Hall Island State Forest
Hall Island State Forest (Oswego #10) is located along the south shore of the Salmon River Reservoir in the town of Redfield in the northeastern portion of Oswego County. It is a great place to visit to enjoy recreational activities such as hunting, hiking, snowmobiling, bird watching, nature viewing, fishing, picnicking and camping.
Hall Island is really not an island, but a long peninsula. The land was once cleared for use by the owners of an old farmstead in the mid 1800's. The land, however, was purchased by the Salmon River Power Company and low lying areas then flooded after the construction of the Salmon River Reservoir dam in 1910 - 1912. The reservoir was constructed for the purpose of hydroelectric power generation which is still in use.
Article 9, Titles 5 and 7, of the Environmental Conservation Law authorized the Department of Environmental Conservation to manage lands acquired outside the Adirondack and Catskill Parks. Management, as defined by these laws, includes watershed protection, the production of timber and other forest products, recreation and kindred purposes. Hall Island was purchased by the State of New York under this program in the 1930's. Today, the land has been transformed into a fully functioning forest and provides a vast array of ecological, economic, and recreational services for hundreds of people each year.
Covered almost completely by mature, natural hardwoods and northern hardwood-hemlock cover types, the red maple, black cherry, white ash, sugar maple and hemlock in the forest provide plentiful habitat for many different species of both plants and animals. Hunting and trapping are popular activities at Hall Island State Forest because of an abundance of game species such as deer, mink, fisher, and raccoon.
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) added hundreds of acres of conifers to the landscape in the 1930's in the reforestation process. As a result, the red pine, white pine, larch and spruce plantations provide both shelter and a rich food source for many different species.
Further adding to the already diverse habitats found in Hall Island State Forest are the wetlands that are scattered throughout the property. These contain both common and rare plant species, and are a favorite site for many different water fowl, including the great blue heron and the pied bill grebe. Within view from the trails, these wetlands provide many opportunities for observing the natural beauty captured within the confines of Hall Island State Forest.
The property also borders the southern shore of the Salmon River Reservoir where you can find camp sites accessible by canoe or boat. Management actions on Hall Island State Forest will be guided by the Upper Salmon River Unit Management Plan once completed.
Hall Island State Forest has approximately 14 miles of trails crisscrossing through its property from the eastern end of the reservoir to the western end. The trails take you through both open and wooded wetlands, and are especially great for hiking and snowmobiling. There are two main trail heads that allow access into the forest; one on Dam Road about 0.4 miles southwest of the intersection of Dam Road and Pipeline Road; the other on Route 17 about 0.4 miles south on County Rte 17 of the intersection of Route 17 and County Route 27.
***Stay Safe- Bring A Friend When Out On The Trails***
Hall Island State Forest may be accessed by taking I-81 to exit 36 Pulaski. Follow US RT 13 to Altmar. From Altmar take County RT 22 east toward Bennett's Bridge and then turn right onto County RT 30 for a short distance and then turn left on to Pipeline Road which will lead you to the western portion of the property. To access the eastern end of the property follow US RT 13 to Williamstown and turn left on to County RT 17 north. You will follow RT 17 for approximately 8 mile till you reach the Eastern end of the Salmon River Reservoir and parking and access areas to Hall Island State Forest
State Forest Regulations
Anyone enjoying the use of this State Forest must observe the following rules which protect them and the forest environment:
- Do not litter. Carry out what you carry in. Burying of refuse is prohibited.
- If you build a fire, do so with care and use wood from dead and downed trees only. Never leave a fire unattended. Three foot radius must be cleared around fire.
- All motorized vehicles are restricted to access roads posted as motor vehicle trails. Off road use of motorized vehicles, such as, trail bikes and four-wheel drives is not allowed, except where specifically permitted by signs, posted notice or by DEC Permit.
- Camping for more than three nights or in a group of ten or more requires a permit from a Forest Ranger. Camping is prohibited within 150 feet of water, roads or trail.
- Permanent structures, including tree stands or blinds, are not allowed.
State Forest Office (M-F 8 am- 4 pm): 315-298-7467
Forest Ranger (Law Enforcement/Emergencies): 315-625-7261
DEC Forest Ranger Dispatch: 518-408-5850