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Ashland Flats Wildlife Management Area

Ashland Flats WMA locator map

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View the Access and Public Use Plan for Ashland Flats WMA (PDF). Comments were accepted through June 1, 2022.

Grassland at Ashland Flats WMA
Grassland at Ashland Flats WMA.

The primary purposes of Ashland Flats Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This WMA is a 2,028-acre parcel. Ashland Flats is primarily an area of open meadows, second growth, and young forests typical of the Lake Ontario plains. Small game, deer, and grassland nesting birds are found on the WMA. Shaver Creek and a number of "potholes" also provide wetland habitat used by waterfowl and several species of furbearing mammals.

Featured Activities



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

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

Hunting and Trapping


Wildlife Management Unit: 6G

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

This WMA is one of the stocking sites for pheasant hunting in Jefferson County. Deer hunting is also popular on the area. No permits are required to use the area. Please be sure to abide by all game laws (view hunting seasons and trapping seasons).



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



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

Bird watching is excellent on the various units. Bring along your binoculars and camera for added enjoyment. Use the Wildlife Management Area Vertebrate Checklist (PDF) and the Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF) as wildlife viewing guides. Ashland Flats Wildlife Management Area has been designated a Bird Conservation Area. New York State BCAs are state-owned lands and waters designated to safeguard and enhance bird populations in New York State.

Accessible tower at Ashland Flats WMA
Accessible tower at Ashland Flats WMA.

Ashland has relatively large areas of early successional habitats, including grassland and shrub land. There are also forested areas and limestone barrens. These habitats support a diversity of early successional bird species, including short-eared owl, Henslow's sparrow, sedge wren, northern harrier, and upland sandpiper.

Accessible Features

General information on accessible recreation includes links to other locations with accessible recreation opportunities and information on permits for motorized access.

There is an accessible parking area and an observation tower, with a short path leading to it off Ashland Road. The tower gives the public the opportunity to view wildlife in the grassland fields and impounded wetlands of the area. Both game and non game wildlife species can be seen, including mallards, wood ducks, American bitterns, bobolinks, and muskrats.


Located in northern Jefferson County two miles northeast of the village of Three Mile Bay, along Depot and Ashland roads. Much of the land borders Burnt Rock Road and County Route 8. There is parking for one or two cars on Burnt Rock Road. It is not a through trail.

All Google links leave DEC website.

asland flats wma brown sign

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 Ashland Flats Wildlife Management Area must follow all Wildlife Management Area Regulations and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of the user and protection of the resource.

Activity Rules & Regulations

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 Ashland Flats Wildlife Management Area

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Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, Ashland Flats WMA 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.

Current management practices at Ashland Flats WMA are aimed at restoring and creating grassland habitat for various bird and wildlife species. In addition to the grassland habitat restoration projects, management techniques such as the construction of small dikes and ditch plugging will help increase the amount of waterfowl nesting and feeding cover on the area. Late summer mowing of the grasslands is done on a yearly basis to sustain the grasslands, preventing them from becoming young forest or brush land.

View the Habitat Management Plan for Ashland Flats Wildlife Management Area (PDF), approved in February 2016, 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.