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Wilcox Lake Wild Forest

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Wilcox Lake Wild Forest locator map

Wilcox Lake Wild Forest (WLWF) is located in the southeastern area of the Adirondack Park and is made up of approximately 125,000 acres of Adirondack Forest Preserve lands in Fulton, Hamilton, Saratoga and Warren Counties. The WLWF represents one of the largest Wild Forest units, comprising approximately 10% of the total Wild Forest acreage in the Adirondack Park. It consists of one large contiguous block of land (111,000 acres) as well as many distinct parcels ranging in size from very small to reasonably large. Many of the unit's most popular destinations, such as Crane Mountain, Snake Rock, and the two boat launches on Great Sacandaga Lake, are contained within these smaller pieces of Forest Preserve land. The unit is generally bounded on the north by State Route 8, on the east by the Hudson River, on the south by the Adirondack Park Blue Line, and on the west by State Route 30.

The unit offers many recreational opportunities, including hiking to the fire towers on Hadley Mountain and Spruce Mountain, camping on Wilcox Lake, and ice fishing on Garnet Lake. With 92 miles of marked trails available, there are countless opportunities for recreation in the unit. There are also 4 lean-tos, 63 primitive campsites, and multiple parking areas.

Trail Information for the Southern Adirondacks provides general information regarding backcountry and seasonal conditions; specific notices regarding closures and conditions of trails, roads, bridges and other infrastructure; and links to weather, state land use regulations, low impact recreation and more.

Featured Activities

Hiking

hiking

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

There are 92 miles of trails on the property. The primary trail network creates large loops and connects nearby communities via trail and town road, while retaining a large forest interior (greater than 26,000 acres) that does not contain formal trails. There are 34 named trails on the property, the most popular of which are those leading to the fire tower on Hadley Mountain and to the summit of Crane Mountain. Foot trails include:

