Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Montys Bay Wildlife Management Area

hunttrapfishbirdhikeparkicon key

Montys Bay WMA Locator Map

The primary purposes of Montys Bay Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. The WMA is 318 acres in 2 separate parcels and includes a hardwood swamp at the south end of Montys Bay on the western shore of Lake Champlain and a section of wetlands and agricultural uplands bordering Riley Brook. On the parcel east of Lake Shore Road is a majestic old-growth silver maple-ash swamp. It covers most of the periphery of Point Au Roche swamp, like a horseshoe that grades into shrub swamp and emergent marsh at the south end of Montys Bay.

As you enter the flood plain you will see massive cottonwoods, oaks, and silver maple - probably one of the oldest stands along Lake Champlain. Make sure to wear waterproof foot gear. This old growth forest provides hollow nesting cavities for tree-nesting species like wood ducks and songbirds. Hollow trees also provide winter denning areas for the resident raccoon population, squirrels, and other furbearers.

These parcels of land were acquired in 1966 with funding provided by the Park and Recreational Land Acquisitional Bond Act of 1960 and the Environmental Bond Act of 1972.

Featured Activities

Hiking

hike

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

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

Hunting and Trapping

hunt
trap

Wildlife Management Unit: 5A

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

Deer and waterfowl entice hunters to Montys Bay while muskrat and mink attract the interest of trappers. Please be sure to abide by all game laws (view hunting seasons and trapping seasons).

Fishing

fish

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

Lake Champlain contains a variety of species. The shallow waters of Montys Bay is a popular place to fish for yellow perch, sunfish, largemouth bass, bowfin, northern pike, pickerel, and bullhead. The foot trail from the parking area at the end of Harmony Lane provides access to Lake Champlain for fishing from shore or ice fishing.

Wildlife

bird

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

Spectacular seasonal migrations of waterfowl will delight wildlife observers. Spring rains and high lake water from winter's thaw fills troughs and potholes in the area's grain fields. This attracts countless varieties of puddle ducks and other migrating birds. During the fall, the same fields become stop-over places for great flocks of Canada and snow geese as they make their long trek south from northern breeding grounds. Use the Wildlife Management Area Mammal Checklist (PDF 453 KB) and the Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF 240 KB) as wildlife viewing guides.

Monty Bay Brown Sign

Directions

Take Exit 40 of the Adirondack Northway (I-87). Turn east onto Spellman Road - turn right if coming from the south or left if coming from the north. Take Spellman Road east 0.5 mile to State Route 9. Turn right onto State Route 9. Take Route 9 south for 0.4 miles to Point Au Roche Road. Turn left onto Point Au Roche Road (County Route 22). Take Point Au Roche Road 1.7 miles east to Lake Shore Road and turn left onto Lake Shore Road.

  • To access the agricultural lands and surrounding forested swamplands: Take Lake Shore Road north for 1.6 miles to a parking area on the left side of the road (44.805°N,-73.3977°W) - Get Google Map Driving Directions (leaves DEC website).
  • To access the shore of Lake Champlain and the silver maple swamp: Take Lake Shore Road north for 0.2 miles and turn right onto Cemetery Road. Take Cemetery Road 1.7 miles to Dickinson Point Road. Take Dickson Point Road north for 1.7 miles to Harmony Lane. Turn left onto Harmony Lane. The parking area is on the left 0.1 mile, just pass the 90° turn in the road. Please note: Harmony Lane is a private road, please do not park on the road (44.8133°N,-73.3774°W) - Get Google Map Driving Directions (leaves DEC website).

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 Montys Bay 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 Montys Bay WMA:

  • Unless specifically stated, 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 Montys Bay Wildlife Management Area

wildlife restoration logo

Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, Montys Bay 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.

On the wildlife management area west of Lake Shore Road is an active agricultural field. Every fifth year, farmers bid on 110 acres of prime farmland to plant crops needed in the local dairy industry. Lessees are required to observe certain basic requirements or restrictions for good farm practices not in conflict with wildlife management for the Montys Bay Wildlife Management Area plan.

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 are available in the nearby communities of Beekmantown, Plattsburgh, and Chazy.

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.