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Grantville State Forest

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Grantville State Forest locator map

Grantville State Forest covers 775 acres located in the town of Norfolk in northeastern St. Lawrence County.

Recreation

There are currently no designated trails on this state forest. The property does provide large undeveloped areas well suited for hunting, hiking, and nature viewing.

Camping - There are no designated camp sites on this property. Back Country Camping is allowed. Camping for more than three nights or in a group of ten or more requires a permit from a Forest Ranger. Camping is prohibited within 150 feet from water, road or trail.

Hunting and Trapping are permitted on the property in accordance with all game regulations, unless otherwise posted. Fishing is permitted from the property in nearby Raquette River.

Geo-caching is allowed although caches must be marked with the owner's contact information and may not be placed in dangerous or ecologically sensitive locations. See the February 2005 article in Conservationist Magazine for more information on geo-caching.

Field Notes

The topography is very flat with extensive wetlands spread throughout the area. The wettest areas are dominated by open wetlands and shrub swamps, which gradually transition to swamp hardwoods and white cedar in seasonal flooded areas. Drier upland sites support northern hardwood and white pine forests.

As with many state forests, much of the area is former agricultural land which has reverted to forest. Open fields were planted with a variety of species including red, Scotch, and white pines, as well as white spruce.

Driving Directions

Grantville State Forest in the early spring

This forest can be accessed from the Grantville Road in the town of Norfolk.

Important Phone Numbers

Potsdam DEC Office (M-F 8 am-4:30 pm) (315) 265-3090

DEC Forest Ranger Dispatch: (518) 408-5850

Emergencies: 911

Tips for Using State Forests

Anyone enjoying this property must observe rules which protect both the visitors and the forest environment.

History

This forest consists of 6 separate parcels which were purchased between 1937 and 1950 for the purposes of reforestation, wildlife management, timber production, recreation, and watershed protection.

The northernmost portion of the property once included several farms and a bridge across the Raquette River, which were abandoned and removed many years ago.

Many of the properties purchased by the state in the 1930s and early 1940s were exhausted farmland with little tree cover. The first priorities after the establishment of a state forest were to reforest the land, prevent soil erosion, and minimize the threat of wildfires.

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) played an active role in the early protection and development of this forest. Crews from Camp S-95 in Brasher Falls accomplished the following tasks on Grantville State Forest between 1937 and 1941:

  • Planted over 437,000 trees on 387 acres, with the major species being white spruce, white pine, and red pine. Other less common species planted include white cedar, Scotch pine, Douglas-fir, and jack pine.
  • Cleared and maintained 2.1 miles of fireline.
  • Constructed 4 waterholes for fire control.

The current users of our state properties should thank the former CCC crew workers for the impressive forests they see today.