The Wellnesste Nature Sanctuary and Our Animals

Birdwatching at Wellnesste Lodge

We believe in conservation and sustainability.  Here are Wellnesste, we have domesticated rescue and wild critters alike.  Lodging guests enjoy mingling with rescue dogs, chickens and some very vocal ducks. As you explore our little Upstate New York sanctuary, you may spot many of our wild friends including deer, turkey, bunnies, birds, squirrels, raccoons, opossums, gophers, coyotes, owls, bald eagles, salamanders, garden snakes, frogs, and many others who we share our home with.

Central New York is home to several beautiful rivers and we're lucky enough to have over a half mile of frontage on the famous East Branch of Fish Creek.  We also have two beautiful spring-fed ponds.  We invite you to explore our sanctuary while you're enjoying a cozy cabin vacation and get back to nature. Wellnesste Lodge's rural roots means that you are sure to have a peaceful, quiet, and relaxing stay.

Why We Started a Sanctuary and the Importance of Time Outdoors

Research has shown that people in the United States spend between 85 and 95 percent of their lives indoors, and 75 percent of humanity currently lives in an urban environment. With such statistics in mind, we protect and own approximately 60 acres of beautiful forests, meadows, restored crop fields, wetlands, and waterfront so that nature can do its thing and humans can enjoy the property in its natural splendor.  It’s no wonder why visitors to Wellness:té are drawn by the power of nature and come here to re-energize and de-stress.

With such diversity, visitors of all ages can enjoy many environmental/ natural activities on their own such as:

  • Self guided walks
  • Hiking (including snowshoeing, trail running, and cross-country skiing)
  • Nature photography
  • Creative writing
  • Painting & sketching
  • Bird watching
  • Wildlife study
  • Natural history studies
  • Ecological research
  • Picnics & More

We also have converted a portion of our land into Federally Protected Wetlands under the US Environmental Protection Agency in which each year birds, frogs, and other animals come to drink, migrate, rest, mate, and take care of their young. Parts of our hiking trail system leads you to this diverse ecosystem.

Each season brings new things to see and do. The following are some seasonal highlights that are visitor favorites and each provides a link with ideas for activities and attractions to enjoy during the particular month that you plan to visit Wellnesste Lodge for your vacation cabin getaway...


Watch for bright orange newts and spring peepers milling about by the edge of Froggie and Mirror Pond on rainy nights. The spectacular flowers of trout lilies & spring beauties brighten the woodlands. The field cricket makes its familiar crreeek-crreek sound by rubbing its wings together- not its legs, as commonly believed.


Be on the lookout for the great blue heron… a beautiful wading bird that has comb-like structure on the claw of its middle toe, apparently for grooming its plumage. Listen for honeybees who “dance” to communicate the location of pollen or nectar to others in their hive. Beautiful dragonflies and damselflies bask in the hot summer days on the river’s edge using the river rocks as tanning planks. Also watch out for a plethera of butterflies roaming Wellnesste's 60 acres of mixed ecosystems.


Look for white & black oak acorns, beech nuts, hickory nuts and more as they have fallen to the ground. These native nuts are an important food for animals as large as white-tailed deer and as small as deer mice. Ready your binoculars to spot yellow-bellied sapsuckers drilling holes in trees so they can return later to lap up the sap. Did you know that central New York white pine logs which were often harvested in the Fall & were once in great demand as masts for shipbuilding. Today, white pines provide year-round shelter for porcupines and other critters.


The white stillness of December through February leaves short days to wander and long nights to sit by the warmth of the hearth to enjoy a good pipe and book. While cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, you may hear a great horned owl. These large owls rear their young in the dead of winter. In late winter, witch hazel’s yellow blossoms add a splash of color to the landscape. Pine siskin’s, redpolls, finches and chickadees stop by the feeders to share in a wholesome meal of black sunflower seeds.