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Allen Lake State Forest

Allen Lake State Forest Locator Map

hikingprimitive campinghuntingtrappingfishingboatingpaddlingsnowmobilingparkingfishing pierboat launchaccessibleicon key

The 2,421-acre Allen Lake State Forest features a 58-acre Allen Lake and forested land consisting of a mixture of native hardwood species and planted conifers. A 1.5-mile trail in the southwestern part of the state forest leads to a secluded waterfall.

Featured Activities

Waterfall in southwestern portion of Allen Lake State Forest
Waterfall in southwestern portion of Allen Lake State Forest



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

The Hidden Falls Trail begins at the Saunders Road parking area. This 1.5-mile long hiking trail leads to a secluded waterfall in the southwestern portion of Allen Lake State Forest. After leaving the parking area, the trail passes through a former gravel pit before climbing on top of an esker (a long, narrow glacial ridge), which it follows for about half a mile, and crosses a stream which cuts through the esker in a deep gash. The trail then follows some rolling hills and crosses two more streams before passing by another, much older, gravel pit and then two old homestead sites. After this, the trail crosses an old town road and continues north past several different stands of trees before reaching the edge of the ravine. Listen for the falling water - you can hike down the slope to get a better look at the waterfall, which lies in a narrow, vertical gorge near the State Forest boundary.


primitive camping

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

Camping is prohibited in the immediate Allen Lake area bounded by Muckle, Town Line, Seavert and West Hill Roads. Outside of this area, camping is permitted as per State Forest regulations.

There are no formal camp sites on this property; however, at-large 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 and Trapping


Wildlife Management Unit: 9P

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

The area is a popular destination for hunting both small and big game. Hunting and trapping are permitted on the property in accordance with all game regulations, unless otherwise posted. Traps may not be set on public road right of ways. Body gripping traps set on land must be at least 100 feet from public trails.


fishing pier

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

The 58-acre Allen Lake is a popular destination for local anglers. The floating pier is accessible to people of all abilities. The lake is stocked with brook trout and brown trout each spring by DEC's Randolph Fish Hatchery. There is parking available near the fishing pier.


Floating pier at Allen Lake State Forest
Floating pier at Allen Lake State Forest

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

The state forest has an improved boat launch that can handle small trailered boats and hand launches on Allen Lake. The lake is restricted to electric motors only.



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

The 58-acre Allen Lake features paddling opportunities with a small trailered launch.



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

New York State Corridor Snowmobile Trail 2C passes through Allen Lake State Forest. The trail is maintained by the Angelica Snowdrifters (leaves DEC website) through a volunteer stewardship agreement.

Accessible Features


General information on accessible recreation includes links to other locations with accessible recreation opportunities and information on permits for motorized access.

The floating pier on Allen Lake is accessible to people of all abilities for fishing. There is an accessible concrete approach and a floating T-dock.


Allen Lake State Forest is accessible via several town roads. Note: Saunders Road has been blocked by private landowners and is no longer a through road from Belfast to State Land.

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

  • Allen Lake parking, fishing access site and boat launch (42.382506°N, 78.070482°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

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 Allen Lake 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

Snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, mountain biking and horseback riding are allowed within the property but there are no designated trails or maintained areas for these activities.

Planning and Management

DEC has developed a Draft Allegany Unit State Forests Unit Management Plan (UMP) which describes the proposed management activities for these lands. 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

The hardwood stands are managed through a series of thinnings which remove the lower quality trees and give more growing space to the best quality trees. The hardwood tops are generally left in place to rot and recycle their nutrients back into the soil. The decaying tops also provide bedding and nesting cover for wildlife such as white-tailed deer and wild turkeys.

Periodic thinnings in the red pine plantations have allowed the native hardwoods to seed into the sunlit openings. Many of the pine stands have reached maturity and the remaining overstory is now being removed to allow the hardwoods to grow to maturity. These "early-successional" hardwood stands provide an important habitat component for a variety of songbird species, as well as ruffed grouse and woodcock.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

State Lands and Facilities

Where to Find Nearby Amenities

  • Gas can be found in the nearby community of Belfast.
  • Lodging, dining opportunities, and food and other supplies can be found in the nearby communities of Houghton, Belfast and Angelica.

Allegany County 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.