Utica Marsh Wildlife Management Area
See the recreation icon key
- Location: Town of Marcy and City of Utica, Oneida County
- Dates of Operation: Year-round
- Fee: None
- Contact: DEC Region 6 (Watertown) 315-785-2263 or email
- Maps: Utica Marsh Wildlife Management Area Map (PDF, 526 KB) || Utica Marsh Wildlife Management Area Map
- Interactive Maps: Google Earth || State Lands Interactive Mapper
Utica Marsh Wildlife Management Area (WMA) The primary purposes of the Utica Marsh WMA is for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This WMA is a unique urban wetland. The mixture of cattail wetlands, wet meadows, open water pools and flooded willows create a diverse marsh habitat that harbors a tremendous variety of plants and animals, especially birds.
Hiking, birdwatching and nature study are enjoyed by visitors to Utica Marsh. The Utica Marsh Council, Inc. (Leaves DEC website) has a field trip guide available on their website which can help any visitor better appreciate the natural features of the area. The local schools make it a field trip destination and local colleges use the diverse plant and animal populations for research projects. General information on watchable wildlife includes tips for viewing wildlife and links to other watchable wildlife locations. 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.
Situated on the border of the City of Utica and the Town of Marcy, and between the Mohawk River on the south and the New York State Barge Canal on the north. Currently, access to the area requires a walk along the New York State Canalway Trail of between 1 and 1.5 miles. Visitors can access the scenic Canalway Trail from the parking area located off of North Genesee Street. See map above for details. Call the Herkimer Office at 315-866-6330 for additional questions about access or wildlife resources on the WMA.
- North Genesee Street, parking area - Get Google Map Driving Directions (Leaves DEC website)
Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety
Activity Rules & Regulations
The following activities are not permitted in Utica Marsh WMA:
- Using motorized vehicles, including:
- all-terrain vehicles
- Swimming or bathing
- Using metal detectors, searching for or removing historic or cultural artifacts without a permit
- 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
- 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
Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, Utica Marsh 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.
View the Habitat Management Plan for Utica Marsh Wildlife Management Area (PDF, 1.6 MB), approved in February 2017, which identifies the WMA-specific target species and habitat goals for the WMA.
In the late 1970's, the City of Utica awarded DEC 50 acres of river flood plain with the condition that the state begin buying additional land here and managing this wetland area. Now the WMA contains 213 acres, an observation tower, a wildlife viewing site and several hiking trails.
One important partner of Utica Marsh is the Utica Marsh Council, Inc. (Leaves DEC website) The volunteer members organize a marsh cleanup on the first Saturday in May, a major outreach event to City residents, to involve them in caring for the marsh. The Council is a big promoter of the Utica Marsh as an educational field laboratory and through their efforts, school and college classes from throughout the Mohawk Valley visit the marsh to learn about wetland ecology. Visit their website to learn more about the marsh.
Other important friends and partners of the Utica Marsh are Former Congressman Sherwood Boehlert, Audubon New York, NYS Department of Transportation, Mohawk Valley Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Utica.
Tourism Information for Nearby Attractions, Amenities & Activities
- Onieda County Tourism (Leaves DEC Website)