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Cole Hill State Forest

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The 876-acre Cole Hill State Forest is located in the town of Berne in Albany County. Cole Hill and much of the surrounding areas were made up of the Van Rensselaer manor called Rensselaerwyck. Much of the estate was broken up in the early 19th century after tenants were tired of paying perpetual leases, leading to the Anti-Rent War.

Forest Management

Cole Hill State Forest is managed by the multiple-use concept. Foresters plan complementary uses such as habitat diversity, recreation, water, wildlife, wood products and natural beauty so as to promote a healthy and useful forest. Recreational opportunities include hiking, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, hunting, fishing, trapping and wildlife viewing.

Roads &Trails

Approximately four miles of the Long Path (a 347-mile trail system running from Fort Lee, New Jersey to Altamont, New York) runs through the State Forest

1.5 miles of Forest Access Roads

1 mile of access trails


From Berne take NY-443 (Helderberg Trail Road) east for 2.7 miles. Turn right onto County Road 2 (Cole Hill Road) and proceed 1.2 miles.

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.
  • Motorized vehicles are permitted only on access roads posted as open to motor vehicles. Off road use of motorized vehicles is prohibited, 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.
  • No permanent structures should be established, including tree stands or blinds.
  • ATV or dirt bike use is not allowed.
  • Do not bring firewood from home because this may also transport dangerous invasive pests to the state forest.
  • Human waste should be buried in a shallow hole 4-6 inches deep, and at least 150 feet from water, trails and campsites. Cover with leaf litter and dirt.

Be a Volunteer

DEC appreciates public assistance. Volunteer projects on state lands will be considered if they are in accordance with management policy and legal constraints.

Important Numbers

State Forest Office (M-F 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.): 518-357-2450

Forest Ranger: 518-768-2683

Emergencies: 911 or 877-457-5680 (24 hour DEC Dispatch)

  • Contact for this Page
  • Region 4
    Division of Lands and Forests
    1130 N. Westcott Road
    Schenectady, NY 12306
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  • Page applies to Region 4