June 2015 Outdoor Discovery Newsletter

News update from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
You are subscribed to receive updates from DEC. Links to receive help or to change your preferences are provided below. Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Kids walking across a stream

New York State has wonderful recreational opportunities which will be highlighted for you each month. Start planning your next adventure now!

June Conservationist cover

Be sure to check out the upcoming issue of Conservationist! In it: we'll take you with us as we band loons at night in the Adirondacks and tag horseshoe crabs on Long Island; you can enjoy never-before seen photos of life in the Adirondacks, taken by woodswoman Anne LaBastille; learn how fly fishing helps veterans on a journey of healing; read how DEC rangers train to perform dangerous swift-water rescues; and be inspired by author Richard Louv as he describes the revival of conservationists. Find all this and more in the June Conservationist. Subscribe online or call 1-800-678-6399.


DEC Events

Old Field Trail Walk at Five Rivers - 6/6
Poisonous Plants in Your Own Backyard at Reinstein Woods - 6/13
Family Fishing at Norrie Point - 6/14
Black Bass Fishing Season Opens - 6/20
Birding 101: Class #6 at Reinstein Woods - 6/24
Free Fishing Weekend - 6/27

See more upcoming events

Nature Notes

Man holding black bass

Black bass males construct nests and guard the eggs and fry (young fish) until they are old enough to leave. Females typically provide no parental care and leave nest sites soon after depositing eggs.

Safe and Sound

Lightning storm

Wait at least 30 minutes after the last observed lightning or sound of thunder before continuing outdoor activities.

App promo

Download the New York Fishing, Hunting & Wildlife App from the Apple App store or Google Play store.

Explore for FREE

You can explore many state lands free of charge. However, some state campgrounds and day-use areas charge a small fee, depending on the season (campsite rentals extra).

Let Us Know

We hope you enjoy this newsletter and will share information about your favorite hiking spot or recreation activity, or an outdoor tip with us. Your feedback is always welcome. E-mail us.

If you like this newsletter, please forward it to your friends.

I LOVE NY logo



Bass Fishing on Chautauqua Lake

A man holding up his bass catch

Chautauqua Lake is a top bass fishing destination in western New York. Early season largemouth bass action is excellent in shallow, weedy areas and around docks. Anglers do best by using plugs, spinner baits, crankbaits, plastic worms and live bait. Although less abundant in the lake than largemouth, smallmouth bass also offer good action for those fishing the right spots. Promising areas for smallmouth include deep dropoffs, points, rocky shoals, gravel bars near creek mouths and the sunken islands in the south basin.

Boaters can launch at the numerous municipal and state boat launches around the lake. Shore anglers can wet a line at multiple state and municipal parks, as well at the three properties that comprise the Chautauqua Lake Fish & Wildlife Management Area.

Hike of the Month: National Trails Day

A guide leading children on a trail

Enjoy a scenic bike ride, a relaxing hike or a night under the stars on National Trails Day, June 6. The American Hiking Society created the annual National Trails Day as a celebration of our country's beautiful trails. Events are scheduled in every state and include hikes, biking, paddling trips, birdwatching, and stewardship projects to help beautify and maintain trails.

Trail improvement projects include the Finger Lakes Trail, Cranberry Lake/Wanakena Trail, John B. Thacher State Park and Glimmerglass State Park. There are also fun events such as a canal walk and a bike ride on the Genesee Valley Greenway plus a marathon/half-marathon/5K at the Walkway over the Hudson State Historic Park.

Check the following websites for trails and parks near you:

Watch Wildlife Galore at Three Western NY Gems

Tricolored Heron

Orleans and Genesee Counties
Surrounding the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge are state Wildlife Management Areas Oak Orchard (to the east) and Tonawanda (to the west). Together, these three sites encompass 19,000 acres of state and federal wetlands.

Thousands of migrating waterfowl are the main attraction, but wading birds, songbirds, and raptors also bring birders from far and wide. Visit Cornell's website, eBird, for information about all types of birds. When hiking the trails or using the scenic overlooks, you also will see deer, muskrat, red fox, turtles, frogs and fish. Iroquois has a visitors' center, and Oak Orchard has nature trails, an observation tower and photography blinds. See DEC's Iroquois, Tonawanda and Oak Orchard webpage for directions. In addition, you will find dozens of other interesting attractions at nearby Niagara Falls, Buffalo and Rochester.

Early Summer Camping at Scaroon Manor

Scaroon Manor

Warren County
Scaroon Manor Campground, located on the west shore of Schroon Lake, is a great place to fish, paddle, bicycle, picnic and swim. There are 60 campsites, boat docks, a fishing pier, a picnic area and picnic pavilion and a swimming beach in this combination campground/day-use area. A dozen private wooded sites are available at adjacent Camp Cayuga. These sites are primitive, but modern amenities are a short distance away at the main campground. Not a camper? Then just enjoy the beautiful beach and facilities for a day.

This unique campground was designed to be accessible to people of all abilities, including seniors and families with small children.

With 1,200 feet of shoreline, there are plenty of water activities. Kayak, canoe and paddle boat rentals are available. Anglers can catch bass, pike, yellow perch, bullhead and pickerel. There are hiking trails within the campground and nearby. Children will enjoy swimming at the beach and participating in the Junior Naturalist Program. A local theatre group hosts performances at the amphitheater in the campground. Check the virtual tour for this facility! Make your camping reservation now at ReserveAmerica.

Biking the Windham Trails

Two men biking on a trail

Greene County
Located on the northern boundary of the Catskill Park, the Windham area is a four-season recreation destination. Among other amenities, it offers extensive networks of mountain bike trails and a family-friendly bike park.

Many miles of scenic trails have something for everyone, from those who bike occasionally simply for fresh air and exercise to seasoned and even competitive mountain bikers who want to hone their skills. Beginner and intermediate mountain bikers will especially enjoy the 2.4-mile Elm Ridge Trail loop. And all levels will appreciate the beautiful 1.5-mile Windham Path loop.

The UCI World Cup Mountain Bike Festival has been held at this location in the past and will return in August 2015. It includes world class racing, a product expo, community events and more!

I Love New York Birding

A hawk flying over a field

As part of a statewide effort to promote New York's great outdoors and increase access to outdoor recreation information, Governor Cuomo launched the I Love New York Birding website, an online resource about bird watching and premier birding destinations throughout the state.

June 2015 DEC Outdoor Discovery Newsletter © New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

View our archive of past issues