Cranberry Mountain Wildlife Management Area
- Location: Town of Patterson, Putnam County
- Open: Year-round
- Fee: None
- Contact: DEC Region 3 Land Management-845-256-3047
- View or download a map of Cranberry Mountain Wildlife Management Area (PDF) 396 KB
Cranberry Mountain WMA is among the region's most popular destinations for hunters, trappers, anglers, and other outdoor enthusiasts. This 1085-acre WMA has been managed for wildlife for almost 50 years and has good habitat diversity.
An assortment of wildlife inhabit the WMA including white-tailed deer, cottontail rabbit, gray squirrel, fox, raccoon, opossum and many bird species.
Fish species that can be found in the ponds at Cranberry Mountain including largemouth bass, sunfish, bullheads, and chain pickerel.
The diversity of habitats and wildlife species found at Cranberry Mountain provide unique opportunities for wildlife observation and photography. Nest boxes for wood ducks and bluebirds have been placed in appropriate locations by volunteer groups.
A network of old woods roads serve as excellent walking trails, providing access to much of the area.
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.
Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety
Public use of Cranberry Mountain WMA is governed by Environmental Conservation Law. Please comply with all regulatory signs posted by DEC.
The following 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
Outdoor Safety Tips
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.
How We Manage Cranberry Mtn. WMA
Mowing is used annually to manage to field vegetation, and when necessary, fields are replanted to improve cover and foraging opportunities for wildlife. 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.
View the Habitat Management Plan for Cranberry Mountain Wildlife Management Area (PDF) (1.72 MB), approved in September 2016, which identifies the WMA-specific target species and habitat goals for the WMA.
Nearby State Lands to Visit
Great Swamp Wildlife Management Area, another large wetland of state significance is just to the west along Rte. 22.
Big Buck Mountain State Forest is also to the west in Putnam County and allows hunting, trapping and back-country camping.
The White Pond Multiple Use Area is just to the west of Big Buck Mtn. State Forest and has a pond for fishing, boat access and accessible fishing pier.
The Nimham Mtn. Multiple Use Area is half an hour to the west on Rte. 311 and has an extensive network of trails and roads that are popular with bikers, hikers and horseback riders.
The Bog Brook Unique Area features a rare type of freshwater wetland and allows hunting, fishing, trapping, wildlife observation, photography, hiking, and snowshoeing.
Nearby Attractions, Amenities and Activities
Visit the Putnam County Tourism website (see Links leaving DEC's website at right) to find accommodations, places to eat, historic sites, shopping and other attractions.