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Cranberry Mountain WMA

Overview

Forest and Fields at Cranberry Mountain Wildlife Management AreaCranberry Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA) consists of 728 acres of upland habitat in Putnam County. The WMAs initial 467 acres were purchased in 1964, and in 2011 an additional 261 acres were acquired by the State with funding from a federal Highlands Conservation Act grant and a substantial private donation by the property's previous owners. Cranberry Mountain WMA is located in the Town of Patterson east of Route 22 approximately 63 miles north of New York City. Two parking areas providing access to the area are located on the west side of Stage Coach Road.

Despite its relatively small size, Cranberry Mountain WMA is among the region's most popular destinations for hunters, trappers, anglers, and other outdoor enthusiasts. The WMA has been managed for wildlife for almost 50 years and has good habitat diversity. Additionally, the WMA has a network of old woods roads that serve as excellent walking trails, providing access to much of the area.

View or download a map of Cranberry Mountain Wildlife Management Area (PDF) (933 kB).

Habitat / Ecological Communities

The rolling topography of Cranberry Mountain WMA is dominated by upland forested communities. Oak species, including red, white, black, scarlet, and chestnut oaks are dominant throughout the WMA's forests, with red maple, sugar maple, black birch, and tulip tree also being abundant in some parts of the WMA. Additionally, 25 acres of fields and early successional habitat and six small ponds constructed in the 1960s are maintained to promote a diverse mix of habitat types and improve opportunities for wildlife-dependent recreation.

Wildlife

An assortment of wildlife inhabit the WMA including white-tailed deer, cottontail rabbit, gray squirrel, fox, raccoon, opossum and many bird species. Several species of fish can be found in the ponds at Cranberry Mountain including largemouth bass, sunfish, bullheads, and chain pickerel.

Recreation

Pond at Cranberry Mountain Wildlife Management AreaThe diversity of habitats and wildlife species found at Cranberry Mountain provide unique opportunities for public use. Many recreational activities, including hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking, wildlife observation, and nature photography are allowed and encouraged. Parking areas have been developed to provide access to the area, and as previously mentioned, a substantial trail network is maintained for the enjoyment of WMA users.

Management

Active management is ongoing at Cranberry Mountain WMA. Nest boxes for wood ducks and bluebirds have been placed in appropriate locations by volunteer groups. Mowing is used annually to manage to field vegetation, and when necessary fields are replanted to improve wildlife cover and forage. Efforts to control nuisance invasive plant species have been undertaken, including the release of a Mile-a-Minute vine (Polygonum perfoliatum) biocontrol agent. Management of shoreline vegetation and maintenance of a variety of aquatic and wetland types is used to encourage a diversity of wildlife species.

Rules and Regulations

Public use of Cranberry Mountain WMA is governed by 6 NYCRR §51 and 6 NYCRR §105 (Statutory authority: Environmental Conservation Law, §§ 11-2101).

The following acts are prohibited:

  • Use of motor vehicles except in designated parking areas.
  • Parking of motor vehicles beyond the limits of a posted quota or outside the designated parking areas.
  • Discharge of a firearm except at legally huntable wildlife.
  • Use of vessels operated by mechanical power.
  • Overnight mooring or storage of boats, canoes and other watercraft.
  • Construction of structures, blinds, platforms or stands.
  • Swimming or bathing.
  • Cutting, plucking, severing, damaging or removing trees or other vegetation.
  • Camping, littering, kindling fires, damaging or removing gates, fences, signs or other property.

All visitors to the WMA must comply with all regulatory signs posted by the Department of Environmental Conservation.