Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Dolph Pond State Forest

hikingprimitive camping biking hunting trapping cross country skiing snowshoeingparkingicon key

Dolph Pond State Forest is 726 acres of former Finch property that has been managed for forest products for over a half century. The logging history of the property can be seen in skid trails that allow access all over the property. Streams, hemlock and hardwood forests, and ample wildlife make wandering around this state forest a wonderful daytime activity. Visitors may hear occasional blasts from nearby mine sites while on the property. All activities are accessed from the parking area at the end of the right-of-way (ROW) off Dolph Pond Road.

Featured Activities

Hiking
hiking

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

While there are no official hiking trails at this time, many skid trails traverse the property. For the those hikers looking for solitude and the freedom to roam wherever your curiosity takes you, this is the place except during hunting season. You may hear and see a wide variety of wildlife as you walk around.

Camping
hiking

General information on primitive camping includes how-to, 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 10 or more requires a permit from a Forest Ranger.

Biking
biking

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

Bikers may find a challenging ride on any of the skid trails. Electric bikes (e-bikes) are not allowed to be used on any DEC-managed lands.

Hunting and Trapping
hunting
trapping

Wildlife Management Unit: 5G

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

Hunting and trapping are allowed during appropriate seasons. The main game species and furbearers found on the property include small game, turkey, deer and bear. There are trapping opportunities for wide-ranging predator species such as fisher, bobcat and coyote, but trappers won't find very many aquatic furbearers such as beaver or muskrat.

Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing
cross
snowhoweing

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

Warning: The ROW off Dolph Pond Road and parking area not plowed in winter. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are permitted on the skid trails.

Wildlife

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

Small game of many kinds, deer, bear, turkey, fisher, bobcat, amphibians, variety of birds, snakes (including timber rattle snake) have been spotted on the property.

Directions

Head north on Route 4 from the village of Fort Ann, and you will see Ryder Road on your right. Take the first left after Ryder Road - this road is Dolph Pond Road, but it may be unmarked. On Dolph Pond Road you will go around a curve to the right, and then the right-of-way (ROW) will be the second dirt road on your right. There is a yellow DEC gate and signs to stay on the ROW. At the end of the ROW is a marked parking area.

  • Dolph Pond State Forest Parking Area (43.49°N, 73.439°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 to enjoy the outdoors responsibly, minimize impact on natural resources, and avoid conflict with other backcountry users.

All users of Dolph Pond State Forest must follow all State Land Use Regulations and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of the user and the 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.

If you have questions about this UMP, please email us at r5.ump@dec.ny.gov.

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 Fort Ann and Whitehall (about 5 miles either direction).
  • Food and other supplies can be found in Whitehall.
  • Dining opportunities can be found in the Whitehall, but is quite limited. Visitors are encouraged to pack their own food in case no dining locations are open.
  • Lodging may be found in Whitehall but is quite limited.

Lake George 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.