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Flat Rock State Forest

hikinghuntingtrappingprimitive campinghorseback ridingsnowshoeingcross-country skiingSnowmobilingbikingdirectionsicon key

Flat Rock State Forest locator map

Located on the Altona flat rock sandstone pavement, Flat Rock State Forest consists of several separate parcels within in a rare jack pine sandstone pavement barrens habitat. The largest parcel has multiple use trails and a snowmobile trail. Much of the property is largely undeveloped and well suited for hiking, hunting and nature viewing in the rare sandstone pavement barrens.

Featured Activities

Flat Rock State Forest features both 1.4 miles of forest haul roads as well as 2 miles of snowmobile trails which are open to other uses. There is an access point and a place to park off of the Military Turnpike. A parking area is also located at the end of Pedobo Road off Rock Road. Although public access is allowed, there are no maintained trails on the smaller parcels of Flat Rock State Forest.

Hiking

hiking

General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.

Flat Rock State Forest features 1.4 miles of forest haul roads open to hiking and other non-motorized recreation. The property also features hiking on the 2 miles of snowmobile trails.

Camping

primitive camping

General information on primitive camping includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.

There are no designated camp sites on this property. At-large primitive camping is allowed. Camping must be at least 150 feet from a water body, road, or trail. Camping for more than three nights or in a group of ten or more requires a permit from a Forest Ranger.

Biking

biking

General information on biking includes how-to and safety tips with links to rules & regulations.

The 1.4 miles of forest haul roads and the 2 miles of snowmobile trails are open to cyclists.

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.

Hunting and trapping during appropriate seasons. The main game species found on the property include whitetail deer, black bear, ruffed grouse, wild turkey, snowshoe hare, coyote, and waterfowl. The main furbearers found on the property include fisher, beaver, mink, muskrat, raccoon, and otter.

Snowmobiling

snowmobiling

General information on snowmobiling includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations.
Flat Rock State Forest features 2 miles of snowmobile trails marked S80 and S87A. The trail system joins up with the corridor trail system at the junction of Pedobo Road and Flat Rock Road.

Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing

cross-country skiing
snowshoeing

General information on cross-country skiing and snowshoeing includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations. Flat Rock State Forest is open for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. There are no maintained or groomed trails, however, the 1.4 miles of forest haul roads are open to cross-country skiers and snowshoers.

Wildlife

The Northern Clinton County contains large tracts of wildlife habitat with some boreal, log, and other unique habitats. Many birds (Peregrine Falcon, Wood Duck, Yellow Warbler) and mammals (Black Bear, White Tail Deer) are commonly found here. Over 50 species of mammals and hundreds of species of birds inhibit or pass through the Northern Clinton County at one time of the year or another.

The jack pine sandstone barrens in Flat Rock State Forest are totally different from the surrounding northern hardwood forests, and are considered a globally rare community type.

Jack pine, Pinus banksiana, is a boreal forest species, which grows on dry sandy and rocky sites and is dependent on periodic fires for regeneration, much like its southern counterpart, pitch pine.

Horseback Riding

horseback riding

General information on horseback riding includes safety tips and rules & regulations.

Horseback riding is allowed on Flat Rock State Forest. The 1.4 miles of forest haul roads are open to horseback riding and other non-motorized recreation. Proof of current negative Coggins certificate is required for all horses and out-of-state horse owners are required to produce a 30-day health certificate.

Directions

Pedobo Road Parking Area is located at the end of Pedobo Road off of Rock Rd.

GPS coordinates: (44.848265°N, 73.648910°W) Google Maps (Leaves the DEC website)

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Practice Leave No Trace (Leaves DEC website) principles 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 Flat Rock State Forest must follow all State Land Use Regulations and should follows all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of the user and protection of the resource.

How We Manage Flat Rock State Forest

DEC is developing a management plan which will describe the management activities for these lands. In addition to management objectives, the UMP will contain 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 at r5.ump@dec.ny.gov.

The formation of the Flat Rock areas in Clinton County happened about 13,000 years ago during the last glacial retreat. Glacial meltwater accumulated along the retreating ice margin in areas where landforms created natural dams, becoming huge lakes. Glacial Lake Iroquois, which covered parts of Ontario and northern New York, broke through near Covey Hill, at the Canadian border and the resultant explosive outburst flood ripped a deep channel into the hard, tough Potsdam sandstone at the lake outlet, which today is known as The Gulf, and can be seen at The Gulf Unique Area. As the floodwater raced southeast toward the Lake Champlain lowlands, it stripped and scoured the soil from upland areas, notably along drainage divides, leaving exposed bedrock pavements. Chunks of rock up to 10 feet in diameter were plucked up and hurled onto Cobblestone Hill on the eastern boundary of the Altona Flat Rock area.

Nearby Amenities and Attractions

Nearby Lands and Facilities

Information regarding where to find amenities:

Gas may be found in the nearby communities of Plattsburgh.
Food and other supplies can be found in the nearby communities of Plattsburgh.
Dining opportunities can be found in the nearby communities of Plattsburgh.
Lodging may be found in the nearby communities of Plattsburgh.

The Sandstone Pavement Pine Barren of Northeastern New York: A Legacy of Fire and Ice. David Franzi SUNY Plattsburgh (Leaves DEC Website)

New York Natural Heritage Program - Sandstone Pavement Barrens (Leaves DEC Website)


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