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Fort Jackson State Forest

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The 914-acres Fort Jackson State Forest provides large undeveloped areas well suited for hunting, hiking and nature viewing. This forest consists of 9 separate parcels which were purchased between 1950 and 1994 for the purposes of reforestation, wildlife management, timber production, recreation and watershed protection.

Featured Activities

Hiking

hiking

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

There are 8 miles of paved roads, unpaved roads and multi-use trails.

Camping

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.

Fishing

fishing

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

The St. Regis River cuts across the heart of the property and offers ideal rainbow and brown trout fishing opportunities. Access may be difficult as there is limited infrastructure on the property.

A pamphlet is available with maps of state lands and public fishing rights that depicts the Public Access for Fishing the St. Regis River (PDF 488 KB).

North-Central New York 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
trapping

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

Snowmobiling

snowmobiling

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

There are roughly 2 miles of multi-use trails and unpaved roads that allow snowmobiles. The routes are groomed and maintained by the St. Lawrence County Snowmobile Association (leaves DEC website) through a volunteer stewardship agreement.

Wildlife

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

A picture of the St. Regis River as seen from Fort Jackson State Forest
The St. Regis River as seen from Fort Jackson State Forest

Directions

From Potsdam: Head northeast for 10 miles on County Route 11 to Stockholm Center and bear right at intersection with 11C. Continue on 11 for another mile before turning right onto E. Part Road. Proceed another 2 miles and take a left on Buckton Road. After 1 mile take a right onto Barrett Road. The parking area will be on the left after 1.3 miles.

  • Sheldon Road pull-off area (44.719583°N, 74.761088°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 Fort Jackson 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, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and horseback riding are all permitted on the property; however, there are no currently maintained trails for these activities.

How We Manage Fort Jackson State Forest

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.

The topography is variable with upland areas supporting a mixture northern hardwood and white pine forests. Pine and spruce plantations were established on what were formerly farm fields and pastures. Flatter ground supports open wetlands and shrub swamps, which gradually transition to swamp hardwoods and white cedar in seasonal flooded areas.

The pine false webworm (Acantholyda erythrocephala) is an invasive sawfly native to Europe which has caused significant defoliation and mortality of Scotch and white pines in Fort Jackson State Forest and areas to the south and east. It was first reported locally in 1981 and populations have fluctuated greatly, with a particularly large outbreak between 1987 and 1996. Insect damage has been low since that time.

American chestnut (Castanea dentata) was once a common and valuable tree for its rot resistant timber and chestnuts which were eaten by both wildlife and people. Unfortunately, an invasive fungal disease was introduced into North America around 1904 which quickly spread throughout the northeastern states, killing almost all mature chestnut trees by the 1930s. This state forest still contains a small population of chestnut sprouts, which grow to a few inches in diameter and then succumb to the chestnut blight fungus.

The nearby hamlet of Buckton contained a starch factory during the late 1800s. Some of the land comprising this state forest was used to grow potatoes, which exhausted the soil and made continued farming impossible. These depleted areas were planted with a variety of tree species including red, Scotch and white pines. Less common species that were used include white cedar, white spruce and jack pine. A total of over 591,000 trees were planted on 628-acres of this state forest between 1952 and 1962.

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, Hopkinton, Parishville and Potsdam.

St. Lawrence County Tourism (leaves DEC website) and St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce (leaves DEC website) can provide information about other recreation, attractions and amenities in this area.

Postwood Park and Stone Valley Trail (leaves DEC website) are nearby facilities that offer excellent recreational opportunities.

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.