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Hall Island State Forest

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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. The property borders the southern shore of the Salmon River Reservoir.

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.

Featured Activities



General information on hiking includes how-to and safety tips and links to rules & regulations. There are about 15 miles of hiking and snowmobile trails on the property.


primitive camping

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



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

Fishing Access information is available. Fishing Easement information is available.

Hall Island State Forest

Hunting & Trapping


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



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

Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing

snow shoeing
cross country skiing

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

Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are permitted on all hiking trails.


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


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 mile till 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)

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

Practice Leave No Trace (leaves DEC website) principles 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.

How We Manage Hall Island State Forest

Hall Island State Forest is part of the Upper Salmon River Unit Management Plan. A Unit Management Plan (UMP) guides the DEC's land management activities on several geographically related forests for a ten-year period, although a number of goals and objectives in the plan focus on a much longer time period. Each UMP addresses specific objectives and actions for public use and forest management. Management actions will be guided by the UMP once completed. If you have questions and/or comments about this UMP, please email

Covered almost completely by mature, natural hardwoods and northern hardwood-hemlock cover types, the red maple, black cherry, white ash, sugar maple and hemlock in the forest provide plentiful habitat for many different species of both plants and animals.

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

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.


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.

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 Amenities and Attractions

Oswego County Tourism Office (leaves DEC website)

Gas and food may be found in the nearby communities of Redfield or Williamstown. Closest lodging is Pulaski.

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.