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Carters Pond Wildlife Management Area

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Carters Pond WMA Locator Map

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Carters Pond WMA Duck Box

Carters Pond Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. The 446.5 acre management area that was 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

Hunting and Trapping
Carters Pond WMA is located in Wildlife Management Unit 5S. 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. (View hunting seasons and trapping seasons)

Carters Pond WMA is open to fishing; please visit DEC's website for more information about fishing. 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.

Carters Pond WMA onoclea sensibilis

Interpretive Trail
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 Viewing
Carters Pond WMA is an identified 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 a wildlife viewing guides.

Carters Pond WMA Trail


access for people with disabilities

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

Full listing of DEC's Accessible Recreation Destinations.


Carters Pond WMA Trail

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

All Google links leave DEC's 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 - 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 - 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 - 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.

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Carters Pond WMA Flood Forest

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

Carters Pond Beaver Cut

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). Also, practice Leave No Trace (Leaves DEC website) principles when recreating on state land to enjoy the outdoors responsibly; minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts.

How We Manage

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/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.

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 the Waterfowl Improvement Association and Department are scattered around the marsh. Wood ducks, hooded mergansers, screech and saw-whet owls, and tree swallows have been observed using these boxes.

Tourism Information for Nearby Attractions, Amenities & Activities

Carters Pond Beaver Hut

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.

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

Nearby State Lands

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