July 2017 Outdoor discovery Newsletter

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
DEC Delivers - Information to keep you connected and informed from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
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Banner Image - A man in shorts fly fishing in a rocky stream

Biking Rocky Point on Long Island

A father and daughter mountain biking

The Rocky Point Natural Resources Management Area (NRMA) provides 20 miles of mountain biking trails, from a three-mile beginner trail to an advanced black diamond loop. The area includes nearly 6,000 acres of oak woodlands and pine barrens in the Town of Brookhaven in north-central Suffolk County.

In addition to the popular biking trails, there are miles of hiking and equestrian trails, as well as dog training areas. A free seasonal access permit is required for all activities in Rocky Point NRMA.

Watchable Wildlife: Silver Lake Bog Preserve

image of a Spring Peeper

Hawkeye, Clinton Co.
Visitors to Silver Lake Bog Preserve who are careful and quiet may glimpse some of the Adirondacks' most secretive creatures: the snowshoe hare, the fisher and the spring peeper. The 98-acre preserve is primarily a boreal bog in a remote setting and is a particularly popular birdwatching spot. Look for boreal chickadees, olive-sided flycatchers, gray jays and white-throated sparrows.

There is a 1/2 mile boardwalk through a wide variety of habitats: black spruce, tamarack bog, northern white cedar swamp and a hemlock-northern hardwood forest. You can hike a trail up a 200-foot bluff for a spectacular view of Silver Lake.

Hike of the Month: Ha-De-Ron-Dah Wilderness

A woman hiking

Town of Webb, Herkimer County
The Ha-De-Ron-Dah Wilderness is a large tract in the southwestern Adirondack foothills that offers 35 miles of hiking in a quiet wilderness setting. Its fifteen trails range in length from less than a quarter-mile to nearly eight miles. Enjoy relaxing hiking over gently rolling terrain where rocky hills are interspersed with beaver meadows, streams, ponds and lakes. Hike to Big Otter Lake for scenic views. You can drive to several trailheads from the nearby hamlets of Thendara and Old Forge. Two lean-tos with privies are available. The trails are not maintained, so this area appeals to hikers who want a more natural hiking experience.

Take a Child Fishing

A father teaching his son to fish

There is nothing quite like seeing the smile on a young person's face when they catch a fish. There are some simple steps that can be taken to help children and parents or guardians enjoy these early fishing experiences:

  • Make the Fishing Trip About Them: It's easier to teach young children to fish if your attention is geared towards them and not towards your own fishing.
  • Keep Trips Short: An hour, possibly two, will be about all of the fishing they can handle for a day.
  • Bring Plenty of Snacks and Drinks: Even though most of these fishing trips will be short, they will get hungry and thirsty.
  • Equipment: Spin-cast reels (or push button reels) and shorter rods are good outfits for children. Bobbers (or floats) are good to use because children can see the bobber going down when a fish strikes. Worms are usually the bait of choice when fishing with children.
  • Let Them Help Make Choices: For example, you can pick out two spots that you think would be good spots for fishing and ask them which one of the two they think would be best.
  • Activities Other Than Fishing: Let them do things besides fish as long as it isn't interfering with the people fishing around you.

Read “Sharing the Tradition” from the June 2016 Conservationist.

Nature Notes

In New York State, the boreal chickadee is only found in the Adirondacks.

ECO Report: Illegal Turkey Taken in Broad Daylight

Seneca CountyOn May 13, ECO Shea Mathis responded to complaint that someone had shot a turkey from a white pickup truck and fled the area. ECO Mathis quickly located and stopped the vehicle. One of the hunters admitted to shooting the turkey on posted property without permission and failing to have his hunting license or turkey tags in his possession. In addition, the driver of the truck admitted to hunting turkeys earlier in the day without a valid turkey permit. Both hunters were ticketed.

Upcoming DEC Events

Conservationist MagazineJuly 2017 ConservationistDo you know what this is? To find out, check out page 23 of the June Conservationist magazine. In this issue you can celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Adirondack Park, and revisit New York’s historic canals aboard the schooner Lois McClure. Enjoy a day of family fishing, and discover how mimicking bees helps some insects survive. You can also learn about the spawning behaviors of smallmouth bass, and read how one person strives to become more patient in nature.

There's all this and much more in the July Conservationist. Don't miss it! Subscribe online or call 1-800-678-6399.

Photo Credits

  • Spring Peeper - Ray Sussman
May 2017DEC Outdoor Discovery Newsletter © New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

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