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Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area

Connecticut Hill WMA locator map

Icon of a hunter aiming a rifleIcon of a trappericon for fishing showing a fish and a hookbird watchingIcon showing two hikers with walking sticks and backpacksUniveral parking iconicon key

DEC will host a public availability session to provide information on a recently finalized habitat management plan for Connecticut Hill WMA on September 14th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Newfield Fire Department in Newfield. An open house will take place at 6:00, followed by a presentation at 6:30.

The primary purposes of Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This is the largest WMA in New York State, encompassing 11,645 acres. It is part of the Appalachian Highlands, which is distinctive 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.

After the American Revolution the area was farmed, but many farmers abandoned the area due to the harsh climate and shallow soils in the higher elevations. This allowed New York State to acquire almost 10,000 acres of the area for use as a game refuge. Between 1948 and 1950 many ponds were built to attract waterfowl, which are now also used by other wildlife.

Featured Activities

Hiking

Icon showing two hikers with walking sticks and backpacks

General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.

Grassland at Connecticut Hill WMA.
Grassy area at Connecticut Hill WMA.

Please stay on the designated trails to protect the diversity and richness of the plant communities found within this area.

Hunting and Trapping

Icon of a hunter aiming a rifle
Icon of a trapper

Wildlife Management Unit: 7R

General information on hunting and general information on trapping include how-to and safety tips with links to seasons, rules, and regulations.

White-tailed deer, waterfowl and a variety of small game species offer ample hunting and trapping opportunities. Please be sure to abide by all game laws (view hunting seasons and trapping seasons).

Fishing

icon for fishing showing a fish and a hook

General information on fishing includes how-to and safety tips and links to seasons, rules, and regulations.

Wildlife

bird watching

General information on animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.

Deer, turkeys, black bears, squirrels, and a host of songbirds frequent the area. Beaver activity has increased the size of the impounded area, which benefits reptiles, amphibians, small mammals, and birds. Use both the Wildlife Management Area Mammal Checklist (PDF, 453 KB) and Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF, 240 KB) as wildlife viewing guides.

Connecticut Hill WMA Brown Sign

Directions

The WMA is located 16 miles southwest of Ithaca and 1 mile northeast of Alpine. NY State Route 13 provides access along the eastern side. Connecticut Hill Road runs through the WMA.

All Google links leave DEC website.

All coordinates provided are in decimal degrees using NAD83/WGS84 datum.

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Vernal pool at Connecticut Hill WMA.
Vernal pool constructed in 2013 at Connecticut Hill WMA.

Practice Leave No Trace Principles (leaves DEC website) when recreating on state land to enjoy the outdoors responsibly; minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts with other users.

All users of Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area must follow all State Land Use Regulations and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of the user and protection of the resource.

Activity, Rules & Regulations

The following activities are not permitted at Connecticut Hill WMA:

  • Using motorized vehicles, including:
    • all-terrain vehicles
    • snowmobiles
    • motorboats
  • Swimming or bathing
  • Camping
  • 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
  • Littering
  • 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).

wildlife restoration logo

How We Manage Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area

Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, Connecticut Hill is managed by DEC's Division of Fish and Wildlife for wildlife conservation and wildlife-associated recreation (hunting, trapping, wildlife viewing, and 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 Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area (PDF) (4.25 MB), approved in July 2017, which identifies the WMA-specific target species and habitat goals for the WMA.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

Web links below can provide information about other recreation, attractions, and amenities in this area.

State Lands and Facilities

Numerous guide books and maps are available with information on the lands, waters, trails, and other recreational facilities in this area. These can be purchased at most outdoor equipment retailers, bookstores, and on-line booksellers.

Additional information, outdoor equipment, trip suggestions and guided, or self-guided tours may be obtained from outdoor guide and outfitting businesses. Check area chambers of commerce, telephone directories, or search the internet for listings.

Consider hiring an outdoor guide if you have little experience or woodland skills. See the NYS Outdoor Guides Association (leaves DEC website) for information on outdoor guides.