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Carters Pond Wildlife Management Area

huntingtrappingicon for fishing showing a fish and a hookbird viewing arearamp boat launchinterpretivehikingaccess for people with disabilitiesparkingicon key

Carters Pond WMA Locator Map

The primary purposes of Carters Pond Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. The 446.5 acre management area is dedicated to Philip A. Dustin, an avid conservationist and charter member of the Waterfowl Improvement Association. The Association, a group of sportsmen, encouraged New York's acquisition of Carters Pond as a waterfowl management area.

Featured Activities

Hiking

hiking

General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.

a forest with a wet marshy area

Please stay on the designated trails to protect the diversity and richness of the plant communities found within this area.

Hunting and Trapping

hunting
trapping

Wildlife Management Unit: 5S

General information on hunting and general information on trapping include how-to and safety tips with links to seasons, rules, and regulations.

Ducks, woodcock, grouse, pheasants, and deer attract hunters to the area in October and November, although small game hunting is popular throughout the season. DEC releases ring-necked pheasants in the area prior to the youth and regular hunting seasons. Muskrats, mink, and foxes attract the most interest from trappers. Please be sure to abide by all game laws (view hunting seasons and trapping seasons).

Fishing

icon for fishing showing a fish and a hook

General information on fishing includes how-to and safety tips and links to seasons, rules, and regulations

A major summer and winter family activity at Carters Pond is fishing. Among the chief game fish species are largemouth bass, chain pickerel, crappie, northern pike, bluegill, sunfish, and bullhead. A hand boat launch is located off of Route 49 on Carter Pond. Electric motor boats are permitted.

Interpretive Trail

interpretive
Accessible nature trail at Carters Pond WMA
Accessible nature trail at Carters Pond.

The mile long Nature trail was constructed in 1980 by the combined efforts of the Washington County Youth Conservation Corps and members of the Waterfowl Improvement Association. In 2012, staff and volunteers made half of the loop into a fully accessible trail. The trail offers an opportunity to learn more about nature and examine the relationship between wildlife, habitat, soils, and climate. There are many species of trees, plants, fungi, and ferns to identify along the path in both upland and wetland habitat communities.

Wildlife

bird viewing area

General information on animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.

Carters Pond WMA is identified as a Bird Conservation Area (BCA). New York State Bird Conservation Areas are state-owned lands and waters designated to safeguard and enhance populations of birds in New York State. These areas provide important habitats for birds. In spring and summer, many birds rely on these areas for breeding, food, and shelter. Some birds winter at BCA's, while others use BCA's as resting and feeding areas during migration. BCA's are designated as they support one or more of the following: an unusually high diversity of bird species; large concentrations of one or more bird species; endangered, threatened, or rare bird species; or an exceptional or rare bird habitat.

Use the Wildlife Management Area Mammal Checklist (PDF 453 KB) and the Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF 240 KB) as wildlife viewing guides.

Carters Pond WMA Trail

Accessible Features

access for people with disabilities

General information on accessible recreation includes links to other locations with accessible recreation opportunities and information on permits for motorized access.

A wheelchair accessible half-mile loop trail and path to an elevated viewing platform exists within the nature trail described above. The accessible loop trail goes through several habitat areas, providing views of wooded wetlands, upland forest, and the large marshy pond. The trail has a hardened stone dust surface and includes a boardwalk, several foot bridges, and ample passing spaces. It is connected to a designated accessible parking area. There is no privy at this location.

A shorter trail leads from the accessible parking area up a very slight grade to a point where it meets a wooden boardwalk with railings. The level board walk extends out toward the pond as the surrounding ground slopes fairly steeply down to the water's edge. The short board walk ends at a small deck with railings that allows room for a wheelchair to turn around. The viewing platform at the end of the boardwalk provides a pleasant bird's eye view of the pond.

Carters Pond WMA Brown Sign

Directions

From the Village of Greenwich, take State Route 29 east approximately 6.5 miles to County Route 49.

All Google links leave DEC website.

Turn left onto County Route 49 and continue north.

  • A large parking area is located on the right, 1.6 miles from the intersection of State Route 29 and County Route 49 which provides access to the universally accessible observation tower and nature trail (43.164528°N,-73.42373°W) - Get Google Map Driving Directions
  • A large parking area is located on the right 1.9 miles from the intersection of State Route 29 and County Route 49 which provides access to a car top boat launch for Carters Pond (43.1633987°N,-73.4160995°W) - Get Google Map Driving Directions

Two other parking areas located in the northern part of the Carter's Pond WMA can be accessed from Mill Road. Turn right onto Mill Road 3.5 miles from the County Route 49/State Route 29 intersection (43.180214°N,-73.41961°W) - Get Google Map Driving Directions

  • The first parking is located on the right 0.5 mile from County Route 49.
  • Travel another 0.2 mile to the end of Mill Road, turn right onto Ferguson Road and a second parking lot will be on the right 0.2 mile from Mill Road.

All coordinates provided are in decimal degrees using NAD83/WGS84 datum.

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Practice Leave No Trace Principles (leaves DEC website) when recreating on state land to enjoy the outdoors responsibly; minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts with other users.

All users of Carters Pond Wildlife Management Area must follow all State Land Use Regulations and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of the user and protection of the resource.

Activity Rules & Regulations

The following activities are not permitted in Carters Pond WMA:

  • Using motorized vehicles, including:
    • all-terrain vehicles
    • snowmobiles
    • motorboats
  • Swimming or bathing
  • Camping
  • Using metal detectors, searching for or removing historic or cultural artifacts without a permit
  • Damaging or removing gates, fences, signs, or other property
  • Overnight storage of boats
  • Cutting, removing, or damaging living vegetation
  • Construction of permanent blinds or other structures such as tree stands
  • Littering
  • Storage of personal property

Outdoor Safety Tips

NOTE: Ticks are active whenever temperatures are above freezing, but especially so in the late spring and early fall. Deer ticks can transmit Lyme and several other diseases. More information on deer ticks and Lyme disease can be obtained from the NYS Department of Health (leaves DEC website).

How We Manage Carters Pond Wildlife Management Area

wildlife restoration logo

Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, Carters Pond WMA is managed by DEC's Division of Fish and Wildlife for wildlife conservation and wildlife-associated recreation (hunting, trapping, wildlife viewing, and photography). Funding to maintain and manage this site is provided by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration or "Pittman-Robertson" Act, which is acquired through excise taxes on sporting arms, ammunition, and archery equipment.

A nest box with a view of Carter's Pond
Nest box on Carter's Pond.

The woodlands, open areas, modern farming activity, brush, and wetlands provide a diverse habitat for a variety of wildlife species. Wood duck nesting boxes erected by both the Waterfowl Improvement Association and the DEC are scattered around the marsh. Wood ducks, hooded mergansers, screech owls, saw-whet owls, and tree swallows have been observed using these boxes.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

Web links below can provide information about other recreation, attractions, and amenities in this area.

Gas, food and supplies, dining, and lodging is available in the nearby community of Greenwich.

State Lands and Facilities

Numerous guide books and maps are available with information on the lands, waters, trails, and other recreational facilities in this area. These can be purchased at most outdoor equipment retailers, bookstores, and on-line booksellers.

Additional information, outdoor equipment, trip suggestions, and guided or self-guided tours may be obtained from outdoor guide and outfitting businesses. Check area chambers of commerce, telephone directories, or search the internet for listings.

Consider hiring an outdoor guide if you have little experience or woodland skills. See the NYS Outdoor Guides Association (leaves DEC website) for information on outdoor guides.