Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Snow Bowl State Forest

hiking primitive camping rock and ice climbing hunting trapping snowmobiling parking icon key

Snow Bowl State Forest locator map

The 797-acre Snow Bowl State Forest gets its name from the former Snow Bowl ski area which was located nearby on State Highway 56. St. Lawrence University opened the ski area in 1937. It gradually expanded to include downhill ski slopes, ski jumps, and cross-country (Nordic) ski trails. It was a very popular local recreation area from the late 1930s through the 1970s. Usage gradually declined and the area was closed in 1982 and was eventually sold in 2007. This forest was established 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 are .7 mile of trails that provide access the property, as well as, to the rock climbing site in the western portion of the forest.

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.

Rock & Ice Climbing

rock and ice climbing

General information on rock and ice climbing includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations

South Colton Climbing Craig
There is a small rock climbing site located near the Scovil Road that provides approximately 12 routes that are in the 5.6 to 5.11 difficulty range. Vertical ascent ranges from 25 to 35 feet of climbing. The South Colton site is described in the book Adirondack Rock: A Rock Climber's Guide (leaves DEC website).

Rock climbing has inherent risks and climbers assume complete responsibility for their own safety. The Department of Environmental Conservation does not maintain fixed anchors. Climbers should consider any fixed anchor suspect and should exercise their own judgment when using them. It is also recommended that you climb with a partner and wear a helmet.

Hunting & Trapping

hunting trappingGeneral Information on hunting and general information on trapping includes how-to and safety tips with links to seasons, rules & regulations

Snowmobiling

snowmobiling

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

There are about .5 mile of trails that allow snowmobiles. There is also a route from the NYS Snowmobile trail system that crosses the property and are groomed and maintained by St. Lawrence County Snowmobile Assoc. (leaves DEC website) through a volunteer stewardship agreement.

Wildlife

General information on animals includes links to information about birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects that inhabit or migrate through the state.

Directions

From Colton: head south on Route 56 for 6.9 miles and turn left onto Scovil Road.

  • Snow Bowl rock climbing parking area (44.486908°N, 74.8496094°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Snow Bowl rock climbing site (44.4874535°N, 74.849411°W) Google Maps (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 Snow Bowl 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

General rules for using the climbing area are as follows:

  • Do not install any additional anchors in the rock.
  • Take care not to damage trees with ropes. Sliding ropes around trees will damage the bark and eventually kill the tree.
  • Keep groups inside the existing "brown spot" and on marked trails to minimize damage to soil and vegetation.
  • Use the blue marked hiking trail which accesses both the top and the base of the climbing face.

Mountain biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are allowed on the property; however, there are no trails on this property currently maintained for these activities.

How We Manage Snow Bowl State Forest

DEC is developing a unit management plan (UMP) 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 information.r6@dec.ny.gov.

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 Colton, South Colton, Hannawa Falls, Parishville and Potsdam.

St. Lawrence County tourism (leaves DEC website) and St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce (leaves DEC website) can provide information about other recreation, attractions and amenities in this area.

Postwood Park (leaves DEC website) and Stone Valley Trail (leaves DEC website) are nearby facilities that offer excellent recreational opportunities.

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.