  • Arrow Trail - The 7.3-mile (including 0.9 miles along town road) trail connects with the Willis-Wilcox Trail via Harrisburg Road in the south and with Bartman Trail via West Stony Creek Road in the north. It travels through mature northern hardwood forests, in places paralleling the beautiful East Stony Creek. It is level to gently rolling for the majority of its significant length. At the northern end, the trail traverses through private property (0.9 miles), primarily along a town road Right of Way (ROW), and back to forest preserve, where it crosses a bridge over the East Stony Creek and ends at Baldwin Springs.
  • Bartman Trail - The 5.9-mile trail stretches from the Arrow Trail and West Stony Creek Road north to Bartman Road in the Town of Johnsburg. It leaves from Baldwin Springs where the Arrow Trail ends and the Bartman Trail begins continuing north. It travels through mature northern hardwood forests and is level to rolling for most of its length with only a couple of short steeper sections.
  • Cod Pond Trail - The 0.9-mile trail can be reached from Route 8 after leaving the parking area following the Oregon Trail up the slope. After 0.2 miles the trail comes to a fork where the Oregon Trail continues to the left, in an easterly direction, and the Cod Pond Trail heads right, to the south. After another 0.2 miles a heavily brushy trail that is proposed to be closed is discernable to the right. The Cod Pond Trail continues straight ahead almost due south for another 0.7 miles to Cod Pond. Aside from an initial 0.2 miles steep rise from the parking area at Route 8, the majority of the trail is level through mature hardwoods.
  • Cotter Brook Trail - The 2.6-mile trail has direct access off Route 8 via the Georgia Creek Trailhead. From Route 8, after 0.4 miles the trail intersects with the Georgia Creek Trail. The Cotter Brook trail heads south, first crossing Georgia Creek where there are some flooded sections of the trail, and then following Cotter Brook until it reaches Cotter Swamp. At Cotter Swamp the trail turns, staying west of the swamp in the upland hardwood forest until reaching the intersection with the Girard's Sugarbush Trail heading northwest back to Route 8 and the Pine Orchard Trail continuing south.
  • Coulombe Creek Trail - The 2.5-mile trail goes between the Murphy-Middle-Bennett Trail in the south and the Pine Orchard Trail in the north. The trail is steep near where it crosses Coulombe Creek but the majority of it is level to gently rolling travelling through mature hardwoods and groves of large white pines.
  • Crane Mountain Trail - Crane Mountain is a jewel of the southern Adirondacks. It is the highest peak in the region, offering many expansive views and a spectacular open ridgeline. The 1.75-mile Crane Mountain Trail begins at the parking lot at the end of Ski Hi Road. It travels nearly due north up a very steep section of the mountain and includes two ladders, one of which is 30 feet against a steep rock wall. Near the top, the trail intersects the Crane Mountain Crossover Trail which heads northwest. Shortly after this intersection, the Crane Mountain Trail veers sharply to the east into a switchback leading back to the summit and a relatively level ridge walk. Following the walk along the ridge, the trail descends to Crane Mountain Pond and ends at the intersection with the Crossover Trail and the Putnam Trail. From here the Crossover trail returns to the Crane Mountain Trail to the southeast (0.4 miles) and the Putnam Trail continues around the shore of the pond, descending the steep mountainside for approximately 0.5 miles and turning southeast at the base of the slope to a level 1.0-mile section of trail heading southeast back towards the Ski Hi Road parking area and trailhead. The mountain can be hiked in a loop using Crane Mountain Trail and Putnam Trail which is approximately 3.5 miles total.
  • Eagle Pond Trail - The 1.5-mile trail is a short trail to a pond with a backcountry feel. The trail leaves from Route 8, travels up a short steep section and then settles into rolling open hardwoods, following along the outlet of Eagle Pond (a tributary of the East Branch of the Sacandaga River) and ending at a campsite on Eagle Pond. There are some interesting rocky ledges and large glacial erratics along this trail. The trail is currently unmarked and the tread is difficult to follow, particularly as it nears the pond.
  • East Stony Creek Trail - The 4.0-mile trail follows along the picturesque East Stony Creek. The trailhead is at the end of Hope Falls Road where the trail heads northeast until it intersects with the Willis-Wilcox Trail. It can also be accessed from Harrisburg Road to the north. East Stony Creek Trail is level for most of its length and is part of the Wilcox Lake Wild Forest Circuit trails.
  • Georgia Creek Trail - The 3.0-mile trail is accessed from the trailhead on Route 8. After 0.4 miles the trail splits with the Cotter Brook Trail heading south and the Georgia Creek Trail continuing east. At about 1.5 miles the trail heads north up onto the ridge. At this point the trail becomes quite brushed in and difficult to follow.
  • Girard's Surgarbush Trail - The 1.6-mile trail can be accessed from Route 8 or from the trail network in Wilcox Lake Wild Forest. Leaving from Route 8, the trail crosses rolling terrain through northern hardwoods, passing by the remains of the old Girard sugarbush. At 1.6 miles the trail ends at an intersection with the Pine Orchard Trail heading southwest and the Cotter Brook Trail heading north.
  • Griffin Connector Trail - The 1.3-mile trail runs parallel to Route 8, connecting the Girard's Sugarbush Trail to a parking area further west on Route 8 that connects across the road with the trail through Forks Mountain Primitive Area. The trail is fairly level through mixed hardwoods and runs behind the historic Girard Hotel property on Route 8.
  • Hadley Mountain Trail - The 1.4-mile trail is a very popular hiking trail to an open summit with spectacular views, an historic fire tower and a ranger cabin. It is a fairly steep climb in places but its short distance grants the hiker high reward for the effort, making it a family-friendly favorite. There is a washed out, steep section in the middle of the trail that follows the fall line. When wet, this section can be difficult to traverse, particularly on the descent.
