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Pulpit Rock State Forest

State Reforestation Area Jefferson #2

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Pulpit Rock State Forest locator map

This 1,603 acre state reforestation area consists mostly of a granite plateau ranging in character from bare rock outcrops to relatively fertile valleys. A sheer stone cliff over 100 feet high rises from Payne Lake to overlook the Payne Lake Public Fishing Access Site to the east. This state forest was named for a unique nearby rock formation that once served as an outdoor podium from which traveling clergy preached to the local pioneers.

Among the common tree species found here are red oak, white pine, ironwood, hemlock, hard maple and red maple. Resident wildlife includes white-tailed deer, turkey and small fur bearers.

view of State Forest from Payne Lake

Under the guidance of DEC's professional foresters, timber management has long been and will continue to be an integral part of this forest. Recently, after a severe ice storm, the ice damaged trees were salvaged through a timber sale to the highest bidder.

The 0.9 mile long Root Trail is a hiking trail and public right-of-way access to this state forest leading westerly from the Vrooman Creek Road (Jefferson County Route #22). An additional 0.7 miles of hiking access from the west is provided by way of the Watson Trail. Payne Lake, on the eastern edge of this forest, is not only a favorite fishing spot in the summer, but is also a very popular spot for ice fishing. Yellow perch can be caught here year round.


Map of Pulpit Rock State Forest

From Theresa, take County Route #22, proceed 8 miles northeast