Basha Kill Wildlife Wildlife Refuge – Wurtsboro, NY
While you are in the Catskills you can enjoy hiking, fishing, birding, boating, and quiet walks that parallel the 3,000-acre wetland that is the Basha Kill Wildlife Management Area. Established in 1972 the mission of the organization has been to protect the area from ecological degradation while educating those that come to visit to respect the environment and preserve the beauty of the area.
The BKAA offers free nature walks which are led by local experts to help with the education of the people. There is a video about the four seasons at the Basha Kill and the history of the wetlands and how important they are to maintain.
The name isn’t what it appears; the word Kill in Dutch is the word for stream. The area was first settled by the Native Americans and then by the settlers from Europe in the mid-1700s. A stone fort was built in the area in 1753. The stream was one of the famous streams of Sullivan County. Although it was much larger and deeper than it is now and its course was much straighter. It was used to send pine logs down the “kill” to the Neversink River.
In 1956 Hurricane Diane changed the look of the area dramatically. The Pine Kill which flowed down the ridge to the west of the Basha Kill brought many large boulders in its wake and deposited most of them in the Basha Kill where the two streams meet in Westbrookville. This formed a dam that created the Wetlands as they are known today.
There are nearly 200 species of birds, 30 varieties of fish, and innumerable plants, reptiles, mammals, and insects that live in this area. You can study the environmental impact in the area and enjoy the fresh air and beautiful sights.
There are so many things that you can do in the wetlands, all year round. There are canoeing and kayaking opportunities, hiking and observing the wildflowers, or watching the birds that are everywhere in the beautiful area. In the winter enjoy cross-country skiing.
You can join with others on the nature watch trails and even attend nature watch training to learn about bald eagle biology and the Basha Kill ecosystem which will allow you to volunteer with the Nature Watch program.
You can also take a “Star Walk” with others at dusk; times vary according to the season of the year. Of course, this also depends on the weather; cloudy nights just don’t work for a “Star Walk”.
Location: located just south of Wurtsboro, between Route 209 and South Road.
Basha Kill Wildlife Refuge
S Rd, Wurtsboro, NY 12790