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Pharsalia Wildlife Management Area

Pharsalia WMA Locator Map

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The primary purposes of Pharsalia Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This WMA is 4,689 acres in size and is located in the northwest portion of Chenango County, approximately 10 miles southwest of Sherburne. Pharsalia generally has flat or gently sloping terrain.

In 1926 Pharsalia became the first State Game Refuge purchased with Conservation Fund monies. Thousands of trees and shrubs were planted for reforestation and wildlife purposes. A 200-man Civilian Conservation Corp camp accomplished much of the work and also constructed several small ponds for waterfowl use.

Featured Activities



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

Pond in Pharsalia WMA.
Pond in Pharsalia WMA.

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: 7M

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).



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

Both cold and warm water fish are present in streams and ponds.


Wildlife Watching

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

Wildlife associated with wetlands dominate this area. Use the Checklist of Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds and Mammals of New York State (PDF) and the Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF) as wildlife viewing guides.

Pharsalia Wildlife Management Area was designated as a Bird Conservation Area. Large blocks of forest provide habitat for northern harrier (Threatened), sharp-shinned hawk (Special Concern), Cooper's hawk (Special Concern), northern goshawk (Special Concern), red-shouldered hawk (Special Concern), Swainson's thrush, mourning warbler, Canada warbler, magnolia warbler, as well as many other forest nesters.

Pharasalia WMA Brown Sign


New York Route 23 borders part of the west and south sides of the WMA and provides access to a system of town and maintenance roads traversing the WMA. Head west out of Norwich on Route 23 to the town of Pharsalia. The WMA is on your right.

All Google links leave DEC website.

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

Rules, Regulations & Outdoor Safety

Road through Pharsalia WMA.
Road through Pharsalia 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 Pharsalia 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's website).

How We Manage Pharsalia Wildlife Management Area

Wildlife Restoration

Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, Pharsalia 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 is directed towards enhancing habitat for a variety of wildlife species with emphasis on big and small game such as deer, turkey, and ruffed grouse. A variety of techniques are used to provide the food, cover, and shelter requirements for upland and wetland wildlife species. Preservation and perpetuation of certain habitats by mowing, constructing marsh ponds, erecting nesting structures, and managing forests through wood product sales are a few of the management activities performed at this WMA.

View the Habitat Management Plan for Pharsalia Wildlife Management Area (PDF), approved in November 2016, which identifies the WMA-specific target species and habitat goals for the WMA. An overview of the Pharsalia WMA plan (PDF) was presented at a public meeting in January 2017.

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.