George L. Darey Housatonic Valley WMA

George L. Darey Housatonic Valley WMA

Official Website
George L. Darey Housatonic Valley WMA map

About this Location

The acquisition of this property in the 1960s resulted from cooperation among local conservationists, including George Darey, for whom the WMA is named. The property is comprised of several parcels along the Housatonic floodplain. River oxbows and backwaters are interspersed with seasonally flooded forests, shrub swamps, and open-water marshes. Abandoned agricultural fields and blueberry bushes line the river in many places. The slow-moving current, abundant wildlife, and wide riverbends make this WMA one of the most beautiful paddling locations in the region. Kayaks and canoes can be launched at several locations on the river. The WMA abuts large tracts of other conserved land, including October Mountain State Forest to the east. This biologically rich area has a history that includes severe PCB contamination and has long been a focus of advocates throughout the environmental community.

More than 200 species of birds have been observed in this section of the river valley. Wetland-dependent birds like American bitterns, soras, Virginia rails, and common moorhens have been spotted. Several species of swallows can be seen along the river. Semi-aquatic mammals like beavers and muskrats are common and numerous other bird and mammal species take advantage of the wide floodplain. The many oxbows and mineral-rich seeps support an impressive array of specialized and unusual plants and invertebrates. A paddle at dawn or dusk through this WMA provides a quintessential Berkshire experience.

Content from Official Website

Massachusetts Fish & Wildlife Service