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Lakeview Wildlife Management Area

Lakeview WMA locator map

hiking hunting trapping icon for fishing showing a fish and a hook bird viewing area hand launch access for people with disabilities parking icon key

The primary purposes of Lakeview Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are wildlife habitat management and wildlife-dependent recreation. This WMA is part of the largest natural fresh water barrier beach system in New York State. This 3,461-acre WMA is located on State Route 3, 20 miles southwest of Watertown, or 15 miles northwest of Pulaski. This area's diverse habitat includes: open fields, shrub lands, woodlands, wetlands, and a natural barrier beach. Lakeview WMA is open to the public year-round, but public use restrictions apply to the sensitive barrier beach system - see Part 79 regulations (leaves DEC website).

If you are interested in hunting, observing wildlife, or just exploring, there are several gravel roads or trails that lead into the WMA. Some of the most beautiful areas on this WMA can only be seen by boat, and there are four designated boat launch sites for canoes or car-top boats on the WMA.

Featured Activities



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

This WMA offers over three miles of foot trails, two viewing platforms, and an observation tower. The main trail (Lake Ontario Dune Trail) can be accessed via the road into Southwick Beach State Park. This trail begins in a section of hardwoods and ends on the shoreline of Lake Ontario. This trail can also be accessed from the parking area at Lakeview Pond.

Two dune walkover structures enable visitors to actually walk over the fragile dunes and enjoy the shoreline of Lake Ontario. One walkover is off the Lake Ontario Dune trail and the other requires you to boat across Lakeview Pond. The natural beach is very popular for visitors, but it is important to obey the "Stay Off the Dunes" signs.

The trail that runs along South Sandy Creek has benches along the trail and ends at an elevated viewing platform that provides views of the sand dunes and wetlands. Please stay on the designated trails to protect the diversity and richness of the plant communities found within this area. On a clear day, the observation tower on Montario Point Road allows a bird's-eye view of the management area.

Hunting and Trapping


Wildlife Management Unit: 6G

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, cottontail rabbit, woodcock, and wild turkey are found on the upland portions of the WMA. The WMA also supports abundant waterfowl populations in its vast wetland areas. Furbearers found on the WMA include muskrat, mink, beaver, river otter, and raccoon. Please be sure to abide by all game laws (view hunting seasons and trapping seasons).


icon for fishing showing a fish and a hook

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

Two of the main creeks (Sandy and South Sandy) are well known by fishermen for steelhead trout in the spring and chinook salmon in the fall. Northern pike and yellow perch are often caught through the ice on several of the ponds. Anglers can also enjoy catching panfish, smallmouth bass, and largemouth bass during the summer months.


bird viewing area

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

With so much habitat diversity, there is also a variety of wildlife. Designated as a Bird Conservation Area, Lakeview WMA is a great place to view bird species.

The Marsh Wren, Black Tern, and American Bittern are among the many species of birds that nest and feed on the area. Migratory shorebirds can also be seen along the shoreline. To view the diverse wildlife one should access the area via the foot trails or by boat as mentioned above.

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

Accessible Features

access for people with disabilities

Lakeview WMA kiosk.
Lakeview WMA kiosk

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

Lakeview Wildlife Management Area's accessible loop trail is approximately 0.7 miles in length. It travels through a wooded upland segment of the Lakeview WMA and Southwick Beach State Park. The trail provides opportunities for wildlife observation and access for hunting. An accessible parking lot is located at the west end of the trail and an additional parking lot located at the east end of the loop offers public access. They are both open from sunrise to sunset.


Located in southern Jefferson County, Lakeview WMA is bordered by Southwick Beach State Park to the north and Lake Ontario to the west.

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 Lakeview 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 Lakeview WMA:

  • Using motorized vehicles, including:
    • all-terrain vehicles
    • snowmobiles
  • Swimming or bathing
  • Camping
  • Horseback riding
  • 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 Lakeview Wildlife Management Area

wildlife restoration logo

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

DEC has partnered with Department of Transportation, New York Sea Grant, Ducks Unlimited, Seaway Trails, and the Snow Foundation to help build parking lots, trails, conduct potholing and channeling, and install interpretive panels on the WMA.

View the Habitat Management Plan for Lakeview Wildlife Management Area (PDF), approved in May 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.