East Bay Wildlife Management Area
East Bay Wildlife Management Area encompasses 38 acres north of the Sciota Road (County Route 10) in the Town of Whitehall, Washington County. It was purchased from Donald and Ann Touch in 1984 with money from the Environmental Bond Act of 1972.
The area, known locally as part of Finch Marsh, lies in a narrow river valley among steep sided hills. A scenic; ledge borders the northern portion of the property. The rest of the marsh to the west and northwest are lands owned by the Nature Conservancy. The neighborhood around the marsh is used for agriculture and rural residential purposes. Land sales, researched by local real estate appraisers, demonstrate a growing recreational and second home market, as indicated by the number of out-of-town buyers.
Hunting, fishing and trapping are integral parts of the conservation and management of New York's natural resources and the various Wildlife Management Areas across the state are no exception. Waterfowl entice hunters to East Bay while muskrat and mink attract the interest of trappers.
In Washington County, east of the Village of Whitehall, an accessible wildlife viewing platform overlooks the wetland known locally as Finch Marsh. The platform is located along Sciota Road (County Route 10) and is marked by a DEC facility sign. The platform sits about 50 feet from the parking area and is connected by an accessible path. A two-panel kiosk provides information on the property and the area's wildlife resources. To ensure the best viewing opportunity, make note of the wildlife listed on this web page and visit during the appropriate season with field guides and binoculars. There is no port-a-john at this location.
Full Listing of DEC's Accessible Recreation Destinations
From Whitehall, take US Route 4 east for 1 mile. Turn left onto County Route 9A and proceed 1 mile to end. Turn right onto County Route 9 and proceed ½ mile. Turn left on Stalker Rd. and proceed ½ mile to end. Turn right on Sciota Rd. (County Route 10) and proceed for ¼ mile. The WMA and parking area is on the left.
Rules For Use
The East Bay Wildlife Management Area is open year-round for hunting, fishing, hiking, trapping and other forms of wildlife enjoyment in accordance with the Environmental Conservation Law and regulations. Please check the annual syllabus for season dates 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, overnight camping, fires, and the use of all motorized vehicles or motorized water conveyances unless specifically stated.
Please Observe Good Outdoor Manners: If You Carry It In, Carry It Out
The majority of the parcel is emergent marsh. Emergent marshes are areas that have approximately six inches of water during the growing season or permanently. The dominant plants are "emergent" species such as cattails, arrowhead, pickerel weed, rush and smartweed to name a few.
The wetland portion of the property has also been designated as a flood hazard zone. Flooding occurs not only during heavy rains and intense spring thaws, but also during periods of prolonged Northerly winds in which the water from Lake Champlain is displaced to the south.
Emergent marshes are considered the most valuable of our wetland areas and East Bay Wildlife Management Area is no exception. Here, waterfowl can be found in abundance, using the area for resting during the spring and fall migrations and for rearing young ducklings during the summer months. Observers should look for mallards, black duck, teal, merganser and wood ducks.
The productive quality of the marsh is such that it produces high numbers of muskrats. During the winter months, muskrat houses can easily be seen protruding above the ice and snow. These valuable and prolific furbearers also share their wetland home with beaver, mink and otter.
Rare species to look for when visiting the site are northern harrier, least bittern, black-crowned night-heron, pied-bill grebe, osprey and even the peregrine falcon which nests on nearby Diameter Mountain.
From the Village of Whitehall take Route 4 approximately 1 mile east from State Route 22. Turn left onto County Route 9. Continue on County Route 9 approximately 2 miles northeast to County Route 10. Turn left onto County Route 10 and travel north approximately 1.5 miles. The parking area is on the left next to a large DEC sign.
The East Bay WMA map shows the location of roads, parking areas and other facilities.