Those who enjoy exploring natural habitats will want to check out the new Deer Creek Marsh Wildlife Management Area (WMA) brochure now online at www.seagrant.sunysb.edu/glhabitat/PDFS/DeerCreekMarsh2011.pdf. New York Sea Grant produced the new publication in collaboration with The Ontario Dune Coalition, an alliance of private property owners’ associations, non-profit organizations, local government, and state and federal agencies. Entergy’s Environmental Stewardship Program provided funding.
Deer Creek Marsh WMA covers nearly 1,200 acres of state-owned land and provides opportunities for beach and trail hiking, fishing, paddling, trapping, birdwatching, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hunting and relaxing in nature.
The resource brochure written by New York Sea Grant Coastal Community Development Specialist Mary Penney highlights the habitats of the area that is part of the 17-mile Eastern Lake Ontario Dunes and Wetlands Area.
Penney writes of the cobble stones left on the beach by ancient glacier activity and encourages visitors to watch for wood ducks and to fish for northern pike, yellow perch and largemouth bass. She also cautions that at one point in time the fragile dunes were mined for their sand and damaged by vehicle and foot traffic.
Deer Creek Marsh WMA Land Manager Bonnie Parton with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation says, “Deer Creek Marsh is a largely undiscovered treasure offering access to both Deer Creek and Lake Ontario. The dune crossover enables visitors to experience this unique and fragile environment without harming it.”
“The goal of this new publication is two-fold: to let people know about this great natural resource and recreation area that is part of one of the largest inland dune systems in the Eastern Great Lakes region and, most importantly, to inform people about how to protect the resource by using observation platforms, trails, and walkovers,” Penney says.
Deer Creek Marsh WMA is accessible from five parking areas, including a cartop boat launch parking area off Route 3 of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail north of the Salmon River between Route 5 and Rainbow Shores Road.
Editor’s note: Deer Creek is a wonderful paddle that takes you through the sand dunes to the shores of lake Ontario. This paddle is covered in the guidebook “Take A Paddle – Finger Lakes New York Quiet Water for Canoes & Kayaks.”
Directions to Deer Creek Marsh WMA:
From the south: Follow Interstate Route 81 to the Pulaski exit, turn left and travel 3 miles west on Route 13 to the intersection with Route 3 (Great Lakes Seaway Trail) at Port Ontario. Turn right (north) onto Route 3. Deer Creek Marsh WMA is on the left with a cartop boat launch parking area between Route 5 and Rainbow Shores Road and parking off Kelly Drive and Rainbow Shores Road.
From the north: Follow Interstate Route 81 to the Pulaski exit, turn right and travel to the first stop light in the village, turn left onto Route 11, turn right at the first light and follow Route 5 to the intersection with Route 3 (Great Lakes Seaway Trail) at Port Ontario. Turn right (north) onto Route 3. Deer Creek Marsh WMA is on the left with a cartop boat launch parking area between Route 5 and Rainbow Shores Road and parking off Kelly Drive and Rainbow Shores Road.