Kings Bay Wildlife Management Area
Kings Bay Wildlife Management Area is 683 acres in size and is located on the western shore of the northernmost reach of Lake Champlain, in the Town of Champlain in Clinton County, N.Y. The land was acquired by the state in the 1960's, primarily for waterfowl habitat enhancement.
Formerly an agricultural area where hay, small grains,and firewood were harvested, the Kings Bay Wildlife Management Area is now comprised of hardwood swamp, cattail marsh and reverted cattle pasture. Because of its agricultural history, the area provided an ideal base to practice wildlife management.
A half mile trail, from the parking lot off the Point Au Fer road, offers the visitor a pleasant hike through mature timber of maple, beech and ash. Red foxes, whitetail deer, raccoons and squirrels share these woods and one never knows what one may encounter on this delightful stroll to Catfish Bay.
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 Kings Bay while muskrat and mink attract the interest of trappers.
Rules For Use
The Kings 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.
During the winter months the gate barring the access road to Catfish Bay is opened for ice-fishing. All terrain vehicles and snowmobiles are allowed to travel the road to accommodate the placing and removal of ice shanties by the public.
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
Techniques which have improved the area for waterfowl and other wildlife include the construction of potholes and ditches which create open water in otherwise dense vegetation. 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. This management has been funded through federal taxes on sporting arms and ammunition.
During the spring and fall, migrating waterfowl are a prime attraction. Visitors may observe wood ducks, black ducks, mallards, teal and canada geese.
The DEC's natural heritage program has identified rare and species of special concern that utilize Kings Bay Wildlife Management Area. One of these is the black tern. Black terns are unique among other species of terns found in New York, since they nest in inland fresh water marshes. The nests are found in areas where there is a mix of emergent plants and open water. This species uses muskrat feeding platforms and areas where dead emergent vegetation has become lodged on a substrate for nesting sites. Black tern numbers have declined statewide and the species is under consideration for threatened or endangered status. Other rare species to look for when visiting the site are northern harrier, least bittern, black-crowned night- heron, and pied-bill grebe.
A common sight at Kings Bay Wildlife Management Area is the blue heron. This bird has clearly recovered from the killing and habitat loss which reduced its numbers at the turn of the century. It is a widespread species which breeds throughout the state with the exception of the coastal lowlands of Long Island where it is now only a nonbreeding summer resident. The Heron eats fishes, insects, crustaceans, amphibians and small mammals like mice and shrews. It can often be seen foraging in shallow water and along the edge of wet meadows.
Take Exit 42 of the Adirondack Northway (I-87). Turn east on State Route 11 - turn right if coming from the south or turn left if coming from the north. Take State Route 11 approximately 5 miles to State Route 9B in the Village of Rouses Point.Turn right onto State Route 9B (Lake Street) south. There are a number of parking areas that can be accessed off of State Route 9B.
- Take State Route 9B south 0.6 mile and turn left onto Stony Point Road. A parking area is on the left near the intersection of 9B and Stony Point Road. Continue down Stony Point Road 0.5 mile to another parking area.
- Take State Route 9B south 1.5 miles and turn left onto Carney Road. A small parking area is on the left.
- Take State Route 9B south 1.8 miles and turn left onto dirt road directly across from Leggett Road. The parking area is at the end of the 0.1 mile long dirt road.
- Take State Route 9B south 2.1 miles and turn left onto Point Au Fer Road. Travel 0.6 miles and turn left onto a short dirt road. The parking area is just a short distance down the road.
- Take State Route 9B south 2.1 miles and turn left onto Dumont Road. The parking areas is located at the end of 0.5 mile long Dumont Road.
The Kings Bay WMA map shows the location of roads, parking areas and other facilities.