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High Tor

Fish and Wildlife Management Area

High Tor WMA

History and Features:

The High Tor Wildlife Management Area consists of approximately 6,100 acres in Ontario and Yates Counties. It has numerous ecological habitats with many steep wooded hills, gullies, eroded cliffs and marshlands in the West River Valley. The area is well named by the word TOR which means craggy hill or peak.

The largest part of the area, approximately 3,400 acres just east of the Village of Naples, 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 is about 1,700 acres of marsh which lies between State Routes 21 and 245 and borders on the south end of Canandaigua Lake. 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 1,000 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.

The diversified environments, allow for hunting, fishing, trapping, boating, hiking, cross-country skiing, bird watching, nature study, and picnicking. Camping is restricted to organized groups by permit only.

The area offers a variety of wildlife, with the more important game species being whitetailed deer, wild turkey, ruffed grouse, cottontail rabbit, grey squirrel, waterfowl, muskrat, raccoon, mink and beaver. Game fish common to the area are rainbow trout, bass, black crappie, chain pickerel, bullhead and sunfish.

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.

All of the State lands are identified by public hunting signs, and the Finger Lakes Hiking Trail spur which runs through the area has signs at its entrance on the area.

Rules and regulations for the use of the area are posted adjacent to most of the parking areas.

High Tor Facility Information
Activity Availability
Upland Yes
Wetland Yes
Hiking Trails* Yes
Nature Trails* No
Boat Access Yes
Parking Lot Yes
Viewing Tower No
Scenic Vistas Yes
Picnic Areas No
Restrooms No
Birdwatching Yes
Camping No**
X-Country Skiing Yes
Snowshoeing Yes
Hunting Yes
Fishing Yes
Trapping Yes
Endangered Species Yes
Unusual Plants No

* A nature trail can be used as a hiking trail, a hiking trail differs from a nature trails in that a nature trail usually has printed information along the trails and often has a brochure

** Camping by permit is seasonally available (March, April, June-September) and is restricted to organized groups only