Log in links for this page

Crane Pond WMA

Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) are open to the public for fishing, hunting, trapping, hiking, and wildlife viewing.

Towns: Georgetown, Groveland, Newbury, West Newbury
Acreage: 2,500
Wildlife Management Zone: 10
Waterfowl Zone: Central


The Crane Pond WMA contains over 2,500 acres of low, rolling forests and marshlands spread across four towns. The extensive aquatic habitats, including Crane Pond, Little Crane Pond, Parker River, and over 50 vernal pools, contribute to the biological diversity of this area. Crane and Little Crane ponds are surrounded by thickets of buttonbush, alder, and leatherleaf, which provide great cover for wildlife. The Parker River headwaters cut a sinuous four-mile route through the WMA. Beaver dams extend the floodplain wetlands in some locations, providing excellent habitat for aquatic animals. The WMA also contains a large, intact forest that can be explored using several unmarked trails. MassWildlife maintains small shrubland areas that provide open habitat for wildlife. Wood duck nest boxes are maintained in several wetland areas.

Location, access, & parking

This WMA is divided into five sections. Parking is available at gated locations on JB Little Road, Seven Star Blvd, Thurlow Street, Bear Hill Road, Ash Street, Crane Neck Street, and Byfield Road. The Thurlow Street access is a rough dirt access that also provides access to the Parker River for kayaks and canoes. See WMA Map.  

Note: WMA's are intentionally wild, visitors will find natural landscapes rather than maintained trails.  

Hunting & fishing opportunities

White-tailed deer, wild turkeys, American woodcocks, ruffed grouse, snowshoe hares, and eastern cottontail rabbits can be found here. Waterfowl hunters commonly pursue wood ducks and mallards. Ring-necked pheasants are stocked three times per week and before holidays during the fall season. The Parker River is stocked with trout in several locations within the WMA. Crane Pond and Little Crane Pond support warm water species including chain pickerel, largemouth bass, and sunfish. Anglers can fish from shore; strong paddlers can canoe or kayak to access the ponds.

Hunting regulations

Freshwater fishing regulations  

Wildlife viewing & other features

The WMA provides excellent bird watching, wildlife viewing, and nature study opportunities. Carry in a nature journal to record your findings, sketch a flower, or write a nature-inspired poem. Settle on a rock by the river or near a vernal pool or beaver pond and watch for large snapping turtles, great blue herons, and a variety of frogs and salamanders. Beavers can be seen in action off Forest Street and Crane Neck Road. The habitat created by beavers supports dragonflies, damselflies, and many other native species. Look and listen for secretive marsh birds in the wet areas around Crane Pond

Get wildlife viewing tips.


During pheasant season, a blaze orange hat must be worn by all hunters except while night hunting raccoons or opossums or while hunting waterfowl from within a blind or boat. No person shall hunt before sunrise or after sunset during the open season on pheasant, except for the hunting of raccoons or opossums between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.

Read Wildlife Management Area regulations.

About Wildlife Management Areas

MassWildlife owns and manages over 220,000 acres of land to conserve fish and wildlife habitats and provide access for outdoor recreation. All WMAs are open to hunting, fishing, trapping, and other outdoor recreation activities. Visit the MassWildlife Lands Viewer for an interactive map of MassWildlife properties.

You can support land protection in Massachusetts. Contributions to the Wildlands Fund help pay for the cost of acquiring wildlife habitat. Learn more about the Wildlands Fund

Contact   for Crane Pond WMA


85 Fitchburg Road, Ayer, MA 01432

Help Us Improve Mass.gov  with your feedback

Please do not include personal or contact information.