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Lake Desolation State Forest and Conservation Easement Tract

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Lake Desolation State Forest locator map

The 433-acre Lake Desolation State Forest is tucked in a scenic area surrounded by glacial lakes and wetlands. The area around Lake Desolation State Forest has a rich local history in war, artisan work, and technology. This is highlighted in the designated state historic site of the "Granger Glass Factory." This site is accessible through an undesignated trail. The beautiful scenery and wildlife makes this a perfect destination for non-motorized recreation.

The state forest features undesignated trails which are ideal for hiking or walking. These trails lead to both the Granger Glass Factory as well as various wetlands throughout the property. There is an abundance of wildlife to observe while enjoying non-motorized recreation.

Lake Desolation Road Conservation Easement Tract located in the town of Greenfield, adjacent to the state forest, is 2,128 acres. This conservation easement is open for non-motorized recreational uses including, hunting, fishing, boating, hiking, biking and camping at designated sites, etc. Snowmobile trails are open during the winter months.

  • Access is from Lake Desolation Road only.
  • On the southern shore of Archer Vly, there is an accessible parking spot, privy and car-top launch.
  • There are four designated primitive tent sites on Archer Vly.
    • Two can be accessed by trails from the parking area off Lake Desolation Road.
    • Two can be accessed by boat.
  • ATV use is not permitted. All non-motorized uses are permitted throughout the property.
  • No vehicles are permitted past gates or signs indicating no motorized use.
  • Please respect private property; several inholdings are throughout the property.

Featured Activities


primitive camping

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

There are no designated campsites; but primitive camping is allowed. Camping must be at least 150 feet away 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.

Hunting & Trapping


Wildlife Management Unit: 5J

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 during appropriate seasons. The main furbearers and game species found on the property include beaver, fisher, muskrat, whitetail deer, and wild turkey.


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

Wood ducks, mallards, black ducks, beaver, otter and muskrat are noted specifically at Lake Desolation State Forest. Whitetail deer, wild turkey, ruffed grouse, and eastern coyote have been reported in the area. A wide variety of song birds, hawks, owls, moles, mice, plus skunks, raccoon, woodchuck, squirrels (red and grey), chipmunks, fisher, and porcupine can be found within the state forest.


  • Lake Desolation Road Parking Lot - There are an additional 2 parking lots north on Lake Desolation Road and one more to the south (43.15397077°N, 73.96912367°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 Lake Desolation 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

Hiking, paddling, fishing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, mountain biking and horseback riding are allowed within the property but there are no designated trails or maintained areas for these activities.

Planning and Management

DEC has developed a recreation management plan (RMP) (PDF) which describes the recreation management activities for the Lake Desolation Road conservation easement tract. In addition to management objectives, the RMP contains detailed information on natural features, recreational infrastructure, geology, natural, and human history, habitats, wildlife, fisheries and much more. In addition to the above RMP, fishing, boating and hunting opportunities are managed through the 2014 Recreation Management Plan for Fishing, Boating and Hunting Access (PDF).

If you have questions and/or comments about the RMP, please email us at

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

State Lands and Facilities

Where to Find Nearby Amenities

  • Gas may be found in the nearby communities of Middle Grove and Saratoga Springs.
  • Lodging and dining opportunities as well as food and other supplies can be found in the nearby community of Saratoga Springs.

Saratoga County Tourism Webpage (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.