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Tug Hill

Wildlife Management Area Overview

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The Tug Hill WMA is a forested tract of land located in the western portion of Lewis county on the Tug Hill Plateau. This 5100 acre area is located seven miles south of State Route #177 (Bellwood), 23 miles southeast of Watertown or 11 miles southwest of Lowville.

Sign at entrance to Tug Hill Wildlife Management AreaThis area's habitat consists of hardwood uplands, hardwood/coniferous (spruce-fir) wetlands, and a 65-acre impoundment. The WMA is an important headwaters area of several watersheds on the Tug Hill Plateau. Protection of these water resources is of the upmost importance when conducting habitat management activities on the WMA. Northern hardwood forest stands occupy approximately 3200 acres of the WMA and are actively being managed through commercial forest product sales. Managing and maintaining these hardwood stands in various stages of forest succession benefits a wide variety of both game and non-game wildlife species.

What to do at the Tug Hill WMA

Pond and beaver lodge on Tug Hill WMA

Tug Hill WMA provides excellent recreational opportunities. Hunting, trapping, hiking, bird watching, and fishing are some of the activities pursued. Canoeing can also be pursued on the 65 acre impoundment as well as some of the larger beaver flows.

White-tailed deer and ruffed grouse are found here as well as many other woodland species of birds and mammals. Upland furbearers such as fisher and bobcat are known to exists on the WMA. Beaver have colonized many of the streams of the area creating aquatic habitat for many wildlife species including waterfowl and the occasional river otter. Some of the small streams draining the area, such as Edick Creek, have been known to provide good trout fishing.

Access to the WMA is provided by a 7 mile truck trail system. The area can best be explored on foot by walking the logging trails throughout many of the hardwood stands.

Restricted Activities

General restrictions on WMA's can be found in the Title 6, NYCRR, Part 51, Section 51.1 through 51.6 (link leaves DEC website.) The use of snowmobiles and all terrain vehicles is prohibited on the WMA by posted notice. Camping is allowed by permit only from the Wildlife Manager.

For more information, contact:
Regional Wildlife Manager, Region 6
N.Y.S. Dept. of Environmental Conservation
317 Washington St.
Watertown, NY 13601
(315) 785-2263

Facilities and Attractions at Tug Hill WMA
Available Not Available
Upland Hiking Trails*
Wetland Nature Trails*
Boat Access Accessible features for people with disabilities
Parking Lot Viewing Tower
Birdwatching Scenic Vistas
X-Country Skiing Picnic Areas
Snowshoeing Restrooms
Hunting Camping
Endangered Species
Unusual Plants

* A nature trail can be used as a hiking trail. In addition to allowing hiking, a nature trail usually has printed information along the trail and often has a printed brochure available.