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Hinckley State Forest

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Hinckley State Forest locator map

The 1,590-acre Hinckley State Forest is located south of the Hinckley Reservoir and the Adirondack Blue Line. There are limited trails; however, the natural landscape provides for many recreation opportunities in a primitive forest setting.

Featured Activities



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

There are no marked trails on the property; however, there are 6.5 miles of paved and unpaved roads that can be used 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. 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.

Hunting & Trapping


Wildlife Management Unit: 5H

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



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

Lanning Road, Access Road and Black Creek Road are unpaved roads that connect to the NYS Snowmobile Trail network. These routes are maintained by Herkimer County Snowmobile Trail & Trade Association (leaves DEC website).


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


From the town of Prospect, head east on Route 365 for 2.13 miles and take a right onto Hinckley Road. Continue on Hinckley Road for 2 miles, then turn left onto Black Creek Road. Follow Black Creek Road for 2 miles and then turn left onto Elm Flats Road. Parking area will be on the left about 0.5 mile down the road.

  • Elm Flats Rd. parking area (43.29417°N, 75.08803°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 Hinckley 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

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

Planning and Management

DEC manages these lands in accordance with the management activities described in the Adirondack Foothills Unit Management Plan (UMP). In addition to management objectives, the UMP contains detailed information on natural features, recreational infrastructure, geology, natural and human history, habitats, wildlife, fisheries and much more.

If you have 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

  • Gas may be found in the nearby communities of Poland, Remsen, Rome and Utica.
  • Food and other supplies can be found in the nearby communities of Remsen, Rome and Utica.
  • Dining opportunities can be found in the nearby communities of Prospect, Remsen, Rome and Utica.
  • Lodging may be found in the nearby communities of Utica and Rome.

Adirondack Regional Tourism Council (leaves DEC website), Herkimer County Chamber (leaves DEC website) and Oneida County Tourism (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.