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French Creek

Ferns and Lilies

Wildlife Management Area Overview

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An area of varied habitat, this 2300-acre WMA is located southwest of Clayton in Jefferson County. Access is best gained four miles from the village on the French Creek Road (off Crystal Springs Road, Co Rt 4). The Deferno, House, and Grant roads provide access to the south. French Creek and Bevins roads crosses the southern section with a small parking lot at the bridge on Bevins Road. Small game and song birds are found here in the open meadows and hardwood uplands. Oak and Hickory trees provide nut mast for wildlife to eat. Waterfowl and furbearers find suitable homes as well in the cattail marsh which borders the open water of French Creek. Both small rowboats and canoes can be used in the broad channel of the creek. Unpaved roads within the WMA provide good access, but foot travel is the primary means of movement through the area. French Creek is open to use under the general state wildlife management area regulations.

Habitat management is directed at the upland portions of the WMA which consists of woodlands, early succession growth, and old field/grassland. Management objectives of the WMA include the maintenance of habitat diversity to benefit a wide variety of both game and non-game wildlife species.

French Creek WMA is open to the public year round.

What to do at French Creek WMA

Public use of the French Creek WMA includes hunting, fishing, trapping, wildlife observation and bird watching. In addition to wetland bird, waterfowl and shorebird resources/viewing opportunities, white-tailed deer, cottontail rabbit and ruffed grouse are found on the upland portions of the area.

Ring-necked pheasants are stocked in the fall to enhance the upland bird hunting. Local furbearing species include raccoon, muskrat, beaver and coyote.

During the spring the area is also a good bet for angling, especially for bullheads and panfish.

Snowmobiles are allowed on this WMA, but are limited to the 1000 Island Snowmobile Trail which winds through the WMA providing a scenic view of the winter landscape.

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 all terrain vehicles is prohibited on the WMA by posted notice.

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 French Creek 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.