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Black Creek Marsh Wildlife Management Area

Black Creek Marsh WMA Locator Map

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The primary purposes of Black Creek Marsh Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This WMA consists of about 450 acres of wetland and upland habitat in Albany County. The first purchases here occurred in the 1960s. The Black Creek runs through much of the property. The WMA is also bisected by an active railroad line. The diversity of habitats and wildlife species found at Black Creek Marsh provides unique opportunities for public use. Black Creek Marsh is primarily a freshwater wetland community. Wetland types include cattail marsh, open-water marsh, and flooded red maple swamp. Because of the abundance of wetlands, this WMA is an important area for amphibians and reptiles. Much of the forested swamp dries sufficiently by early summer to permit hunting, although beaver activity is increasing water levels in many areas. There are about 150 acres of uplands, including grassy fields, and some apple and pear orchards that adjoin the wetlands. Parking areas have been developed to provide access to the area, and a substantial trail network is maintained for the enjoyment of WMA users.

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

A marsh in Black Creek Marsh WMA.
Wetland in Black Creek Marsh WMA

Wildlife Management Unit: 4B

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

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. Deer, turkeys, squirrels, and a host of songbirds frequent the area.

Black Creek Marsh is one of the premier birding sites in the Capital Region and in 2006 was designated as a Bird Conservation Area.

Waterfowl regularly breeding on Black Creek Wildlife Management Area include Canada goose, mallard, and wood duck. Several hundred waterfowl are seen during migration, including pied-billed grebe (threatened). A total of 5 American bitterns, 1 least bittern, 13 Virginia rails, and 3 soras were tallied over several morning and evening visits in 2004 as part of NYSDEC's Marsh Bird Monitoring Project. American black duck and blue-winged teal are possible breeders as well.

Grassland birds including savannah sparrow, bobolink, eastern meadowlark, and American kestrel utilize the surrounding agricultural areas, although limited grassland habitat occurs on state property. Short-eared owls (endangered) have been observed during the winter. Black Creek Marsh offers foraging grounds for northern harrier (threatened) during migration. Rusty blackbird (40-50 individuals) and common nighthawk (special concern) are also regularly seen during spring and fall migration. Early successional species found on the WMA include American woodcock, blue-winged warbler, prairie warbler, yellow warbler, common yellowthroat, chestnut-sided warbler, eastern towhee, alder flycatcher, willow flycatcher, black-billed cuckoo, and brown thrasher.

Use the Wildlife Management Area Vertebrate Checklist (PDF) and the Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF) as wildlife viewing guides.

Black Creek Marsh Brown Sign


Parking areas providing access can be found on Meadowdale Road, School Road, Hennessey Road, and at the end of Kling Terrace.

All Google links leave DEC Website.

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 Black Creek Marsh WMA 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 Black Creek Marsh Wildlife Management Area

wildlife restoration logo

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

Management at Black Creek is designed to maintain important freshwater wetlands and a diversity of habitat types so many species can exist on the site. Habitat improvements include mowing, trail creation, and the placement of nesting boxes. Pear and apple trees found in upland areas are maintained to provide food for wildlife. Mowing is used annually to maintain fields to enhance habitat for grassland nesting birds.

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.