Hidden Valley Animal Adventure is the creation of Hans Boxler, a successful dairy farmer here in Wyoming County. Hans’ father, who was from Switzerland, traveled across the rough Atlantic on the Queen Mary’s maiden voyage to New York with the intention of settling in sunny California. On his way west, he came across the rolling hills of Varysburg which reminded him of home, and he decided to start his dairy farm and family right here raising three children: Hans, Gretchen and Mary.
Hans grew up with a love for animals. In 2002 he bought some bison and elk, and then eventually a camel. People were curious and stopped to ask about the unusual animals. This is how the vision of Hidden Valley was born—a place where he could share his passion for animals and this picturesque valley with the public (not to mention to help cover the cost of feed).
Ground was broken in 2005 and five years later in 2010 Hidden Valley Animal Adventure opened.
Along with the park, the original vision included a hot dog stand to serve our guests. But the plans quickly grew into a restaurant, banquet hall and two hotel rooms housed in a beautiful timber frame lodge. Why two hotel rooms? The hotel rooms are the result of a local law dating back to the end of prohibition in 1933 which requires establishments that sell liquor have overnight lodging.
Today, park guests enjoy a Wild Game Safari guided trolley tour over two miles of trails on 63 acres of land. Each guest receives a cup of grain to feed the animals, getting up close and personal with some 300 animals. Guests may also visit our Small Animal Adventure where they walk among the smaller, friendly animals. All together, Hidden Valley is home to over 400 animals representing 40 species from around the world.
Hans unexpectedly passed in July 2016 but his dream and legacy carry on. What started out as a hobby is now being shared with thousands—including not just park guests, but school and group tours, wedding parties, corporate banquets, snowmobilers, diners and many more.