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Snow Bowl State Forest

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Snow Bowl State Forest locator map

Snow Bowl State Forest covers 797 acres located in the town of Colton in southeastern St. Lawrence County.


Rock Climbing

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 this book Adirondack Rock: A Rock Climber's Guide (see "Links Leaving DEC's Website" at right)

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.

A picture of the Rock Climbing Site on Snow Bowl State Forest
South Colton Climbing Craig

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.

The recommended access for the rock climbing area is from the north. From State Highway 56, take the East Hill Road 1.4 miles east to the crest of the hill. Turn right on the Scovil Road and travel 1 mile south to a sharp right hand bend in the road. Park here and walk south on the old unmaintained Scovil Road until you reach the Scovil Access Trail (Blue markers) to the left which leads to the climbing site. The total walk from the parking area is 0.5 mile.


Camping - There are no designated camp sites on this property; however individuals may set up camp at any location which is at least 150 feet from water bodies, streams, roads or trails. Back Country camping is allowed. Camping for more than three nights or in a group of ten or more requires a permit from a Forest Ranger.

Hunting and Trapping

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.


This state forest is located adjacent to the Preston Lot Conservation Easement, part of the Conservation Easement Program. Information about this specific easement can be found by contacting the Potsdam DEC office.

Field Notes

The topography is variable with upland areas supporting a mixture of northern hardwood and hemlock 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 red spruce - balsam fir stands in poorly drained areas.

Driving Directions

This forest can be accessed from the Cayey, Scovil, and Trimm Roads, and State Highway 56 in the town of Colton.

Important Phone Numbers

Potsdam DEC Office (M-F 8 am-4:30 pm)

DEC Forest Ranger Dispatch: (518) 408-5850

Emergencies: 911

Tips for Using State Forests

Anyone enjoying this property must observe rules which protect both them and the forest environment.


This forest consists of 9 separate parcels which were purchased between 1951 and 2001 for the purposes of reforestation, wildlife management, timber production, recreation, and watershed protection.

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. The area was sold in 2007.