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Cold Spring Brook State Forest

hikingprimitive campinghuntingtrappingFishingmountain bikingskiingSnowshoeingicon key

Cold Spring Brook State Forest locator map

Cold Spring Brook State Forest covers 1,068 acres. The topography is very hilly with thin soils and rocky exposed ridge tops predominating. Better quality upland sites support a mixture of northern hardwood, hemlock, and white pine forests. Lower quality upland sites are dominated by red oak, eastern hophornbeam, and other species adapted to droughty and nutrient poor soils. Pine and spruce plantations were established on what were formerly farm fields and pastures. Flatter ground supports open wetlands and shrub swamps, which gradually transition to swamp hardwoods in seasonal flooded areas.

Featured Activities

Hiking

hiking

General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations. There are several access trails and roads located throughout the forest that are open for hiking, cross country skiing, and mountain biking. The Big Pine Trail (0.8 mile) provides a picturesque loop through a stand of large diameter white pine. The Hill and Dale Access Trail (0.4) provides a difficult but possible hiking route from the Kansas Road to an isolated parcel of state forest land. Users should be careful to stay on the red marked hiking trail. Please respect adjacent private property.

Camping

primitive camping

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

There are no designated campsites in the forest. At-large primitive 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.

Hunting & Trapping

hunting
trapping

General information on hunting and general information on trapping. Includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.

Hunting and trapping are allowed in accordance with all State laws and regulations.

Fishing

fishing

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

There are numerous creeks and streams for fishing on the forest.

Mountain Biking

mountain biking

General information on biking includes how-to and safety tips and links to ruled and regulations. All trails on Cold Spring Brook State Forest are open to mountain biking. No trails are specifically maintained for mountain biking.

Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing

cross-country skiing
snowshoeing

General information on cross-country skiing and snowshoeing includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations. All trails on Cold Spring Brook are open for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. No trails are groomed for cross-country skiing.

A Frozen pond
A frozen pond in Cold Spring Brook State Forest

Wildlife

The wildlife that may be present in the Cold Spring Brook State Forest includes deer, turkey, ruffed grouse, mink, raccoon, black bear, fox, and migratory songbirds. Smooth green snake, eastern garter snake, wood turtle and painted turtle may also be present.

Directions

This forest can be accessed from the Kansas Road, the Cold Spring Brook Public Forest Access Road and St. Lawrence County Route 23 in the town of Pitcairn.

Big Pine Trail trailhead (44.240404°N, 75.230964°W) Google Map (leaves DEC website).

Hill and Dale Access trailhead (44.217366°N, 75.270141°W) Google Map (leaves DEC website).

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 with other users.

All users of Cold Spring Brook State Forest must follow all State Forest Use Regulations and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of users and protection of the resource.

Don't Move Firewood. The insects it carries could kill the forests you love.

How We Manage Cold Spring Brook State Forest

DEC is developing a management plan which will describe the management activities for these lands. Cold Spring Brook State Forest is one of 15 State Forests, 9 Detached Forest Preserve Parcels and 2 Conservation Easements combined into the area called St. Lawrence Rock Ridge Management Unit. In addition to forestry management objectives, the Unit Management Plan will contain detailed information on natural features, recreational infrastructure, geology, natural & human history, habitats, wildlife, fisheries, and much more.

DEC is planning for input for development of this unit management plan. Any individual or group who would like to provide comments on the future management of this unit can contact NYS DEC, 6739 US Highway 11, Potsdam NY, 13676 or email: Region 6 UMP mailbox.

History

Several state forests in southwestern St. Lawrence County were severely damaged by an intense windstorm which occurred on July 15, 1995. This storm came to be known locally as the 1995 Microburst. The storm affected a wide area stretching from Lake Ontario across northern New York State to the central portion of the Adirondack Park. Winds gusted as high as 100 miles per hour. Damage ranged from broken tree limbs and tops to areas of 10 or more acres that were entirely blown down. Additional information on the 1995 Adirondack Derecho (leaves DEC website). Additional information about Derechos (leaves DEC website)

Four state forests in the town of Pitcairn suffered heavy wind damage: California Road, Cold Spring Brook, Greenwood Creek, and Toothaker Creek State Forests. Over the next 3 years, a total of 1,100 acres of storm damaged timber were harvested, yielding 1.4 million board feet of sawlogs and more than $280,000 in revenue. Many of the harvested areas have become dense stands of hardwood seedlings and saplings. These areas now provide early successional habitat preferred by several species of birds such as ruffed grouse, woodcock, and warblers.

Nearby Areas and Attractions

Numerous guide books and map are available with information on the lands, water, 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.


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  • NYS DEC
    Potsdam sub-office
    6739 USH 11
    Potsdam NY, 13676
    315-265-3090
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