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NY DEC Watchable Wildlife

Outdoor Discovery

Point Au Roche State Park
Description: For a couple of weeks in the spring and fall, birders from near and far flock here to see thousands of migrating snow geese. Point Au Roche, with several peninsulas, bays and nearby cornfields, is a significant stopover on the Atlantic flyway for migratory waterfowl. Its landscape is mostly undeveloped, with an interesting mix of upland forests, scrub, fields and near-shore marshes on Lake Champlain. This variable landscape provides habitat for a diversity of wildlife. In addition, Point Au Roche’s alluvial lake plain soils and shoreline shale outcrops provide unique microhabitats for rare plants.

Wildlife to Watch: Unlike snow geese that stop only in migration, resident Canada geese nest here. Other waterfowl regularly seen are mallards, black ducks, wood ducks, blue-winged teal and mergansers. Killdeer search for worms and insects in plowed fields, while herring gulls are seen gliding about near the water, sitting quietly on the beach or squabbling over scraps of food. Egrets and herons hunt for small fish and invertebrates along marsh edges. Abundant fish, frogs and small mammals attract osprey and other hawk species that hunt during the day, while at dusk, you may catch sight of or hear screech, barred or great horned owls as they begin their nocturnal search for food.

Skittish white-tailed deer are the most frequently seen large mammal at Point Au Roche, emerging from the woods to feed in fields and wetlands at dawn and dusk. Wary red and gray foxes also appear at these times. Beavers, muskrats and the occasional otter may be observed in their natural wetland habitats. Many of these wild animals have become somewhat used to the presence of people at Point Au Roche, making it easier to watch and enjoy them.

Special Tips: This site has some accessible features, including picnicking and recreation programs.

518-563-0369, 19 Camp Red Cloud Road, Plattsburgh, NY 12901, www.nysparks.com

Other Activities: The large day-use area has a protected sandy beach and picnic facilities. Boating and fishing are popular activities, and the park offers 60 designated mooring sites in Deep Bay. In winter, the park provides excellent access points for ice fishing. The park is open year-round, and staff offer a variety of public programs. A vehicle-use fee is charged for access to the beach from June through Labor Day.

Ownership: NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation 
Size: 825 acres 
Closest Town: Plattsburg

RestroomsParkingCross Country SkiingHikingHandicap AccessibleFeeLarge BoatsSmall BoatsDrinking WaterSwimmingBicycling

Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing:

Snow Geese - Photo by Gerry Lemmo
Please see map link below

Driving Directions:
Take the Northway/I-87 to exit 40 and turn right onto NY 456/ Spellman Rd. Take the first right onto US-9 south. After 0.4 mile, turn left onto County Rd. 22/Point Au Roche Rd. After 2.2 miles, turn right onto Camp Red Cloud Rd.

Map Link

Point Au Roche State Park : Wildlife Viewing Area