Starksboro, Vermont 05487Lewis Creek Wildlife Management Area guide and map
Game birds present in the Lewis Creek Wildlife Management Area are ruffed grouse, turkey, and woodcock. Forest, edge, shrub, and wetland species of songbirds, woodpeckers, and raptors may also be found, making Lewis Creek WMA an excellent birding area.
Lewis Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is located in west-central Vermont in the town of Starksboro. Its 2,020 acres range from East Mountain on the west and the top of Hillsboro Mountain on the east. Elevations range from 900 to 2,500 feet in altitude. One branch of the headwaters of Lewis Creek arises here. The State of Vermont owns the property; the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department manages it. Timber rights on some of the WMA are privately owned. There are parking lots at the tops of Little Ireland Road and Hillsboro Road. Hillsboro Road is suitable for four-wheel-drive vehicles only.
Even though the WMA is mostly forested, the land was used for a long time for farming, as evidenced by many crumbling stone walls and cellar holes. There are also old roads remaining that saw farm traffic through the mid-20th century. There are a few old orchards remaining that are maintained for wildlife.
The first purchase by the State was in 1958, from Nellie Frey. State funds generated from hunting license sales have been used exclusively to buy the land.
The latest acquisition was in 2000. Federal funds generated from a tax on firearms and ammunition were used for that purchase. This purchase connects Lewis Creek WMA with Huntington Gap WMA, forming a large contiguous tract of public land. Apples are an important fall food source for wildlife.
Lewis Creek WMA is located mostly on the western slope of a small range of mountains that form the eastern side of the Lewis Creek Valley. It also extends east over the top of the ridge into the Huntington River drainage. The area is underlain mostly by well-drained loamy soils. Small streams, including one branch of the headwaters of Lewis Creek, arise on the WMA.
The property supports a variety of natural communities and habitat types. Most of the forest is in northern hardwoods, but there are small pockets of other forest types. There is early-successional aspen growth and paper birch regeneration on old fields. Part of the WMA is a hemlock-northern hardwood stand that is a deer wintering area. There are small areas of old fields and apple orchards, which are maintained mostly to supply habitat for deer and grouse, although other species also benefit. There is a wetland complex at the lower, western end of the WMA. It includes wetland communities such as shrub swamp, cattail marsh, and broadleaf emergent marsh.
Restrooms on site
Wheelchair accessible trail
Content from Lewis Creek Wildlife Management Area webpage
Last updated October 8, 2023