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Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area

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Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is the largest WMA in New York State, encompassing 11,645 acres. It is part of the Appalachian Highlands, which is distinctive of high, rugged land. With elevations reaching 2,000 feet, it offers breathtaking panoramic vistas of the surrounding lowlands. The diversity of habitat ranging from streams and ponds; mature forests with American beech, maple and hemlock; and open meadows offer a home for a variety of fish and wildlife to view or pursue.

Featured Activities

  • Hunting & Trapping (Wildlife Management Unit 7R)
    White-tailed deer, waterfowl and a variety of small game species offer ample hunting and trapping opportunities. (View hunting seasons & trapping seasons).
  • Hiking Trails (9 miles)
    The Finger Lakes Trail / North Country Trail (including the Van Lone Hill Loop Trail and Bob Cameron Loop Trail - View Finger Lakes Interactive Trail Map (link leaves DEC website) crosses the management area and a shorter DEC trail weaves through a white pine and hemlock forest.
  • Primitive Camping (no water, sanitation or garbage facilities)
    Limited number of permits are issued on a first-come, first-served basis. To get a permit, use the contact information above.
  • Wildlife Viewing
Connecticut Hill WMA Brown Sign


Located 16 miles southwest of Ithaca and 1 mile northeast of Alpine. NY State Rte. 13 provides access along the eastern side. Connecticut Hill Rd, Newfield, NY 14867

Get Google Map Driving Directions (Link leaves DEC website)

Rules, Regulations & Outdoor Safety

Activity Rules & Regulations:

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  • Swimming (no lifeguard on premise)

Outdoor Safety Tips:

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How We Manage Connecticut Hill

Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, Connecticut Hill is managed by DEC's Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources 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.


The first inhabitants of Connecticut Hill were aboriginal peoples who were driven out by George Washington's troops in the late 1700s during the American Revolution. After the American Revolution, many soldiers began to settle and farm the land. However, the harsh climatic and shallow soil conditions in the higher elevations were not conducive to successful farming, which caused many farmers to abandon the area. This allowed New York State to acquire almost 10,000 acres of the area for use as a game refuge. Since then, Connecticut Hill has been the site of many experimental programs designed to gain insight into the habits and needs of wildlife species. Between 1948 and 1950 many ponds were built to attract waterfowl. These water bodies have since become popular with other wildlife, including beaver that have added to the impounded area benefiting reptiles, amphibians, small mammals and birds.

Nearby State Lands to Visit

Tourism Information for Nearby Attractions, Amenities & Activities