Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Great Baehre Swamp Wildlife Management Area

Great Baehre Swamp WMA Star Map

See the recreation icon key

Great Baehre Swamp Wildlife Management Area (WMA) The primary purposes of the Great Baehre Swamp WMA is for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This is a 270-acre area located adjacent to the Town of Amherst's Conservation Park. The area consists of nearly 260 acres of shrub swamp, emergent marsh and wetland open water and approximately 10 acres of brush and grassland.

Featured Activities

Wildlife Viewing
Deer, turkeys, black bears, squirrels, and a host of songbirds frequent the area. Use the Wildlife Management Area Mammal Checklist (PDF) (85 KB) and the Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF) (240 KB) as a wildlife viewing guide.

Great Baehre Swamp Brown Sign

Directions

From Interstate 290 West, take exit 6 and turn right onto Route 324. Turn left onto Hopkins Road and continue until you reach the parking area on the left at Billy Wilson Park (formerly Margaret Louise Park). Paved Parking Lot and Boardwalk Trailhead - Get Google Map Driving Directions (Leaves DEC Website)

Rules, Regulations & Outdoor Safety

Activity Rules & Regulations

Boardwalk area at Great Baehre Swamp WMA in summer
Boardwalk area at Great Baehre Swamp WMA

The following activities are not permitted in Great Baehre Swamp WMA:

  • Using motorized vehicles, including:
    • all-terrain vehicles
    • snowmobiles
    • motorboats
  • Hunting
  • Fishing
  • Swimming (no lifeguard on premises) or bathing
  • Camping
  • Kindling fires
  • Damaging or removing gates, fences, signs 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.

How We Manage

Wildlife Restoration logo

Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, Great Baehre Swamp 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.

One of the principal management objectives for this WMA is to provide habitat for a variety of resident and migratory species and to permit compatible wildlife related recreational use.

History

The land was acquired in 1989 by the DEC with funding provided by the Environmental Quality Bond Act of 1986. As mitigation for wetland impacts, the Town of Amherst (under a stewardship agreement) built a 1,300-foot boardwalk through the area which connects state land to their neighboring town park.

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.

Nearby State Lands

Additional information, outdoor equipment, trip suggestions and guided or self-guided tours may be obtained from outdoor guide and outfitting businesses. Check area chambers of commerce, telephone directories or search the internet for listings. Consider hiring an outdoor guide if you have little experience or woodland skills. See the NYS Outdoor Guides Association (Leaves DEC Website) for information on outdoor guides.