Black River Wild Forest
Portions of South Shore Road, the second half of Mill Creek Road and Herkimer Landing Road are not passable to passenger vehicles. Four wheel drive trucks are recommended and even with these vehicles, access to some areas may not be possible.
- Open for recreation: Year-round
- Fee: Free
- Contact Information:
- DEC Herkimer Office: 315-866-6330; firstname.lastname@example.org
- Backcountry Emergencies: 518-891-0235 or 911 (24/7)
- Enforcement Matters: 1-877-457-5680 (24/7)
- Location: Towns of Ohio, Webb and Russia, Herkimer County; Towns of Forestport and Remsen, Oneida County; Town of Lyonsdale, Lewis County and Town of Morehouse, Hamilton County
- Wildlife Management Unit: 5H and 6J
- Map: Black River Wild Forest Unit Map - PDF (1.6 MB) || Google Earth || State Lands Interactive Mapper
The 127,135-acre Black River Wild Forest is located within the southwestern foothills of the Adirondack Forest Preserve and offers a broad spectrum of recreational opportunities, from snowmobiling near the adjacent communities of Old Forge and Otter Lake to hiking on foot trails in remote areas. Elevations within the unit range from 1,350 feet to 2,600 feet, with the highest relief found between Nicks Lake and Woodhull Lake and around North and South Lakes. Most of this area is characterized by a series of gently rolling hills interspersed with lakes, ponds, streams and wetlands.
Seasonal access roads within the unit provide motor vehicle access (ATVs are prohibited) to numerous recreational destinations within the unit. Wolf Lake Landing Road, Mill Creek Road, South Shore Road, and Haskell Road/West Creek Road are the most popular roads in the Black River Wild Forest. Please be aware of other users (bikers, horseback riders and hikers) when traveling on them. Many of these roads become part of the snowmobile trail network during winter and are also closed to vehicular traffic during the spring "mud season". Additionally, some roads on the unit lead to private inholdings. Please respect private property and stay on state land. Conditions on all roads can change rapidly due to weather conditions.
Flatrock Mountain Easement Tract, the 3,078-acre John Brown Easement Tract, and the 11,490 acre North Lake Easement Tract (also known as the J.P. Lewis Tract) are privately owned lands with a conservation easement which restricts development, allows for the continued harvest of forest products, and permits specific public recreation opportunities. Public access and recreation opportunities are limited to what is described on this web page. Any other access or recreational activity is prohibited and can result in trespass charges.
The 511-acre Flatrock Mountain Easement Tract is located southwest of Old Forge, sandwiched between State Route 28 and Middle Branch Moose River. The tract is characterized by moderate to steep sloping terrain composed of low hills and two mountains in the northeast and southwest ends of the property. The lowest elevation is on the railroad corridor (1,725 feet) along the southern boundary and ranges upwards to 2,050 feet on the summit Flatrock Mountain. The tract is owned by the Northeast Logger's Association which will continue to practice forest management in support of its educational mission. NOTE: The public is prohibited from trespassing on the private inholding on the summit of Flatrock Mountain where the cellphone tower is located.
The 3,078-acre John Brown Tract, is located southwest of the hamlet of Old Forge. The bulk of the tract lies west of State Route 28 with the Herkimer County line serving as its western boundary. A small portion of the tract, lying on either side of the Moose River, are located in Lewis and Oneida County. The topography is fairly flat, the Moose River and Gull Lake being its main natural features.
The 11,490-acre North Lake Tract (also known as the J.P. Lewis Tract), is located in the Town of Ohio in Herkimer County. The tract surrounds the northern portion of North Lake and is bounded by the Black River Wild Forest on the southwest and the West Canada Lakes Wilderness on the northeast. The tract has the same rolling topography and features characteristic of adjacent forest preserve lands. Besides the lake, the tract includes numerous creeks, brooks and ponds. 2,606-foot Canachagala Mountain and 2,391-foot Golden Stair Mountain are located in the northwestern portion of the tract. NOTE: The public is prohibited from trespassing on the 5-acre exclusion areas around the 25 private leased camps on the North Lake Easement Tract.
