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Beartown State Forest

Beartown State Forest locator map

hikingprimitive camping fishing hunting trapping snowmobiling Motorized Acess Program for People with Disabilitiesparking icon key

The 7,205-acre Beartown State Forest is named for its proximity to a former small pioneer settlement by that name. Granite bedrock forms the base for the mostly shallow, poor soils found here. Rock outcrops are common, with beaver inundated wetlands occupying the low areas.

Featured Activities



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

There are a number of trails and unpaved roads crossing the state forest that provide approximately 7.45 miles of hiking opportunities.


primitive camping

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

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.



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

Trout streams, notably Weatherhead Creek in the northern portion of the property and Swiss Creek in the south, along with their tributaries, represent the main fishing opportunities for this property.

North Central NY Fishing 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 trappingGeneral Information on hunting and general information on trapping includes how-to and safety tips with links to seasons, rules & regulations



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

Aspen Hollow Road, the eastern portion of Texas Road and N. Gasline Road all provide access to the portion of the NYS Snowmobile Trail system which is maintained by Missing Link Snowmobile Club (leaves DEC website) through a volunteer stewardship agreement.

Wildlife Viewing

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 Acess 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.

There are 2 routes, the .49-mile Cotton Ext. Trail and the 1.36-mile Flood Trail, located in the northern section of the property that allow motorized access for people with mobility impairments. A permit is required through the Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities.


Map of Beartown State Forest

From Carthage, take County Route 42 north one mile to Rodgers Crossing Road, continue 0.5 mile to Texas Road. Turn right, proceed 3 miles.

  • Cotton Road Parking Lot (44.012569°N, 75.487872°W) Google Map (leaves DEC website)
  • Town Road Parking Lot (43.971454°N, 75.437452°W) 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 Beartown State Forest 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, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are allowed on the property; however, there are no trails on this property currently maintained for these activities.

How We Manage Beartown State Forest

DEC manages these lands in accordance with the management activities described in the Westward Waters 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

Because of the predominately poor soils, most of the trees growing on this forest are only fair in quality and species composition. Aspen, grey birch, scrub white pine and soft(red) maple are the most common trees, and represent relatively little in the way of significant valuable timber, although low quality stumpage sales are not uncommon. Aspen does provide fine grouse habitat.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

DEC Lands & Facilities

Information regarding where to find amenities

  • Gas, dining opportunities, lodging, food and other supplies can be found in the nearby communities of Carthage and West Carthage.

Lewis County Chamber of Commerce (leaves DEC website) and Adirondacks Tug Hill (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.