Department of Environmental Conservation

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Vinegar Hill Wildlife Management Area

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Vinegar Hill WMA Locator Map

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Vinegar Hill Wildlife Management Area (WMA) The primary purposes of the Vinegar Hill WMA is 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 1970's. 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

Featured Activities


Vinegar Hill WMA is open to fishing. The best fishing opportunity is the West Kill Creek which runs along Route 42. Please visit DEC's website for more information about fishing.

Wildlife Viewing

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 a wildlife viewing guides.


Town of Lexington and bounded by Route 42 on the east and Beech Ridge Rd on the west. A parking area has been developed to provide access to the area from Beech Ridge Rd.

Vinegar Hill

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

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). 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, Vinegar Hill WMA is managed by DEC's Division of Fish and Wildlife for wildlife conservation and wildlife-associated recreation (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.

Management on Vinegar Hill WMA is currently 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.

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.