Jefferson County

Jefferson County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 116,229. It is named after Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States of America, and president at the time the county was created in 1805. Its county seat is Watertown. It is adjacent to Lake Ontario, southeast from the Canadian border of Ontario.

Jefferson County is in northeastern New York State, adjacent to the area where the Saint Lawrence River exits Lake Ontario. It is northeast of Syracuse, and northwest of Utica. The county is at the international border with Canada.

The Black River, which empties into Lake Ontario, is an important waterway in the county. Part of the Tug Hill Plateau is in the southern part of the county.

The county also includes nearby islands in the St. Lawrence River, including such large islands as Carleton Island, Grindstone Island, and Wellesley Island.

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New York State
Ashland Flat WMA
Black Pond Wildlife Management Area
Coyote Flats State Forest
French Creek WMA
Honeyville Wildlife Management Area
Lakeview WMA
Perch River WMA
Point Peninsula Wildlife Management Area
Pulpit Rock State Forest

Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

Map: Lakeview Wildlife Management Area

Map: Lakeview Wildlife Management Area

Lakeview WMA is part of the largest natural fresh water barrier beach system in New York State. Located in southern Jefferson County, Lakeview WMA is bordered by Southwick Beach State Park to the north and Lake Ontario to the west. This 3,461-acre area 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 is open to the public year round, but public use restrictions apply to the sensitive barrier beach system. Some of the most beautiful areas in this WMA can only be seen by boat. There are three designated boat launch sites for canoes or car top boats with a 10-horsepower limit.

Accessible Features
This accessible trail is approximately .7 miles in length. It travels through an upland wooded segment of the Lakeview Wildlife Management Area 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 is open year round. An additional parking lot located at the east end of the loop offers public access on a limited basis - between sunrise and 9 AM from Memorial Day until September 27 but open to the public all daylight hours the remainder of the year.

Full listing of DECs Accessible Recreation Destinations.

What to do at Lakeview WMA
Lakeview WMA, with its diverse habitat, provides excellent recreational opportunities. Fishing, hunting, trapping, bird watching and boating are some of the activities pursued. 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, and anglers can also enjoy catching panfish, and smallmouth and largemouth bass during the summer months.

With so much habitat diversity, there is also a variety of wildlife. White-tailed deer, ruffed grouse, wild turkey, cottontail rabbit, red fox, beaver, mink, grey squirrel, eastern coyote, waterfowl, reptiles and amphibians are some of the residents found on this area. If you are interested in hunting, observing wildlife, or just exploring, several gravel roads and trails lead into the area. Designated as a Bird Conservation Area, Lakeview WMA is a great place to view bird species such as: American Bitterns, Caspian Terns and Northern Harriers. With a little persistence, protected bird species such as Black Terns and Least Bitterns can also be found at this area.

If boating is not an option, Lakeview WMA also offers over three miles of foot trails and two viewing towers. 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 shorelines 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. On a clear day, the observation tower on Montario Point Road allows a bird's-eye view of the management area.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9328.html

Map: Lakeview WMA

Map: Lakeview WMA

Lakeview WMA is part of the largest natural fresh water barrier beach system in New York State. Located in southern Jefferson County, Lakeview WMA is bordered by Southwick Beach State Park to the north and Lake Ontario to the west. This 3,461-acre area 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 is open to the public year round, but public use restrictions apply to the sensitive barrier beach system. Some of the most beautiful areas in this WMA can only be seen by boat. There are three designated boat launch sites for canoes or car top boats with a 10-horsepower limit.

Accessible Features
This accessible trail is approximately .7 miles in length. It travels through an upland wooded segment of the Lakeview Wildlife Management Area 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 is open year round. An additional parking lot located at the east end of the loop offers public access on a limited basis - between sunrise and 9 AM from Memorial Day until September 27 but open to the public all daylight hours the remainder of the year.

Full listing of DECs Accessible Recreation Destinations.

What to do at Lakeview WMA
Lakeview WMA, with its diverse habitat, provides excellent recreational opportunities. Fishing, hunting, trapping, bird watching and boating are some of the activities pursued. 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, and anglers can also enjoy catching panfish, and smallmouth and largemouth bass during the summer months.

With so much habitat diversity, there is also a variety of wildlife. White-tailed deer, ruffed grouse, wild turkey, cottontail rabbit, red fox, beaver, mink, grey squirrel, eastern coyote, waterfowl, reptiles and amphibians are some of the residents found on this area. If you are interested in hunting, observing wildlife, or just exploring, several gravel roads and trails lead into the area. Designated as a Bird Conservation Area, Lakeview WMA is a great place to view bird species such as: American Bitterns, Caspian Terns and Northern Harriers. With a little persistence, protected bird species such as Black Terns and Least Bitterns can also be found at this area.

If boating is not an option, Lakeview WMA also offers over three miles of foot trails and two viewing towers. 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 shorelines 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. On a clear day, the observation tower on Montario Point Road allows a bird's-eye view of the management area.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9328.html

Map: Honeyville Wildlife Management Area

Map: Honeyville Wildlife Management Area

his WMA is primarily an open water and emergent marsh impoundment with a limited amount of old field and shrub dominated uplands. These habitats combine for a total WMA size of 110 acres. The WMA's open water is visible to the north of State Route 177 at Honeyville. This WMA was acquired in 1966 and its impoundment developed as wetland habitat for nesting and migratory waterfowl. Current public access is very limited, consisting of a short section of road frontage on Fuller Road, marked with state WMA signs. The area does not have any developed parking areas, trails, or other access facilities. However, this beautiful, undeveloped piece of public property is well worth the access effort to experience and enjoy. Possibly the WMA's best feature is the shoreline, natural and undeveloped, which is rare in today's world.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/49634.html

Map: Coyote Flats State Forest

Map: Coyote Flats State Forest

Near Thersa, this 553 acre state forest was named Coyote Flats in the 1970's, at a time when the coyote was first making a come back in the north country. It was aptly named since the entire forest is comprised of low, flat, wet bottomland often frequented by prowling coyotes. Streams flowing through the area are sporadically dammed by beaver, often inundating large sections of the forest. In addition to coyotes and beaver, other abundant wildlife occurring on the area include white-tailed deer, muskrat, mink, and waterfowl. Also, grouse can often be found in the aspen stands.

