left onto CR 21 (by Rathbone Town Hall-Highway Department). Go a short distance going over a creek and turn right onto CR 80. Route 80 curves slightly to the left and then continues on for one mile to Learn Road. Turn left onto Learn Road and proceed two miles. You will pass the Northrup Hill Schoolhouse and the wildlife sanctuary entrance is 200 feet beyond on the right by the sign. Please park on the side of the road.
From Corning, take Denison Parkway West and NY 417 to the I-99 in Gang Mills Follow I-99 to Addison, about ten miles. Leave Addison on CR 119. Turn left into and through Rathbone. After crossing the bridge, turn left on to Tracy Creek Road and head up the hill about a mile, turn left on Learn Road and there is a historic one-room school house at the intersection at the top of the hill. Total about 8.5 miles from Addison. The sanctuary is located behind the school house.
Trails are open for public use for hiking, birding, and cross country skiing. Hunting, trapping, and motorized vehicles are prohibited.
The trails are mowed through the grasslands, and in the forest, follow the white trail marks on the trees.
From the entrance, take the main trail through the grassland to the summit, where you will find a bench to enjoy the vista of the surrounding country side. Continue on the trail to the woods, go straight and the trail comes out to the second grassland. At this point, follow the trail to the right, proceeding across to the white pine-hardwood forest. The trail goes along the east borderline of the property. Turn left as you approach the north border into a hemlock forest. Continue going downhill and you will reach a beautiful marsh (if you proceed quietly, you may not scare off the waterfowl). From the marsh, follow the trail back up the hill which will bring you out into grassland. Cross the grassland and you will intersect back to where you branched off.
There are a few side loop trails off the main trail that can also be explored.
Google Map for The Northrup Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary
More Images of the Sanctuary
Click on a thumbnail to view a larger version in a new window.
Birds Recorded at the Sanctuary
For a description of each of these birds, please visit the Audubon Field Guide.
|American Crow||American Goldfinch||American Robin|
|Barred Owl||Belted Kingfisher||Blackburnian Warbler|
|Black-Capped Chickadee||Blackpoll Warbler||Black-Throated Blue Warbler|
|Black-Throated Green Warbler||Blue Jay||Blue-Headed Vireo|
|Blue-Winged Warbler||Boblink||Brown Creeper|
|Brown-Headed Cowbird||Canada Goose||Chipping Sparrow|
|Common Grackle||Common Raven||Common Yellowthroat|
|Dark-Eyed Junco||Downy Woodpecker||Eastern Phoebe|
|Eastern Screech-Owl||Eastern Towhee||Eastern Wood Pewee|
|Field Sparrow||Golden-Crowned Kinglet||Gray Catbird|
|Great Blue Heron||Great Crested Flycatcher||Great Horned Owl|
|Hairy Woodpecker||Hermit Thrush||House Finch|
|House Wren||Indigo Bunting||Killdeer|
|Least Flycatcher||Mongolia Warbler||Mourning Dove|
|Northern Cardinal||Northern Flicker||Northern Parula|
|Northern Saw-Whet Owl||Ovenbird||Philadelphia Vireo|
|Pileated Woodpecker||Prairie Warbler||Purple Finch|
|Red-Breasted Nuthatch||Red-Eyed Vireo||Red-Winged Blackbird|
|Rose-Breasted Grosbeak||Ruby-Crowned Kinglet||Ruffed Grouse|
|Scarlet Tanager||Solitary Sandpiper||Song Sparrow|
|Tufted Titmouse||Veery||White-Breasted Nuthatch|
|White-Throated Sparrow||Wild Turkey||Wilson’s Warbler|
|Wood Duck||Wood Thrush||Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker|
Plants Recorded at the Sanctuary
The following list of plants recorded at the sanctuary was compiled by Alex Petzke. You can download this list by clicking here.
|Taxonomic Name||Common Name||Native (N) or Exotic/Introduced (E)|
|Acer rubrum||Red Maple||N|
|Anthoxanthum odoratum||Sweet Vernal Grass||E|
|Ascepias syriaca||Common Milkweed||N|
|Brachyelytrum aristosum||Erect Woodland Grass||N|
|Carex folliculata||Long Sedge||N|
|Carex scoparia||Broom Sedge||N|
|Clinopodium vulgare||Wild Basil||N|
|Dactylis glomerata||Orchard Grass||E|
|Dryopteris carthusiana||Spinulose Wood Fern||N|
|Elaeganus umbellata||Autumn Olive||E|
|Eurybia divaricata||White Wood Aster||N|
|Fagus grandifolia||American Beech||N|
|Faxinus americana||White Ash||N|
|Geum laciniatum||Rough Avens||N|
|Hypericum perforatum||Common St. John's Wort||E|
|Leucanthemum vulgare||Ox-Eye Daisy||E|
|Leucobryum glaucum||Cushion Moss||N|
|Lotus corniculatus||Bird's-Foot Trefoil||E|
|Maianthemum canadense||Cananda Mayflower||N|
|Onoclea sensibilis||Sensitive Fern||N|
|Osmunda claytoniana||Interrupted Fern||N|
|Ostrya virginiana||Eastern Hophornbeam||N|
|Parthenocissus quinquefolia||Virginia Creeper||N|
|Penstemon digitalis||Eastern Beardtongue||N|
|Phalaris arundiancea||Reed Canary Grass||N|
|Pinus strobus||Eastern White Pine||N|
|Plantago lanceolata||Lance-Leaved Plantain||E|
|Polystichum acrostichoides||Christmas Fern||N|
|Prananthes sp.||Rattlesnake Root||N|
|Prunus serotina||Black Cherry||N|
|Pteridium aquilinum||Bracken Fern||N|
|Ranunculus acris||Common Buttercup||E|
|Rudbeckia hirta||Black-Eyed Susan||N|
|Rumex crispus||Curly Dock||E|
|Thelypteris noveboracensis||New York Fern||N|
|Trifolium pratense||Red Clover||N|
|Tsuga canadensis||Eastern Hemlock||N|
Two types of planting styles are currently used for trees at Northrup Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary: boundary planting and group planting. Boundary planting consists of trees which are planted in a straight line, giving definition to the property by providing a visual separation between one property and another or a transitional area between grassland/shrub land and woodlot. This transitional zone provides habitat for all wildlife.
The margin of the northern field is a boundary planting with 20 Northern White Cedar, Thuja accidentalis, used for property definition in the upper field and a wind break.
A boundary planting was used along the walking path in the first woodlot consisting of ten Paper (or White) Birch, Betula papyrifera, to add definition to the path. Along this path, notice fungi growing on stumps.
You will notice the second type of planting in the first woodlot. Sugar (or Hard) Maple, Acer saccharum, were planted using the group planting method. This experimental planting, which includes ten Sugar Maples, is copying Mother Nature's dispersal method. When Sugar Maples disperse their seeds, they appear to helicopter and land in a circular pattern adjacent the parent tree. There are few Sugar Maples in this woodlot; accordingly, this experiment is meant to augment their numbers. In the following years, more Sugar Maples are planned to be group planted.
Saplings are a favorite food for deer so most tree plantings are protected with a 5 foot tubular sleeve. Trees, protective tubes and stakes were donated for this project by Chemung County Soil and Water and by CVAS chapter member.
Thank you to Brian Dugan for providing this overview of tree planting.