Independence River Wild Forest
The Independence River Wild Forest is described as the Western Adirondack Preserve acreage lying adjacent to the western boundary of the Adirondack Park including the western portions of the Otter Creek and Independence River watersheds, extending from Lewis County into Herkimer County northeast along the south side of the Beaver River and Stillwater Reservoir and south of Beaver River. Included are lands in Watsons East Triangle, Brantingham Tract, Macomb's Purchase and John Brown Tract, encompassing both Lewis and Herkimer Counties. USGS 15½ minute quadrangle maps that cover this unit are: Big Moose, Lowville, Mc Keever, Number Four and Port Leyden.
North: Number 4 Road; Stillwater Reservoir;
West: Exterior Forest Preserve Boundaries in the Towns of Greig, Lyonsdale and Watson; and Adirondack Park boundary;
South: Ha-De-Ron-Dah Wilderness;
East: railroad tract from big Moose to Beaver River Station, Former International Paper Company lands.
There are numerous accessible sites on this unit including
- Branaugh Road Accessible Campsite
- Francis Lake Waterway Access Site
- Otter Creek Horse Trail System
- Payne Lake Waterway Access
- Sand Pond Trail
- Smith Road Accessible Campsite
- Basket Factory Road Accessible Campsite
- McCarty Road Accessible Campsite
- Stillwater Reservoir Accessible Boat Launch Site
- Stillwater Reservoir Accessible Campsites.
The two major recreation areas of this wild forest are Stillwater Reservoir and Otter Creek Horse Trails. The Centennial Trail provides good winter skiing experience.
State Forest Office (M-F 8:30 a.m.- 4:45 p.m.): 315-376-3521 Forest Ranger Headquarters; 315-376-8030 or
Search, Rescue, and Wildland Fire Emergencies: 518-891-0235 or 911