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Pauline Murdock Wildlife Management Area

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Pauline Murcock WMA Locator Map

The primary purposes of Pauline Murdock Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This WMA is a 68.5 acre parcel. In 1974, the property was received as a gift from Mr. Robert B. Murdock, in memory of his wife Pauline. It was accepted as a state refuge to enhance and perpetuate local wildlife.

About 5 acres of the parcel is flood plain and the rest is a moderately steep mountain slope. A manmade canal clearly accentuates the terminus of the flood plain and the base of the mountain. This canal now directs snow melt and rainfall to a very small man made pond to a log crib dam and continues to the Boquet River.

The flood plain is currently in a pioneer old field successional stage. A variety of grasses and wildflowers compliment the area and provide seasonal color change. Wild grape vines cling to the remaining fence post and wire. Raspberry, lilac, and red barberry bushes denote buried building foundation sites. White pine, quaking aspen, speckled alder, and fire cherry are the primary woody plants. The mountain slope is a mature white pine-northern hardwood forest. The primary forest species include white pine, eastern hemlock, sugar maple, beech, red pine, and red oak.

Featured Activities

Hiking

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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.

Fishing

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

The Boquet River flows parallel to the northwest boundary line of the property. The river provides excellent brown and rainbow trout fishing.

Wildlife

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

A 700 yard nature trail has been established between Elizabethtown-Wadhams Road and High Meadows Road. The trail begins a steep incline at the log crib dam, but then levels off for the remaining distance. It offers the hiker pleasant views of songbirds as it winds through the boreal northern forest. Blue birds and cedar waxwings use the river and flood plain habitat. White-tailed deer can also be observed.

Use the Wildlife Management Area Mammal Checklist (PDF 453 KB) and the Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF 240 KB) as wildlife viewing guides.

Pauline Murdock Brown Sign

Directions

The property is approximately one-half mile east of the village of Elizabethtown and is accessible by Essex County Route 8, also known as Elizabethtown-Wadhams Road.

Take Exit 31 of the Adirondack Northway (I-87). Turn east onto State Route 9N - turn left if coming from the south or turn right if coming from the north. Take State Route 9N west 4.2 miles to State Route 9 in the Village of Elizabethtown. Turn right onto State Route 9. Take State Route 9 north 0.3 mile to County Route 8 (Elizabethtown-Wadhams Road). Take County Route 8 east about 0.5 miles to a grassy parking area next to a large DEC sign on the right side of the road (44.2229996°N,-73.5793991°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 Pauline Murdock 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 Pauline Murdock WMA:

  • Unless specifically stated, using motorized vehicles, including:
    • all-terrain vehicles
    • snowmobiles
    • motorboats
  • Hunting
  • Trapping
  • 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 Pauline Murdock Wildlife Management Area

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Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, Pauline Murdock WMA is managed by DEC's Division of Fish and Wildlife for wildlife conservation and wildlife-associated recreation (fishing, 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.

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 Elizabethtown and Westport.

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.