Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Utica Marsh Wildlife Management Area

Utica Marsh WMA Locator Map

trapfishwatchable wildlifewatchable wildlifehikeparkicon key

View the Access and Public Use Plan for Utica Marsh WMA (PDF). Comments were accepted through December 22, 2021.

Group photo of people around the Utica Marsh WMA sign

The primary purposes of Utica Marsh Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This WMA is a unique urban wetland. The mixture of cattail wetlands, wet meadows, open water pools, and flooded willows create a diverse marsh habitat that harbors a tremendous variety of plants and animals, especially birds.

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.



Wildlife Management Unit: 6P, 6S

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

Utica Marsh WMA is open to trapping. Please be sure to abide by all game laws (view trapping seasons).



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

Anglers can access both the Mohawk River and the Barge Canal.

wildlife viewing platform
Wildlife viewing platform gives a bird's eye view


watchable wildlife

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

Hiking and bike riding are the primary activities for visitors at the Utica Marsh. The Marsh does not have vehicular access so visitors would be required to hike or bike into the area. The Marsh may be accessed from the NYS Canalway Trail (leaves DEC website), which runs along the Barge Canal. The walk is about 2 miles from the nearest parking area, but the trail is flat and well shaded. Riding a bike makes the experience even more enjoyable. Once at Marsh, visitors can enjoy up-close views of the wetland habitats and may see a variety of wildlife depending on the time of year and a bit of luck!

There is a wildlife viewing tower which provides the public with a bird's eye view of the abundant wildlife at the WMA and encourages residents to explore the outdoors. The tower was built as part of the Governor's Adventure NY Initiative to connect more New Yorkers with nature.

watchable wildlife

General information on watchable wildlife includes tips for viewing wildlife and links to other watchable wildlife locations. Use the Wildlife Management Area Vertebrate Checklist (PDF) and the Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF) as wildlife viewing guides.


The WMA is situated on the border of the City of Utica and the Town of Marcy, and between the Mohawk River on the south and the New York State Barge Canal on the north. Currently, access to the area requires a walk along the New York State Canalway Trail of between 1 and 1.5 miles. Visitors can access the scenic Canalway Trail from the parking area located off of North Genesee Street. See map at the top of the webpage for details. Call the Herkimer Office at 315-866-6330 for additional questions about access or wildlife resources on the WMA.

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 Utica Marsh 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 Utica Marsh WMA:

  • Using motorized vehicles, including:
    • all-terrain vehicles
    • snowmobiles
    • motorboats
  • Hunting
  • 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).

How We Manage Utica Marsh Wildlife Management Area

wildlife restoration logo

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

In the late 1970s, the City of Utica awarded DEC 50 acres of river flood plain with the condition that the state begin buying additional land here and managing this wetland area. Now the WMA contains 213 acres, an observation tower, a wildlife viewing site, and several hiking trails.

View the Habitat Management Plan for Utica Marsh Wildlife Management Area (PDF), approved in February 2017, 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.