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Altmar State Forest

Altmar State Forest locator map

primitive campingfishinghuntingtrappingsnowmobilingicon key

Altmar State Forest encompasses 959 acres of land. Hunting, trapping, fishing, informal hiking, and snowmobiling can be undertaken within the rustic environment of Altmar State Forest.

Featured Activities


primitive camping

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

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.



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

Fishing Access information is available. Fishing Easement information is available.

Hunting & Trapping


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


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

There are two section of snowmobile trail on the forest covering about 1.1 miles.


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


Altmar State Forest may be accessed by taking NY Route 13 to either Towsley Road or Albion Cross Road. Both roads run north and south through the forest and have vehicle pull offs available.

Towsley Road (43.522053°N, 76.080894°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

Albion Cross Road (43.512919°N, 76.067579°W) Google Maps (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 Altmar 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 Altmar State Forest

Altmar State Forest is part of the Eastern Lake Ontario Unit Management Plan, which is currently being written by DEC staff. A Unit Management Plan (UMP) guides the DEC's land management activities on several geographically related forests for a ten-year period, although a number of goals and objectives in the plan focus on a much longer time period. Each UMP addresses specific objectives and actions for public use and forest management

Altmar State Forest contains a variety of forest types. They include northern hardwood-hemlock, beech-maple, maple-basswood and conifer forests. With a dense, wild and relatively undisturbed landscape, Altmar State Forest provides excellent habitat for many different species of plants and animals. There are many game animals to be found such as deer, turkey, grouse, and squirrels, and fur bearers such as fishers, mink, weasels, and otter. Ferns, wildflowers, clubmoss and fungi are abundant. An inland dune habitat adds to the diversity of the already flourishing fauna and flora. In addition, the forest offers a home to various song birds and raptors.

All DEC foresters are charged with the responsibility of managing State Forests to enhance and maintain a diverse and healthy forest ecosystem for both society and wildlife. As such, management of the forest is strategically employed to develop a balanced mix of young, middle-aged, and old (late successional) forest types, as well as to provide for the continued success of compatible recreational activities.


Cleared for crop land by European settlers and Revolutionary War Veterans, the land that is now Altmar State Forest offered limited reward for early farmers. Being located within the Tug Hill Plateau, the soils are predominately stoney, medium to course textured, and highly acidic. When combined with harsh winters and short growing seasons, the land proved to be too difficult to successfully cultivate, and farms were abandoned as settlement was attempted elsewhere.

The State Reforestation Law of 1929 and the Hewitt Amendment of 1931 set forth new legislation that authorized the Conservation Department to acquire land, by gift or purchase, for reforestation areas. These State Forests, consisting of no less than 500 acres of contiguous land were to be "forever devoted to reforestation and the establishment and maintenance thereon of forests for watershed protection, the production of timber and other forest products, recreation and kindred purposes" (Article 9, Titles 5 and 7, Environmental Conservation Law). Altmar State Forest became one of the properties purchased by the state under this legislation; it now provides a diverse array of ecological, economic, and recreational services for hundreds of New Yorkers each year.

If you have questions and/or comments about this UMP, please email us info.r7@dec.ny.gov

Nearby Amenities and Attractions

Oswego County Tourism Office (Leaves DEC website)

Gas, food, dining and lodging may be found in the nearby community of Pulaski.

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.