Utica Marsh Wildlife Management Area
|Description: Utica Marsh is a unique urban wetland situated on the edge of the City of Utica,
partly in the Town of Marcy, sandwiched between the Mohawk River on the
south and the New York State Barge Canal on the north. The mixture of cattail
wetlands, wet meadows, open water pools and flooded willows creates a diverse
marsh habitat that harbors a tremendous variety of plants and animals, especially
birds. You can view many varieties of birds and wetland wildlife while hiking,
bicycling or paddling around this very accessible natural oasis.|
Wildlife to Watch: White-tailed deer are the largest mammal you’ll see at the marsh. Look for
them at sunrise and sundown. Muskrats are the most common aquatic mammal,
but you may see mink, gray foxes and raccoons around wetland fringes.
More than 160 bird species have been recorded at Utica Marsh. Stately great
blue herons are the largest of the wading birds found here, while the endangered
least bittern is one of the smallest. Flocks of honking Canada geese
announce their comings and goings as they maneuver around in signature “V”
formations. Mallards feed on succulent marsh plants as they prepare to nest in
spring. Many more waterfowl species move through during the spring and fall
Painted and snapping turtles emerge from hibernation in the spring, looking
for places to lay their eggs in soft soil along the trails. Look for empty eggshells
after the young have hatched, or turtle nests that have been raided by hungry skunks or raccoons. Common garter snakes slither among marsh reeds looking
for insects and small animals to fill their bellies.
An early spring visit might reward you with the courtship display of the
American woodcock. Expect to hear the familiar conk-a-ree of the red-winged
blackbird all along the trail. Other birds commonly seen here include song
and swamp sparrows, yellow warblers, yellowthroats, American goldfinches
and marsh wrens. Several hawk species, most prominently red-tailed and
sharp-shinned, patrol the skies looking for rabbits and other small mammals
or birds to feed on. Bald eagles and other raptors are migratory visitors.
Special Tips: The site includes two viewing platforms. Hiking and nature trails take you
throughout the marsh. Picnic areas and a bicycle trail are also available. Hikers
will find a pavilion and several spots where they can clearly observe the
marsh. People also enjoy cross-country skiing and snowshoeing here.
Other Activities: This site is open from sunrise to sunset year-round. Fishing is allowed
in season. Trapping is allowed in season with a permit available from
DEC’s Utica sub-office.
315-793-2557, 207 Genesee Street, Utica, NY 13501
Ownership: NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Closest Town: Utica
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: