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wolf hollow ipswich MA

Ipswich, MA: Beyond the Beaches – Encountering Wolves at Wolf Hollow

I confess: I have the best husband in the world! He knows me soo well haha! For my Birthday this year (Yup, I turned the big 50) he gifted me photography session at Wolf Hollow in Ipswich, MA – a dream come true morning of photographing wolves!

My Birthday was February 3rd. I was wishing for snow on a day that I scheduled my wolf session. Not a flake in the forecast … the rest of the winter. This winter was definitely a bust. So I picked a random March morning and hoped for at least cooler temps, for the sake of the wolves enjoying a cool day.

Sleeping wolf at Wolf Hollow in Ipswich, MA
napping wolf


Wolf Hollow is a non profit wolf sanctuary and educational facility located north of Boston in the coastal town of Ipswich. I’ve lived in MA for over 20 years and learned about wolf Hollow just 4 years ago. I’ve been to the beaches in Ipswich, but how could I have missed the wolves?

Wolf Hollow is just a 30 minute drive from where I live and I’m so glad I learned about it! The address is 114 Essex Rd. and it is right across from one of the Essex Greenbelt properties, Castle Neck Reservation – these are great nature trails to take your pooch!

Wolf Hollow provides a safe haven for rescued wolves, while educating the public about their vital role in the ecosystem. Through tours and educational programs, Wolf Hollow fosters a deeper appreciation for these magnificent creatures of our planet.

nappying wolves at wolf hollow
Napping Wolves


Wolf Hollow is open on Saturdays and Sundays for their guided, educational tours. These are very informative and definitely worth a visit.

You will learn about the packs and get to observe the behaviors of gray wolves. History and survival as a species in North America will be covered, too.

The presentation will also include an enrichment activity of the main pack – very cool!!! You will be wowed!

Wolf Hollow wolves Ipswich MA

Reservations are required for a tour, and that can be done from the Wolf Hollow website. As of this post, tickets are $17.50.

The Wolves

This is what you have been waiting for! The wolves I encountered that currently reside at Wolf Hollow.

There are currently 8 wolves at wolf hollow. The grounds are divided into 3 pack areas: The Main Pack, Outback Pack 1 and Outback Pack 2

The Main Pack

There are 5 wolves that make up the largest area and are called the “Main Pack”: Akela, Qantaqa, Skadi, Togo and Vilkas. Akela and Qantaqa are “adoptive” parents to Skadi, Togo and Vilkas that turn 2 this month of April! They are so much fun to watch and love interacting closer to the fence.

This pack area had the best lighting for photos, so I spent most of my time here. The sun did become bright and I did my best despite the light challenges – wolves are a little bit more challenging and I couldn’t be telling them where to stand and pose!

Gray Wolf at Wolf Hollow in MA

There are double chain link fences around the wolves. When you are there for a photo session, you have access between the two. There are also holes in the fence where you can put your camera through. These holes were a little bit high up for me at 5’4″ and I do prefer to be at an animal’s level, so I did find myself on the ground shooting through the chain links still.

Wolf Hollow wolf pack
The Pack
Wolf Hollow wolf pair
Telling Secrets

Outback Pack 1

Spunky Linneah is the lone wolf of the Outback Pack and she was born in April of 2011. She lost her best friend, Angus, in February, 2023, and has the are to herself now. I did get to see Angus when I was there in 2022.

Don’t worry! Lineah is spoiled rotten by staff and she appears to be doing well.

Outback Pack 1 wolf hollow

Outback Pack 2

Askulee and Gaia make up the Outback Pack 2 and they are the best of friends since Gaia arrived in 2019!

Gaia is a wolf-dog hybrid that came from an NY animal shelter. I didn’t get to photograph Gaia while I was there this visit (due to the bright sun), but my previous visit I did, so I will share an image from them.

She’s beautiful! Gaia was my husband’s favorite when we visited.

Wolf Hollow wolf dog hybrid
Gaia – wolf dog hybrid (2022)

A Wolf’s Eyes

Have you ever looked into a wolf’s eyes?

Mesmerizing. Soulful. Magical.

eyes of gray wolf at wolf hollow
Vilkas-amber eyes

Most wolves have eyes that range in color from yellow to amber, light brown, and sometimes even green. Wolf pups can have bluish/gray eyes when they are born, but full grown they will not have blue eyes.

amber eyes of a wolf
Togo – amber eyes

Howling (Singing)

Did you know that a wolf’s howl can travel as far as 10 miles in open terrain? Yup! Make sure you give Wolf Hollow a follow on instagram – you will learn so much!

I was fortunate to hear the wolves “sing” during my photography session at Wolf Hollow. One started. They all followed in song. They each had their own unique voice. It gave me the chills. Goosebumps up my arms. A beautiful moment amongst these gorgeous creatures to witness.

Howling gray wolf
Howling wolf

The wolves engaging together in song brought tears to my eyes.

wolf singing at wolf hollow in MA
Singing wolf

The Photography Session

If you are a photographer, whether it be a hobbyist or professional, booking a photo session with the wolves, It’s an epic experience!

The sessions are held on weekdays, Due to lighting, it’s easier to schedule during the winter as the sunrise and sunset are closer to the available hours. It does get bright sun!

You can book a session for 1 hour and also add additional time. You have the place to yourself with one of the staff members. Kevin, a staff member, was my personal guide and was great at answering questions and sharing stories about the wolves.

Add Wolf Hollow in Ipswich, MA, to your bucket list!

4 thoughts on “Ipswich, MA: Beyond the Beaches – Encountering Wolves at Wolf Hollow”

  1. Omg I want to come and visit you so we can go and photograph the wolves together. I just realized as I’m typing this I did this exact same thing in Banff when I turned 50. How funny is that! These wolves at Wolf Hollow are gorgeous!

  2. What a wonderful b’day gift!! Such a beautiful place to visit & learn about wolves in their natural environment. Love your shots of the wolves!!!

  3. You have done a fantastic job documenting your visit to Wolf Hollow. Wonderful photos. I may just have to schedule a visit to a wolf sanctuary near me.

  4. Wow, what an amazing experience that had to be! Your images of the wolves are stunning! I’m espcially loving the howling image! Bucket List has been updated!

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