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Wolf Lake State Forest

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Wolf Lake State Forest is a reforestation area of 4,316 acres. It was purchased by the state in the 1950's and 60's to return idle and abandoned farmlands to productive use as a source of timber and to provide land for public recreation.

Featured Activities

Hiking

Hiking

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

There are several access trails and roads located throughout the forest that are open for hiking, cross country skiing, and mountain biking.

  • Talcville to Moon Lake Trail (blue) (2.7 miles) - This trail leads to Moon Lake, smallest (10 acres) of the three named lakes in the area. You will find beaver activity along this trail and most of the others. Moon Lake trail existed before the state purchased the land and has since been maintained by DEC. The Department built the lean-to on Moon Lake. There are currently no fish in Moon Lake, though 15 years ago there were largemouth bass. It is suspected that acid water, low oxygen and warm water temperature have eliminated the fish populations.
  • Moon Lake to Wolf Lake Trail (blue) (0.6 mile) This trail leads to a lean-to on the northwest shore of Wolf Lake. The 25-acre lake has some excellent camping sites and good bass fishing.
  • Moon Lake to Huckleberry Lake Trail (yellow) (1.7 miles) This trail eads to the lean-to on the southeast shore of Huckleberry Lake. The lake is heavily used throughout the year, especially during bass fishing season. It is quite large at approximately 55 acres and offers excellent fishing.
  • Talcville to Huckleberry Lake Trail (yellow) (2.2 miles) - The trail is a reasonably good carry for canoes or small boats to Huckleberry Lake. The last ¼ mile passes through a stand of native white pine ranging up to 30 inches in diameter. When you reach Huckleberry Lake on this trail, you will be standing on the west boundary of the State Forest. This line runs approximately due north across the lake from this point.
  • Sam Day Road to Wolf Lake Trail (yellow) (3.9 miles) - The trail begins at the extension of Sam Day Road and leads to the Wolf Lake lean-to.
  • Sam Day Road to Moon Lake Trail (Beaver Ponds Trail) (red) (5.0 miles) - This trail leads the hiker along old beaver ponds on Huckleberry Lake Outlet. The starting point on the north is reached by turning west off Sam Day Road and walking 0.3 mile to an old farm site. This trail offers some nice views across the beaver marshes and many good spots from which to observe wildlife. You will find a lean-to 1.75 miles to the south of the starting point.

Camping

primitive camping

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

There are several designated campsites in the forest. Lean-tos are located at Huckleberry, Moon and Wolf Lakes. At-large primitive camping is also 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.

Hunting & Trapping

hunting
trapping

General information on hunting and general information on trapping. Includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.

Hunting and trapping are allowed in accordance with all State laws and regulations.

Fishing

fishing

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

The property has numerous creeks and streams for fishing.

Mountain Biking

mountain biking

General information on biking includes how-to and safety tips and links to ruled and regulations. All trails on the forest are open to mountain biking. No trails are specifically maintained for mountain biking.

Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing

cross-country skiing
snowshoeing

General information on cross-country skiing and snowshoeing includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations. All trails on the forest are open for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. No trails are groomed for cross-country skiing.

Wildlife

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

Directions

Wolf Lake State Forest can be accessed by Gates and Sam Day Roads in the Town of Hermon in the north. Wolf Lake can also be accessed by Ames Road in the Town of Edwards in the south.

There are 4 parking areas available. They are located on the Ames Road and on the Sam Day Public Forest Access Road. All coordinates provided are in decimal degrees using NAD83/WGS84 datum.

  • Ames Road West Parking Area (44.350937°N, 75.265662°W) Google Map (leaves DEC website)
  • Ames Road East Parking Area (44.350937°N, 75.265662°W) Google Map (leaves DEC website)
  • Sam Day Public Forest Access Road Parking (44.363252°N, 75.25267°W) Google Map (leaves DEC website)
  • Curran Landing Parking Area (44.363252°N, 75.252670W) Google Map (leaves DEC website)

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Practice Leave No Trace principles (leaves DEC website) 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 Wolf Lake State Forest must follow all State Forest Use Regulations and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of users and protection of the resource.

Don't Move Firewood. The insects it carries could kill the forests you love.

How We Manage Wolf Lake State Forest

DEC is developing a management plan which will describe the management activities for these lands. Wolf Lake State Forest is one of 15 State Forests, 9 Detached Forest Preserve Parcels and 2 Conservation Easements combined into the area called St. Lawrence Rock Ridge Management Unit. In addition to forestry management objectives, the Unit Management Plan will contain detailed information on natural features, recreational infrastructure, geology, natural & human history, habitats, wildlife, fisheries, and much more.

DEC is planning for input for development of this unit management plan. Any individual or group who would like to provide comments on the future management of this unit can contact NYS DEC, 6739 US Highway 11, Potsdam NY, 13676 or email: Region 6 UMP mailbox.

History

The northeast part of this area was farmed by the Reed family. The Reed brothers had a sizable maple sugar operation on this tract in the early 1900's. Local people still refer to this section as the "Reed Ranch".

The southwest part of the Wolf Lake State Forest is known locally as the "Clark Farm", referring to the family which last farmed it. Old roads which once serviced the two farms provide vehicular access to the Wolf Lake State Forest.

The interior portion of the area between the "Reed Ranch" and "Clark Farm" is accessible only by a network of hiking trails. This remote section was probably logged in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Much of the interior was also altered by fire during the same period. Bare rock and stands of native red and white pine at higher elevations and stands of hardwood trees between the ridges are the result of these disturbances.

Nearby Areas and Attractions

Numerous guide books and map are available with information on the lands, water, 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.