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Southville State Forest

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Southville State Forest locator map

The 551-acre Southville State Forest consists of 4 separate parcels which were purchased in 1941 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 is a 2.75-mile recreational trail loop (yellow markers) which begins on the Southville Road near the state forest sign and leads southwest through a mixed forest of pine plantations and northern hardwoods. There is also a .31-mile spur (red markers) which leads to an alternate parking area off the Southville Road.

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 West Branch of the St. Regis River runs along the western border of the property and provides fishing opportunities for the property; however, access from the unit may be difficult due to a lack of infrastructure.

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 488KB).

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
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 the St. Regis River, viewed from Southville State Forest
The St. Regis River as seen from the trail in
Southville Forest.

Driving Directions

From Potsdam: Head east on Rte. 11B for 6 miles, turn left onto W. Stockholm-Southville Rd. and continue for 1.36 miles. The first parking lot will be on the left and if you continue an additional .4 miles the other parking lot will be down Wood Public Forest Access Road (PFAR) a short distance, the clearing will be on the left.

  • Wood PFAR parking area (44.6935844°N, 74.8804626°W) Google Map (leaves DEC website)
  • West Stockholm-Southville Road parking area (44.6894913°N, 74.8748322°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 Southville 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 Southville 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.

Much of the area is former agricultural land which has reverted to forest. Open fields were planted with a variety of species including white spruce, red and Scotch pines. A total of over 383,000 trees were planted on 368 acres of this state forest between 1951 and 1959.

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 Potsdam, Brasher Falls, Winthrop, Norwood, Norfolk and Parishville.

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.