Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Hamlin Marsh Wildlife Management Area

Hamlin Marsh WMA Locator Map

huntingtrappingfishingparkingIcon showing two hikers with walking sticks and backpackshand launch for kayaks and canoesaccessible blind and observation deckparkingicon key

As of May 2021, the hunting blind is closed for repairs.

The primary purposes of Hamlin Marsh Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This WMA is 1,686 acres in size with approximately 88% as wetland habitat. The WMA is about four miles long and from 1/4 to one mile wide. Mud Creek flows into and out of Hamlin Marsh WMA and drops only about 2.4 feet as it travels through the marsh. Mill Creek flows into the marsh from the south side under Bear Road.

The marsh appears to have become wetter since the 1940s. Part of this is due to increasing human development around the wetland causing more frequent and faster water runoff into the marsh and is partly due to dams downstream of the marsh. The WMA's topography is gently rolling land with an average elevation of about 400 feet above sea level.

In the past, Hamlin Marsh was referred to as Clay Marsh, Cicero Swamp, Little Cicero Swamp, and Peat Swamp. In 1994 it was renamed the Stanley J. Hamlin Marsh WMA after a local prominent conservationist who was instrumental in the state acquisition of the area.

Featured Activities

Boardwalk and hunting blind
Accessible hunting blind


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.

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: 7F

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.



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. All species of waterfowl that migrate up and down the Atlantic coast occur here, either as a resident species or a visitor during the spring and fall migrations. The area provides breeding, nesting, resting, and feeding opportunities for almost two hundred species of birds. Careful observation will show pickerel frog, wood frog, snapping turtle, spotted turtle, garter snake, star-nosed mole, muskrat, beaver, mink, fox, raccoon, and white-tailed deer. Use the Wildlife Management Area Vertebrate Checklist (PDF) and the Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF) as wildlife viewing guides.

Boat Access

hand launch for kayaks and canoes

Public, non-motorized boat access is available. There are 4.9 miles of channel and about 11 acres of open water. The channels are a minimum of 25 feet wide and an average of four feet deep, although some portions are up to ten feet deep. The main channel (accessible from the Davis Road parking area) from Davis Road to the Conrail Railroad is 3.1 miles long. A 30-yard portage over a "plug" left in the channel is necessary.

The 0.7-mile Mill Creek channel is accessible from the Bear Road parking area and meets the main channel about 0.9 miles west of Davis Road. There is not a recognizable channel west of the railroad tracks. Caution is advised if foot travel is undertaken because of the soft bottom and hidden holes within the marsh.

Accessible observation deck with benches, overlooking marshlands
Accessible observation deck

Accessible Features


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

The Hunting Blind off Old Wetzel Road is TEMPORARILY CLOSED. However, the observation platform off Henry Clay Blvd is open.
Hamlin Marsh offers an accessible hunting blind and a separate accessible observation deck with benches, overlooking Hamlin Marsh. The deck is built at the border of a vast marshland and offers visitors the ability to see and hear migratory birds as well as other marshland creatures. The hunting blind is located on open water and features a 75-foot wooded access path with designated parking. The hunting blind is located off of Old Wetzel Road (side street off of 252) and the observation platform is off of Henry Clay Blvd (121).


Hamlin Marsh is easily reachable from NY Route 491 via Henry Clay Boulevard from Route 11 via Bear Road, and from Wetzel Road for the west and southwest portions of the area. The 7 1/2 minute topographic map covering the area is Brewerton.

To reach the observation deck from Route 481, take Exit 12 and proceed east on Route 31. Turn right onto Henry Clay Boulevard. Follow toward the south. The observation deck is located on the left, just over the highway.

TEMPORARILY CLOSED: To reach the hunting blind, continue south 1.5 miles on Henry Clay Blvd. Turn left onto Wetzel Road, then left onto Old Wetzel Road. The parking area is on the left. The hunting blind can also be reached from I-81. Off the Mattydale exit, proceed to the left turn on Bailey Road. Turn right at Buckley Road, proceed right on Wetzel Road, then turn right on Old Wetzel Road.

Hamlin Marsh WMA brown sign

All Google links leave DEC website.

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

Rules, Regulations & Outdoor Safety

Special note should be made that the Conrail Railroad is private property and not part of the wildlife management area.

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 the Hamlin Mark 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 in Hamlin Marsh 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

How We Manage Hamlin Marsh Wildlife Management Area

Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, Hamlin Marsh 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.

Hamlin Marsh 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.