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Lost Nation State Forest

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The 1,907-acre Lost Nation State Forest consists of 20 separate parcels which were purchased between 1933 and 2001. 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.

Featured Activities

Hiking

hiking

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

There are 1.45 miles of multiple-use trails that provide access to the forest; however, the vast majority of the property remains undeveloped, which is ideal for hunting, hiking and nature viewing.

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.

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

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 a harvested white pine stand in lost nation state forest

Directions

This forest can be accessed from Brookdale and Mahoney Roads in the town of Stockholm, and Brothers and Van Kennen Roads, and State Highway 420 in the town of Norfolk.

  • Northern pull-off area at the end of Brookdale Road (44.830524°N, 74.849074°W) Google Map (leaves DEC website
  • Southern pull-off area on Brookdale Road (44.816872°N, 74.877080°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 Lost Nation 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 Lost Nation 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.

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.

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 Lost Nation State Forest between 1935 and 1941:

  • Planted over 694,000 trees on 464 acres, with the major species being white pine, red pine, and white spruce. Other less common species planted include Scotch pine, European larch, white cedar, Norway spruce, hemlock, and willow.
  • Cleared and maintained 5 miles of fire line.
  • Constructed 8 waterhole for fire control.

The current users of our state properties should thank the former CCC crew workers for the impressive forests they see today. Later generations of foresters continued the work started during the CCC era by planting an additional 547,000 trees on 444 acres between 1950 and 1972.

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

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, Norwood, Norfolk and Massena.

St. Lawrence 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.