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Bashakill Wildlife Management Area

hiking Hunting Trapping Fishing hand boat launch ramp boat launch Wildlife Accessible recreation Parking icon key

Bashakill WMA Locator Map

The primary purposes of Bashakill Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This 3,107-acre WMA contains the largest freshwater wetland in southeastern New York, and is a state designated Bird Conservation Area. Its 1,920-acre wetland is a birdwatcher's dream, drawing birders during the spring warbler migration and spring and fall waterfowl migrations due to the influx of interesting birds. Both bald eagles and osprey are commonly seen from the many easy access points. The forested uplands that surround the wetland provide a peaceful setting where one can enjoy a quiet walk in the woods. There is a substantial chestnut oak forest as well as ponds, fields, marshes, and swamps.

Featured Activities



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

Fifteen miles of walking trails and several observation towers enhance the visitor's outdoor experience. One trail follows the historic D&H Canal which borders the Bashakill on the west. On the east side of the marsh, the O & W railroad bed is used as a trail as well. Please stay on the designated trails to protect the diversity and richness of the plant communities found within this area.

Hunting and Trapping

A view across a wetland with open water
The Bashakill WMA contains the largest fresh water wetland
in southeastern New York

Wildlife Management Unit: 3M

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

Bashakill WMA is known for its diverse wildlife. Mammals that can be found include white-tailed deer, beaver, muskrats, otter, and many small mammal species. Black bear are sometimes spotted. Trapping and waterfowl hunting are allowed at Bashakill WMA. These activities require a special permit which can be obtained from the Region 3 DEC Office by calling (845) 256-3098. 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.

Fishing is available year-round. The Basha Kill wetland contains largemouth bass, chain pickerel, panfish, and bowfin. Anecdotal evidence indicates there may be trout as well. Seasonally, gizzard shad have been found in the Basha Kill; schools of them have been observed at this location in the past. The Pine Kill is a quality small wild trout stream and may contribute some early season wild trout (primarily brown trout) to Bashakill WMA, where they will survive until the receiving water warms up in the summer. There are two trailered boat launches and three hand launch sites.

Historic trail that follows D&H Canal
This trail follows the historic D&H Canal.

Watchable Wildlife

watchable wildlife

General information on watchable wildlife includes tips for viewing wildlife and links to other watchable wildlife locations.

The Bashakill Wetland is home to over 200 species of birds and is a state designated Bird Conservation Area. The area supports characteristic breeding wetland-dependent species, abundant waterfowl, and several species at risk. Use the Wildlife Management Area Vertebrate Checklist (PDF) and the Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF) as wildlife viewing guides.

Wildlife to Watch

Where to Watch

  • Trails
  • Marsh
  • Observation towers

Accessible Features


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

The accessible Bashakill Fishing Platform allows casting access right at the water control structure for the "Basha Kill" wetland, where it flows into the Basher Kill (stream). The site has a designated accessible parking space and short access route to the pier.

An accessible waterfowl hunting/wildlife observation blind was constructed in 2018. The blind is accessed from the western parking area on Haven Road via a 600-foot wheelchair-accessible trail. The blind faces north and provides an expansive view of the northern half of the Bashakill's wetland habitat. There is open water habitat in close proximity to the shoreline at this location to provide adequate conditions for waterfowl hunting at most water levels.

Waterfowl hunting at Bashakill WMA requires an area-specific permit. To obtain a waterfowl hunting permit, please call the DEC Region 3 Wildlife program at 845-256-3098 or email us.


Bashakill WMA is located just east of NYS Route 209 and is bisected by NYS Route 17. It is primarily in the Town of Mamakating in Sullivan County, although the southern end extends slightly into the Town of Deerpark, Orange County. From Route 209, take Otisville Road a half mile to the east, turn left and proceed north 0.8 miles on South Road. Parking areas area located throughout the WMA.

All Google links leave DEC website.

The WMA is located at (41.535908°N, 74.517031°W) - Get Google Map Driving Directions

Parking areas:

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 Bashakill 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.

Accessible fishing platform at the Basherkill
Accessible fishing platform at Bashakill WMA.

Activity Rules & Regulations

Additional Rules at Bashakill WMA include:

  • A permit is needed for trapping or waterfowl hunting. Please see the hunting section above for details.

For a complete list of all WMA rules and regulations please see the Wildlife Management Area Regulations PDF and Bashakill WMA Part 104 Regulations above.

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 Bashakill Wildlife Management Area

A trail surrounded by fall foliage
Wildlife Resotration Logo

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

An active public use program is in place at the Bashakill WMA. Elements of the program include:

  • Creation of numerous parking areas and boat launch sites to provide controlled access.
  • Development of wildlife management programs.
  • Conducting intensive nest box programs for wood ducks and bluebirds.
  • Ongoing manipulation of the habitats to maintain habitat diversity.

Public access and wildlife management programs have been designed to protect and enhance this special area for future generations. Your compliance with the area's regulations is an important step towards this goal.

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.