Three Mile Bay Wildlife Management Area
� Canoe Route �
Location: West Monroe, Oswego County
Directions: Take I-81 to exit 32. Then, take Route 49 east about 2.5 miles and look for Greenview Country Club. Turn right on Toad Harbor Road and head south. Turn left at McCloud Road. Part of McCloud Road is a dirt road and ends at Phillips Point. Park at the fishing access site.
Route Distance: About 1.25 miles each way
Time To Canoe: Approximately 2.5 hours
Route Conditions: Open water, Oneida Lake and Three Mile Bay can get rough with white caps
Difficulty Level: 1, 2 (be aware of occasional stormy conditions or rough water)
Birds Likely Seen: Variety of ducks, geese, shorebirds, terns, gulls, herons, bitterns, birds of prey, coots, grebes, blackbirds and woodpeckers
Other Uses: Hiking (from Wheeler Road), hunting and trapping
Contact: NYS DEC, Region 7
1285 Fisher Avenue, Cortland, NY 13045
(607) 753-3095, ext. 247
Three Mile Bay WMA consists of 3,500 acres adjacent to Three Mile Bay, off Oneida Lake's northwest shore. Initial acreage was acquired in the 1950s from the Pittman Robertson Funds (monies derived from hunting license fees and federal taxes on ammunition). Additional acreage was purchased using the Recreational Bond Act.
The purpose of the area is to provide habitat for a variety of wildlife, with primary emphasis on waterfowl species. The majority of this area is hardwood swamp. Much of it is low and flat and contains several ridges or islands that spread across the interior. Higher spots are only 25 to 30 feet above Oneida Lake.
Many species of birds can be found in this area, especially in the summer. The open water of Three Mile Bay causes many birders to go to Phillips Point. But, with a canoe, a better combination of birds can be found on the bay and in the area's other wildlife habitats. It�s a good place to find terns, and opportunities abound for close-up photography.
Canoeing and fishing are allowed on the boundary water. You can launch at the Phillips Point access site. At present, big and small game hunting, and trapping at Three Mile Bay, is in accordance with the respective statewide regulations, and permits are not required.
This is a good route for open water and marsh birds. The open water can get rough so use good judgement in questionable weather and be sure to use sunscreen.
Route: Put in and start paddling to the northeast. Along this section you should see a variety of birds. At about 0.5 miles a waterway will appear on your left. Head into this area and explore. At about 1.25 miles you'll come to the boundary end at Doris Park. Retrace your route back to the beginning.
If you have time, explore the management area off Wheeler Road by walking the trail.