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Sand Flats State Forest

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Sand Flats State Forest locator map

The 2,532-acre state forest was purchased by the state in the 1930s. Its name originates from the flat and sandy characteristic of much of area.

Featured Activities



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

There are 8.83 miles of multi-use trails and unpaved forest roads that may be used for hiking.


primitive camping

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

There is one primitive campsite located at the end of the Fall Brook Public Forest Access Road (PFAR).

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.



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

Fall Brook, a popular trout fishing stream, flows from east to west through the middle of this forest.

North 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: 6J

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



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

There are 6.37 miles of routes that allow snowmobile access. The 1.7-mile Powell Road joins with the NYS Snowmobile network of trails. The routes are maintained and groomed by the Lost Trail Snowmobile Club (leaves DEC website) through a volunteer stewardship agreement.


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

Accessible Features

Motorized Acess Program for People with Disabilities

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

Fall Brook Crest Trail (0.7 mile) located in the northern portion of the forest allows motorized access for people with mobility impairments. A permit is required through the Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities.

Map of Sand Flats State Forest


From Boonville, take the Moose River Road. Proceed 6 miles. Primary vehicular access to the interior of the property is provided by:

  • Fall Brook Public Forest Access Road (PFAR) (0.8 mile),
  • O'Brian (Stump) Public Forest Access Road (1.2 miles),
  • Bucks Corners PFAR (0.9 mile),
  • Water Hole PFAR (1.0 mile),
  • Y PFAR (0.7 mile),
  • Sand Flats PFAR (1.8 miles), and
  • Powell PFAR (1.7 miles).


  • Fall Brook Road (aka Corners Road) parking area (43.547524°N, 75.286271°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Bucks Corners Road parking area (43.551697°N, 75.263250°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Fall Brook Road primitive campsite (43.5549622°N, 75.2888336°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 Sand Flats State Forest must follow all State Forest Use Regulations and should follow all Outdoor Safety Practices for the safety of the user and protection of the resource.

Follow the NYS Firewood Regulation to protect the forests you love from invasive insects and diseases.

Specific Rules

Mountain biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are all allowed on the property; however, the trails are not currently maintained for these activities.

Planning and Management

DEC manages these lands in accordance with the management activities described in the Westward Waters Unit Management Plan. 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


Historically, the well-drained "flats," that make up the property were extensively cultivated for potatoes, which were then shipped to city markets via the Black River Canal. Unfortunately, agricultural practices of the time soon resulted in soil nutrient depletion and eventual agricultural abandonment of the site in favor of more productive soils.

Soon after the Conservation Department (now DEC) purchased the property, tree planting crews established miles of soil stabilizing fencing and planted hundreds of thousands of drought tolerant Scotch, red, white, and jack pines in a monumental effort to anchor the shifting sands and rebuild the top soil.

In the summer of 2013, an aerial forest health survey detected severe wide spread decline and mortality specifically in monoculture stands of Scotch pine on these sandy soils. 600 acres, almost all the Scotch pine plantations were then clearcut to reduce the concentration of damaging insects and diseases. Local sawmills utilized the salvaged wood for utility poles and lumber. The other plantations and adjacent natural stands of quality hardwoods and spruce/fir are periodically thinned for improvement by private timber contractors under the direction of DEC's professional forestry staff.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

State Lands and Facilities

Where to Find Nearby Amenities

  • Gas, dining opportunities, food and other supplies can be found in the nearby community of Boonville.
  • Lodging may be found in the nearby communities of Boonville and Port Leyden.

Adirondacks Tug Hill (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.