The easement tracts are active "working forests" where timber is harvested. Visitors should expect to trucks and other logging equipment. Areas with active timber harvests will be closed to public access for safety reasons.
General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.
The area has more than 90 miles of marked foot trails.
- Nicks Lake Trail - (Yellow and Blue Markers) 3.8 miles in total, from the Nicks Lake Campground parking lot or the Bisby Road parking area to the Nelson Lake and Nicks Lake Outlet trails. Legs of this trail also tie in with the Shoreline Trail (AKA Nicks Circuit Trail, 4.7 miles in total, originating in Nicks Lake Campground), Nicks Lake Road Trail and the Lock and Dam Trail.
- Shoreline Trail (AKA Nicks Circuit Trail) is a 4.7-mile loop originating in Nicks Lake Campground). Portions of the Nicks Lake Trail and the Nick Lake Outlet Trail are used to make the loop.
- Nicks Lake Road (Yellow Markers) extends 0.75 mile from the Iron Bridge Parking Area to the junction with the Lock and Dam and Nicks Lake Trails.
- Lock and Dam Trail (Red Markers) extends 0.2 mile from the end of Nicks Lake Road to the Middle Branch of the Moose River.
- Nelson Lake Trail (Blue Markers) extends 8.8 miles from the Nicks Lake Trail to the far end of the Nicks Lake Outlet trail. This trail splits into two legs, one that parallels the Moose River and the other a more interior portion. These two eventually link up with each other and can be hiked as a loop.
- Nicks Lake Outlet Trail (Blue Markers) extends 10.4 miles from the southern end of the Nelson Lake Trail to the Remsen Falls Lean-to and back to Nicks Lake Trail in the vicinity of Nicks Lake.
- Brown's Tract Trail on the John Brown Easement Tract extends 0.75 mile from the John Brown Tract North Parking area or 1.5 miles from the Gull Lake Trailhead to Copper Lake Road and beyond through the Ha-De-Ron-Dah Wilderness.
- Gull Lake Trail on the John Brown Easement Tract extends 0.5 mile from the Gull Lake Trailhead to the shores of Gull Lake.
- John Brown Easement Snowmobile Trail parallels State Route 28 through and can be used by hikers during the spring, summer and fall. The trail can be accessed from the John Brown Tract North Parking Area, the Gull Lake Trailhead or the John Brown Tract South Parking Area.
- Flatrock Mountain Easement Snowmobile Trail can be used by hikers during the spring, summer and fall, as well as the many logging roads on the tract.
- South Branch Trail (Red Markers) extends 7.2 miles from the trailhead at the McKeever Parking Area along the South Branch Administrative Road to the summit of Woodhull Mountain (2,363 feet) and the fire tower. The trail climbs 730 feet in the last two miles to the summit.
- Bear Lake Trail (Blue and Yellow Markers) leaves Wolf Lake Landing Road 1.1 mile east of the McKeever Parking Area and extends a total of 5.1 miles to the Big Woodhull-Sand Lake Falls Trail (Blue Markers, 3.2 miles) and from Bear Lake to Bloodsucker Pond and Big Woodhull Lake (Yellow Markers, 1.9 miles).
- Big Woodhull Trail (Red Markers) extends 3.6 miles between the trailhead at the Wolf Lake Landing Road Parking Area to the Sand Lake Falls/Mill Creek Road Trailhead.
- Brewer Lake Trail extends 2.1 miles from the trailhead to Brewer Lake.
- Otter Lake Connector Trail extends 1.1 miles between Overlook Road (Dump Road) and Cohen Road. Cohen Road is rough, only 4-wheel drive trucks, SUVs and other high clearance vehicles should be used on this road.
- Brandy Lake Trail extends 0.5 mile from the Brandy Lake Trailhead Parking Area on Route 28 to the Otter Lake-Brandy Lake Trail.
- Otter Lake Outlet Trail extends 1.1 miles from the Brandy Lake Trail to the end of Lake View Road along Otter Lake.
