Vinegar Hill Wildlife Magement Area
Vinegar Hill Wildlife Management Area (WMA) consists of 394 acres of upland habitat in Greene County acquired by the State in the 1970's. It is located in the Town of Lexington and bounded by Rt 42 on the east and Beech Ridge Rd on the west. A parking area providing access is located on Beech Ridge Rd #1. Most of the property was given to the state as a gift by the previous owner with the stipulation that it become a Game Refuge and that no hunting or trapping be allowed. Therefore, this property is open to other uses such as hiking and bird watching only.
Habitat / Ecological Communities
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.
An assortment of wildlife inhabit the WMA including white-tailed deer, black bear, gray squirrel, fox, raccoon, fisher, wild turkey, ruffed grouse and other songbird species.
As mentioned, hunting and trapping are prohibited on Vinegar Hill WMA. But other recreational opportunities such as bird watching, picnicking and hiking are allowed and encouraged. A parking area has been developed to provide access to the area from Beech Ridge Rd #1.
Management on the 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.
Rules and Regulations
Public use of Vinegar Hill WMA is governed by 6 NYCRR §51 (Statutory authority: Environmental Conservation Law, §§ 11-2101).
The following acts are prohibited:
- Use of motor vehicles except in designated parking areas.
- Hunting and trapping.
- Construction of structures, blinds, platforms or stands.
- Cutting, plucking, severing, damaging or removing trees or other vegetation.
- Camping, littering, kindling fires, damaging or removing gates, fences, signs or other property.
All visitors to the WMA must comply with all regulatory signs posted by the Department of Environmental Conservation.