The Narrows WMA

The Narrows WMA

West Haven, Vermont 05743

The Narrows Wildlife Management Area guide and map

Birds of Interest

The wetlands are utilized by several species of birds including wood ducks, mallards, black ducks, hooded mergansers, red-winged blackbirds, and common snipes. Osprey platforms have been placed offshore to provide ready nesting sites. Ruffed grouse and woodcock prefer early-successional habitat like the old fields that are slowly transitioning into forestland. Turkey will also use the old fields and orchards for food resources.

About this Location

The Narrows Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is a 429-acre tract of land owned by the State of Vermont and managed by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. It is located in the “Dresden Narrows” section of Lake Champlain, west of Cold Spring Road in the town of West Haven. Access the WMA by boat on Lake Champlain. A parking area is located near the sharp turn on Cold Spring

The Narrows WMA has 81 acres of wetlands that are part of a series of large wetlands in this area of Lake Champlain. They are known collectively as The Narrows Marshes. The WMA has many interesting features including 5,456 feet of shoreline frontage on Lake Champlain, several rare plant species, and examples of natural communities such as a calcareous cliff community. Please keep in mind that plants should not be picked or dug up regardless of abundance.

Twenty acres of the WMA are on an “island”, which is accessible most of the year by a narrow land bridge; during times of high water, it becomes a true island. The island is composed mainly of upland hardwood forest with a small clearing. A dilapidated two-story house in the clearing is estimated to be about 150 years old.

The WMA contains 348 acres of upland hardwood forest, including 15 acres of old fields and several old orchards which provide excellent wildlife habitat for birds and mammals. The hardwood forests are composed of red and sugar maple, yellow birch, beech, red, chestnut and chinkapin oaks, shagbark hickory, hophornbeam, apple, and scattered white pine. The ledges and cliffs have softwoods such as white and red cedar, hemlocks, and red and white pines. Two of Vermont’s largest trees are located on this WMA. One is a shagbark hickory that is 88 feet tall and has a dbh (diameter at breast height) of 48 inches. The other, a chinkapin oak, is a New England Champion Tree. It is 60 feet tall and has a dbh of 40 inches.

The Narrows WMA is adjacent to approximately 350 acres of conserved farmland and in the vicinity of two large natural areas owned by The Nature Conservancy.


  • Restrooms on site

  • Wheelchair accessible trail

  • Entrance fee

Content from The Narrows Wildlife Management Area guide and map

Last updated December 3, 2023