Wilmington Notch

  • Route 86, Wilmington

Renowned for its majestic beauty, the Wilmington Notch features huge cliff faces towering above the West Branch of the Ausable River. The only real option here is roadside birding, but it's worth it if you have a good eye and a spotting scope to look for peregrine falcons high on the cliff face or racing in the air in pursuit of prey.

Habitats: Exposed cliffs, riverine riparian area.

Featured birds: peregrine falcon, osprey

Season: Best during spring and early summer nesting season. The males typically return to the area sometime in March and are followed by the females some weeks later.

Location: There are several pull-offs on the western side of Route 86 that offer stunning views of the cliffs and the Ausable River.

Notes: These cliffs are off-limits to rock climbers during peregrine falcon nesting season.