Wickham Marsh Wildlife Area

Hiking

Carry a map and compass on this trail system, as it can be easy to get turned around.

Trailhead

There are three locations where you can access the trail system.

Route 373 Trailhead

From the intersection of Route 373 and Route 9 north of Keeseville follow Route 373 for 1.4 miles to the trailhead on the left.

Lake Street Trailhead

From the intersection of Route 373 and Route 9 north of Keeseville follow Route 373 for 3.0 miles to the Lake Street on the left. Follow Lake Street for 1.1 miles to the trailhead on the left.

Giddings Road Trailhead

From the intersection of Route 373 and Route 9 north of Keeseville follow Route 373 for 3.0 miles to the Lake Street on the left. Follow Lake Street for 1.7 miles to Giddings Road on the left. Follow Giddings Road for about 0.75 miles to the trailhead on the left.

Additional Important Information:

Please bring a copy of the map with you to reference, the trails can be very confusing.

Running

As an overview, there are only two trails that have been adequately marked, while others lack the disks. Deadfall has overtaken a few sections of trail, but the course through it is easy to follow. Be aware that running through some of the low lying trails may get you a bit on the wet and muddy side of things. For the trail runner these trails offer a large variety of terrain, but mostly on a beginner level. The higher trails tend to stay along the peninsula and overlook the marsh. The ones that descend into the marsh tend to be a bit steep and can be a bit tough to run up. The trails within the marsh have excellent varied terrain with rolling hills, wet conditions, some rocky footing and in a few cases a bit overgrown.

While most of the terrain is relatively flat, there are a few sections of decent elevation change. The Giddings Road trailhead starts out on a flat before descending steeply into the marsh. You also have the option to stay high and run on the flats a bit longer as well. If you do decide to drop into the marsh you will have to battle a trail that is in a bit of disrepair for a bit to reach more adequate trails.

The Route 373 trailhead starts a bit higher than the marsh as well. This trailhead gives the runner a couple of nice options for loops without much elevation change. One trail that follows the state boundary is very steep with a quick down over a stream and then a steep up back to higher ground. Some of the trails follow old woods roads while others have been newly developed where the tread is limited. If you do decide to run the boundary line, it can be a bit difficult to follow in areas, so some extra time is needed to navigate. A beaver flow area also hides the property line.

To start in the marsh, begin at the Lake Champlain side and run to the marsh, then access the above trails from a lower elevation.

Runner Recommendations: Beginner with good navigation skills

Birding

Wickham Marsh comprises over 860 acres of forest and marshland. In winter, birders can park in the parking area and walk up the berm to the railroad tracks to scan the lake for ducks.

The marsh and its trails are best in the warmer months for Virginia rail, common yellowthroat, breeding puddle ducks such as blue-winged teal, and a variety of woodland birds including yellow-throated and warbling vireos. Birders who venture there in the evening may also be able to find eastern screech owls.

Trailheads

Route 373 trailhead: From the intersection of Route 373 and Route 9 north of Keeseville follow Route 373 for 1.4 miles to the trailhead on the left.

Lake Street trailhead: From the intersection of Route 373 and Route 9 north of Keeseville follow Route 373 for 3.0 miles to the Lake Street on the left. Follow Lake Street for 1.1 miles to the trailhead on the left.

Giddings Road trailhead: From the intersection of Route 373 and Route 9 north of Keeseville follow Route 373 for 3.0 miles to the Lake Street on the left. Follow Lake Street for 1.7 miles to Giddings Road on the left. Follow Giddings Road for about 0.75 miles to the trailhead on the left.

Trail Conditions: Some trails are in excellent conditions where others need to have a bit of maintenance done on them. Certain trails travel through wet areas and care is needed to stay on the trail.

Trail Format: Loops

Trail Distance: Dependent on routes taken and loops created

Hunting

Wickham Marsh Wildlife Management Area is over 860 acres in the town of Chesterfield which is open for hunting in season. Trails provide access to marsh and grassland areas.

Snowshoeing and Cross-Country Skiing

This area is excellent for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, Keep in mind though, that for skiing, some of these trails are very steep. Snow pack in some of the areas a bit lacking in not-so-good snow year, making the forests of evergreens less covered that the hardwood forests.

Winter Overview and Trail Conditions:

Wickham Marsh Wildlife Management Area encompasses 862 acres offering a wide variety of loop opportunities. Since the completion of the management area there have been several foot trails developed for hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, bird watching, hunting, trapping, fishing and education.

While much of the terrain is relatively flat there are a few sections elevation change with very steep descents. The Route 373 Trailhead and the Giddings Road Trailhead starts a bit higher than the marsh, requiring the visitor to descend a bit to reach it. A couple of the hills are rather steep and narrow with sharp turns. Some of the trails follow old woods roads while others have been newly developed where the tread is limited.

There are only two trails that have been adequately marked, while others lack the disks. A few of the trails have also gone under a slight disrepair so to speak, and need some help. Deadfall has overtaken a few sections of trail, but the course through it is easy to follow, but skiing through may not be an option.

It would be a good idea to have a map with you, as the trails are similar to a bowl of spaghetti and not well marked at intersections.

Ascent:

Depending on trail used there can be some very good sections of downhill, others are quite flat.

Distance Round Trip: Dependent on loops chosen, anywhere from a 1-mile out and back to a several mile loop

Accessibility

Wickham Marsh Wildlife Management Area features a wheelchair accessible trail and observation platform. A kiosk is located along the trail and one designated parking spot is reserved for people with disabilities. The parking area is located off Giddings Road (Back Road). A 300 foot long accessible trail brings users from the parking area to the viewing platform. A Bird Conservation Area kiosk is located halfway between the parking area and the platform.

The observation platform sits 200 feet above the marsh on the top of a steep ridge providing a 180 degree view of the marsh. Hundreds of acres of marsh and forest including two rare ecological communities can be seen from the platform. A northern white cedar swamp is located at the base of the ridge and a rich shrub fen is located just between the swamp and the mix of open water and cattail marsh. About 7 acres of grasslands can be seen on the opposite side of the marsh, and the osprey pole and nesting platform is located where the marsh meets the grassland.

On The Map