Crary Mills State Forest
Crary Mills State Forest covers 587 acres located in the town of Potsdam in central St. Lawrence County.
There are two short access trails located on the Leary and Parmenter roads. 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. 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 at any location within 150 feet from water, roads or trails.
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.
The topography is variable with upland areas supporting a mixture of northern hardwood, hemlock, 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.
40 inch diameter Bur Oak
This forest can be accessed from Anderson, Leary, and Parmenter Roads and St. Lawrence County Route 35 in the town of Potsdam.
Important Phone Numbers
Potsdam DEC Office (M-F 8 am-4:30 pm) (315) 265-3090
DEC Forest Ranger Dispatch: (518) 408-5850
Tips for Using State Forests
Anyone enjoying this property must observe rules which protect both them and the forest environment.
A white pine plantation after thinning
This forest consists of 3 parcels which were purchased in 1962 and 1963 for the purposes of reforestation, wildlife management, timber production, recreation, and watershed protection.
Much of the area is former agricultural land which has reverted to forest. Open fields were planted with a variety of species including white and Scotch pines, white spruce, larch, and an experimental planting of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta). A total of over 199,000 trees were planted on 210 acres of this state forest between 1963 and 1972.
Several plantations on this state forest underwent a first improvement thinning in 2008 which removed diseased and malformed trees and reduced overcrowding. The long term goal of our forest management is to produce forests which are healthy, vigorous, and sustainable for the future.