The sand dunes along the eastern shore of Lake Ontario are an integral part of a coastal barrier environment that consists of beaches, sand dunes, embayments and wetlands.

This barrier system, which extends for roughly 17 miles, contains the largest and most extensive freshwater sand dune formations in New York State.

Discover more about this fascinating coastal environment, including it's flora and fauna, the trails and boat routes available, and how you can help protect this area.

Black Pond Wildlife Management Area

A 526-acre area managed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The area has been designated as a significant coastal fish and wildlife habitat by the New York Department of State. The WMA was designated a Bird Conservation Area by the state as part of the Eastern Lake Ontario Marshes BCA on August 31, 1998. The Black Pond WMA is bordered on the north by Eldorado Shores Nature Preserve which is owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy. Together, the two parcels contain a significant length of natural shoreline which attracts several species of migrating shorebirds during late summer and early fall.


For more information, please visit the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website.

Black Pond Trail

Map marker: 13, Blue
Trail length: .47 mile (entire length)
Difficulty: Easy
Type of use: Hiking; Handicap accessible
Trail description: This trail is a wildlife watchers delight. As the raised boardwalk trail meanders through a flooded maple woodland, an open marsh and to an observation/fishing deck on Black Pond, look for deer, muskrat, beaver and mink. Follow the signs to the beach and you will pass through an old dune blowout on your way to the spectacular beach. Upon reaching the beach you will have a wonderful view of Lake Ontario, minus shoreline development. The north end of the beach is part of the El Dorado Nature Preserve owned by the Nature Conservancy. Please note the sign to the right as you enter the Preserve. It describes the area and lists the special use rules.
How to get there: Follow Bolton Road west to its end. At the end of Bolton Road turn left onto a gravel roadway. Follow this .75 mile to the trailhead parking area.