Franklinton Vlaie in the Catskills. Bird Watching, Paddling, and Fishing!

Taking the boat out at the Vlaie
Average read time 4 min

In New York, the NYSDEC has a land classification termed wildlife management units, and the Franklinton Vlaie (meaning swamp) is one of them. According to the DEC website, this wonderful place is used for wildlife management, wildlife habitat management, and wildlife-dependent recreation. 

We’ll tell you it is simply a pleasure. 

The Vlaie as it is called by local residents is located only a few minutes from the center of the village of Middleburgh, the Vlaie is easy to reach. In all, the Vlaie encompasses about 195 acres, with 85 of it being an excellent sheet of water. The pond is considered the headwaters of the Catskill Creek.

The Vlaie is a favorite spot for local fishing year-round. The pond is home to many fish species, including largemouth bass, yellow perch, chain pickerel, sunfish, brown bullhead, and black crappie. The Vlaie also has a grand hand launch for paddlers at the south end with a dock and parking for about five cars. On the tiny pier is a bench for those who wish to sit and gaze at this beautiful area. 

The pond has open water and tons of aquatic vegetation for the angler to play in, most pronounced around its periphery. Great topwater fishing awaits! Off-state route 145 is a parking area that leads to a pavilion and dock for the bird-watching crowd. Birding at the Vlaie is excellent.

Even though the pond is minutes from Middleburgh and extremely easy to access, on the day we paddled it, it was ours alone! However, don’t count on that if you’re going on weekends and holidays! There are no using motorized vehicles, including all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, or motorboats. Also, camping and swimming or bathing are prohibited. The one downside is the traffic on route 145, although not visible, certainly an earful at times.

Parking

Pictures

Franklinton Vlaie sign at hand launch
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Franklinton Vlaie sign at hand launch
Franklinton Vlaie hand launch
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Franklinton Vlaie hand launch
Chris paddling out
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Chris paddling out
Yellow Perch
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking 10 1/2″ Yellow Perch
Chris setting his line
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Chris setting his line

Another great pond nearby: Beautiful Looking Glass Pond in the Catskills

Looking back south on the pond
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Looking back south on the pond
Chris taking a break... enjoying the view
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Chris taking a break… enjoying the view
Chris saying goodbye as he'll toss this one back
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Chris saying goodbye as he’ll toss this one back
Taking the boat out at the Vlaie
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Taking the boat out at the Vlaie in the evening

DEC contact and other information

  • Open for Recreation: Year-round
  • Fee: Free
  • Contact Information:
    • DEC Region 4 Schenectady Office (M-F, 8:30AM – 4:30PM), (518) 357-2154; Wildlife.r4@dec.ny.gov
    • Enforcement Matters: (518) 408-5850 (24/7)
  • Location: Town of Broome, Schoharie County
  • Other things to to in the area

Weather for the Vlaie

Get the local weather for the Vlaie

Map of the Vlaie

Map of Franklinton Vlaie
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Map of Franklinton Vlaie