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Featherstonhaugh State Forest

hikingprimitive campingpaddlinghand launch for boatsfishinghuntingtrappingsnowmobilingcross-country skiingsnowshoeingparkingicon key

Featherstonhaugh State Forest locator map

The 697-acre Featherstonhaugh State Forest features designated backcountry cross-country ski trails, snowmobile trails and a 38-acre warm water lake for fishing and paddling. The property is managed for multiple uses, including timber production, watershed protection, wildlife habitat and recreation. This state forest was named after George W. Featherstonhaugh, a British gentleman who moved to the area and married Sarah Duane, the youngest daughter of James Duane, the patron of Duanesburg. Featherstonhaugh practiced scientific farming, crop rotation, held county fairs with agricultural competitions and served as the first US geologist and agricultural commissioner. He is also considered the father of the steam railroad.

Featured Activities



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

Featherstonhaugh State Forest features 3.7 miles of designated cross-country ski that are open to hiking in the spring, summer and fall.


primitive camping

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

There are no designated campsites; however, 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.


hand launch for boats

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

There is a boat launch (hand) located in the southeast corner of Featherstonhaugh Lake, near the Judith Lane parking area.



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

Featherstonhaugh Lake is a 38-acre warm water lake approximately 9.5 feet deep on average. Fish species include largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegill, brown bullhead, pumpkinseed and golden shiners.

East-Central NY Fishing provides information on fishing in the area and links to top fishing waters, stocking lists, public fishing access and waters open to ice fishing listed by county.

Hunting & Trapping


Wildlife Management Unit: 4A

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 allowed on Featherstonhaugh State Forest during appropriate seasons.



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

There are 1.4 miles of designated snowmobile trails. These snowmobile trails are maintained by the Frontier Sno Riders (leaves DEC website) through a volunteer stewardship agreement and connect to the NYS snowmobile network of trails.

Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing

cross-country skiing

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

There are 3.7 miles of designated cross-country ski/hiking trails on Featherstonhaugh State Forest.


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



From Rotterdam follow Mariaville Road (State Route 159) and travel west 8.3 miles. Turn left onto Lake Road (County Road 28D) and travel 0.4 mile.

There are 4 parking areas on Featherstonhaugh Multiple Use Area.

Parking Lots

  • Lake Road Parking Lot West (42.810674°N, 74.136973°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Lake Road and Tidball Road Parking Lot (42.80935°N, 74.128647°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Lake Road Parking Lot East (42.810233°N, 74.119272°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Judith Lane Parking Lot (42.811692°N, 74.116418°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

Boat Launch

  • Featherstonaugh Hand Boat Launch (42.812091°N, 74.117044°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 Featherstonhaugh 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

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

Planning and Management

DEC manages these lands in accordance with the management activities described in the Charleston State Forest 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

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

State Lands and Facilities

Where to Find Nearby Amenities

  • Dining opportunities, gas, food and other supplies may be found in the nearby communities of Duanesburg, Rotterdam Junction, Schenectady and Scotia.
  • Lodging may be found in the nearby community of Schenectady.

Schenectady 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.