Among the common tree species found here are aspen, white pine, hemlock, and red maple. Because of the wet ground conditions, timber harvesting from this state forest is extremely limited. Foot access to the area is from the west, along the Coyote trail. This trail is limited to motor vehicle access for people with disabilities by permit.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/8054.html

Map: Lakeview WMA

Map: Lakeview WMA

Lakeview WMA is part of the largest natural fresh water barrier beach system in New York State. Located in southern Jefferson County, Lakeview WMA is bordered by Southwick Beach State Park to the north and Lake Ontario to the west. This 3,461-acre area 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 is open to the public year round, but public use restrictions apply to the sensitive barrier beach system. Some of the most beautiful areas in this WMA can only be seen by boat. There are three designated boat launch sites for canoes or car top boats with a 10-horsepower limit.

Accessible Features
This accessible trail is approximately .7 miles in length. It travels through an upland wooded segment of the Lakeview Wildlife Management Area 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 is open year round. An additional parking lot located at the east end of the loop offers public access on a limited basis - between sunrise and 9 AM from Memorial Day until September 27 but open to the public all daylight hours the remainder of the year.

Full listing of DECs Accessible Recreation Destinations.

What to do at Lakeview WMA
Lakeview WMA, with its diverse habitat, provides excellent recreational opportunities. Fishing, hunting, trapping, bird watching and boating are some of the activities pursued. 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, and anglers can also enjoy catching panfish, and smallmouth and largemouth bass during the summer months.

With so much habitat diversity, there is also a variety of wildlife. White-tailed deer, ruffed grouse, wild turkey, cottontail rabbit, red fox, beaver, mink, grey squirrel, eastern coyote, waterfowl, reptiles and amphibians are some of the residents found on this area. If you are interested in hunting, observing wildlife, or just exploring, several gravel roads and trails lead into the area. Designated as a Bird Conservation Area, Lakeview WMA is a great place to view bird species such as: American Bitterns, Caspian Terns and Northern Harriers. With a little persistence, protected bird species such as Black Terns and Least Bitterns can also be found at this area.

If boating is not an option, Lakeview WMA also offers over three miles of foot trails and two viewing towers. 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 shorelines 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. On a clear day, the observation tower on Montario Point Road allows a bird's-eye view of the management area.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9328.html

Map: Perch River Wildlife Management Area

Map: Perch River Wildlife Management Area

This 7862-acre WMA is located in central Jefferson County five miles northwest of the City of Watertown. State Route #12 runs through the lower third of the Perch River marsh and has a parking area. The primary access points for recreationists are along the Vaadi, Dog Hill, and Allen roads (see map for additional access).

Perch River is dominated by its wetland and open water habitats but also offers woodland, early succession, and grassland habitats. The area is well known for its waterfowl and furbearer populations and also supports deer, upland small game, and variety of unique non-game species. The grasslands are mowed periodically in late summer to inhibit brush growth and maintain the diversity of habitat that make Perch River so attractive to wildlife. Water levels in the impoundments are managed to provide stable open water and emergent marsh habitat for the waterfowl and other water-dependent bird and furbearer species found on the area.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/46441.html

Map: French Creek WMA

Map: French Creek WMA

An area of varied habitat, this 2300-acre WMA is located southwest of Clayton in Jefferson County. Access is best gained four miles from the village on the French Creek Road (off Crystal Springs Road, Co Rt 4). The Deferno, House, and Grant roads provide access to the south. French Creek and Bevins roads crosses the southern section with a small parking lot at the bridge on Bevins Road. Small game and song birds are found here in the open meadows and hardwood uplands. Oak and Hickory trees provide nut mast for wildlife to eat. Waterfowl and furbearers find suitable homes as well in the cattail marsh which borders the open water of French Creek. Both small rowboats and canoes can be used in the broad channel of the creek. Unpaved roads within the WMA provide good access, but foot travel is the primary means of movement through the area. French Creek is open to use under the general state wildlife management area regulations.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40678.html

Map: Pulpit Rock State Forest

Map: Pulpit Rock State Forest

This 1,603 acre state reforestation area consists mostly of a granite plateau ranging in character from bare rock outcrops to relatively fertile valleys. A sheer stone cliff over 100 feet high rises from Payne Lake to overlook the Payne Lake Public Fishing Access Site to the east. This state forest was named for a unique nearby rock formation that once served as an outdoor podium from which traveling clergy preached to the local pioneers.

Among the common tree species found here are red oak, white pine, ironwood, hemlock, hard maple and red maple. Resident wildlife includes white-tailed deer, turkey and small fur bearers.

The 0.9 mile long Root Trail is a hiking trail and public right-of-way access to this state forest leading westerly from the Vrooman Creek Road (Jefferson County Route #22). An additional 0.7 miles of hiking access from the west is provided by way of the Watson Trail. Payne Lake, on the eastern edge of this forest, is not only a favorite fishing spot in the summer, but is also a very popular spot for ice fishing. Yellow perch can be caught here year round.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/8013.html