Deer Creek Wildlife Management Area

Size: 1,771-acre area
Owned/Managed: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Description: Diverse habitat with combination of wetlands, bog and natural barrier beach
Location: Richland, Oswego County
When to visit/Directions: Deer Creek WMA is open year round, accessible by Kelly Drive and Rainbow Shores Road

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

To learn more about the many trails and boat routes in the area, see below. These trails and boat routes are in order from North to South on the map.


Wetlands/Dune Trail

Map marker: 1, Green
Trail length: 0.9 miles (to outlet)
Difficulty: Easy
Type of use: Hiking
Trail description: This trail follows an abandoned road, offering views of Deer Creek's wetlands and dunes. After about 0.2 miles, a path to the right cuts over to the beach. Hike south along the beach to reach Deer Creek's outlet. Once you reach the outlet, follow it east and you will find a string-lined trail leading north into the dunes. Follow this string-lined trail for a walk along Deer Creek and back to the starting point. Please rememeber to stay on the trail to prevent future blowouts!
How to get there: Take Rainbow Shores Road west to the end, and take a left turn. This dirt road eventually forks. Take the left fork to the parking area for the trail. The trail starts on the other side of the metal gate.

Deer Creek

Map marker: 2, Blue
Boat route length: 2.6 miles (one way)
Current: Weak; may be strong and wavy at the Lake Ontario outlet
Type of boat:Unmotorized car-top boats
Route description: Deer Creek meanders through cattail marshes, past wood duck nesting boxes and muskrat and beaver lodges, and, near its Lake Ontario outlet, between the fore and secondary dunes along the coast. This is one of the most scenic boat routes in the area. Please land your boat only at the outlet to prevent erosion of the dunes along the creek.
How to get there: A parking area for Deer Creek's unmotorized boat launch is on the west side of Route 3, 1.2 miles south of Rainbow Shores Road. A 0.1-mile portage leads you from the parking area to the creek.