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High Tor Wildlife Management Area

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High Tor Wildlife Management Area (WMA) The primary purposes of High Tor WMA is for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This WMA consists of approximately 6,800 acres in Ontario and Yates Counties. It has numerous ecological habitats with many steep wooded hills, gullies, eroded cliffs and wetlands. The area is well named by the word tor which means craggy hill or peak. The largest part of High Tor WMA is approximately 3,700 acres just east of the Village of Naples and is primarily scenic steep wooded terrain, intersected by administrative truck trails usable as foot access to the more remote sections of the area. Immediately north of this area are about 2,200 acres of lowland marsh, forested wetland, and grassland which lies between State Routes 21 and 245, bordering Canandaigua Lake and extending up West River valley. This area is drained by the famous Naples Creek, known for its rainbow trout spawning runs, and the slow picturesque West River, which provides excellent bass and crappie fishing. Numerous wood duck boxes placed adjacent to the West River and its associated wetlands offer additional nesting sites for the beautiful wood duck. Other waterfowl species which frequent the area include the mallard, black duck, blue-winged and green-winged teal, plus the hooded merganser which competes with the wood duck for available nesting sites. East of the southern end of Canandaigua Lake is a third part of the area known as South Hill. This portion is composed primarily of 900 acres of overgrown fields with steep wooded hillsides. According to Indian legend, South Hill is known as the "Birthplace of the Senecas". The Seneca tribe belonged to the Iroquois Confederacy and were keepers of the "Western Door". The open areas on the top of South Hill offer excellent scenic views of the Naples and West River Valleys.

Featured Activities

Hunting and Trapping
High Tor WMA is located in Wildlife Management Unit 8N. The area offers a variety of wildlife, with the more important game species being white-tailed deer, wild turkey, ruffed grouse, cottontail rabbit, grey squirrel, waterfowl, muskrat, raccoon, mink and beaver. (View hunting seasons and trapping seasons)

High Tor WMA is open to fishing; please visit DEC's website for more information about fishing. Game fish common to the area are rainbow trout, bass, black crappie, chain pickerel, bullhead and sunfish.

Wildlife Viewing
Numerous songbirds and marshland birds may be viewed on the area. Turkey vultures are commonly viewed near the wetland area and adjacent to South Hill. The State bird, the beautiful Bluebird, may be seen nesting in hollow snags adjacent to West River, as well as, in artificial nest boxes placed for their use on the upland portions of the area. Use both the Wildlife Management Area Mammal Checklist (PDF) (85 KB) and Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF) (240 KB) as wildlife viewing guides.

High Tor WMA Brown Sign


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Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Activity Rules & Regulations

The following activities are not permitted in High Tor 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

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's Website). Also, practice Leave No Trace (Leaves DEC's website) principles when recreating on state land to enjoy the outdoors responsibly; minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts.

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How We Manage

Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, High Tor 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. View the Habitat Management Plan for High Tor Wildlife Management Area (PDF) (2.65 MB), approved in July 2016, which identifies the WMA-specific target species and habitat goals for the WMA.

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.