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Hand Hollow State Forest

Hand Hollow State Forest locator map

hikingpaddlingprimitive campingsnowmobilinghuntingtrappingfishingcross-country skiingsnowshoeingaccessibleparkingicon key

view of Spiegelberg Lake

The 518-acre Hand Hollow State Forest was established in 2014. Along with the wooded property and some open brush land, there is a 10-acre lake on the southern portion of the property called Spiegelberg Lake. The lake shore is shared with the 433-acre Hand Hollow Conservation Area, owned by the Columbia Land Conservancy (leaves DEC website).

Recreational activities like hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and wildlife observation are allowed throughout the property.

Featured Activities

Hiking
hiking

General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.

There is a 0.7-mile trail that leads to Spiegelberg Lake. Hiking is also allowed throughout the property.

Paddling

paddling

General information on paddling includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.

Non-motorized boats like canoes and kayaks are allowed on Spiegelberg Lake. There is a 0.7-mile trail to the lake from the parking area.

Camping

primitive camping

General information on primitive camping includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.

At large backcountry camping is allowed. Campsites must be at least 150 feet away from the nearest road, trail, or body of water. Camping for more than three nights or in groups of ten or more requires a permit from a Forest Ranger.

Snowmobiling

snowmobiling

General information on snowmobiling includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.

Snowmobiling is allowed throughout the property.

Hunting and Trapping

huntingtrapping

Wildlife Management Unit: 4U

General information on hunting and general information on trapping includes how-to and safety tips with links to seasons, rules and regulations.

Hunting and trapping are allowed throughout the property.

Fishing

fishing

General information on fishing includes how-to and safety tips and links to seasons, rules and regulations.

Hollow Brook crosses a portion of the property and contains wild brown and brook trout. Spiegelberg Lake has an accessible fishing pier and contains perch and smallmouth bass.

Cross-country Skiing and Snowshoeing

cross-country skiingsnowshoeing

General information on cross-country skiing and snowshoeing includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.

Skiing and snowshoeing are allowed throughout the property.

Wildlife

General information on animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.

A variety of small mammals and birds can be found on the property and around the lake. Look for deer, wild turkeys, mallards, great blue herons and migrating birds.

Accessible Features

accessible

General information on accessible recreation includes links to other locations with accessible recreation opportunities and information on permits for motorized access.

fishing pier

Accessible fishing pier

The parking area and fishing pier on Spiegelberg Lake are both accessible. People with disabilities can apply for a permit through the Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities (MAPPWD) to access the fishing pier using an ATV.

Directions

Hand Hollow State Forest is south of Route 20 in the town of New Lebanon, Columbia County. Follow County Route 9 (New Britain Road) south from State Route 20 then head east on Hand Hollow Road (County Route 34). Hand Hollow State Forest is on the north and south sides of Hand Hollow Road.

  • Hand Hollow Road parking area (42.466694°N, 73.464694°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

All coordinates provided are in decimal degrees using NAD83/WGS84 datum.

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Practice Leave No Trace Principles (leaves DEC website) principles when recreating on state land to enjoy the outdoors responsibly; minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts.

All users of Hand Hollow State Forest must follow all State Land Use Regulations and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of the user and protection of the resource

How We Manage Hand Hollow State Forest

Hand Hollow is managed for multiple uses, including timber production, watershed protection, wildlife habitat and recreation. A large portion of the land south of County Route 34 (Hand Hollow Road) was actively managed for timber production under New York's Forest Tax Law prior to DEC purchasing the property.

DEC is developing a management plan which will describe the management activities for these lands. In addition to management objectives, the UMP will contain detailed information on natural features, recreational infrastructure, geology, natural and human history, habitats, wildlife, fisheries and much more.

Volunteers are welcome. DEC appreciates public assistance. Volunteer projects on state lands will be considered if they are in accordance with management policy and legal constraints.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

State Lands and Facilities

Columbia County Tourism (leaves DEC website) and Rensselaer County Tourism (leaves DEC website) can provide information about other recreation, attractions and amenities in this area.

Numerous guide books and maps are available with information on the lands, waters, trails and other recreational facilities in this area. These can be purchased at most outdoor equipment retailers, bookstores, and on-line booksellers.

Additional information, outdoor equipment, trip suggestions and guided or self-guided tours may be obtained from outdoor guide and outfitting businesses. Check area chambers of commerce, telephone directories or search the internet for listings.

Consider hiring an outdoor guide if you have little experience or woodland skills. See the NYS Outdoor Guides Association (leaves DEC website) for information on outdoor guides.