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Hand Hollow State Forest

Hand Hollow State Forest locator map
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).

Featured Activities

Recreational uses include hiking, biking, paddling and non-motorized boating, picnicking, horseback riding (except on foot trails and snowmobile/ski trails when snow covered), primitive camping, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, hunting, fishing, trapping, wildlife observation and photography. There is a half-mile access trail that is open for non-motorized use, and motorized use by permit only for people with disabilities, that leads to an accessible fishing dock at Spiegelberg Lake. Snowmobiles are allowed on the access trail when snow covered.

Only non-motorized boats are allowed on the lake. Hollow Brook also crosses a portion of the property and contains wild brown and brook trout.


Hand Hollow State Forest is south of Route 20 in the town of New Lebanon, Columbia County. Follow County Route 9 south from State Route 20 and travel east on Hand Hollow Road (County Route 34). Hand Hollow State Forest will be on the north and south sides of Hand Hollow Road. There is an eight-car parking lot on Hand Hollow Road near its intersection with Schoolhouse Road.

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Practice Leave No Trace (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 the New York's Forest Tax Law prior to DEC purchasing the property.

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 Lands and Attractions

Hand Hollow Conservation Area (Leaves DEC website)

Beebe Hill and Harvey Mountain State Forests

Taconic Ridge State Forest

Capital District Wildlife Management Area

Schodack Island State Park (Leaves DEC website)

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.