- Otter Lake-Brandy Lake Trail extends 3.9 miles from the intersection of Brandy Lake and Round Pond Trails southwest past Brandy Lake to Round Lake Road.
- Round Pond Trail extends 2.0 miles from the end of the Otter Lake-Brandy Lake Trail to Moose River Road.
- Brandy Lake Foot Trail (Yellow Markers) extends 1.0 mile from the Otter Lake-Brandy Lake Trail south past the eastern end of Brandy Lake to Little Long Lake.
- Chub Pond Trail (Blue Markers) extends 5.3 miles from trailhead near the Bear Creek Parking Area to Chub Pond; the trail splits and both ends lead to lean-tos on opposite sides of the lake.
- Gull Lake Trail (Yellow Markers) extends 2.0 miles from the Chub Pond Trail to Gull Lake Road and Gull Lake Lean-to Trail.
- Gull Lake Connector Trail (Red Markers) extends 1.8 miles from a trailhead near the Bear Creek Parking Area to the Gull Lake Road Parking Area.
- Gull Lake Lean-to Trail (Yellow Markers) extends 0.7 mile from the end of Gull Lake Road to the Lean-to.
- Sand Lake Falls Trail (Red Markers) extends 7.7 miles between a trailhead on Mill Creek Road and a trailhead on North Lake Road. The trail crosses Woodhull Creek and passes Sand Lake Falls.
- Stone Dam Trail (Yellow Markers) extends 5.6 miles from the Stone Dam Trailhead to the Chub Pond Trail.
- Little Woodhull Trail extends 4.5 miles from the Little Woodhull Trailhead past Little Woodhull Lake to the Sand Lake Falls Trail.
- Twin Lakes Trail extends 2.8 miles from the Twin Lakes Trailhead to Twin Lakes Outlet.
NOTE: Trails on the North Lake Easement Tract listed below are often former skid trails from previous logging operations on these lands. Some of the trails have not been maintained in recent years and may be rough, grown in and contain blowdown.
- Grindstone Creek Trail on the North Lake Easement Tract extends 2.4 miles from the trailhead at the Mud Pond Outlet Parking Area to the Grindstone Creek Trailhead to Grindstone Creek. The trail ascends 150 feet in the first 0.8 mile before descending 120 feet over the remainder of the trail.
- Mud Pond Trail on the North Lake Easement Tract leaves the Grindstone Creek Trail 1.1 miles from the trailhead and extends 1.2 miles past Mud Pond.
- Canachagala Trail on the North Lake Easement Tract extends 2.6 miles and ascends 360 feet from the Canachagala Trailhead to the northwest side of Canachagala Mountain
- Golden Star Mountain Trail on the North Lake Easement Tract leaves the Canachagala Trail 1.2 miles from the trailhead and extends 0.9 mile to Golden Stair Mountain.
- North Branch Trail on the North Lake Easement Tract extends 1.8 miles and ascends 235 feet from the trailhead at the Ice Cave Mountain Parking Area to the North Branch of the Black River
- Ice Cave Creek Trail on the North Lake Easement Tract leaves the North Branch Trail 0.3 mile from the trailhead. The trail extends 1.3 miles from the North Branch Trail pass Ice Cave Creek to a lower summit of Ice Cave Mountain passing Ice Cave Creek. The trail ascends 445 feet in the last 0.5 mile.
- Loop Road Extension on the North Lake Easement Tract extends 3.4 miles and climbs 370 feet from the trailhead at the Ice Cave Mountain Parking Area to a trailhead near the gate at Honnedaga Lake Road.
- Eastside Trail on the North Lake Easement Tract leaves the Loop Road Extension Trail 1.1 miles from the trailhead and extends 1.3 miles along the eastern shore of North Lake.
- Black River Middle Branch Trail on the North Lake Easement Tract leaves the Loop Road Extension Trail 1.7 miles from the trailhead and extends 1.9 miles along the Middle Branch of the Black River, ascending 390 feet.
