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Gorton Lake State Forest

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Recreational Activities

  • Primitive Camping
  • Fishing
  • Hiking, Informal
  • Hunting, Wildlife Management Unit 7M
  • Nature Photography/Observation
  • Trapping

Background Information

Gorton Lake State Forest locator map

Gorton Lake State Forest is comprised of 500 acres of reforestation land straddling the boundaries of Madison and Oneida counties in the towns of Brookfield and Sangerfield. Gorton Lake State Forest is contiguous to Mt. Hunger State Forest which adjoins it to the east. Together these two forests offer over a thousand acres for public use. Gorton Lake State Forest is just north of the Brookfield trail system which offers a network of over 100 miles of equestrian and snowmobile trails spread throughout 13,700 acres of public land.

This State Forest is open to passive recreational pursuits such as hunting, informal hiking or other informal uses that require no designated facilities. There are no formal trail networks or support facilities located on Gorton Lake State Forest. There is a section of designated snowmobile trail approximately one mile in length passing through the forest. This trail (corridor trail #7) is part of the state-wide snowmobile corridor trail system linking both private and public lands across New York. Gorton Lake State forest is typical of most state reforestation areas within the central part of the state. There are conifer plantations occupying former agriculture or pasture lands, rolling hills of native hardwood forests and stream courses flowing down to the valleys below.

Gorton Lake itself is a small, private body of water that lies just to the south of the State forest. The actual outlet from the lake flows west along the State land and is joined by several small tributaries draining out of the forest.

State Forest Regulations

Forest at Gorton Lake

State Land Use Regulations (link leaves DEC website)

Anyone enjoying the use of this State Forest must observe the following rules which protect them and the forest environment:

  1. Do not litter. Carry out what you carry in. Burying of refuse is prohibited.
  2. If you build a fire, do so with care and use wood from dead and downed trees only. Never leave a fire unattended.
  3. All motorized vehicles are restricted to access roads posted as motor vehicle trails. Off road use of motorized vehicles, such as ATVs, trail bikes and four-wheel drives is not allowed, except where specifically permitted by signs, posted notice or by DEC permit.
  4. 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.
  5. No permanent structures should be established, including tree stands or blinds.


To access the forest from State route 20, take State Highway 12 south from Sangerfield approximately 3 miles to Gorton lake Rd. Turn left onto Gorton Lake Rd. and proceed approximately 2 miles east. Look for a State forest I.D. sign on your left and a small parking pull off across the road on your right.

Important Numbers

State Forest Office (M-F 8am-4pm): 607-674-4017

Forest Ranger (Law Enforcement/Emergencies): 315-886-1669

DEC State Forest Ranger Dispatch: 518-408-5850

Emergencies: 911

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  • NYSDEC Region 7
    Sherburne Sub-office
    2721 State Hwy 80
    Sherburne, NY 13460
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