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Hall Island State Forest

hikingprimitive campingfishinghuntingtrappingsnowmobilingcross country skiingsnowshoeingparkingicon key

Hall Island State Forest locator map

Hall Island State Forest encompasses 2,079 acres and is located along the south shore of the Salmon River Reservoir. It is a great place to visit to enjoy recreational activities such as: hunting, hiking, snowmobiling, bird watching, nature viewing, fishing, and camping.

Hall Island State Forest has approximately 14 miles of trails crisscrossing through its property from the eastern end of the reservoir to the western end. The trails take you through both open and wooded wetlands, and are especially great for hiking and snowmobiling. Further adding to the already diverse habitats found in Hall Island State Forest are the wetlands that are scattered throughout the property. These contain both common and rare plant species, and are a favorite site for many different water fowl, including the great blue heron and the pied bill grebe. Within view from the trails, these wetlands provide many opportunities for observing the natural beauty captured within the confines of Hall Island State Forest.

Featured Activities

Hiking

hiking

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

There are about 15 miles of hiking and snowmobile trails on the property.

Camping

primitive camping

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

Salmon River Reservoir has many designated primitive campsites, many of which are accessible only by canoe or boat.

At-large primitive camping is also 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.

Fishing

fishing

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

Fishing access information and fishing easement information is available.

Hall Island State Forest

Hunting & Trapping

hunting
trapping

Wildlife Management Unit: 6K

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 popular activities at Hall Island State Forest because of an abundance of game species such as deer, mink, fisher, and raccoon.

Snowmobiling

snowmobiling

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

Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing

cross country skiing
snow shoeing

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 permitted on all hiking trails.

Wildlife

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

Directions

Hall Island State Forest may be accessed by taking I-81 to exit 36 Pulaski. Follow US Route 13 to Altmar. From Altmar take County Route 22 east toward Bennett's Bridge and then turn right onto County Route 30 for a short distance and then turn left on to Pipeline Road which will lead you to the western portion of the property.

To access the eastern end of the property, follow US Route 13 to Williamstown and turn left on to County RT 17 north. You will follow RT 17 for approximately 8 miles until you reach the Eastern end of the Salmon River Reservoir and parking and access areas to Hall Island State Forest. There are two main trail heads that allow access into the forest; one on Dam Road about 0.4 miles southwest of the intersection of Dam Road and Pipeline Road; the other on Route 17 about 0.4 miles south on County Route 17 of the intersection of Route 17 and County Route 27.

  • Dam Road Parking (43.540303°N, 75.914975°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • County Route 17 Parking (43.529992°N, 75.820217°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 Hall Island 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.

Planning and Management

DEC manages these lands in accordance with the management activities described in the Upper Salmon River 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 R7Forestry@dec.ny.gov.

History

Hall Island is really not an island, but a long peninsula. The land was once cleared for use by the owners of an old farmstead in the mid 1800's. The land, however, was purchased by the Salmon River Power Company and low lying areas then flooded after the construction of the Salmon River Reservoir dam in 1910-1912. The reservoir was constructed for the purpose of hydroelectric power generation which is still in use.

In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) added hundreds of acres of conifers to the landscape to aid with reforestation. As a result, today, the red pine, white pine, larch and spruce plantations provide both shelter and a rich food source for many different species.

Article 9, Titles 5 and 7, of the Environmental Conservation Law authorized the Department of Environmental Conservation to manage lands acquired outside the Adirondack and Catskill Parks. Management, as defined by these laws, includes watershed protection, the production of timber and other forest products, recreation and kindred purposes. Hall Island was purchased by the State of New York under this program in the 1930's. Today, the land has been transformed into a fully functioning forest and provides a vast array of ecological, economic, and recreational services for hundreds of people each year.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

State Lands and Facilities

Where to Find Nearby Amenities

  • Gas and food may be found in the nearby communities of Redfield and Williamstown.
  • Lodging can be found in the nearby community of Pulaski.

Oswego County Tourism Office (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.