When we first visited Farm Sanctuary my daughter and I were driving between Watkins Glen and Hammondsport on our way back toward Rochester along CR-23. When we saw the sign for the sanctuary, we both looked at each other and immediately turned down the rocky road, excited for the opportunity to check it out.
When we arrived, the parking lot was jam packed because there was a large retreat taking place—they were closed to the public for the weekend. After spending a few minutes talking with the staff in the gift shop, we headed back out to the parking lot where 80% of the vehicles were sporting inclusive, cruelty free and vegan bumper stickers. I said to my then-vegetarian-now-vegan daughter “We’ve found your tribe!”
A year later, we were able to return, with my older then-vegetarian-now-vegan daughter as well, for the full Farm Sanctuary experience. The sanctuary sits on 175 acres in Watkins Glen, just west of Sugar Hill State Forest and is home to more than 500 rescued farm animals.
Our tour guide explained the history, mission, and values of the sanctuary.
We were able to spend quality time making friends with the animals and listening to their stories.
Our focus is primarily day trips, but it would be unfortunate not to mention that the sanctuary has overnight accommodations. You can spend the night at Farm Sanctuary in a cabin or a tiny house. This is a very popular experience for city-dwellers who wish to immerse themselves in the sights and sounds of farm life. The dark, starry skies that are revealed far from city lights are great, too.
More information about Farm Sanctuary
- Cost: Free to wander; fee for a highly-recommended 1-hour guided walking tour
- Located in Watkins Glen, 1 hour 45 minutes / 90 miles from Rochester (get directions)
- More Information: farmsanctuary.org
- Try these as well: Nature Centers, Wildlife Preserves, Management Areas, Refuges, and Observatories