Bashakill Wildlife Management Area

Town of Mamakating (Sullivan County), Town of Deerpark (Orange County)

Warblers, from “Birds of New York” (1914), Cornell University Library
NOTE: Replacement of the Haven Road bridge is scheduled to begin at 8 am on July 15, 2019. To access the South Road corridor of the Bashakill (Stop Sign Trail, Main Boat Launch/Birch Trail, Nature Trail, and the Horseshoe), go through Wurtsboro and take Pennsylvania Avenue (by the fire house), which becomes South Road. Or, from Otisville Road, take Indian Orchard Road, which becomes South Road.

The 3107-acre Bashakill Wildlife Management Area is home to the largest freshwater wetland in southeastern New York. The usual meeting spot for Bashakill field trips is the Stop Sign Trail indicated in red on the map), which is off Haven Road. From Route 209, turn onto Haven Road, cross the causeway and a little bridge, and then turn left on an unpaved road, which leads to a parking area at the end. This is where the stop sign is!

“The Bash” is a state-designated Bird Conservation Area, and more than 220 species have been recorded here. The habitat—wetlands surrounded by deciduous woods and shrublands—hosts breeding Wood Ducks, herons, rails, moorhens, Bald Eagles, Osprey, and bitterns, among others. Two dozen species of migratory ducks stop at the Bash during their travels, and the site is a veritable magnet for migrating wood warblers in the spring!