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Sand Bay State Forest

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Sand Bay State Forest locator map

This 326-acre state forest was acquired by the state from the US Army in 1964. It is named for the sandy shoreline of Lake Bonaparte that makes up part of the southern boundary of the property. Underlying much of the property is granite bedrock, which in places surfaces as bare rock outcrops, and in other places is covered with relatively deep, rich soil. The terrain varies from steep rocky ridges to a 90-acre ecologically rich wetland. Timber management is very limited by the difficult terrain and has been confined to stands near the North Shore Road. There are no camping opportunities available on this state forest.

Featured Activities



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

A shallow draft boat launch and parking lot is available to fishermen wishing to try their luck on Lake Bonaparte.



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



Wildlife Management Unit: 6H & 6C

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

Other recreational pursuits include white-tailed deer and small game hunting and woodland hiking and exploration.


Map of Sand Bay State Forest

From Harrisville, take Washington Street to North Bonaparte Road, and proceed 4 miles.

  • Boat launch (44.160593, -75.390421) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)

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

Rules, Regulations and Outdoor Safety

This property has site-specific rules (leaves DEC website).

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 Bay 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 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 at

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

State Lands and Facilities

Where to Find Nearby Amenities

  • Gas may be found in the nearby communities of Natural Bridge and Harrisville.
  • Lodging, dining opportunities, food and other supplies can be found in the nearby community of Harrisville.

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.