Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Keeney Swamp Wildlife Management Area

Keeney Swamp WMA locator map

Hunting IconTrapping IconFishing IconWildlife IconDirections Iconicon key

The primary purposes of Keeney Swamp Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This is a 708-acre parcel located approximately 13 miles northeast of the village of Angelica and six miles southwest of the Village of Canaseraga. The area consists of nearly 530 acres of shrub swamp, emergent marsh, and open water wetlands and approximately 150 acres of brush and grassland. The area is primarily made up of wetland habitat and is home to a variety of waterfowl and song birds. The area was acquired to ensure the permanent preservation of this diverse natural wetland.

Most of Keeney Swamp had been drained for agricultural purposes in the 1800s. By the late 1960s, most of the farms were abandoned. Beaver re-occupied the area and constructed several large impoundments. The area was purchased in 1978 by the DEC. Around 1990, four of the largest beaver impoundments failed over an eighteen month period. This resulted in a net loss of approximately 300 acres of shallow water impoundment. By the late 1990s, this loss of habitat had decreased the diversity and abundance of many wildlife species, particularly water birds. DEC received requests from birding groups and sportsmen to restore the wetland habitat. As a result, DEC constructed a water impoundment in 2001 to restore and improve the wetlands.

Featured Activities

Hunting and Trapping

Hunting Icon
Trapping Icon

Wildlife Management Unit: 9P

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

Hunting and trapping are allowed within Keeney Swamp Wildlife Management Area. Please be sure to abide by all game laws (view hunting seasons and trapping seasons).


Fishing Icon

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


Wildlife Icon

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

Deer, turkeys, black bears, squirrels, and a host of songbirds frequent the area. Use the Wildlife Management Area Vertebrate Checklist (PDF) and the Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF) as wildlife viewing guides.

Keeney Swamp Wildlife Management Area was designated as a Bird Conservation Area. Numerous species of waterfowl breed or migrate through the wetlands, including: Canada goose, wood duck, American black duck, mallard, blue-winged teal, hooded merganser, bufflehead, tundra swan, common moorhen, northern pintail, common loon, and pied-billed grebe.

Winter concentrations of white-winged and red crossbills are notable in the conifer stands. A tremendous diversity and abundance of songbirds breed and migrate through the shrub and forest habitat on the BCA. There are some grasslands on the state forest that still support grassland species including: northern harrier, upland sandpiper, vesper sparrow, bobolink, and eastern meadowlark.

Species at Risk include: pied-billed grebe, common loon, American bittern, northern harrier, upland sandpiper, vesper sparrow, red-shouldered hawk, and red-headed woodpecker.

Keeney Swamp Brown Sign


From Interstate 86, take exit 34N and head north on Route 36. After 6.8 miles, turn left onto Route 70 and continue for 5.6 miles, then turn left onto County Route 15B. In 1.3 miles, turn right at the fork onto County Route 15A, then in 3.8 miles turn left onto Fitch Hill Spur Forest Road. This will take you first through Keeney Swamp WMA. It can also be accessed from County Route 15B.

All Google links leave DEC website.

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

Rules, Regulations & 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 Keeney Swamp 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

Pond at Keaney Swamp WMA
Pond in Keeney Swamp WMA

The following activities are not permitted in Keeney Swamp WMA:

  • Using motorized vehicles, including:
    • all-terrain vehicles
    • snowmobiles
    • motorboats
  • Swimming (no lifeguard on premises) 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).

How We Manage Keeney Swamp Wildlife Management Area

Wildlife Restoration logo

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

A principal management objective for this WMA is to maintain quality wetland habitat for waterfowl. In 2001, DEC initiated a wetland restoration and enhancement project to improve wetland habitat consisting of emergent, submergent and open water cover types. A 105-acre impoundment was constructed utilizing an existing abandoned road as a base for the dike. Water levels are controlled by an inline control structure and a heavy sheet piling box inlet drop spillway. Impoundments are periodically drawn down to facilitate establishment of emergent plant species desirable for nesting and migratory waterfowl species. Habitat management activities include water level regulation and grassland maintenance.

View the Habitat Management Plan for Keeney Swamp Wildlife Management Area (PDF), approved in July 2018, 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.

  • Important Links
  • Links Leaving DEC's Website
  • Contact for this Page
    Region 9 Wildlife Manager
    182 East Union Street, Suite 3
    Allegany NY 14706
    Send us an email
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to Region 9