Orebed Creek State Forest
Orebed Creek State Forest covers 791 acres located in the town of Russell in southwestern St. Lawrence County.
There is a short hiking trail located at the end of the Ritz Road. The property also provides 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.
Hunting and trapping are permitted on the property in accordance with all game regulations, unless otherwise posted. Traps may not be set on public road right of ways. Body gripping traps set on land must be at least 100 feet from public 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.
This state forest is located adjacent to the Tooley Pond Conservation Easement, part of the Conservation Easement Program. Information about this specific easement can be found by contacting the Potsdam DEC office.
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.
This forest can be accessed from the Ritz Road in the town of Russell.
Important Phone Numbers
Potsdam DEC Office (M-F 8 am-4:30 pm)
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.
This forest consists of 6 separate parcels which were purchased between 1936 and 1969 for the purposes of reforestation, wildlife management, timber production, recreation, and watershed protection.
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.
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) played an active role in the early protection and development of this forest. Crews from Camp S-134 in Pierrepont accomplished the following tasks on Orebed Creek State Forest in 1937:
- Planted over 546,000 trees on 495 acres, with the major species being eastern white pine, red pine, and white spruce. Other less common species planted include Scotch pine, balsam fir, white cedar, and an experimental planting of western white pine (Pinus monticola).
- Cleared and maintained 2.5 miles of fireline.
The current users of our public lands should thank the former CCC crew workers for the impressive forests they see today.