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Hinsdale Flats WMA

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

Towns: Hinsdale, Washington
Acreage: 1,941
Wildlife Management Zone2

Description

As the name suggests, most of this WMA is flat or gently sloping bottomland surrounding the headwaters of the East Branch of the Housatonic River and several of its tributaries. This property is widely recognized for its outstanding fish and wildlife habitat, extensive wetlands, and exceptional water quality. Wetlands range from riparian marshes to spruce–fir–maple swamps. The uplands contain areas of white pine and northern hardwood forests. Remnant agricultural fields on the northern and eastern sides of the WMA are maintained as grasslands and shrublands. Muddy Pond at the southern end of the WMA is the start of the Housatonic River, which flows all the way to Long Island Sound. Paddlers can launch cartop boats from an informal access point on Bullards Crossing Road. A float downstream may require short portages around beaver dams.

Location, access, & parking

There are three primary parking areas including a gate at the end of a dirt drive on Middlefield Road, 1/3 mile east of Route 8. This parking area is usually only open during the spring turkey and fall hunting seasons. The second parking area is in a field just west of the intersection of Middlefield and Fassell Roads. The third parking area is on the north side of Bullard’s Crossing Road, near an old home site. Other sections of the WMA are accessible via roadside parking along Creamery Road, Bullard’s Crossing Road, Buttermilk Road, and East Washington Road. See WMA map.    

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

Hunting & fishing opportunities

The mix of forests, fields, and swamps is ideal habitat for white-tailed deer. Look for black bear sign near old apple orchards and blueberry patches along Bullards Crossing Road. The river, beaver ponds, and numerous marshes provide waterfowl hunting opportunities; many areas may be difficult to access without a small boat. American woodcock and ruffed grouse can be found along swamp edges and in alder brushlands. Ring-necked pheasants are stocked frequently in the mowed fields during the fall season.  Anglers fishing Muddy Pond or the slow-moving waters of the upper East Branch of the Housatonic may encounter sunfish, yellow perch, and an occasional bass or pickerel. Downstream of the Route 8 crossing, the East Branch is stocked with trout each spring. Several small streams, including Cady Brook and Bennett Brook, that flow through the WMA, contain wild brook trout.  

Hunting regulations

Freshwater fishing regulations

Wildlife viewing & other features

Moose are frequently sighted on the WMA. A rich conifer swamp, an uncommon natural community, can be found along Middlefield Road. Look for beavers, river otters, and mink, along with marsh birds like the elusive American bittern, in the wetlands. The managed fields support nesting songbirds in the spring and are a great place to observe moths and butterflies. Hawks and owls can be seen hunting the fields and forested swamps.

Get wildlife viewing tips.  

Regulations

During the pheasant season, a “hunter orange” hat is required for all hunters and hunting hours are sunrise to sunset unless night hunting for raccoons or opossums.

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 Hinsdale Flats WMA

Address

88 Old Windsor Road, Dalton, MA 01226

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