COMING JUNE 29, 2024


NEW IN 2024

Let the Good Times Roll.

The Wild Center is introducing a brand new experience where you and your young explorers can engage with nature in an exciting new way.   It’s called a Ball Run, and it’s an elevated track where you release special wooden balls and watch gravity do its thing.  A number of these ball run stations have been placed along the beautiful Fen Trail—also new to The Wild Center this summer. 

It’s interactive, it’s educational, and above all, it’s a fascinating and fun new way to experience the natural world in a natural setting.

A Fen-tastic New Trail

Raquette River Roll runs along the brand-new Fen Trail, a half-mile path through the forest down to a scenic and vitally important ecosystem along the Raquette River known as a fen.  

Trailside Tracks

A number of new ball runs, all made from natural materials, have been thoughtfully designed to evoke the intricate web of relationships in the wild of the Adirondacks.  These ball runs are located just alongside the new Fen Trail, so there are multiple opportunities to spark your family’s curiosity and engage with nature in an exciting new way. 

Purchase a wooden ball from The Wild Center made especially for the ball runs, then release the balls down the wooden tracks and watch the fun happen. 

Trail Tales

As you wander the Fen Trail, explore exhibits along the way that tell stories of the intricate connections between plants, animals, and their Adirondack environment, and the delicate balance needed for this ecosystem to thrive.

What to Expect

A leisurely stroll along the Fen Trail takes about 20-25 minutes round trip.  If you want to engage with the ball run stations along the way you might spend up to an hour and a half.  Another plus: the gradual grade of the Fen Trail means it's also an all persons trail.


The Fen Trail and Raquette River Roll will open to the public on Saturday, June 29.  Access to the Fen Trail is open year-round. Raquette River Roll is seasonal.

Ready to roll?

Raquette River Roll balls are $6 and are available on-site or in our online store. Order ahead of time to have it delivered to your home and have a chance to customize the ball before arriving.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a fen?

A fen is like a special type of wetland, sort of like a soggy, marshy area full of tall grasses, reeds, and maybe even some small trees.

Now, why are fens important? Think of them as nature's superheroes. Fens help soak up extra rainwater like a giant sponge, which helps prevent flooding in our neighborhoods. They're also like a hotel for lots of different plants and animals. Birds might build nests there, frogs might lay eggs in the water, and bugs and butterflies can find food.

Plus, fens are great at cleaning water. They filter and make the water cleaner and fresher for everyone who needs it.

How long is the trail?

The trail is a 2,700 foot down-and-back, all persons trail.  It takes about 25-30 minutes to traverse.

Can I do Raquette River Roll without a Wild Center ticket?

The Raquette River Roll experience is to ticketed Wild Center visitors only.  

How do I get a ball?

Special Raquette River Roll wooden balls are available at the on-site Wild Supply Co. Museum Store, a claw machine at the trailhead of the Fen Trail, and our online store.