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High Flats State Forest

hikingprimitive campinghuntingtrappingfishingmountain bikingsnowshoeingcross-country skiingdisability accessparkingicon key

High Flats State Forest locator map

High Flats State Forest covers 2,018 acres. The topography is variable with upland areas supporting a mixture 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 spruce-balsam fir and swamp hardwoods stands in poorly drained areas.

Featured Activities



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

There are several access trails located throughout the forest that are open for hiking.


primitive camping

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

Primitive 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 & Trapping


Wildlife Management Unit: 6F

General information on hunting and general information on trapping includes how-to and safety tips with links to seasons, rules and regulations.

Hunting and trapping are allowed in accordance with state laws and regulations. Follow all hunting safety guidelines and be prepared before going into the woods.



General information on fishing includes how-to and safety tips and links to seasons, rules and regulations.

There are ponds and streams for fishing on the property.

Mountain Biking

mountain biking

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

There is an extensive mountain bike trail system. A detailed map of the trails can be found in the "Maps" section at the top of this webpage.

Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing

cross-country skiing

General information on cross-country skiing and snowshoeing includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.

All trails on High Flats State Forest are open for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. No trails are groomed for cross-country skiing.


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

The wildlife that may be present in High Flats State Forest includes deer, turkey, ruffed grouse, mink, raccoon, black bear, fox, and migratory songbirds. Smooth green snake, eastern garter snake, wood turtle and painted turtle may also be present.

Accessible Features

disability access

General information on accessible recreation includes links to other locations with accessible recreation opportunities.

There are several trails on this forest that allow motorized accessible recreation with a permit.


To access this forest, take NYS 72 to St. Lawrence County 58. This forest can be accessed from the Wildwood Road in the Town of Colton. Also by the French Hill Road, Chapel Hill Road, Cook Road, and Wildwood Roads in the Town of Parishville.

  • Donovan Road Parking: (44.57063°N, 74.86200°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Crowley Trail Parking: (44.57749°N, 74.85375°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 High Flats State Forest must follow all State Forest Use Regulations and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of the user and protection of the resource.

Follow the NYS Firewood Regulation to protect the forests you love from invasive species.

Planning and Management

High Flats is one of 13 State Forests and one Conservation Easement combined into the area called the St. Lawrence Foothills Management Unit. The St. Lawrence Foothills Unit Management Plan describes the management activities for these lands. In addition to forestry 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 any questions and/or comments about this UMP, please email us at

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

State Lands and Facilities

Where to Find Nearby Amenities

  • Lodging, dining, gas, and food and other supplies may be found in the nearby communities of Parishville, Hannawa Falls, Colton, South Colton, Potsdam.

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

Numerous guidebooks 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.

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