- Open for Recreation: Year-round
- Fee: Free
- Contact Information:
- Location: Town of Galen, Wayne County
- Wildlife Management Unit: 8J
- Map: Galen WMA Map (PDF) || Google Earth || DECinfo Locator
Galen Wildlife Management Area
The primary purposes of Galen Wildlife Management Area (WMA) are for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. This WMA was purchased in 1980 with funds from the Wetland Preservation category of the 1972 Environmental Quality Bond Act. The main portion of the area has been designated as the Ezra and Kate Heit Marsh unit as a memorial at the request of the former owner, William Heit, who partially gifted this tract of land to the people of the state.
General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.
Please stay on the designated trails to protect the diversity and richness of the plant communities found within this area.
General information on hunting include how-to and safety tips with links to seasons, rules, and regulations.
The area, because of its rich wildlife resources, has always been a popular hunting area, providing recreation, food, and fur to local residents and contributing to the local economy. Please be sure to abide by all game laws (view hunting seasons).
The area, because of its rich wildlife resources, has always been a trapping area, providing recreation, food, and fur to local residents and contributing to the local economy. Please be sure to abide by all game laws (view trapping seasons).
General information on animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.
Deer, turkeys, black bears, squirrels, and a host of songbirds frequent the area. Use both the Wildlife Management Area Vertebrate Checklist (PDF) and Wildlife Management Area Bird Checklist (PDF) as wildlife viewing guides.
- River Road, small gravel area (43.0736008°N, 76.9088974°W) - Get Google Map Driving Directions
- River Road (43.0727005°N, 76.8974991°W) - Get Google Map Driving Directions
All coordinates provided are in decimal degrees using NAD83/WGS84 datum.
Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety
Practice Leave No Trace Principles when recreating on state land to enjoy the outdoors responsibly; minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts with other users.
All users of Galen Wildlife Management Area must follow all Wildlife Management Area Regulations and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of the user and protection of the resource.
Activity Rules & Regulations
- Wildlife Management Area Regulations (PDF) - updated in 2022
- Hunting Regulations
- Trapping Regulations
- Fishing Regulations
Outdoor Safety Tips
NOTE: Ticks are active whenever temperatures are above freezing, but especially so in the late spring and early fall. Deer ticks can transmit Lyme and several other diseases. More information on deer ticks and Lyme disease can be obtained from the NYS Department of Health.
How We Manage Galen Wildlife Management Area
Like most of the state's Wildlife Management Areas, Galen WMA is managed by DEC's Division of Fish and Wildlife for wildlife conservation and wildlife-associated recreation (hunting, trapping, wildlife viewing, and photography). Funding to maintain and manage this site is provided by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration or "Pittman-Robertson" Act, which is acquired through excise taxes on sporting arms, ammunition, and archery equipment.
The management area provides protection to a portion of the larger Galen Marsh, locally known as the Marengo Swamp. Farming activities and the harvest of forest products have been the predominant human uses of the area since its settlement, and remain to be viable land uses today. Some cottage development along the river, construction of the Barge Canal in the early 1800s and its subsequent use, and some drainage of the marsh has occurred in the past years.
View the Habitat Management Plan for Galen Wildlife Management Area (PDF), approved in April 2023, which identifies the WMA-specific target species and habitat goals for the WMA.
Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities and Other Information
Web links below can provide information about other recreation, attractions, and amenities in this area.
State Lands and Facilities
- Cayuga Lake Unit of Northern Montezuma Wildlife Management Area
- Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge
- Northern Montezuma Wildlife Management Area
Numerous guide books and maps are available with information on the lands, waters, trails, and other recreational facilities in this area. These can be purchased at most outdoor equipment retailers, bookstores, and on-line booksellers.
Additional information, outdoor equipment, trip suggestions, and guided or self-guided tours may be obtained from outdoor guide and outfitting businesses. Check area chambers of commerce, telephone directories, or search the internet for listings.
Consider hiring an outdoor guide if you have little experience or woodland skills. See the NYS Outdoor Guides Association for information on outdoor guides.