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Western New York Outdoors
A Parks and Recreation Guide to locations for outdoor adventures in WNY.

Alabama Swamps - Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, Oak Orchard WMA, Tonawanda WMA.
Towns of Alabama, Oakfield, Royalton and Shelby, in Genesee, Niagara and Orleans County.


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Birding in WNY

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Description:

Commonly known as the "Alabama Swamps" that were established in 1958.  Part of a national system of lands that make conservation possible are these 3 areas: the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, Oak Orchard State Wildlife Management Area and the Tonawanda State Wildlife Management Area.

Combined they are over 20,000 acres of hardwood swamps, fresh water marshes, forests, and meadows that offer diverse habitats for numerous animals, waterfowl and plant species.  The NWR and the adjacent state owned areas create these public owned wetlands.  This is a great place to observe wildlife, especially during the spring and fall migration of birds, or go fishing (bass and pike) and canoeing along Oak Orchard Creek.  Access at crossings at Knowlesville Road, Sour Springs Road and Route 63.  You can see the American Bald Eagle soaring the skies as they have nested here.   Migrating birds rest at and travel this north/south route known as the Atlantic Flyway.

There are three nature hiking trails:
-Onondaga Trail - Sour Springs Road.
-Swallow Hollow Trail - Knowlesville Road.
-Kanyoo Trail - Yellow and Blue Loops off Lewiston Road.

There are four scenic Overlooks:
-Mallard Overlook - Sour Springs Road.
-Cayuga Pool - Lewiston Road.
-Ringneck Marsh - Oak Orchard Ridge Road.
-Schoolhouse Marsh - Oak Orchard Ridge Road.

The Seneca Indians, one of six tribes of the Iroquois Nation, were first to farm and settle here.  You can get here by taking the Pembroke exit, 48A, off the New York State Thruway, I-90.  Go north on Route 77 to Alabama and north on Route 63, turn left on Casey Road to the refuge headquarters.

Maps:

Alabama Swamps

Tonawanda WMA, Iroquois NWR, Oak Orchard WMA.

Iroquois NWR

Tonawanda WMA and Iroquois Natl. Wildlife Refuge.

Oak Orchard

Creek and Wildlife Management Area.

Images:  Click on a thumbnail pic to enlarge the image.

Iroquois NWR

Swallow Hollow Trail off Knowlesville Road.

Onondaga Trail

Sour Springs Road parking area and Onondaga Pool.

Ringneck Marsh

Overlook, parking area along Sour Springs Road.

Schoolhouse Marsh

Overlooks along Oak Orchard Ridge Road.

Iroquois NWR

Headquarters Office on Casey Road and Mohawk Pool.

Cayuga Overlook

Cayuga Pool on Lewiston Road and Kanyoo Trail near Feeder Road.

Oak Orchard Creek

Lower Stafford Marsh and Goose Pond off Albion Road.

Oak Orchard WMA

Windmill Marsh

Tonawanda WMA

Lewiston Road overlook near West Alabama.

Other Related Sites:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - The official Iroquois NWR site with maps, events, access and news.
NYS DEC - Oak Orchard / Tonawanda Wildlife Management and Bird Conservation Areas.  Duck Hunting.

Alabama Swamp Complex - Birding.
Bird Checklist
Birding WNY - Alabama Swamp map.
Iroquois Observations - Buffalo Audobon Society.
Town of Alabama - History.

 


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