- Jock's Brook Trail on the North Lake Easement Tract leaves the Eastside Trail 1.6 miles from the trailhead and extends 0.5 mile from the Eastside Trail along Jock's Brook
- South Shore Road Trail extends approximately 6.6 miles between South Lake Road and the Herkimer Landing Road. While designated as a road, due to the condition of the road it is mainly used for hiking and biking.
- Mad Tom Lake Trail extends 5.2 miles between trailheads on Remonda Road and Black Creek Lake Road.
- Mad Tom Lake Spur Trail extends 0.1 mile from Mad Tom Lake Trail to Mad Tom Lake.
- Ledge Mountain Overlook Trail (aka Keegan's Trail) extends 1.1 miles and ascends 310 feet from the trailhead to the top of a ridge with a scenic overlook of the West Canada Creek Valley. The access road to the trailhead parking area and first part of the trail cross private land. Stay on the road and the trail, do not trespass on private property.
- Mill Creek-Black Creek Lake Trail extends 2.5 miles from Haskell Road to Black Creek Lake Road.
- Round Top Trail - 1.8 miles, from the end of Black Creek Lake Road through a private inholding (stay on the trail) to Herkimer Landing Road.
- Little Salmon Lake Trail extends 0.5 mile from Herkimer Landing Road to Little Salmon Lake.
General information on fire towers includes historic and current uses of fire towers and links to other locations with fire towers
The 50-foot tall Steel Aeromotor LL25 fire tower on the summit of Woodhull Mountain was built in 1916. The fire tower replaced a wooden fire tower built in 1903 at the same location. An observer staffed the tower to watch for and report fires in the surrounding forests until 1970. The fire tower was approved to be disposed in 1983 but due to a dead spot in radio transmissions it was maintained and a radio repeater was added.
The summit of the Woodhull Mountain and the fire tower can be accessed via the South Branch Trail. However, the cab of the fire tower is not open to the public.
General information on backcountry camping includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations
Gull Lake Lean-to
All designated primitive tents sites 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.
Nelson Lake Lean-to can be accessed by water from Nelson Lake Hand Launch via the Middle Branch Moose River and the Nelson Lake Outlet. The lean-to may also be accessed by land from the Nicks Lake Trailhead via the Nicks Lake Trail and the Nelson Lake Trail. The southern portion of the Nelson Lake Trail provides the shortest route to the lean-to.
Remsen Falls Lean-to can be accessed from the Nicks Lake Trailhead via the Nicks Lake Trail and the Nicks Lake Outlet Trail.
Bear Lake Lean-to can be accessed from Bear Lake Trailhead via the Bear Lake Trail or from the Sand Lake Mill Creek Road Trailhead via the Big Woodhull Trail and the Bear Lake Trail.
Woodhull Lake Lean-to can be accessed from the Big Woodhull Trailhead via the Big Woodhull Trail.
Gull Lake Lean-to can be accessed from the Gull Lake Road Parking Area via the Gull Lake Road and Gull Lake Lean-to Trail.
Sand Lake Falls Lean-to can be accessed from Sand Lake Falls Trailhead on Mill Creek Road and or the Sand Lake Falls Trailhead on North Lake Road via the Sand Lake Falls Trail.
The two Chub Pond Lean-tos can be accessed from the Chub Pond Trailhead via the Chub Pond Trail or the Stone Dam Trailhead via the Stone Dam Trail and the Chub Pond Trail.
North Lake Lean-to is on the eastern shore of North Lake and can only be accessed by boat.
There are 30 designated primitive tent sites on the shores of North Lake, of which 21 are located along North Lake (Loop) Road some of which are tent sites and others are drive up campsites. The other nine tents site in the North Lake Easement Tract on the eastern shore North Lake and can only be accessed by paddlers.
Ice Cave Valley Trailhead Parking Area at the end of the North Lake (Loop) Road has a campsite. Camping is prohibited in the other parking areas along the North Lake (Loop) Road.
Nine designated tent sites along Wolf Lake Landing Road. A camping permit must be obtained from the local forest ranger to use these sites, 518-897-1300 for assistance.
