Seacrest Wolf Preserve is a nonprofit organization located in Chipley, Florida. It focuses on educating the public on the importance of wolves to our ecosystem. They do this by giving tours through their wolf preserve, and allowing you to interact with the wolves in their care. My girlfriend / best friend / travel companion Michele planned this trip as a surprise, and boy was I shocked!
Of course, if you’re going to be traveling to Chipley (not an easy drive for anyone not in the Florida Panhandle), you’ll want to know the price, right? The group tour through the wolf enclosures is $25 per person. That includes access to the Gray Wolf, Arctic Wolf, and British Columbian Wolf habitats, as well as the Small Animal Adventure. If you visit during May and June, there might be wolf puppies! For an additional $10, you can sit in an enclosed pen and play with wolf pups, which we were lucky enough to do. This was by far the highlight of the trip!
VIP tours are available for $200, which allows for 1-on-1 interaction with the wolves, and you can bring in whatever camera you choose (more on that in the rules section). You can camp on the preserve grounds for $20.00 per tent per night, which doesn’t include electricity. If you want electricity, it’s a $25.00 per tent per night fee. RV/Camper fees are $25 per night with access to electricity. For more information on tours and camping, click here.
Since these wolves are still wild animals, there are strict rules when going into the wolf enclosures. You must wear a crew neck shirt, long pants, and close-toed shoes. Many items are not allowed inside the wolf habitats, such as: nonprescription sunglasses, backpacks, water bottles, cell phones and digital cameras (only disposable cameras are allowed). This is both for our protection and the wolves’ safety. It’s for our protection because open clothing could mean getting scratched, and wolves could see cell phones / cameras / backpacks as toys and thoroughly shred them (the attendants showed us clothing items that were destroyed within seconds). It is for the wolves’ protection because any of these items, if swallowed, could cause them serious harm. That would cause the tour to stop and the wolves to need an emergency vet visit. For more information about the rules, click here to see Seacrest’s full list of safety precautions.
What to Expect
The tour starts off with a quick introduction, where the tour guide gives a last-minute instruction on the rules, a brief safety precaution on interacting with the wolves, and answers any questions you might have. There are several tours throughout the day, but they fill up very fast, so be sure to call ahead and get a reservation. There have been an incredible amount of visitors (several thousand a day), and they’ve had to turn away many people because they can’t handle the capacity. Click here to learn more and book your tour.
To begin, the tour guide brings your group into the first wolf enclosure, which houses Gray Wolves, and sits everyone down in rows. Then, they walk the resident Grays through the crowd, leading them by throwing bits of raw meat on the ground. You can reach out and touch / scratch / pet the wolves as they pass by. The guide gives a bit of backstory on each individual wolf and tells about how the pack operates. Then, you’re guided to see the wolves’ den, and down to the lake to watch them play in the water. You might even get to hear them howl! The guides will then line up the whole pack and you can take photos with the all of the wolves, which you can purchase at the end of the tour for $35. You can see Michele and I’s photo below!
After the Gray Wolf enclosure, you’re given a short break before visiting the Arctic Wolf habitat. Be sure to watch out for Yeti, she’s been known to steal shoes/shoelaces/boots! After that, you’re led to the Small Animal Adventure and the British Columbian Wolf habitat. Now, on to the most adorable (and my favorite) part of the tour, wolf puppies.
If you’re lucky, there might be wolf puppies when you visit! The pups are only available for interaction for a short time, May and June only, before they’re taken away to be slowly integrated into the wolf pack. During those two months, the puppies are exposed to as many people as possible, in order to acclimate them to being around humans. This is the Ambassador Wolf program, and it allows you and I to be able to walk through the Seacrest watch these majestic creatures. This was by far the best part of the tour. If you want to see me play tug-of-war with an Arctic Wolf pup, watch the video below!
Thanks for reading!
Do you plan on taking the opportunity to play with wolf puppies? Comment below and let me know!