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The Saddles State Forest

Saddles State Forest locator map

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The Saddles State Forest is 2,471 acres, with limited infrastructure that offers an ideal setting for hunting, trapping and exploring nature in a serene setting. It gets its name from the mountains on the property that look like a saddle, especially from the water on South Bay.

Featured Activities


primitive camping
a view of trees with changing leaves from above

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: 5G

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 the appropriate seasons.


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

It is very possible to see peregrine falcons, bald eagles and timber rattlesnakes, as well as the usual game species.

Note that this is a venomous snake area. The eastern timber rattlesnake is listed as a threatened species in New York State. If you see one, keep yourself and your pets a safe distance away.


From Whitehall, NY: head south on State Route 4 to Champlain Beef Facility. Just past the main parking area for Champlain Beef is a road between the Champlain Beef and Housing building. You will see a yellow gate and abundant signs leading to the parking area. The parking area is on state land high up the hill.

  • Access to Right-of-Way off of Route 4 (43.525747°N, 73.414694°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website). The right-of-way to this property has a very steep incline and poor conditions can make access difficult. Access via 4-wheel drive vehicles is advised. If your vehicle cannot navigate the right-of-way, please do not park at the bottom of the hill as local property owners will have vehicles towed.
  • Parking Area (43.527790°N, 73.424105°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website).
A view of water with a forested hillside and mountains behind it
A view from The Saddles State Forest

Death Rock Way crosses into the northern part of the state forest but this is a private road that does not provide legal access to the property.

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 The Saddles 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, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are all allowed on the property but there are no marked trails or maintained areas for these activities.

Planning and Management

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 and human history, habitats, wildlife, fisheries and much more.

If you have questions and/or comments about this UMP, please email us

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

State Lands and Facilities

Where to Find Nearby Amenities

  • Gas, dining opportunities, lodging, food and other supplies may be found in the nearby communities of Whitehall, Fort Ann and Lake George.

Washington 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.