Three tents sites are located along Mill Creek Road.
Three tents sites on Reeds Pond which can be accessed from North Lake Road.
Four camp sites are located along the Haskell/West Creek Road.
An accessible tent site is located on Long Lake can only be accessed via water from the accessible Long Lake Hand Launch.
Three tent sites on South Lake can be accessed from the South Lake Hand Launch.
Campers who desire more amenities may camp at the nearby Nicks Lake Campground and take day trips into the area.
General information on paddling includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations
The Black River Wild Forest provides numerous opportunities for canoeing and kayaking.
Nick's Lake Boat Launch is located within the DEC Nicks Lake Campground and 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.
Nelson Lake Hand Launch is located downstream of a set of rapids on the Middle Branch Moose River. There is no formal launch site, just a spot on the bank of the river. Paddlers can use a flat water section of the river and the outlet of Nelson Lake to access the lake.
Otter Lake Hand Launch is located near the dam in the southwestern bay.
Little Long Lake Accessible Hand Launch is located on the southeastern shore of the lake.
Woodhull Lake Accessible Hand Launch is located on the western shore of the lake.
South Lake Hand Launch is located on the northwestern shore of the lake.
North Lake is popular with paddlers however there is no formal launch site.
Whitewater, moving water and flat water paddling opportunities are available on Middle Branch and South Branch Moose River. Navigation can be very difficult, even dangerous, due to shallow water, rocks, and rapids. Scout the waters before paddling, paddle with experienced paddlers or hire a guide or outfitter to avoid problems.
General information on mountain biking includes how-to and safety tips with links to rules & regulations
Mountain biking is only allowed on the following trails which are described in thehiking section:
- South Branch Trail (AKA South Branch Administrative Road)
- Big Woodhull-Sand Lake Falls Trail\
- North Lake-Sand Lake-Mill Creek Trail
- Little Woodhull Trail
- Gull Lake Trail
- Chub Pond Trail
- Twin Lakes Trail
- Otter Lake-Brandy Lake Snowmobile Trail
- Round Pond Trail
- Nicks Lake Trail
The snowmobile trails on the John Brown Easement Tract and the Flat Rock Easement Tract can be use by bicycles during the spring, summer and fall.
Please respect hikers and others users of the trial and yield their right of way.
Numerous roads also offer a quality biking experience including:
- Mill Creek Road (Seasonal Access Road beyond Bear Creek Road)
- Wolf Lake Landing Road (Seasonal Access Road)
- North Lake Road
- Loop Road and Loop Road Extension
- South Shore Road
- Flansberg & Black Creek Lake Roads (Seasonal Access Roads)
- Herkimer Landing Road
- Haskell & West Creek Roads (Seasonal Access Road in part)
Watch for motor vehicle traffic when biking on roads.
General information on fishing includes fishing tips with links to seasons, rules & regulations
Numerous angling opportunities can be found on the Black River Wild Forest.
Brewer Lake contains brook trout and can be access from the Brewer Lake Trailhead via the Brewer Lake Trail.
Woodhull Lake contains lake trout and can be accessed from the accessible Woodhull Lake Hand Launch.
South Lake contains brook trout and can be accessed from the South Lake Hand Launch. A previous State record brook trout was taken from this water.
Beaverdam Pond contains brook trout and can be accessed from Honnedaga Brook Trailhead via the Honnedaga Brook Trail.
Nicks Lake contains brook trout, brown trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, pumpkinseed, and rock bass, and can be accessed from the Nick's Lake Boat Launch. The boat launch is located in the DEC campground and 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.
Brook trout are found in Woodhull Creek, Bear Creek, Mill Brook, Black Creek, West Canada Creek, North Branch Black River, Middle Branch Black River and Jock's Brook contain brook trout.
A pamphlet is available with maps of state lands and public fishing rights that depicts the Public Access for Fishing Woodhull Creek (PDF 754 kb).
North Central NY 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
The area is open for hunting and trapping though not notable for any particular species. Most commonly pursued species are deer and bear.
