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Shaker Mountain Wild Forest

hikingbackcountry campingmotor boatingpaddlingfishinghuntingtrappinghorseback riding bikingsnowmobilngcross country skiingsnow shoeing firetower parking and directionsboat launch hand launchfishing pier lean toaccessible features Icon key

Shaker Mountain Wild Forest locator map

The 40,527-acre Shaker Mountain Wild Forest is the southernmost unit in the Adirondack Forest Preserve and is teeming with opportunities for outdoor recreation. There are numerous miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling. There are also ponds and lakes open to fishing, ice fishing, and paddling. The Kane Mountain Fire Tower provides spectacular views of the surrounding areas lands and waters.

Backcountry Information for the West Central Adirondacks provides general information regarding backcountry and seasonal conditions; specific notices regarding closures and conditions of trails, roads, bridges and other infrastructure; and links to weather, state land use regulations, low impact recreation and more.

Featured Activities

Hiking

hiking

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

Shaker Mountain Wild Forest features the following hiking trails:

The southern terminus of Northville-Placid Trail (NPT) (leaves DEC website) is located at the trailhead in Waterfront Park in the nearby Village of Northville.

An 8.6-mile section of the NPT passes through the Shaker Mountain Wild Forest between the Collins-Gifford Valley Road Trailhead and the Woods Lake Trailhead. This recently constructed trail eliminated 7.6 miles of roadside walking, but hikers still need to walk 3.5 miles on roads between the Waterfront Park Trailhead and the Collins-Gifford Valley Road Trailhead.

NOTE: Hikers will need to ford West Stony Creek until a footbridge is constructed. This can be done by rock hopping during low water, but the crossing will not be passable during high water.

Pine Lake Trail is an unmarked trail that extends 1.2 miles from the Pine Lake Trailhead along the northern shore of Pine Lake and into the forestlands north of the lake.

Kane Mountain (elevation 2,060 feet) can be ascended via two routes which can be used to make a loop hike. A fire tower is located on the summit.

Kane Mountain East Trail is the most direct route, ascending 560 feet and 0.8 mile from the Kane Mountain Trailhead Parking Area to the summit.

Kane Mountain North Trail descends 560 feet and 1.3 miles from the summit to the Kane Mountain Trailhead Parking Area. A 2.1-mile loop hike from Kane Mountain Trailhead Parking Area over the summit of and back to the trailhead can be made using the Kane Mountain North and East Trails.

Stewart and Indian Lakes Trail extends 2.3 miles from the Kane Mountain Trailhead Parking Area to Indian Lake and passes Stewart Lake along the way. The trail climbs 460 feet in the first mile but is fairly flat after.

Bellows Lake Trail extends 6.4 miles over rolling terrain from the Shutts Road Trailhead to the Holmes Lake Trail a 0.5 mile south of Holmes Lake. The trail passes Irving Pond and Bellow Lake.

Little Holmes Lake Trail is an unmarked but obvious trail that leaves the Bellows Lake Trail 1.0 mile west of the Holmes Lake Trail and extends 1.0 mile to the shore of Little Holmes Lake.

Holmes Lake Trail extends 1.1 miles and ascends 173 feet from the Holmes Lake Trailhead to Holmes Lake.

Chase Lake Trail extends 2.5 miles and descends 170 feet from the Chase Lake Trailhead Parking Area to Chase Lake.

Sailor Swamp Trail extends 2.0 miles connecting Holmes Road and Pinnacle Road with an elevation change of 90 feet.

Pinnacle Valley Trail extends 3.2 miles from the Pinnacle Lake Trailhead to County Line Lake. The trail climbs 895 feet in 2.8 miles up the shoulder of Pigeon Mountain and then drops 100 feet in the last 0.4 mile to the eastern shore of the lake.

Fire Tower

firetower

General information on fire towers includes historic and current uses of fire towers and links to other locations with fire towers

The 60-foot tall Kane Mountain Fire Tower, a steel Aermotor LS40 tower, is the southernmost fire tower in the Adirondacks. This tower appears on both the National Historic Lookout Register and the National Register of Historic Places. The fire tower was built in 1925 and staffed for fire observation until 1988.

The fire tower was restored in 2003 and is open for public use. The summit of Kane Mountain is covered with trees and provides no view. However, those who climb to the cab of the fire tower are rewarded with views of the Canada Lakes region, Peck Lake, Caroga Lake and the Silver Lake Wilderness. On clear days the Mohawk Valley, the Helderbergs to the southeast, and the Catskills to the south can also be seen.

The fire tower can be accessed from the Kane Mountain Trailhead Parking Area via the Kane Mountain East and Kane Mountain North Trails.

The Canada Lakes Protective Association, under a Volunteer Stewardship agreement with DEC, assists with maintenance of the fire tower and the trails that provide access to it.

Camping

backcountry camping
lean to

General information on backcountry camping includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations

There are six designated primitive tent sites and two lean-tos in the Shaker Mountain Wild Forest. All designated primitive tent sites, campsites and lean-tos are available on a first come - first served basis and cannot be reserved. Designated campsites are marked with a yellow "Camp Here" disc. Designated tent sites are for tents only. Tents or small campers can use designated campsites. There are no hook-ups for water or electricity at campsites.

