Department of Environmental Conservation

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Bear Spring Mountain Wildlife Management Area

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Bear Spring Mt WMA locator map

Bear Spring Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA) The primary purposes of the Bear Spring Mountain WMA is for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This WMA consists of over 7,000 acres of upland habitat in Delaware County acquired by the State in 1961. Some of Bear Spring Mountain's unique attributes include the location of a state run campground in the middle of the property. Bear Spring Mountain contains various levels of topography from steep mountainsides to gentle valleys and everything in between. Multiple species of hardwoods dominate the forested areas including red oak, red and sugar maple, beech, birch, ash and black cherry. There are some hemlock covered ridges and the remnants of spruce plantations as well. Many small fields are dispersed throughout the property and are often associated with old apple orchards that are still maintained by the state to provide food for wildlife. There are two streams that run southward and several small ponds that are remnants of early settlements.

The landscape of Bear Spring Mountain WMA.

Featured Activities

Hunting and Trapping
Bear Spring Mountain Wildlife Management Area is located in Wildlife Management Unit 4F. (View hunting seasons and trapping seasons)

Fishing
Bear Spring Mountain WMA is open to fishing, please visit Dec's website for more information about fishing. A few fish can be found in the ponds and streams. Launt Pond is stocked with trout. Russ Grey Pond has largemouth bass, sunfish and bullheads. And the two streams contain brook and brown trout.

Wildlife Viewing
Bird watching is excellent on Bear Spring Mountain WMA. Bring along your binoculars and camera for added enjoyment. Use the Wildlife Management Area Mammal Checklist (PDF) (85KB) and the Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF) (240 KB) as a wildlife viewing guides.

Directions

Towns of Colchester and Walton along Route 206. Trout Brook Rd and West Trout Brook Rd run through the heart of the property from Route 206 and join at the southern end of the property. Parking areas providing access can be found along each of these roads.

bear spring mt wma brown signAll Google links leave DEC's website.

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Activity Rules & Regulations

A pond in Bear Spring Mountain WMA.

The following activities are not permitted in Bear Spring Mountain WMA:

  • Using motorized vehicles, including:
    • all-terrain vehicles
    • snowmobile
    • motorboats
  • Swimming (except at designated areas) or bathing
  • Camping (except at designated areas)
  • Kindling fires
  • Damaging or removing gates, fences, signs or 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

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Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, Bear Spring Mountain 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.

Active management is ongoing at Bear Spring Mountain WMA. Forestry practices promote early successional stage forest growth to encourage specific wildlife species. Apple trees are pruned and cleared of competing overstory. Nest boxes for wood ducks have been placed in appropriate locations and mowing is used annually to maintain fields.

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.