Department of Environmental Conservation

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Ashland Flats Wildlife Management Area

Ashland Flats WMA locator map


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Ashland Flats Fawn

Ashland Flats Wildlife Management Area (WMA) The primary purposes of the Wilson Hill WMA is for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This WMA is a 2,040-acre parcel. Ashland Flats is primarily an area of open meadows, second growth, and young forests typical of the Lake Ontario plains. Small game, deer and grassland nesting birds are found on the area. Shaver Creek and a number of "potholes" also provide wetland habitat used by waterfowl and several species of furbearing mammals.

Mowed field at Ashland WMA

Featured Activities

Hunting and Trapping
Ashland Flats WMA is located in Wildlife Management Unit 6G. This WMA is one of the stocking sites for pheasant hunting in Jefferson County. Deer hunting is also popular on the area. No permits are required to use the area. (View hunting seasons and trapping seasons)

Ashland Flats WMA is open to fishing; please visit DEC's website for more information about fishing.

Wildlife Viewing
Bird watching is excellent on the various units. Bring along your binoculars and camera for added enjoyment. Use the Wildlife Management Area Mammal Checklist (PDF 453 KB) and the Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF) (240 KB) as a wildlife viewing guides.

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Located in northern Jefferson County two miles northeast of the village of Three Mile Bay, along the Depot and Ashland roads. Much of the land borders Burnt Rock Road and County Route 8. There is parking for one or two cars on Burnt Rock Road. It is not a through trail.

All Google links leave DEC's website.

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Activity Rules & Regulations

The following activities are not permitted in Ashland Flats WMA:

  • Using motorized vehicles, including:
    • all-terrain vehicles
    • snowmobiles
    • motorboats
  • 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). 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.

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How We Manage

Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, Ashland Flats 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.

Current management practices at Ashland Flats WMA is aimed at restoring and creating grassland habitat for various bird and wildlife species. In addition to the grassland habitat restoration projects, management techniques such as the construction of small dikes and ditch plugging will help increase the amount of waterfowl nesting and feeding cover on the area. Late summer mowing of the grasslands is done on a yearly basis to sustain the grasslands, preventing them from becoming young forest or brush land. View the recently approved Habitat Management Plan for Ashland Flats Wildlife Management Area (PDF) (2 MB), 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.