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Wilson Hill

Wildlife Management Area Overview

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Wilson Hill WMA is an open water wetland adjacent to the St. Lawrence River. It is located in St. Lawrence County approximately 6 miles west of the village of Massena along state highway Routes 37 and 131. This 3,434-acre area consists of several large open water pools of approximately 1800 acres bordered by cattail, shrub swamp, forest, and meadows. Extensive work is being done on the dyke system and water regulation systems on the area by the New York Power Authority and will vastly improve DEC's ability to manage water levels in the future for the benefit of the wetland habitats.

Picture of canoeing during the goose driveBeing in close proximity to the St. Lawrence River, the area is ideal for nesting and migrating waterfowl. The shallow impoundments of the area provide habitat for dabbling ducks, diving ducks, and geese. In addition to waterfowl, wading birds, shore birds, song birds, and raptors including bald eagles and osprey can be found on the area. The emergent marsh that surrounds the pools supports an abundance of wetland furbearers including beaver, muskrat, mink and otter. Deer, turkey, cottontail rabbit, snowshoe hare, grouse, and ringed-neck pheasant can also be found of the area.

What to do at Wilson Hill WMA

Wilson Hill WMA is divided into three zones: refuge, restricted use, and public use. There is no public access allowed in the refuge area, however, there are two observation towers that are open year-round to provide wildlife observation opportunities. In the restricted use zone, there is no public access during most of the spring and summer. Controlled hunting and trapping are allowed during the fall and winter. Hunters must register to enter the area on those days the area is open. Trapping is by seasonal permit. The public use zones are is open all year. Rules and regulations are posted at the headquarters.

Wilson Hill WMA is renowned for both it's excellent waterfowl hunting and observation opportunities. It is not uncommon to find 15 to 20 different species of waterfowl on the area during the spring and fall migrations. The observation tower along Route 131 provides a good overlook for birdwatchers. Deer and small game hunting is available. Big game hunting in the restricted area is archery only. Big game hunting with firearms is allowed on the public hunting areas. Woodcock and grouse along with the pheasants that are stocked during the fall, provide upland bird hunting.

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.) Additional restrictions are also enforced on portions of the Wilson Hill WMA. For a complete list of these, please see Title 6, NYCRR, Part 54 (link leaves DEC website.)

For more information, contact:
Michael Morgan
Project Manager
NYSDEC - St. Lawrence Habitat Project
1003 County Route 39, Chase Mills, NY 13621
(315) 705-5539

Facilities and Attractions at Wilson Hill WMA
Available Not Available
Upland Nature Trails*
Wetland Accessible features for people with disabilities
Hiking Trails* Scenic Vistas
Boat Access Picnic Areas
Parking Lot Restrooms
Viewing Tower Camping
X-Country Skiing
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.