If you are looking for a great fall adventure with the kids or grandkids, you might want to venture out to Varysburg to the Hidden Valley Animal Adventure, a family-owned attraction that has been open for three seasons.
Varysburg is about 20 minutes south of Batavia. The drive through the rolling hills of Genesee and Wyoming counties was beautiful last week, with the fall foliage just starting to peak. It should get even better in the coming days. I especially loved the view of the windmill farms as you drive down Route 98. You have to take a few back roads to get to the park, but when you crest the final hill, it’s truly amazing that a place this grand can be found in such a remote area. You can create and print your own TripTik here.
What to do
Once you get there, take a guided tractor-drawn trolley tour over 60+ acres of the animal park for an up-close look at animals in a natural setting. Herds of bison and elk roam on the hills, long-horned Oryk (native to Africa) amble through the rocky creek beds and a pair of zebra roam the field.
The knowledgeable staff prove their passion for the animals as they recount extensive animal bio-facts, give an overview of the park’s history, draw attention to the shy animals that hide in amongst the trees and input their own personality into the experience.
The tour takes about an hour and moves at a relaxed pace to best allow guests to view and experience these unique animals. Each guest receives a cup of feed, and the trolley stops to allow for feeding. Guests remain in the vehicle for safety.
If you go
- Animals you will see include wildebeest, a camel, ostriches, elk and many others not native to this continent.
- There’s plenty to see on the tour but don’t miss the small animal adventure where guests are able to feed, pet and take pictures with smaller, friendly animals.
- The park also features two restaurants inside the main lodge, which offers a spectacular view of the valley and animal park. A covered bridge and pond provide the backdrop for the restaurant’s patio. Table service as well as banquets and weddings are featured.
- Special events include Fall Festival, Halloween Party, Food and Wine Pairing and Horse drawn sleigh rides in the winter.
- Hidden Valley Animal Adventure is located at 2887 Royce Road in Varysburg. Call (585) 535-4100 for more information.
- MEMBER DISCOUNT: AAA members save $2 on tours. Learn more
What's your family's favorite fall tradition? Do you have questions or comments about visiting Hidden Valley Animal Adventure? Join the conversation in the comments below.