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Bombay & Brasher State Forests

hikingprimitive campingfishinghuntingtrappingmotorized access program for people with disabilitiesparkingpicnic areasrestroomicon key

Brasher-Bombay State Forests locator map

Bombay and Brasher State Forests comprise a large reforestation area complex of 22,242 acres. Many people make use of the extensive trail and road system that exists through the forest. Trails are marked with signs that tell what activities they may be used for, such as hiking, cross country skiing, horseback riding or snowmobiling. Another important component of the Brasher and Bombay State Forests is the large areas of ponds, marshes, hardwood swamps and other wetlands. Over 4,500 acres of wetlands provide important habitat for birds, fish, amphibians and protected plants.

Featured Activities

Hiking

hiking

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

The two properties combined offer more than 66 miles of multi-use trails and unpaved roadways that provide ample opportunities to hike and explore the property.

Camping

primitive camping
Accessible area at Walter Pratt Memorial Park

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

There are 25 campsites scattered throughout the property. A majority of them (21), including 2 accessible campsites, are located around the man-made pond in Walter Pratt Memorial Park, which is situated in the south eastern portion of the property. There are 4 more sites located in the western portion of the forest, with 2 located along Vice Road and the other 2 located together on Larue Public Forest Access Road (PFAR).

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.

Fishing

fishing

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

The St. Regis and Deer River, both provide excellent trout fishing opportunities for brown and rainbow trout. There is also a 10-acre man-made pond that is a warm water fishery.

Pamphlets are available with maps of state lands and public fishing rights that depicts the Public Access for Fishing the St. Regis River (PDF 488 KB) and the Public Access for Fishing the Deer River (PDF, 667 KB).

North-Central New York and Adirondack/Lake Champlain provides information on fishing in the area and links to top fishing waters, stocking lists, public fishing access and waters open to ice fishing listed by county.

Hunting & Trapping

hunting
trapping

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

Hunting for deer, grouse, and other small game occurs widely throughout these state forests.

Wildlife

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

Accessible Features

motorized access program for people with disabilities

General information on accessible recreation includes links to other locations with accessible recreation opportunities and information on permits for motorized access.

The Walter Pratt Memorial Park features two accessible campsites designed for use with camper trailers. Each site has an accessible picnic table and a shared privy. A fully accessible bathroom is available at this site, as well as a couple pit privies. There are also two accessible picnic sites and a privy located in the day use section of the park, the picnic tables overlook the impoundment at Redwater Dam. The park is open from mid-May to October, for camping and picnicking.

Full listing of DEC's Accessible Recreation Destinations.

Directions

Brasher and Bombay State Forests are accessible from County Routes 50, 53, and 55, and the Bush and Vice Roads in the town of Brasher, and Cold Springs Road in the town of Bombay.

  • Brasher Center Fishing access point, located between the St. Regis River and Rte. 53 (44.8774796°N, 74.7750931°W) Google Map (leaves DEC website)
  • Larue PFAR parking area north (44.8305511 °N, 74.7669678°W) Google Map (leaves DEC website)
  • Larue PFAR parking area south (44.8281212°N, 74.7669067°W) Google Map (leaves DEC website)

All coordinates provided are in decimal degrees using NAD83/WGS84 datum.

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 Bombay and Brasher State Forests 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.

Specific Rules

Mountain biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and horseback riding are all permitted on the property; however, there are no currently maintained trails specifically for these activities.

How We Manage Bombay and Brasher State Forests

DEC manages these lands in accordance with the management activities described in the St. Lawrence Flatlands Unit Management Plan (UMP). 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.

If you have questions and/or comments about this UMP, please email us Information.R6@dec.ny.gov.

During the early 1800s, settlement began in small communities such as Brasher Falls, Brasher Center, Brasher Iron Works and Helena. Most of the early settlers were farmers; however, an iron foundry was begun in 1835 in the hamlet of Brasher Iron Works. The local wetlands contained slowly forming "bog ore" which was unlike the typical iron ore found in rocks and hills. The availability of iron ore also encouraged the development of local manufacturers. The Kennehan Agricultural Works in Brasher Falls was a well-known maker of plows and other farm implements from the 1870s until the 1960s.

Much of the land acquired by the state during the 1930s and 1940s was farm or pasture land in poor condition. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) played a major part in reforesting these areas. Over 6,500 acres of open land was planted with pine, spruce, and larch plantations. These areas now comprise a large and important part of the state forests. The CCC also constructed 125 water holes to aid in forest fire suppression. Some of the buildings constructed in the CCC era are still in use at the DEC maintenance facility in Brasher Falls.

The state forests are managed to provide a steady and renewable supply of wood products such as firewood, pulpwood, posts, poles and sawtimber. Much of the land that was in poor condition 70 years ago has recovered and has grown into young hardwood forests containing maple, oak, beech and elm.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

DEC Lands & Facilities

Information regarding where to find amenities

  • Gas, lodging, dining opportunities, food and other supplies can be found in the nearby communities of Brasher Falls, Winthrop, Brushton, Moira, Malone and Massena.

St. Lawrence County Tourism website (leaves DEC website) and Franklin County Tourism website (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.