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Utica Marsh

Wildlife Management Area Overview

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Currently access to the area is difficult because of the closing of the bridge on Barnes Ave. There are alternate access points along the railroad right of way and on the bike trail across the Utica Harbor locks, from South Genesse Street. Call the Utica Office at 315-793-2557 for a more complete explanation of access to the WMA.

Utica Marsh is a unique urban wetland situated partly on the edge of the City of Utica, partly in the Town of Marcy, sandwiched between the Mohawk River on the south and the New York State Barge Canal on the north. 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.

Tower and boy scouts at Utica Marsh WMAIn 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, has 2 observation towers, one viewing platform with a ramp and hardened trail, several trails complete with boardwalks over the wet areas, water control dikes, parking areas, a pavilion and car top boat launch site on the Mohawk River. A large parking lot and boat ramp are located on the Barge Canal just off the north west corner of the WMA and a bike trail passes along the marsh and barge canal on the north.

One important partner of Utica Marsh is the Utica Marsh Council, Inc. The volunteer members organize the marsh cleanup, 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 web site to learn more about the marsh.

Other important friends and partners of the Utica Marsh are Former Congressman Sherwood Boehlert, Audubon New York, Department of Transportation, Mohawk Valley Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Utica.

What to Do at Utica Marsh WMA

Hiking, birdwatching and nature study are enjoyed by the visitors to Utica Marsh. When access is less difficult, the local schools make it a field trip destination and local colleges use the diverse plant and animal populations for research projects. Anglers can access both the Mohawk River and the Barge Canal. The Utica Marsh Council has a field trip guide available on their website which can help any visitor better appreciate the natural features of the area.

Restricted Activities

General restrictions on WMA's can be found in the Title 6, NYCRR, Part 51, Section 51.1 through 51.6 (link leaves DEC website.) The use all terrain vehicles is prohibited on the WMA by posted notice.

For more information, contact:
Bureau of Wildlife
207 Genesee Street
Utica, NY 13501-2885
(315) 793-2557

Facilities and Attractions at Upper and Lower Lakes WMA
Available Not Available
Upland Scenic Vistas
Wetland Restrooms
Hiking Trails* Camping
Nature Trails* Hunting
Accessible features for people with disabilities
Boat Access
Parking Lot
Viewing Tower
X-Country Skiing
Picnic Areas
Endangered Species
Unusual Plants

* A nature trail can be used as a hiking trail. In addition to allowing hiking, a nature trail usually has printed information along the trail and often has a printed brochure available.