Two Pine Lake Tent Sites on the shore of Pine Lake can be accessed from the Pine Lake Trailhead via the Pine Lake Trail.

Indian Lake Tent Site on the shore of Indian Lake and Stewart Lake Tent Site on the shore of Stewart Lake can be accessed from the Kane Mountain Trailhead Parking Area via the Stewart and Indian Lakes Trail.

Holmes Lake Tent Site and the Holmes Lake Lean-to on the shore of Holmes Lake can be accessed from the Holmes Lake Trailhead via the Holmes Lake Trail.

Chase Lake Tent Site and Chase Lake Lean-to on the shore of Chase Lake can be accessed from the Chase Lake Trailhead via the Chase Lake Trail.

Campers who prefer more amenities can camp at the nearby Caroga Lake Campground or Northampton Beach Campground and take day trips into the Shaker Mountain Wild Forest.

Biking

biking

General information on bicycling includes how-to and safety tips with links to rules & regulations

Bellows Lake Trail, Holmes Lake Trail and Sailor Swamp Trail are open to mountain biking and can be accessed from Pinnacle Road, Bellows Lake Trailhead or the Holmes Lake Trailhead.

Paddling

paddling

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

Pine Lake can be accessed by paddlers via the Pine Lake Hand Launch.

24,707-acre Great Sacandaga Lake can be accessed by trailered boats via the Northville Boat Launch, the Broadalbin Boat Launch or the DEC Northampton Beach Campground Boat Launch. Paddlers should use caution on this water. Due to its size, high winds often create large waves. The water also receives heavy use by motorboats. Paddlers should stay close to shore during periods of high winds.

Northampton Beach Campground boat launch is only available when the campground is open - typically the weekend before Memorial Day Weekend through Columbus Day Weekend. There is a fee to use the boat launch.

Boating

motor boating

General information on boating includes safety tips with links to rules & regulations and lists of DEC boat launches by county.

24,707-acre Great Sacandaga Lake can be accessed by trailered boats via the Northville Boat Launch, the Broadalbin Boat Launch or the DEC Northampton Beach Campground Boat Launch.

Northampton Beach Campground boat launch is only available when the campground is open - typically the weekend before Memorial Day Weekend through Columbus Day Weekend. There is a fee to use the boat launch.

Fishing

fishing

General information on fishing includes fishing tips with links to seasons, rules & regulations

All waters within the Shaker Mountain Wild Forest are open to fishing. Anglers may use the same trailheads and trails as hikers, the same hand launches as paddlers, the same boat launches as boaters and the same campsites as campers to access and fish these waters.

24,707-acre Great Sacandaga Lake offers a variety of fishing opportunities for many different species. The lake contains largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye, brown trout, rainbow trout, yellow perch, black crappie, channel catfish, brown bullhead, redbreast sunfish, rock bass, and common carp. The lake is actually a flood control reservoir and water levels are usually low in late August and early September. Special regulations apply (leaving DEC website to official Fishing Regulations Guide vendor website) and ice fishing is allowed.

The lake may be accessed by trailered boats via the Northville Boat Launch, the Broadalbin Boat Launch or the DEC Northampton Beach Campground Boat Launch. An accessible fishing pier is located at the Northville Boat Launch.

Northampton Beach Campground boat launch is only available when the campground is open - typically the weekend before Memorial Day Weekend through Columbus Day Weekend. There is a fee to use the boat launch.

Holmes Lake contains brook trout and can be accessed from the Holmes Lake Trailhead via the Holmes Lake Trail.

Stewart Lake and Indian Lake contain brook trout and can be accessed from the Kane Mountain Trailhead via the Stewart and Indian Lakes Trail.

Green Lake contains lake trout, brown trout, chain pickerel, yellow perch, black crappie and pumpkinseed sunfish and can be accessed by boat via the West Lake Boat Launch in the Ferris Lake Wild Forest. Special regulations apply (leaving DEC website to official Fishing Regulations Guide vendor website) and ice fishing is allowed.

Chase Lake contains chain pickerel, yellow perch and pumpkinseed sunfish and can be accessed from the Chase Lake Trailhead via the Chase Lake Trail. Ice fishing is allowed.

Pine Lake contains chain pickerel, yellow perch and pumpkinseed sunfish and can be accessed from the hand launch on Northshore Road. Ice fishing is allowed.

Mud Lake contains chain pickerel, yellow perch and pumpkinseed sunfish and ice fishing is allowed and be accessed from the NPT Collins-Gifford Valley Road Trailhead via the Northville-Placid Trail.

Holmes Lake Outlet contains brook trout and can be accessed from the Holmes Lake Trailhead via the Holmes Lake Trail (upstream) or the Holmes Road (downstream).

Lynus Vly Outlet contains brook trout and can be accessed from Tannery Road. (43.1865°N, 74.3283°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

Adirondack/Lake Champlain Fishing provides information on fishing in the Adirondacks and links to top fishing waters, stocking lists, public fishing access and waters open to ice fishing listed by county.