  • Harrisburg Road Access Trail - The 0.4-mile trail runs within an easement from a parking lot on Harrisburg Road. It leads to a large trail-less section of Wilcox Lake Wild Forest. The formal trail ends at the Forest Preserve boundary and while there are remnant logging trails still visible today, it should be considered a bushwhack from here.
  • Indian Pond Trail - The 0.9-mile trail is a little-used trail that can be accessed from West Stony Creek Road in Thurman. The trail travels through a beautiful old pine forest for a little under a mile where it reaches the remains of an old dam.
  • Kibby Pond West Trail - The 1.5-mile trail is a popular short trail to a beautiful Adirondack pond. The trail begins by crossing Martha's Brook. There is no bridge but except in very high water there are plenty of rocks to scramble across. The trail winds through mature lichen-covered northern hardwoods and in reaching the shore of Kibby Pond provides beautiful mountain views.
  • Little Joe Pond Trail - The 1.2-mile trail ascends sharply from Route 8 but after approximately 1/4 mile, levels out into gently rolling hardwoods. The trail is short leading to Little Joe Pond, which has a picnic spot and a scenic campsite on a high pine knoll.
  • Lizard Pond Trail - The 4.2-mile trail can be accessed by water from Garnet Lake or from the Bartman Trail near Baldwin Springs. From the Garnet Lake end there is a short ascent of 3/4 mile but after that the trail levels out and reaches Lizard Pond with a lean-to and campsite at 1.3 miles. The remainder of the journey to the intersection with the Bartman Trail is fairly level to gently rolling and follows the outlet of Lizard Pond and then East Stony Creek at its headwaters.
  • Mud Pond Trail - The 0.1-mile trail is a quick jaunt from the pull off parking spot down to the water's edge. It is a moderate slope down to the water.
  • Murphy-Middle-Bennett Trail - The 6.8-mile trail features three picturesque ponds spread along the trail with camping opportunities at all, including a lean-to at Murphy Lake. The trail can be accessed from Pumpkin Hollow Road in Wells at its northern end and Creek Road in Hope at its southern end.
  • Nate Davis Pond Trail - The 0.4-mile (0.7 miles total) trail is a little-used unmarked trail in the northern part of Wilcox Lake Wild Forest. From Bartman Road in Johnsburg, follow the Armstrong Trail for 0.3 mile before reaching the intersection with the Nate Davis Pond Trail. This trail is brushed in quite a bit and is difficult to follow. The trail leads to Nate Davis Pond which is approximately 0.4 miles from the intersection with the Armstrong Trail.
  • Oregon Trail - The 4.8-mile trail can be accessed from either the Cod Pond parking area on Route 8 to the west or from Baldwin Springs via West Stony Creek Road to the east. From the west, the Oregon Trail heads up a short steep climb, and after 0.2 miles intersects with the Cod Pond Trail heading south. Continuing straight (east) from this intersection, the trail winds along through mature open forests, following the very wild and beautiful Stewart Creek for much of its length. After approximately 3 miles the trail reaches a very long bridge across Stewart Creek near what is called "North Bend." From this bridge it is 1.7 miles to Baldwin Springs and 1/3 mile further to West Stony Creek Road.
  • Pine Orchard Trail - The 5.4-mile trail is a popular trail that travels through a very old grove of pines called the Pine Orchard. The trail can be accessed from the end of Dorr Road to the south and from Route 8 to the north via the Girard's Sugarbush Trail. The shortest most direct way to the Pine Orchard is from the Dorr Road access. From this starting point the Pine Orchard Trail heads northeast and the Coulombe Creek Trail leads to the south. Heading north the trail is fairly level passing beaver ponds and wetlands and reaching the Pine Orchard after approximately 1.5 miles. The trail continues northward through stands of large open hemlock northern hardwoods and low rocky ledges, crossing Mill Creek and Jimmy Creek, and then reaching the intersection with the Girard's Sugarbush and Cotter Brook Trails. Route 8 is about 1.5 miles away following the Girard's Sugarbush Trail.
  • Round Pond Trail - The 3.3-mile trail can be accessed on the west end from Maxam Road at Garnet Lake and on the east end from Mud Pond Road. The first mile of the trail is relatively level following some small headwater creeks draining into Garnet Lake. After a mile, the trail climbs moderately for the next 0.9 miles. The descent to Round Pond is moderately steep reaching the shores of the pond in 0.3 miles. Round Pond is very picturesque with beautiful views of Wolf Pond Mountain. The trail continues along the northern edge of the pond for 0.4 miles and then rises into the forest for another 0.6 miles to the parking area at the end of Mud Pond Road.
  • Spruce Mountain Trail - The 1.4-mile trail provides a short hike to an historic fire tower. It can be accessed off Spruce Mountain Road. The first 0.8 miles of trail is on Forest Preserve. The trail then crosses the lands of Saratoga P.L.A.N. and Lyme Timberlands and then back to a small piece of Forest Preserve on which the fire tower sits.
  • Tenant Creek Falls Trail - The 2.1-mile trail leads to very popular waterfall destinations. The recently re-routed trail travels through rolling terrain reaching the first falls in 0.9 miles. Currently only the first 0.9 miles is marked but an established foot path extends the remaining 1.2 miles along the creek to the 2nd and 3rd waterfalls. The trail follows the creek's edge from the first falls, traveling through beautiful mature hemlock groves.
  • Wilcox Lake Trail - The 0.2-mile trail is a short trail that connects East Stony Creek Trail, the Wilcox Shoreline Trail, and the Willis-Wilcox trail.
  • Wilcox Shoreline Trail - The 0.8-mile trail follows the shoreline of Wilcox Lake to allow access to two lean-tos. From where the Wilcox Lake Trail ends, the Wilcox Shoreline Trail continues to the lakeshore where the eastern lean-to can be reached by heading east for approximately 0.5 miles and the western lean-to can be reached by heading west for approximately 0.3 miles. This trail is currently unmarked and has the character of a narrow foot path.
  • Willis-Wilcox Trail - The 5.2-mile trail can be accessed from the end of Pumpkin Hollow Road on the west end and from Harrisburg Road on the east end. This trail travels through gently rolling terrain with a couple of steeper climbs. About halfway to Wilcox Lake, the trail starts following along the Wilcox Lake Outlet before crossing it to climb Wilcox Mountain.

