The Wild Center, Tupper Lake, Part 1

It took us three hours to get here, and through bad roads at that, but we are so glad we made it! (And the roads were much better for the drive home). I want to sincerely thank Sally at The Wild Center for sponsoring our visit. My kids just love you guys. 😀

Wild Center

Sally gave me a rundown of the history of the Wild Center. The museum is–literally– in the middle of nowhere. Tupper Lake is located in the lower northern section of the vast Adirondack Park. The official website of the town says:

Tupper Lake, NY, nicknamed “The Crossroads of the Adirondacks,” is a bustling Adirondack tourist village of about 5,000 year-round residents. Steeped in the tradition of the hunting, fishing, lumbering and logging trades, Tupper Lake is today a popular destination for tourists, photographers and outdoor enthusiasts. The village of Tupper Lake, located in the Franklin County town of Altamont, is considered one of three primary destinations (along with Saranac Lake and Lake Placid) known as the Tri-Lakes region of the northern Adirondack Mountains. State Routes 3 and 30 are the primary arteries into Tupper Lake from the nearby communities of Saranac Lake, Long Lake and Paul Smiths, and the Star Lake-Cranberry Lake region.

You almost expect Paul Bunyan and Babe to mosey out of the forest… it’s an enchanting place, and I SO wanted just to drive around and get lost. But not a good idea, not while it’s still winter! The Wild Center is on a slight incline. A frozen pond and frosty nature trails surround the museum.

Wild Center Entrance

When you walk in, a large roundtable of birches and granite slabs greet you in the rotunda. The lobby is immense.


The Wild Center is a not-for-profit museum and small park with emphasis on educational exploits. It was the brainchild of Betsy Lowe of Long Lake, New York. She organized a group of passionate volunteers and they built the museum from the ground up, literally. The residents of Tupper Lake donated the land for the building and grounds.


The Wild Center opened in July 2006. It’s BEAUTIFUL. The building itself and all the displays are art forms in of themselves. The museum has animals– loads of animals– but there are also exquisite sculptures and multi-media displays, and… oh, I am getting ahead of myself!

To the right of the lobby is the natural history displays. There’s a huge “glacier” that spurts out water and steam from time to time. There are loads of displays for kids to read and touch. This is a great place for a field trip, that’s for sure.




We loved the aquariums best of all. I could have sat in front of them forever. The animals in these aquariums (all the animals, everywhere, actually) are native to the Adirondacks. The interior pond is really neat!

The Pond

Sally told us that there is a pond right outside those windows (frozen right now); the pond comes up to the windows, making the interior pond display seem like an extension of the exterior one.

The Pond 2

The critters are mighty friendly, too. They followed us around as we walked by the aquarium glass.

Friendly Turtle

Posing Turtle



Insects display

This is only just a portion of all that we saw and did that day. I’ll have more about it in future posts.

The Wild Center has terrific webcams, by the way. If you want to take a peek at the place for yourself, see the Wild Center Webcam page here. I love it! The Wild Center website is one of the best I have ever seen– it’s classy but very easy to navigate. The information is excellent, it’s UPDATED, and I like the multi-media features.

About the Author

I've been traveling throughout New York State since I got the travel bug after touring the Herkimer Home on a school field trip as a youngster. We've been blogging about our travels since 2006 and have visited over half of New York's 62 counties so far.

Comments (8)

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  1. Howard says:

    Thank you so much for all you said about The Wild Center. Everyone works hard here because we love the place, and what it’s about, and your words give everyone even more energy – probably the way a cast feels during the applause on a broadway stage.

  2. Phill says:

    Isn’t it the coolest place ever? I’ve always said how lucky we are to have The Wild Center and The Adirondack Museum. They are hands down, the best museums I have ever visited. And this is coming off of 15 years in NYC. They’re both amazing.

  3. Don E. Chute says:

    Mrs. Mecomber- Awesome site. I desperately want to travel New York. I have never been to the city. Only, Buffalo!

    I have bookmarked your site, for my travels, If you would like I would also link you as one of my “reads”. Just let me know, ok?

    And I thought you would have a political site, WOW!


  4. My sister and her family love this place too! They have a video of my nephew when he was 3 running back and forth with his arms ‘swimming’ with the otters. It is just too cute for words! They try to go once a year. Anything with animals is always a hit with the kids!

  5. lew says:

    That is way up there in cold country! The scenery must be spectacular in clear weather.

  6. Jim & Gail Bedore says:

    Hello: Born and raised in Tupper Lake, graduated 1956, and visited in July 1976. “Wild Center” was not complete then but believe it is now. Fantastic Center! Is it possible to acquire
    a DVD of the movie we saw in the Theater in 1976. They were not selling it in 1976…have you changed you policy yet?

    I believe you have a niece working at your center. If so, please say that Uncle Jim said hello.

    Thanks..Jim Bedore, Lafayette, La.

  7. […] Just a simple shot out the window at The Wild Center in Tupper Lake. […]