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Yellow Lake State Forest

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Yellow Lake State Forest locator map

Yellow Lake State Forest is composed of 751 acres located in the town of Rossie in northwestern St. Lawrence County.


The Yellow Lake Overlook Trail (red markers) begins at the bridge on Chisholm Road and leads northward 1.4 miles through a mixed forest of northern hardwoods and red oak. This hiking trail ends at two scenic overlooks bordering Yellow Lake. The property also provides large undeveloped areas well suited for hunting, hiking, and nature viewing.

There are no designated camp sites on this property. Backcountry 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 of water roads 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 Yellow Lake and Oswegatchie 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.

Field Notes

The topography is very hilly with thin soils and rocky exposed ridge tops. There are few tree plantations on this property. Native white pine can be found across the landscape. Lower quality sites are dominated by red oak, eastern hophornbeam, hickories, and other species adapted to dry and nutrient poor soils.

Some of the former agricultural lands comprising this state forest have become overgrown fields and shrublands which provide habitat for the Golden-winged warbler, which is listed as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in New York State.

Driving Directions

Overlook of Yellow Lake
Overlook of Yellow Lake

This forest can be accessed from the Chisholm and Campbell roads in the town of Rossie.

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 them and the forest environment.


This forest consists of 1 parcel which was purchased in 1963 for the purposes of reforestation, wildlife management, timber production, recreation, and watershed protection.

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