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Vinegar Hill Wildlife Management Area

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Vinegar Hill WMA Locator Map

The primary purposes of Vinegar Hill Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This WMA consists of 394 acres of upland habitat acquired by the State in the 1970s. The terrain of Vinegar Hill WMA is dominated by upland forested communities and old fields. Tree species include red and sugar maple, beech, birch, ash, hemlock, and black cherry. Two large fields exist on the property as well as a stream and a small pond. The terrain is mostly gently sloping hillsides and flat fields but gets a little steeper on the eastern side. The fields are mowed periodically to prevent woody growth from taking over.

A field in Vinegar Hill Wildlife Management Area
A field in Vinegar Hill Wildlife Management Area.

Featured Activities

Fishing

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

Vinegar Hill WMA is open to fishing. The best fishing opportunity is found in the West Kill Creek which runs along Route 42.

Wildlife

bird viewing area

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

Deer, turkeys, black bears, squirrels, and a host of songbirds frequent the area. Use the Wildlife Management Area Mammal Checklist (PDF 453 KB) and the Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF 240 KB) as wildlife viewing guides.

Directions

The WMA is located in the town of Lexington and bounded by Route 42 on the east and Beech Ridge Road on the west. A parking area has been developed to provide access to the area from Beech Ridge Road.

Vinegar Hill

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

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Practice Leave No Trace Principles (leaves DEC website) when recreating on state land to enjoy the outdoors responsibly; minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts with other users.

All users of Vinegar Hill Wildlife Management Area must follow all State Land Use Regulations and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of the user and protection of the resource.

Activity Rules & Regulations

The following activities are not permitted in Vinegar Hill WMA:

  • Using motorized vehicles, including:
    • all-terrain vehicles
    • snowmobile
  • Hunting
  • Trapping
  • Camping
  • Using metal detectors, searching for or removing historic or cultural artifacts without a permit
  • Damaging or removing gates, fences, signs, or other property
  • 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).

How We Manage Vinegar Hill Wildlife Management Area

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Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, Vinegar Hill WMA is managed by DEC's Division of Fish and Wildlife for wildlife conservation and wildlife-associated recreation (fishing, wildlife viewing, and 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.

Management on Vinegar Hill WMA is mainly limited to the mowing of fields about every three years. This allows nesting and use by songbirds while making sure that woody browse does not overtake the old fields.

View the Habitat Management Plan for Vinegar Hill Wildlife Management Area (PDF, 1.51 MB), approved in June 2016, which identifies the WMA-specific target species and habitat goals for the WMA.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

Web links below can provide information about other recreation, attractions, and amenities in this area.

State Lands and Facilities

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.