Camping

primitive camping
lean-to

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

Wilcox Lake Wild Forest currently has 63 primitive campsites and 4 lean-tos.

Tent camping throughout WLWF is permitted in compliance with rules for camping on state lands. Camping is prohibited within 150 feet of any road, trail, spring, or body of water. Respect other campers by keeping noise to a minimum and keeping your site clean.

A camping permit is required for all persons camping at one location for more than 3 consecutive nights or for groups of 10 or more. These are issued by area Forest Rangers free of charge on a first-come first-served basis.

Other campgrounds in the area for those who prefer more amenities include Luzerne Campground & Day Use Area, Moffitt Beach Campground & Day Use Area and Sacandaga Campground & Day Use Area.

While nuisance black bears are not a big problem in this unit, overnight campers are encouraged to store all food, toiletries and garbage in bear-resistant canisters.

Fires should be built in existing fire pits, if provided. Use only dead and down wood for fires. Extinguish fires until they are cold to the touch. Camp stoves are safer and cleaner.

FIREWOOD ALERT - DON'T MOVE FIREWOOD! A new regulation is now in effect that prohibits the import of firewood into New York unless it has been treated to kill pests. It also limits the transportation of untreated firewood to less than 50 miles from its source. By transporting firewood, you could be spreading diseases and invasive insects that can quickly kill large numbers of trees. Help stop the spread and obey the firewood regulation!

Paddling

paddling

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

Paddling opportunities in this unit include popular lakes like Garnet Lake, Wilcox Lake, Murphy, Middle and Bennett Lakes. All but Garnet Lake require a carry of varying distance to get to the water's edge. Stewart's Creek provides a stream, rather than lake/pond, backcountry paddling experience. Going from Fish Ponds to Cod Pond requires a carry at both ends of the trip.

A hand launch exists on the eastern side of the 302-acre Garnet Lake, at the end of Garnet Lake Road in the Town of Thurman. Garnet Lake has roughly six miles of shoreline, two-thirds of which is state-owned. The launch consists of a short, gentle, gravel slope down into the lake from the town road and an adjacent parking area large enough for 6-7 cars. Trailers cannot reach the water but can be backed up to it to roll a boat onto the boat assist structure and into the water. The site also includes a trailhead register. This site provides public access to the lake for fishing and boating, as well as access to the six designated water-access campsites around the lake and the Lizard Pond trailhead on the southwest shore of the lake.

Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! Boats, trailers, waders and other fishing and boating equipment can spread aquatic invasive species from waterbody to waterbody unless properly cleaned, dried or disinfected after use. Although some invasive species such as water milfoil are readily visible to the human eye, many others are too small to be readily noticed. To avoid spreading invasive species please follow these guidelines for washing your boating and fishing equipment.

Boating

boating

General information on boating includes safety tips with links to rules and regulations and lists of DEC boat launches by county.

Two boat launches are located within the unit: the Saratoga County Boat Launch and the Broadalbin Boat Launch, both providing access to Great Sacandaga Lake.

The Saratoga County Boat Launch is located off County Route 4, just north of the boundary between the towns of Edinburg and Day, and provides access to the northeastern part of the lake.

The Broadalbin Boat Launch is located in Fulton County off Lakeview Road, approximately 3.5 miles northeast of the Village of Broadalbin, and provides boating access to the southern areas of Great Sacandaga Lake. The Broadalbin Boat Launch is adjacent to the Town of Broadalbin's Town Beach, which is located on State Forest Preserve Land.

There is also another nearby launch located on State Route 30 in the Village of Northville, the Northville Boat Launch, that isn't part of the wild forest but that provides access to the northern part of the Great Sacandaga Lake.

Spiny Waterflea Alert - the Great Sacandaga Lake is known to contain spiny waterflea and Eurasian Watermilfoil. Make sure to dry or disinfect your boat to avoid spreading this invasive species. See more information on preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species.

Biking

biking

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

Biking is allowed on the following trails:

  • Arrow Trail - 7.3 miles (including 0.9 miles along town road)
  • Bartman Trail - 5.9 miles
  • Cod Pond Trail - 0.9 miles
  • Cotter Brook Trail - 2.6 miles
  • Coulombe Creek Trail - 2.5 miles
  • East Stony Creek Trail - 4.0 miles
  • Georgia Creek Trail - 3.0 miles
  • Girard's Surgarbush Trail - 1.6 miles
  • Griffin Connector Trail - 1.3 miles
  • Murphy-Middle-Bennett Trail - 6.8 miles
  • Oregon Trail - 5.0 miles
  • Pine Orchard Trail - 5.4 miles
  • Wilcox Lake Trail - 0.2 miles
  • Willis-Wilcox Trail - 5.2 miles

Fishing

fishing

General information on fishing includes fishing tips with links to seasons, rules and regulations.

Access to the unit's fisheries provides a variety of opportunities for users, ranging from roadside fishing at Garnet Lake and The Glen Creek to short, easy hikes via designated trails at Wilcox Lake and Kibby Pond to true backcountry fishing requiring a substantial bushwhack at Shiras Pond.

Many of the popular lakes and ponds have designated trails to them. While several water bodies that are stocked with brook trout, such as Eagle Pond, Little Joe Pond, New Lake, and Shiras Pond, do not currently have formal trails, the existing herd paths to all but Shiras Pond are proposed to be officially designated and marked. Additionally, the Department has worked to procure public fishing rights on Mill Creek in the Town of Johnsburg, arguably the best coldwater stream fishery within the WLWF planning area.

Garnet Lake is one of the more notable warm water bodies, with species such as brown bullhead, pumpkinseed, native redbreast sunfish, and non-native chain pickerel, yellow perch, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, rock bass and killifish. Note that the launch at Garnet Lake does not accommodate trailered boats, but there is a boat assist structure to help get boats from a trailer into the water. In addition, several other ponds and lakes are managed as warm water bodies for these species.

The two Mill Creeks (one in the Town of Johnsburg and one in the Town of Wells) and Glen Creek in the Town of Johnsburg probably represent the unit's best stream fisheries. Mill Creek in Johnsburg is stocked with brook and brown trout and has public fishing rights - see Mill Creek map (PDF).

There is a landlocked Forest Preserve parcel containing Palmer Lake in the Town of Corinth, Saratoga County that is accessible to the public from April 1 to September 30 each year via cooperative agreement with the intervening adjacent landowner. This access is granted only for the purposes of fishing. The public can reach the parking area for Palmer Lake by traveling approximately two miles south on Davignon Road from County Route 10 in the Town of Corinth.

