Department of Environmental Conservation

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Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area

Connecticut Hill WMA locator map

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Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area (WMA) The primary purposes of the Connecticut Hill WMA is 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 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.

open field

Featured Activities

Hunting and Trapping
Connecticut Hill WMA is located in 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).

Connecticut Hill WMA is open to fishing, please visit Dec's website for more information about fishing.

Wildlife Viewing
Deer, turkeys, black bears, squirrels, and a host of songbirds frequent the area. 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


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

All Google links leave DEC's website.

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

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). 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.

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How We Manage

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/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.

Tourism Information for Nearby Attractions, Amenities & Activities

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.

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

DEC Lands and Facilities