Hand Hollow State Forest
- Open for recreation: Year-round
- Fee: Free
- Contact Information:
- DEC Region 4 Office (M-F 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.): (518) 357-2450
- Forest Ranger: (518) 828-0236
- Emergencies: (518) 357-2047 (24 hour DEC Dispatch) or 911
- Location: New Lebanon, Columbia County
- Map: View the Hand Hollow State Forest Map || View the same map in PDF (3 MB) || Google Earth || State Lands Interactive Mapper
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 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 are currently no official trails on the property. Work will begin to establish multiple use trails in 2015.
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.
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.
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)
Taconic Ridge State Forest
Schodack Island State Park (Leaves DEC website)