Adirondack/Lake Champlain Fishing provides information on fishing in the Adirondacks and links to top fishing waters, stocking lists, public fishing access and waters open to ice fishing listed by county.

Help Protect Native Adirondack Fish; populations of brook trout, round whitefish and other native Adirondack fish species have severely declined due to introduced fish.

Hunting & Trapping

huntingtrapping

Wildlife Management Unit: 5H & 5J

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

White-tailed deer, black bear, coyote, raccoon, red fox, gray fox, long-tailed weasel, short-tailed weasel, bobcat, and snowshoe hare can be hunted. Additionally, these species (with the exception of white-tailed deer, black bear, and snowshoe hare) along with fisher, American marten, mink, muskrat, beaver, and river otter can be trapped. Game birds include upland species such as turkey, ruffed grouse and woodcock, as well as a variety of waterfowl.

Snowmobiling

snowmobiling

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

Wilcox Lake Wild Forest currently has miles of trails identified to be maintained as snowmobile trails. These trails are included in volunteer trail maintenance agreements with local snowmobile clubs. These trails include:

  • Arrow Trail - 7.3 miles (including 0.9 miles along town road)
  • Bartman Trail - 5.9 miles
  • Bypass Trail - 1.7 miles
  • Cotter Brook Trail - 2.6 miles
  • Coulombe Creek Trail - 2.5 miles
  • Georgia Creek Trail - 1.4 miles
  • Girard's Sugarbush Trail - 1.6 miles
  • Lizard Pond Trail from Baldwin Springs to Lizard Pond - 3 miles
  • Murphy-Middle-Bennett Trail - 6.8 miles
  • Oregon Trail - 5 miles
  • Pine Orchard Trail - 5.4 miles
  • Wilcox Lake Trail - 0.2 miles
  • Willis-Wilcox Trail - 5.2 miles

Make sure to check the trail conditions from the NYS Snowmobile Association (leaves DEC website) before heading out to make sure that the trails are open and cleared.

Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing

cross-country skiingsnowshoeing

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

Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are allowed on the following trails. While both activities are allowed on all of these trails, the recommended use for the most enjoyable experience is listed in parentheses.

  • Cod Pond Trail - 0.9 miles (snowshoeing)
  • Cotter Brook Trail - 2.6 miles (snowshoeing)
  • Eagle Pond Trail - 1.5 miles (snowshoeing)
  • East Stony Creek Trail - 4.0 miles (skiing and snowshoeing)
  • Georgia Creek Trail - 3.0 miles (snowshoeing)
  • Girard's Surgarbush Trail - 1.6 miles (skiing and snowshoeing)
  • Griffin Connector Trail - 1.3 miles (skiing and snowshoeing)
  • Hadley Mountain Trail - 1.4 miles (snowshoeing)
  • Kibby Pond West Trail - 1.5 miles (snowshoeing)
  • Little Joe Pond Trail - 1.2 miles (snowshoeing)
  • Lizard Pond Trail - 4.2 miles (skiing and snowshoeing)
  • Mud Pond Trail - 0.1 miles (snowshoeing)
  • Murphy-Middle-Bennett Trail - 6.8 miles (skiing and snowshoeing)
  • Nate Davis Pond Trail - 0.4 miles (snowshoeing)
  • Oregon Trail - 5.0 miles (skiing)
  • Pine Orchard Trail - 5.4 miles (skiing and snowshoeing)
  • Round Pond Trail - 3.3 miles (skiing and snowshoeing)
  • Spruce Mountain Trail - 1.4 miles (snowshoeing)
  • Tenant Creek Falls Trail - 2.1 miles (snowshoeing)

Fire Towers

fire tower

General information on fire towers includes historic and current uses of fire towers and links to other locations with fire towers.

There are two fire towers located within the Wilcox Lake Wild Forest: one on Hadley Mountain and one on Spruce Mountain.

