Department of Environmental Conservation

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Parcel 45 Wildlife Management Area

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karner blue butterfly

Parcel 45 Wildlife Management Area (WMA) The primary purposes of the Parcel 45 Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. The WMA is located on the south side of New York State Route 50, just north of the Saratoga Mall. It was acquired because of unpaid taxes as a parcel of Forest Preserve, detached from the Adirondack Park, in 1928. The area is approximately 59 acres in size. New York State considered selling the property in 1979, however, the parcel was removed from the auction and transferred to the Bureau of Wildlife to manage and sustain a population of the endangered Karner blue butterfly. The habitat presently includes a remnant of the Pine Barrens ecosystem of pitch pine, scrub oak, sweet fern, and blueberry, as well as invading white pine, grey birch, hazelnut, aspen, cinquefoil and bracken fern.

Featured Activities

Hunting and Trapping
Parcel 45 WMA is located in Wildlife Management Unit 5J. White-tail deer entice archers to Parcel 45 while fox and coyote attract the interest of trappers. Squirrels and rabbits are abundant on the property making it a popular destination for small game hunters, especially youth hunters. (View hunting seasons and trapping seasons)

Wildlife Viewing
A hiking trail on the parcel provides access to the interior for improved wildlife viewing opportunities. Karner Blue Butterfly, ruffed grouse, white-tailed deer, red fox, raccoon, grey squirrel, rabbit and songbirds frequent this area. Use the Wildlife Management Area Mammal Checklist (PDF) (85KB) and the Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF) (240 KB) as a wildlife viewing guides.

Parcel 45 Brown Sign

Directions

Take Exit 15 of the Adirondack Northway (I-87). Turn east onto State Route 50 - turn right if coming from the south or turn left if coming from the north. Take State Route 50 north. The parking area is on the right 1.4 miles from the exit, about 0.2 miles northeast of the Wilton Mall, directly across from Perry Road, look for large DEC sign.- Get Google Map Driving Directions (Leaves DEC website)

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Activity Rules & Regulations

The following activities are not permitted in Parcel 45 WMA:

  • Unless specifically stated, using motorized vehicles, including:
    • all-terrain vehicles
    • snowmobiles
    • motorboats
  • Swimming or bathing
  • Camping
  • Kindling fires
  • 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
  • Picking or damaging lupine plants

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) 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

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Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, Parcel 45 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.

In the open field and along the sandy access road grows the wild blue lupine. Lupine is the only food plant of the Karner blue caterpillar. Eggs are glued by adult females to the underside of lupine leaves or stems. In seven days they hatch as small, pea green caterpillars, exactly the color of the lupine leaf. They eat partly through the leaf, leaving translucent spots and producing a sweet secretion which attracts ants that perhaps protect it from predators and parasites. The larva grows 30 days before pupating. The adults are able to feed on the nectar of several other species.

The topside of adult male Karner blue butterfly wings are blue and have white fringes along the edge of the wing. The female is deep violet in the center and grades to dark brown toward the outer edge. The underside of the wings of both sexes are the same. Each are pale grey with white-ringed black spots and orange dots aligned in rows near the hind wing edge and often along the edge of the forewing as well. It is the orange dots that help distinguish it from two look-alike's: the eastern tailed blue, which has only two or three orange dots as well as a tiny tail; and the spring azure, which has no orange dots.

The Bureau of Wildlife annually mows the field to encourage the growth of the wild blue lupine plant. Without mowing, other plant species will outgrow the lupine and force the plant to lay dormant in its root stage.

Tourism Information for Nearby Attractions, Amenities & Activities

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.

DEC Lands and Facilities

Numerous amenities are available in close proximity to the WMA in Wilton and Saratoga Springs.