General information on snowmobiling includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations
Note: DEC is currently amending the Unit Management Plan to classify all snowmobile trails to conform to the 2006 Snowmobile Plan for the Adirondacks. Some trails that are currently open to snowmobiling will be closed and not listed here. There will be a few new trails constructed which will be added here once they exist on the ground.
More than 60 miles of trail are open to snowmobiling:
- Mad Tom Lake Trail
- Mad Tom Lake Trail Spur
- Bullpen Trail
- Round Top Trail
- Twin Lakes Trail
- Little Woodhull Lake Trail
- North Lake-Sand Lake-Mill Creek Trail
- Chub Pond Trail
- Gull Lake Trail
- Big Woodhull Trail
- Otter Lake Connector Trail
- Brandy Lake Trail
- Otter Lake-Brandy Lake Trail
- Round Pond Trail
- Otter Lake Outlet Trail
- Johns Brown Easement Tract Snowmobile Trail
- Flat Rock Easement Tract Snowmobile Trail
- Portions of the Nick's Lake Trail
Many roads are open to snowmobiling including:
- Wolf Lake Landing Road
- Mill Creek Road
- Cohen Road
- Loop Road (Note this road is often plowed during the winter to support timber harvesting operations)
- South Shore Road
- Herkimer Landing Road
- Black Creek Lake Road
- Haskell/West Creek Road
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
General information on cross-country skiing and snowshoeing includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations
Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are available on all trails in the Black River Wild Forest and the easement tracts.
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.
General information on horseback riding includes safety tips and rules & regulations
A 6-mile designated horse route from the McKeever Parking Area (on Wolf Lake Landing Road) heads east along the South Branch Trail to the Remsen Falls Trail, then along the Remsen Falls Trail to Wolf Lake Landing Road, then south along the road back to the parking area.
Horseback riding is also available on the Flat Rock Easement Snowmobile Trail and the John Brown Tract Snowmobile Trail during the spring, summer and fall.
Loop Road in the North Lake Easement Tract is also open to horseback riding.
Be alert for motor vehicles when riding on the Wolf Lake Landing Road or the Loop Road.
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. Over 50 species of mammals and hundreds of species of birds inhabit or pass through the Adirondacks at one time of the year or another.
Throughout this unit, and the Adirondacks as a whole, you are likely to encounter wildlife. Please be respectful of wildlife and do not feed them, especially bears. "If you care
The adjacent Nicks Lake Campground is a Watchable Wildlife site.
General information on accessible recreation includes links to other locations with accessible recreation opportunities and information on permits for motorized access.
Little Long Lake Primitive Campsite
Featured at this location is an accessible pull-off for unloading a canoe or car-top boat, an access route to the water suitable for use with mobility devices, and reserved parking. From the launch site a short paddle across the lake brings you to a primitive campsite. There are two tent pads with fire rings and an accessible privy located here. The facilities are connected by a short accessible trail and are located in a wooded setting adjacent to the lake. (43.5557°N, 75.1575°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
Accessible trail to campsite
Woodhull Lake Accessible Hand-carry Boat Launch
The accessible hand launch located on the western shore of Woodhull Lake can be directly accessed using motor vehicles only by people with a Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities (MAPPWD) permit. It is a short drive to the water and the hand launch from the gate at the Big Woodhull Trailhead. People without a permit will need to walk 200 feet to the launch site.
Remsen Falls Picnic Site
A view of Remsen Falls on the
Moose River from the picnic site
The accessible picnic site on the banks of the South Branch Moose River can be accessed using motor vehicles only by people with a Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities (MAPPWD) permit. An accessible parking space and privy are connected to picnic site by a 150-foot trail suitable for use with mobility devices. The picnic sites is located in a very wild setting a short distance from the falls and contains an accessible picnic table.
Remsen Falls picnic site
The accessible hand launch and the accessible picnic site are both accessed by motor vehicle via the Wolf Lake Landing Road. Watch for the small sign "Access to State Land" along Route 28N and the dirt lane (cross the railroad tracks) to the trail head. Be sure to sign in at the register.
