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Saratoga Sand Plains Wildlife Management Area Archery Range

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Parcel 45 WMA Locator Map

The Saratoga Sand Plains Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Archery Range is part of the Saratoga Sand Plains WMA. The primary purposes of the WMA are for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. The WMA is located on the south side of State Route 50, just north of the Wilton Mall. It was acquired because of unpaid taxes as a parcel of Forest Preserve, detached from the Adirondack Park, in 1928. The area is approximately 59 acres in size. This area was previously known as Parcel 45 WMA.

The habitat includes a remnant of the Pine Barrens ecosystem of pitch pine, scrub oak, sweet fern, and blueberry, as well as invading white pine, grey birch, hazelnut, aspen, cinquefoil, and bracken fern.

Please note that due to the range, firearm hunting and shooting are not allowed.

Featured Activities

Archery Range

In 2020, the area was modified to include an archery range for the benefit of archery hunters, archers, and crossbow users. The range was constructed with funds from a Wildlife & Sportsfish Restoration Grant and the town of Wilton. The 50-yard archery range includes 16 targets: 8 adult lanes ranging from 15 to 50 yards, 4 youth lanes ranging from 5 to 20 yards, and 4 lanes accessed by an elevated platform ranging up to 40 yards. The elevated platform simulates shots from a tree stand when deer hunting. It allows archers to practice shots from known yardages and angles as well as safety and use of a harness when elevated. This promotes safer and more knowledgeable shot placements for both urban and rural settings. Archers must use a full body harness and connect to the carabiners on the platform while using the elevated stand.

Access to the archery range was designed to be suitable for families with children and seniors. The 700-foot-long access path that extends from the gravel parking lot to the archery range is mostly level with a slope of less than 4 percent, a width of over 5 feet, and a compacted natural surface of forest leaf litter. The surface is firm and stable, with some small dips and bumps.

The archery range is open and maintained year-round for public use. The following rules and regulations are in place for public safety:

  • The range is open during daylight hours only, except by permit.
  • No alcoholic beverages are allowed.
  • Arrows may only be nocked onto the bowstring when standing on the shooting line preparing to shoot.
  • Shooting is allowed only from the archery shooting line and only into the designated targets.
  • Shooters are allowed to bring and shoot at a paper target placed on an existing target as long as it is removed from the range once an individual has finished shooting. Personal targets are not allowed on range, except by permit.
  • Bows must be hung on the bow hanger behind the shooting line when waiting to shoot or while archers are down range retrieving arrows. No shooting shall be allowed while anyone is down range.
  • All persons are to remain behind the archery shooting line while shooting is taking place.
  • Arrows from bows of 30-pound draw weight or more may only be shot into the targets on the adult range. Arrows from bows of less than 30-pound draw weight may be shot into targets on the youth or adult range.
  • Only arrows with field or target points may be used or possessed on range. No broadheads may be possessed on the range, except by permit.
  • All individuals standing on or utilizing the elevated platform must wear a full body harness, including shoulder and leg straps, and attach themselves to the appropriate safety cable carabineer.
  • All used paper targets and other trash shall be removed from the range.

Trapping

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Wildlife Management Unit: 5J

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

Trapping on the property is primarily for fox and coyotes. Please be sure to abide by all game laws (view trapping seasons).

Wildlife

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

White-tailed deer, red fox, raccoon, grey squirrel, rabbit, and songbirds frequent this area. Use the Wildlife Management Area Vertebrate Checklist (PDF) and the Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF) as wildlife viewing guides.

Directions

Take Exit 15 of the Adirondack Northway (I-87). Turn east onto State Route 50-turn right if coming from the south or turn left if coming from the north. Take State Route 50 north. The parking area is on the right 1.4 miles from the exit, about 0.2 miles northeast of the Wilton Mall, directly across from Perry Road. The 911 address is 3099 State Route 50, Saratoga Springs. Look for large DEC sign (43.10885°N, 73.735749°W) - Get Google Map Driving Directions (leaves DEC website).

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

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

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 Saratoga Sandplains WMA Archery Range 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 in Saratoga Sandplains WMA Archery Range:

  • Unless specifically stated, using motorized vehicles, including:
    • all-terrain vehicles
    • snowmobiles
    • motorboats
  • Discharge of firearms
  • 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
  • Picking or damaging lupine plants

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).

How We Manage Saratoga Sandplains Wildlife Management Area Archery Range

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Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, Saratoga Sandplains WMA Archery Range is managed by DEC's Division of Fish and Wildlife for wildlife conservation and wildlife-associated recreation (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.

In the open field and along the sandy access road grows the wild blue lupine. Lupine is the only food plant of the Karner blue caterpillar. DEC's Bureau of Wildlife annually mows the field to encourage the growth of the wild blue lupine plant. Without mowing, other plant species will outgrow the lupine and force the plant to lay dormant in its root stage.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

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

Numerous amenities are available in close proximity to the WMA in Wilton and Saratoga Springs. The following links leave DEC's website:

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.