Help Protect Native Adirondack Fish; populations of brook trout, round whitefish and other native Adirondack fish species have severely declined due to introduced fish.

Hunting & Trapping

hunting
trapping

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

All lands and waters within the Shaker Mountain Wild Forest are open to hunting.

Hunters and trappers may use the parking areas, roads, seasonal access roads, trailheads, and trails used by hikers, boat launches and hand launches used by boaters and paddlers to access the lands and waters in this area. Hunters can park on the shoulders of seasonal access roads provided vehicles are out of the travel lane.

The main game species are white-tailed deer, black bear, turkey, woodcock and waterfowl, and the main furbearing species are beaver and muskrat.

The 8,058-acre West Stony Creek Tract has just one trail - the Northville Placid Trail -passing through it. The 5,9058-acre Lynus Vly Tract has no trails.

Snowmobiling

snowmobilng

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

Snowmobiling is allowed on the 7.5 miles of designated snowmobile trails in the Shaker Mountain Wild Forest. The C8 and C7G snowmobile trails traverse the wild forest lands. The trails are maintained by the local snowmobile club the Bleecker Snow Rovers (leaves DEC website) and the Nick Stoner Trailers. Snowmobile trail maps are available from them.

Cross-country skiers and snowshoers may also use snowmobile trails. Snowmobilers should slow down when approaching and passing skiers or snowshoers.

Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing

cross country skiing
snow shoeing

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

Shaker Mountain Wild Forest is open to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. There are no groomed or maintained trails, however cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are permitted on all hiking trails.

The Chase Lake Trail, Stewart and Indian Lake Trail, and the Northville Placid Trail all provide excellent opportunities for cross-county skiing.

When traveling on designated snowmobile trails, skiers and snowshoers should be alert for snowmobiles. Move to the side of the trail to allow snowmobiles to pass.

Wildlife

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

The Adirondacks contain large tracts of wildlife habitat with some boreal, bog, alpine and other unique habitats. Many birds (common loon, peregrine falcon) and mammals (moose, black bear) are unique to the Adirondacks or are mainly found here. More than 50 species of mammals and hundreds of species of birds inhabit or pass through the Adirondacks at one time of the year or another.

Accessible Recreation

accessible features

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

The Northville Boat Launch on Great Sacandaga Lake has accessible floating docks and an accessible privy. A nearby accessible fishing pier is also available to anglers.

Directions

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

Trailheads and Parking Areas

NPT Collins-Gifford Valley Road Trailhead Parking Area is located at the end of 0.1-mile seasonal access road off Collins-Gifford Valley Road. (43.2126°N, 74.2061°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

NPT Woods Lake Trailhead Parking Area is located along the Benson Road (County Route 6). (43.2482°N, 74.3071°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

Pine Lake Trailhead Parking Area is located at the end of the Pine Lake Road off of State Route 10. (43.1976°N, 74.5150°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

Kane Mountain Trailhead Parking Area is located at the end of the seasonal access Kane Mountain Road off Green Lake Road. (43.1805°N, 74.5040°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

Holmes Lake Trailhead Parking Area is located at the end of Holmes Road. (43.1796°N, 74.4231°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

Chase Lake Trailhead Parking Area is located at the end of Pinnacle Road. (43.2069°N, 74.3909°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

Hand Launches and Boat Launches

Pine Lake Hand Launch is located at the end of the Northshore Road off of NY Route 10. (43.1978°N, 74.5144°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

West Lake Boat Launch is located at the end of the West Lake Road. (43.1746°N, 74.5380°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

Northville Boat Launch is located along State Route 30 and provides access to Great Sacandaga Lake. (43.2293°N, 74.1867°W) Google Maps(leaves DEC website)

Northampton Beach Campground Boat Launch is located at the end of Houseman Street and provides access to Great Sacandaga Lake. (43.1869°N, 74.1738°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

Broadalbin Boat Launch is located off Lakeview Road and provides access to Great Sacandaga Lake. (43.1045°N, 74.1735°W) Google Maps(leaves DEC website)

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Practice Leave No Trace principles (leaves DEC website) when recreating in the Adirondacks to enjoy the outdoors responsibly, minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts other backcountry users.

All users of Shaker Mountain Wild 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 Shaker Mountain Wild Forest

DEC manages these lands in accordance with the management activities described in the Shaker Mountain Wild Forest Unit Management Plan. In addition to management objectives, the UMP contains detailed information on natural features, recreational infrastructure, geology, natural & human history, habitats, wildlife, fisheries and much more.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

State Lands & Facilities

Gas may be found in the nearby communities of Caroga Lake, Mayfield, and Northville.

Food and other supplies can be found in the nearby communities of Caroga Lake, Mayfield, and Northville.

Dining opportunities can be found in the nearby communities of Caroga Lake, Mayfield, and Northville.

Lodging may be found in the nearby communities of Caroga Lake and Northville.

Adirondack Regional Tourism Council (leaves DEC website), Fulton County Tourism (leaves DEC website), and Hamilton 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.