Bashakill Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is located beneath the Shawangunk Ridge, 65 miles northwest of New York City. It is home to one of southeastern New York’s largest wetlands. This 3,107-acre WMA contains almost 2,000 acres of emergent marsh and forested swamp. There are many reptile and amphibian species here, such as snapping turtles, pickerel frogs, and longtail salamanders. Muskrat, mink, and beaver are distributed throughout the wetlands, and white-tailed deer, fox, and fisher can be found in the upland habitats and wetland periphery. You can also see a high diversity of bird species on the property.
Fishing, paddling, birding, and nature photography are all popular activities at the WMA. Trapping and waterfowl hunting are allowed but require a special permit, which can be obtained from the Region 3 DEC Office. The WMA has 15 miles of walking trails and several observation towers. There are two trailered boat launches and three hand launch sites. The site has several wheelchair-accessible features, including a fishing platform on South Road and a waterfowl hunting and wildlife observation blind on Haven Road. Read more about Bashakill WMA in the June issue of the Conservationist (PDF).