The trail to the Hadley Mountain fire tower is 1.4 miles long. Hadley Mountain Trail is a very popular hiking trail to an open summit with spectacular views, an historic fire tower and a ranger cabin. It is a fairly steep climb in places but its short distance grants the hiker high reward for the effort, thus making it a family-friendly favorite. There is a washed out, steep section in the middle of the trail that follows the fall line. When wet, this section can be difficult to traverse, particularly on the descent.

The trail to the Spruce Mountain fire tower is 1.4 miles long, which includes 0.3 miles on the conservation easement corridor. The first 0.8 miles of trail is on Forest Preserve. The trail then crosses the lands of Saratoga P.L.A.N. and Lyme Timberlands via a cooperative agreement and then back to a small piece of Forest Preserve on which the fire tower sits. The public has access to the tower most of the year, excluding big game hunting season which opens around the third week in October and runs through early December (actual dates vary annually). The summit of Spruce Mountain is forested which requires a climb up the tower for a view.

Rock & Ice Climbing

climbing

General information on rock and ice climbing includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules and regulations.

Crane Mountain and its neighbor Huckleberry Mountain are unique geologic features that stand out against the surrounding landscape. There are steep craggy rock faces that provide numerous climbing routes. Rock and ice climbing is a relatively recent use on these mountains and it is becoming more and more popular. While there are no formal trails to the cliffs, numerous popular climbing routes do exist and herd paths to them have become established.

Due to peregrine falcon nesting activity on Crane Mountain, some climbing routes are closed during the nesting season, which is typically April through July.

Wildlife

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

The Adirondacks contain large tracts of wildlife habitat with some boreal, bog, alpine and other unique habitats. Over 50 species of mammals and hundreds of species of birds inhabit or pass through the Adirondacks at one time of the year or another. A partial list of wildlife species found in the Wilcox Lake Wild Forest includes: white-tailed deer, moose, black bear, coyote, raccoon, red fox, gray fox, bobcat, fisher, American marten, river otter, mink, striped skunk, long-tailed weasel, short-tailed weasel, beaver, muskrat, porcupine, and snowshoe hare, as well as many species of small mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles. A number of upland birds, waterfowl, and songbirds can be found here at different times of the year.

Directions

There are several town roads that travel through the property and are maintained to the last private inholding. These roads provide access to the extensive trail network in the main tract of Wilcox Lake Wild Forest. Several parking areas and roadside pull off areas along State Route 8 also provide access to trailheads in both Siamese Ponds Wilderness and Wilcox Lake Wild Forest.

All coordinates provided are in decimal degrees using NAD83/WGS84 datum.