MAPPWD permit holders should call the Herkimer DEC office (315-866-6330) before each planned trip and get the lock combination which is changed often.
All coordinates provided are in decimal degrees using NAD83/WGS84 datum.
Trailheads and Parking Areas
There is limited parking on the shoulders of roads at trailhead without parking areas. Parked vehicles should not block the trail, any gates or the road.
- Iron Bridge Parking Area: Between the hamlets of Old Forge and Thendara on Green Bridge Road (on the south bank of the Middle Branch of the Moose River), there is parking available for 2-3 vehicles (43.694409°N, 74.998501°W). Google Maps (Leaves DEC website)
- Bisby Road Trailhead Parking Area: South of the hamlet of Old Forge on Bisby Road (Nicks Lake Trailhead). There is parking available for 2-3 vehicles (43.693191°N, 74.977980°W). Google Maps (Leaves DEC website)
- Flat Rock Parking Area is a DOT parking area along State Route 28 (43.6761°N, 75.0522°W) Google Maps (Leaves DEC website)
- John Brown Tract North Parking Area is located along on Old Route 28 off of State Route 28. (43.6550°N; 75.0830°W) Google Maps (Leaves DEC website)
- Gull Lake Trailhead Parking Area on the John Brown Easement Tract is located off of State Route 28 near the southern end of Old Route 28. (43.6491°N; 75.0793°W) Google Maps (Leaves DEC website)
- John Brown Tract South Parking Area is located off of State Route 28 and provides access to the John Brown Tract Snowmobile Trail. (43.6302°N; 75.0837°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
- Brewer Lake Trailhead is located on Benchmark Road off Route 28 in Otter Lake. The road is marked on Route 28 by a sign stating "Access to State Land". Take the road across the railroad tracks and follow it a short distance to the trailhead. (43.5917°N; 75.1097°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
- McKeever Parking Area: is on McKeever Road off of State Route 28. Look for the small sign "access to state land" and the dirt lane (cross the railroad tracks) to the parking area (43.612519°N, 75.090496°W). Google Maps (Leaves DEC website)
- Wolf Lake Landing Road Parking Spaces: is located at the end of Wolf Lake Landing Road. There is room for 2-3 cars to park off of the side of the road. The parking area is not open during the winter or the spring "mud season" (43.601981°N, 75.021386°W). Google Maps (Leaves DEC website)
- Remsen Falls Accessible Parking Area is located off the Wolf Lake Land Road a half mile up a seasonal access road. Only people with a valid MAPPWD permit may use motor vehicles on the seasonal access road. (43.6255°N, 75.0358°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
- Brandy Lake Trailhead Parking Area: is located on the west side of State Route 28 (43.571998°N, 75.129183°W). Google Maps (Leaves DEC website)
- Bear Creek Parking Area
is located at the end of Bear Creek Road where it enters forest preserve lands and becomes Mill Creek Road. (43.541348°N, 75.101290°W). Google Maps (Leaves DEC website)
- Gull Lake Road Parking Area is located on Mill Creek Road beyond the Bear Creek Parking Area. This parking area is not open during the winter time or the spring "mud season" (43.559648°N, 75.073365°W). Google Maps (Leaves DEC website)
- Stone Dam Trailhead Parking Area is located on North Lake Road. There is limited parking available and the parking area is not plowed during the winter (43.456726°N, 75.066113°W). Google Maps (Leaves DEC website)
- Little Woodhull Lake Trailhead Parking Area is located along North Lake Road. There is limited parking available and the parking area is not plowed during the winter.(43.507115°N, 74.967086°W). Google Maps (Leaves DEC website)
- Twin Lakes Trailhead Parking Area is located on Farr Road. Limited parking is available. (43.472184°N, 75.008716°W). Google Maps (Leaves DEC website)
- Sand Lake Falls North Lake Road Trailhead is located at the end of the Mill Creek Road. (43.5262°N, 74.9465°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
- Mud Pond Outlet Parking Area (Grindstone Creek Trailhead) in the North Lake Easement Tract is located along Loop Road. (43.5548°N, 74.9164°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
