WILTON — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the opening of the Saratoga Sand Plains Archery Range in the town of Wilton on Thursday, June 17. The public archery range, formerly known as Parcel 45 Wildlife Management Area, is the first of its kind in New York State and will provide a unique recreational opportunity for both novice and expert bow hunters and archers.
The 50-yard archery range has 16 targets, eight adult lanes ranging from 15 to 50 yards, four youth lanes ranging from five to 20 yards, and four lanes accessed by an elevated platform ranging up to 40 yards. The elevated platform simulates shots from a tree stand when deer hunting and allows archers to practice shots from known yardages and angles, promoting safer shot placements for both urban and rural settings. Archers must use a full body harness and connect to the carabiners on the platform while using the elevated stand.
“DEC’s first-ever archery range, Saratoga Sand Plains will encourage more New Yorkers to take up archery as a sport and help prepare hunters for the hunting season,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “New and experienced bow and crossbow users will appreciate this opportunity to enjoy the recreational aspects of New York’s archery heritage. The range will also benefit the local community, and DEC thanks the town of Wilton and our other partners for their help to develop and open this new facility.
The range was funded with approximately $15,000 with support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife and Sportfish Restoration Program, New York State, and the town of Wilton. DEC worked closely with the town of Wilton on all phases of the project. The town donated time and materials, and town equipment helped clear trees and stumps, build the parking area, and construct the elevated platform.
The archery range is close to several schools that participate in the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) and is a convenient location for the Saratoga County 4H Shooting Sports Program and DEC’s bowhunter education classes.
The archery range is free and will be open and maintained year-round for public use during daylight hours. To protect public safety, visit www.dec.ny.gov for the rules and regulations that apply.