Parking Areas

  • Creek Road Parking Area provides access to the campsites and lean-tos on Bennett Lake, Middle Lake and Murphy Lake. (43.30184°N, 74.19966°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Tenant Creek Falls Parking Area provides access to the Tenant Creek Falls Trail and the campsites on Hope Falls Road (43.34642°N, 74.19024°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Wilcox-Willis Trail Parking Area provides access to the Wilcox-Willis Trail and Wilcox Lake. (43.37503°N, 74.22042°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Pumpkin Hollow Road Parking Area provides access to Willis Lake and the campsites on Pumpkin Hollow Road. (43.37085°N, 74.24742°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Dorr Road Parking Area provides access to the Coulombe Creek Trail and Pine Orchard Trail. (43.41147°N, 74.23083°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Bakertown Parking Area provides access to the Oxbow Trail and the campsites on Harrisburg Road. (43.40307°N, 74.12711°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • St. John Lake Parking Area provides access to the St. John Connector Trail and St. John Lake. (43.425924°N, 74.046974°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Hadley Mountain Parking Area provides access to the Hadley Mountain Trail and the fire tower on the summit. (43.374°N, 73.951°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Griffin Connector Parking Area on State Route 8 provides access to the Griffin Connector Trail. Parking for 15 cars. (43.470°N, 74.225°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Sacandaga River Parking and Picnic Area on State Route 8 provides access to Girard's Sugarbush Trail and to fishing on the Sacandaga River. Parking for 15 cars. (43.47845°N, 74.20111°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Georgia Creek Parking Area on State Route 8 provides access to the George Creek Trail and Cotter Brook Trail. Parking for 15 cars. (43.491576°N, 74.189260°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Cod Pond Parking Area on State Route 8 provides access to the Cod Pond Trail and Oregon Trail. Parking for 6 cars. (43.529997°N, 74.145768°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • E. Sacandaga Shanty Brook Parking Area on State Route 8 provides access to the East Branch of the Sacandaga River and nearby trails. Parking for 15 cars. (43.535599°N, 74.141442°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • E. Branch Gorge Trail Parking Area on State Route 8 provides access to the East Branch Gorge Trail and campsite on the neighboring Siamese Ponds Wilderness. Parking for 15 cars. (43.568868°N, 74.113311°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Kibby Pond Trail Parking Area on State Route 8 provides access to the Kibby Pond Trail and the campsites on Kibby Pond. Parking for 2-3 cars. (43.57901°N, 74.10335°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • 11th Mountain Parking Area provides access to a campsite and the East Branch Trail on the neighboring Siamese Ponds Wilderness. Parking for 15-20 cars. (43.590406°N, 74.090319°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • West Stony Creek Road-Baldwin Springs Parking Area provides access to the Lizard Pond Trail, Bartman Trail, and nearby campsites. (43.48474°N, 74.09085°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Bartman Road Parking Area provides access to the Bartman Trail and the Nate Davis Pond Trail. (43.572388°N, 74.046872°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Garnet Lake Parking Area provides access to the hand launch, picnic area and campsites on Garnet Lake and to the Round Pond Trail. (43.52936°N, 74.02053°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Mud Pond Road Parking Area provides access to the Mud Pond Trail to Mud Pond and the Round Pond Trail. (43.51664°N, 73.98733°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Crane Mountain Parking Area provides access to the Crane Mountain Trail and the campsites on Crane Mountain Pond. (43.53768°N, 73.96777°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Spruce Mountain Parking Area provides access to the Spruce Mountain Trail and the fire tower on the summit. (43.201860°N, 73.895763°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Fox Hill Road Parking Area on Lake Desolation Road provides access to West Vly Creek on a detached small parcel of Wilcox Lake Wild Forest. Parking for 2-3 cars. (43.16583°N, 73.97645°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • River Road Parking Area provides access to a small detached parcel of Wilcox Lake Wild Forest on the Hudson River. (43.525471°N, 73.820972°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

Hand Launches and Boat Launches

  • Garnet Lake Hand Launch is located on Garnet Lake Road on the northeastern end of the lake. Parking for 6-7 cars. (43.53228°N, 74.01380°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Saratoga County Boat Launch (paved) is located off County Route 4, just north of the boundary between the towns of Edinburg and Day, and provides access to the northeastern part of Great Sacandaga Lake. Parking for 44 cars and trailers. (43.271648°N, 74.055386°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Broadalbin Boat Launch (paved) is located in Fulton County off Lakeview Road, approximately 3.5 miles northeast of the Village of Broadalbin, and provides boating access to the southern areas of Great Sacandaga Lake. (43.104039°N, 74.173882°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Northville Boat Launch (paved) is located on State Route 30 in the Village of Northville and provides access to the northern part of Great Sacandaga Lake and the Sacandaga River. This launch is not part of the wild forest but is nearby. (43.229606°N, 74.187775°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Practice Leave No Trace Principles (leaves DEC website) when recreating in the Adirondacks to enjoy the outdoors responsibly; minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts other backcountry users.

All users of Wilcox Lake Wild 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.

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.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

State Lands and Facilities

Gas may be found in the nearby communities of Northville, Mayfield, Wells, Lake Luzerne, Glens Falls, Warrensburg, Galway, and Gloversville.
Dining, lodging, food and other supplies may be found in the nearby communities of Glens Falls, Lake George, Warrensburg, Wells, Northville, Stony Creek, Lake Luzerne, Saratoga Springs, Johnstown, and Gloversville.

Adirondack Regional Tourism Council (leaves DEC website) and Hamilton County Department of Economic Development and Tourism (leaves DEC website) can provide information about other recreation, attractions and amenities in this area.

Numerous guide books 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.