- Canachagala Trailhead Parking Area in the North Lake Easement Tract is located along Loop Road. (43.5604°N; 74.9127°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
- Ice Cave Mountain Trailhead Parking Area in the North Lake Easement Tract is located at the end of Loop Road. (43.5627°N, 74.8978°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
- Loop Road Extension/Honnedaga Lake Road Trailhead is located along the Honnedaga Lake Road. (43.5353°N, 74.8806°W) Google Maps (Leaves DEC website)
- Mad Tom Lake Remonda Road Trailhead is located at the end of Remonda Road off State Route 8. (43.3792N, 74.9406W) Google Maps (Leaves DEC website)
- Ledge Mountain Overlook Trailhead Parking Area is located off State Route 8 at the end of 0.6 mile seasonal access road. Limited parking is available and the parking area is not plowed during the winter (43.381510°N, 74.918520°W). Google Maps (Leaves DEC website)
- Mill Creek Black Creek Road Trailhead is located along the seasonal access Black Creek Road. (43.4138°N, 74.8840°W) Google Maps (Leaves DEC website)
- Mad Tom Lake Black Creek Road Trailhead is located along the seasonal access Black Creek Road. (43.4169°N, 74.9044°W) Google Maps (Leaves DEC website)
- Round Top Black Creek Road Trailhead is located along the seasonal access Black Creek Road. (43.4394°N, 74.8946°W) Google Maps (Leaves DEC website)
- Mill Creek Lake Haskell Road Trailhead is located on the Haskell Road. (43.4132°N, 74.8515°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
- Haskell Road Parking Area is located on the Haskell Road and is mainly used for parking snowmobile trailers and vehicles (43.423025°N, 74.835863°W). Google Maps (Leaves DEC website)
- Round Top Herkimer Landing Road Trailhead is located on the Herkimer Landing Road (43.4514°N, 74.8629°W) Google Maps (Leaves DEC website)
Boat Launches and Hand Launches
- Nick's Lake Boat Launch is located in Nick's Lake Campground.
- Nelson Lake Hand Launch is located at the end of seasonal access road off State Route 28, there is no formal launch site, just a spot on the bank of the river. (43.646939°N, 75.078587°W) Google Maps (Leaves DEC website)
- Otter Lake Hand Launch is located at the end of Lake View Road near the dam in the southwestern bay. (43.5867°N, 75.1257°W) Google Maps (Leaves DEC website)
- Little Long Lake Accessible Hand Launch is located along Little Long Lake Road on the southeastern shore of the lake. (43.552378°N, 75.154118°W). Google Maps (Leaves DEC website)
- Woodhull Lake Accessible Hand Launch at the end of Wolf Lake Landing road on the western shore of the lake. (43.6015°N, 75.0200°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
- South Lake Parking Area and hand carry Boat Launch Site is located along South Lake Road on the north end of the lake. (43.518289°N, 74.907917°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.
How We Manage Black River Wild Forest
DEC manages these lands in accordance with the management activities described in the Black River 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.
DEC is developing a recreation management plan which will describe the management activities for public recreation on the Flat Rock Easement Tract.
Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information
- Moose River Plains Wild Forest
- Fulton Chain Wild Forest
- Ha-De-Ron-Dah Wilderness
- Nicks Lake Campground
- Ferris Lake Wild Forest
- West Canada Lakes Wilderness Area
- Hinckley Day Use Area
- John Brown Tract Conservation Easement
- North Lake Conservation Easement
- Flatrock Mountain Conservation Easement
- Popple Pond State Forest
Gas, dining opportunities, lodging, food and other supplies may be found in the nearby communities of Old Forge, Otter Lake, Forestport, Boonville or Remsen.
Adirondack Regional Tourism Council (leaves DEC website), Herkimer County Chamber of Commerce (leaves DEC website), Oneida County Tourism (leaves DEC website) and the Old Forge Visitors Center (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.