Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Keeney Swamp Wildlife Management Area

Pond at Keaney Swamp WMA
Pond in Keeney Swamp WMA
icon key

Keeney Swamp Wildlife Management Area is a 708-acre parcel located approximately 13 miles northeast of the village of Angelica and six miles southwest of the Village of Canaseraga. The area is primarily made up of wetland habitat and is home to a variety of waterfowl and song birds.

Featured Activities

Hunting & Trapping
General information on hunting and general information on trapping includes how-to and safety tips with links to seasons, rules and regulations.

Fishing
General information on fishing includes how-to and safety tips and links to seasons, rules and regulations.

Wildlife Viewing
General information on animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.

Users of the area are likely to encounter a variety of wildlife species:

  • Mammals: beaver, muskrat, mink, raccoon, white-tailed deer.
  • Birds: mallards, wood ducks, black ducks, Canadian geese, ruffed grouse, woodcock, herons, bitterns and a variety of song birds.

Large numbers of waterfowl, shorebirds and wading birds have been documented on the area during breeding or migration. In recognition of this, the WMA and Keeney Swamp State Forest, the adjoining state forest, were designated as a Bird Conservation Area (BCA) in 2006.

Directions

From Interstate 86, take exit 34N and head north on Route 36. After 6.8 miles, turn left onto Route 70 and continue for 5.6 miles, then turn left onto County Route 15B. In 1.3 miles, turn right at the fork onto County Route 15A, then in 3.8 miles turn left onto Fitch Hill Spur Forest Road. This will take you first through Keeney Swamp WMA. It can also be accessed from County Route 15B.

All coordinates provided are in decimal degrees using NAD83/WGS84 datum.

County 15B South Parking Lot

County 15B North Parking Lot

County 15A East Parking Lot

County 15A West Parking Lot

Fitch Hill Spur Forest Road Parking Lot

Rules, Regulations & Outdoor Safety

Activity Rules & Regulations:

The following activities are not permitted in Keeney Swamp WMA:

  • Off road vehicular travel, including: 
    • Cars
    • Trucks
    • All-terrain vehicles
    • snowmobiles
    • motorcycles
  • Swimming
  • Boating with motors
  • Camping (Please note: camping is allowed at Keeney Swamp State Forest, but not on Keeney Swamp WMA.)

Outdoor Safety Tips:

How We Manage Keeney Swamp WMA

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

The following highlights some of the principal management objectives and techniques for the Keeney Swamp:

  • To maintain quality wetland habitat for waterfowl.

In 2001, DEC initiated a wetland restoration and enhancement project to improve wetland habitat consisting of emergent, submergent and open water cover types. A 105-acre impoundment was constructed utilizing an existing abandoned road as a base for the dike. Water levels are controlled by an inline control structure and a heavy sheet piling box inlet drop spillway. Impoundments are periodically drawn down to facilitate establishment of emergent plant species desirable for nesting and migratory waterfowl species.

Habitat management activities include water level regulation and grassland maintenance.

History

The area was purchased in 1978 by the DEC. The area consists of nearly 530 acres of shrub swamp, emergent marsh and wetland open water and approximately 150 acres of brush and grassland. The area was acquired to ensure the permanent preservation of this diverse natural wetland.

Most of Keeney Swamp had been drained for agricultural purposes in the 1800's. By the late 1960's, most of the farms were abandoned. Beaver re-occupied the area and constructed several large impoundments. Around 1990, four of the largest beaver impoundments failed over an eighteen month period. This resulted in a net loss of approximately 300 acres of shallow water impoundment. By the late 1990's, this loss of habitat had decreased the diversity and abundance of many wildlife species, particularly water birds. DEC received requests from birding groups and sportsmen to restore the wetland habitat.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

Allegany County Tourism (leaves DEC website) can provide information about other recreation, attractions and amenities in this area.

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.

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.