Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area
Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area encompasses 660 acres adjacent to Lake Champlain along U.S. Highway Route 9 in the Town of Peru, Clinton County. The land for this management area was acquired in 1950 from the Peru Development Company.
Over thousands of years, water-borne materials have been deposited by the Ausable River at its juncture with Lake Champlain. This has created a fertile delta at the river's mouth which has been utilized by mankind for centuries. Prior to state ownership, the area was used primarily for agriculture and timber harvesting. Today, Ausable Marsh is managed by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for a variety of recreational and scientific purposes, including: natural resources education, wildlife observation and photography, fishing, trapping, hunting, and canoeing. One of the primary objectives is to provide nesting and feeding habitat to a variety of waterfowl.
An easily accessible foot trail, about a mile long, has been constructed along the dike so visitors can access the management area. The foot trail is used for recreation, hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and education.
The trail helps direct visitors to various points of interest located throughout the site, including scenic vistas and unique ecological communities, offering individuals an opportunity to learn more about nature and examine the relationship between habitat and wildlife. Thus, Ausable Marsh offers a chance for visitors with widely diverse interests, from sportsmen to wildlife researcher, to pursue their favorite outdoor activity.
Informational sign boards along the Ausable Point Campground access road provide visitors with information on the many species of wildlife found in the Ausable Marsh.
A unimproved boat launch for small trailered boats located off the Ausable Point Campground access road provides access to Lake Champlain.
Car top boats may be hand launched at the parking area just prior to the campground gatehouse to access the marsh.
Hunting, fishing, trapping and other forms of wildlife-based recreation are permitted in accordance with the Environmental Conservation Law and its associated regulations. Please check the annual syllabus for appropriate regulations and season dates which apply to this wildlife management area.
The Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area has a wheelchair accessible wildlife viewing platform along the Ausable Point Campground Road. The viewing platform has it's own parking area with one designated parking spot for people with disabilities with parking for two more vehicles. A level board walk extends out into the marsh terminating at the viewing platform. There is a large bench on the platform and room for several wheelchairs.
Full Listing of DEC's Accessible Recreation Destinations
Rules For Use
Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area is open to the public throughout the year. Hunting, fishing and trapping are allowed in season on the entire area in accordance with the Environmental Conservation Law and regulations.
Boundaries and parking areas are clearly marked and any special regulations are conspicuously posted at all access points.
The following actions are prohibited: swimming, over night camping, fires, the use of all motorized vehicles, and the use of motorized water conveyances.
Please Observe Good Outdoor Manners: If You Carry It In, Carry It Out
Management techniques such as the construction of potholes, dikes and islands, as well as ditching and shoreline clearing have greatly increased the amount of waterfowl nesting and feeding habitat at the site. As a result of these efforts, wood ducks,black ducks, mallards, mergansers, teal and common goldeneyes are readily observed on the management area. In addition, wood duck nest boxes have been erected throughout the area. These artificial nest locations mimic the natural, but scarce, tree cavities utilized by this species of duck.
Fish and Wildlife
Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area consists of 12 ecological communities ranging from emergent marsh to floodplain forest. This variety in habitat allows the area to support diverse fish and wildlife populations. The DEC employs various management techniques within some of these different habitats to improve breeding and feeding conditions for numerous wildlife species. One of the ecological communities present is the marsh headwater stream. This area contains populations of brown bullhead and has breeding habitat for northern pike and largemouth bass. The plentiful supply of fish within the marsh and the Ausable River (especially landlocked Atlantic Salmon) has lured not only anglers but osprey, a threatened species in New York, to Ausable Marsh. In an effort to increase the breeding success of this vulnerable bird, the DEC, with the assistance of New York State Electric and Gas, has placed 2 artificial osprey nest platforms in the management area. As a result, ospreys have successfully bred and raised young at Ausable Marsh.
Take Exit 35 of the Adirondack Northway (I-87). Turn east onto Bear Swamp Road (Route 442) - turn right if coming from the south or turn left if coming from the north. Take Bear Swamp Road approximately 3 miles to State Route 9.
Ausable Marsh WMA can be accessed from several points along Route 9.
- Turn left onto State Route 9 north to use the Ausable Point Campground Road which will be on the right approximately 0.4 mile.
- Turn right onto State Route 9 south to use the Ausable Marsh Access Road which will be on the left 0.1 mile.
Look for the DEC signs at each location.
The accessible wildlife viewing platform is located on the Ausable Point Campground Road, one 0.5 from Route 9.
The Ausable Marsh WMA map shows the location of roads, parking areas and other facilities.