Visiting the Lakota Wolf Preserve – Just Outside NYC

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Why Visiting the Lakota Wolf Preserve is A Must- Do!

For my birthday, we planned a weekend getaway to the Delaware Water Gap. While planning the trip, I learned of the Lakota Wolf Preserve. I’ve always loved wolves and would jump at a chance getting see wolves in the wild or a preserve like this one. Located just about an hour and a half outside of New York City, the Lakota Preserve was, by far, the highlight of my trip! In fact, the experience was so surreal I believe visiting the Lakota Wolf Preserve is a must-do if you are ever in the area!

wolves playing visiting Lakota wolf preserve

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About the Lakota Wolf Preserve

The owners of Lakota Wolf Preserve, Jim and Becky, have worked extremely hard to make this dream happen. In fact, they have dedicated their lives to caring for these incredible animals for over 15 years. Jim and Becky sold their home to live in an RV to be closer to the grounds.

The preserve rescues wolves from zoos to give them a chance to live in a stress-free environment while giving them the feeling of living in the wild. Once a wolf is born in captivity, it is unfortunately not allowed to return to the wild.

Tours are $15 USD for Adults and $7 USD for Children. Tours must be booked online. The link is at the end.

Address: 89 Mt Pleasant Rd, Columbia, NJ 07832

Grey Wolf howling

The Lakota Wolf Preserve Tour

Upon arriving, you will register and meet with the owners Jim Stein and Becky Mace. They kindly shuttle-bussed us up to the main ground, where you will visit 4 wolf packs.

For the next 70 minutes or so, we were educated on wolf behavior, wolf pack structure, and what their preserve does.

The grounds are a little over 10 acres divided into 4 wolf packs. We learned about the Timber, Arctic, British Columbian, and Tundra packs at their preserve. There were also 2 foxes and a bobcat to the right of the entrance.

To keep the animals and viewers safe, two gates divided the wolves and us. We watched them play, run and howl! It was incredible to see them interact so freely, as if we weren’t there.

white wolf in snow

Bobcat and Foxes

After, Becky waited for us where the bobcat and foxes resided. Becky then educated us on both amazing species. We learned that bobcats can spray about 10 feet to mark their territory. We even got a full demonstration as we jumped back from Bobby( the bobcat), aiming right at us! 

Bobcats are about 3 feet long, almost two feet high, and weigh about 20 lbs. Bobcats can even be found living in the wild in the Tri-State area.

Next, we learned the Red Fox. One of my takeaways was the truth of the saying of what it means to be sly like a fox!

red fox at Lakota Wolf Preserve

Fun Wolf Facts

  • There are only 2 kinds of wolves. The Red Wolf and Grey Wolf, however, the Grey wolf family has 24 different subspecies.
  • Wolves will take any domestic puppy into their pack.
  • There is one Alpha Female and one Alpha Male in each pack.
  • Alphas eat first and are the only ones who have puppies in the pack.
  • The lowest-ranking member in the wolf pack is the omega. The omega is the shyest wolf of the pack.
  • Wolves only have puppies once a year. The female is pregnant for 63 days, and the puppies will be born sometime in May.
  • There are many reasons wolves might howl. One type of howl is the alphas getting the pack together. Another is to show intruding wolf packs they have numbers. In the case at the preserve, they could be howling at a passing fire truck mistaking it for other wolves!

Visiting Lakota Preserve Wrap-up

As a huge wildlife lover, being able to see wolves up close in this type of environment made this an experience beyond words for me. With such a decline in habitat, seeing wolves in the wild is quite rare outside of Alaska. They also have a tour for serious wildlife photographers to get unobstructed views of the wolves in a stress-free environment.

I am usually pretty skeptical when it comes to animal tourism, however, I found them to do a really good job. We could tell the animals were treated with such love and that Jim and Becky were clearly part of the pack. Over a mile away, Becky began to howl, and the next thing we knew, all the wolves followed suit. Clearly, they know who’s the mama.

Thank you for reading about my experience visiting the Lakota Wolf Pack! I hope you found it educational and will consider checking out this amazing place! If you are planning to visit, please check their website for their tour days. Also, please make sure to give the utmost respect when visiting the animals and the property.

Visiting the Lakota Wolf Preserve is not only educational, but it’s definitely an experience you will always remember! Learn more here.

–  I have not been compensated for visiting the Lakota Wolf Preserve or writing this post in any way. This post comes from my personal feeling and amazing experience I had while there –

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Visiting the Lakota Wolf Preserve
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Samantha Oppenheimer

Samantha Oppenheimer (Sam Opp) quit her corporate marketing job in 2018 to travel the world and become a travel writer, blogger and content creator. She loves experiencing authentic travel experiences, photography, and nature. Sam shares helpful travel itineraries, travel tips, budget tips, and travel advice from her personal experiences. You can also find Sam's words featured in large publications including Mirror, Thrillist, and Well + Good.

2 thoughts on “Visiting the Lakota Wolf Preserve – Just Outside NYC”

  1. Thank you so much Mike, I really appreciate it! That’s such an amazing experience you had. I would have loved to do something like that. I’m sure growing up with wolves made Phoenix extra special ❤️

    Reply
  2. This was incredible to read Sam and, for me, so fitting on the painful loss you are enduring. I was blessed with visiting the Wolf Sanctuary in Yellowstone many years ago on my annual trip up there. I befriended one of the caretaker/Rangers and she let me stay after hours with her helping! My Golden, Phoenix, that I lost was born in a house with three wolves. My house has always been decorated in wolf decor. ?❤️?❤️

    Reply

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