Discover Wilson Hill WMA - Nature Trails

Two trails offer access to this corner of Wilson Hill WMA: an accessible gravel stone walkway and a more rustic forest pathway.
2.50 miles, Network
Easy, Moderate
Dirt/Forest Floor, Gravel/Crushed Stone, Pavement/Cement, Boardwalk/Bog Bridging


A kiosk with a trail map highlights two nature trails: The blue-marked "Nichols Trail" and red-marked "Rustic Trail."

The Nichols Trail runs 0.9 miles on a gravel stone walkway. This is a great trail for beginners, kids, and is wheelchair accessible. Along the densely wooded trail, you'll be surrounded by tall maple and pine trees. There are three observation platforms along the trail that overlook the marsh, affording views of migrating waterfowl and the St. Lawrence River.

The Rustic Trail is a 1.2-mile narrow footpath that takes visitors deeper into the Wilson Hill Wildlife Area. This trail is also great for beginners and can be enjoyed by all levels of hikers. On the hike, you'll experience slight rolling hill inclines and declines, wooden bridges, and views over open swampland.

Other Information

The primary purposes of Wilson Hill Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This WMA is an open water wetland adjacent to the St. Lawrence River. Wilson Hill WMA is a 3,434-acre area that consists of several large open water pools of approximately 1,800 acres bordered by cattail, shrub swamp, forest, and meadows. Being in close proximity to the St. Lawrence River, the area is ideal for nesting and migrating waterfowl. It is not uncommon to find 15 to 20 different species of waterfowl on the area during the spring and fall migrations. The shallow impoundments of the area provide habitat for dabbling ducks, diving ducks, and geese. In addition to waterfowl, there are raptors and the emergent marsh supports an abundance of wetland furbearers.


This trail is part of the Great 8 Challenge. Learn more!




Trail Manager

For law and regulatory enforcement concerns, please call the 24/7 DEC number: (518) 408-5850 (24/7).
For more information please contact:

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Potsdam Sub-Office

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Potsdam Sub-Office
190 Outer Main Street - Suite 103
Potsdam, NY 13676
Phone: 315-265-3090
View website

Nearby Businesses

Trail Tips

Know your Limits
It’s okay to turn back. Your home is the ultimate destination, not the summit.
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Trailhead Information

Upon entering the Wilson Hill Wildlife Management Area off Route 37, drive 0.5 miles down the gravel road to the parking area and trailhead.

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
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