Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Hiking French Creek WMA

Hiking the French Creek Wildlife Management Area. 
#1000islands #ThousandIslands

Wow, we have been meaning to explore the 2,300 acre French Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Clayton and now wish we had done so sooner! What an undiscovered treasure we found! While there are no official trails, there are multiple seasonal access roads with parking spots that allow one to explore numerous different parts of the preserve.  The scenery ranges from open meadows to hardwood forest areas to wetlands and cattail marshes that border French Creek.

The DEC notes that though there are no designated trails hiking is allowed through the property.  You can find access roads from both the north and south of the property. All are listed on the DEC website at https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/40678.html which also includes a link to a fairly detailed map of the property.

We visited the boat launch road/trail which is right on Route 12E. We then accessed the area from Bevin and French Creek Roads. There are several pull off spots for cars on Bevin Road which is a nice road to hike on since it includes several scenic bridges over French Creek and its tributaries.  

We plan to go back and explore further especially since we heard there is a hidden waterfall near the southern end of Bevin Road. There was no place to pull off the road so one would need to hike in from one of the designated parking spots. But what we saw today was enough to guarantee we'll be back to this natural gem so close to town!

Hiking French Creek… Update 8/10/2019

We went back to the FCWMA to try entering through one of the other access roads.  We parked at the (open) gate on Commode Road.  The road is not marked but can be found on Google maps and is located on Deferno Road which is on the south side of the area and located off of Route 12S.

The road cuts through a beautiful wooded area and then through open meadows to another bridge built over a tributary of French Creek. 

There are numerous side trails though none are maintained.  There was so much to see and experience even on the half-mile hike to the bridge.  

We really hope we can encourage other hikers to come and check the French Creek Wildlife Management Area out. We’d love to hear from you if you do.

Hiking French Creek… Update 2 – 8/24/2019

Just a quick update to say we found the waterfall today!  It is just off Bevins Road just after the Bevins/Deferno intersection.  For those who can use them, the coordinates are at N 44 11.027 W 76 07.832. There was almost no water flowing over the falls today. We’ll come back in the spring. But please note this is a massive drop off and extreme care needs to be taken if you plan to visit the falls. 

Since the creek bed above the falls was nearly dry, we got a picture from the creek bed looking upstream.  Just beautiful!

Be sure to see...
Hiking the Thousand Islands...Introduction

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Abbé Picquet Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Carnegie Bay Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Cerow Recreation Park Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Chaumont Barrens Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Chippewa Bay Preserve Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Coyote Flats State Forest

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Downybrook Nature Reserve 

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Foster Blake Woods Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...French Creek WMA 

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Grand Lake Reserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Grass Point State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Jacques Cartier State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Kanik Nature Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Keewaydin State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Lonesome Bay State Forest

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Macsherry Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Maple City Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Morgan Island

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Morristown Red Barn Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Otter Creek

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Pulpit Rock State Forest

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Red Lake Indian River Trail 

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Redwood Hill Preserve

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Rock Ridge Trail 

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Sissy Danforth Rivergate Trail

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Wellesley Island State Park

Hiking the Thousand Islands...Zenda Farms Preserve