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Knapp Station State Forest

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Knapp Station State Forest locator map

Much of the 1,006-acre Knapp Station State Forest, as with many state forests in the area, is former agricultural land which has reverted to forest. This forest consists of 11 separate parcels which were purchased between 1936 and 1963 for the purposes of reforestation, wildlife management, timber production, recreation and watershed protection.

The topography of this state forest is very flat with extensive wetlands spread throughout the area. The wettest areas are dominated by open wetlands and shrub swamps, which gradually transition to swamp hardwoods and white cedar in seasonal flooded areas.

Featured Activities



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

There are currently no developed trails on this state forest. The property provides large undeveloped areas well suited for experiencing the forest in an undeveloped setting.


primitive camping

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

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 & Trapping


Wildlife Management Unit: 6A

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 is a section of the New York State Snowmobile trail system adjacent to the forest. The trail is classified as a secondary trail. It is groomed and maintained by the St. Lawrence County Snowmobile Association (leaves DEC website) through a volunteer stewardship agreement. This trail crosses various parcels of town and private land, so please be respectful of adjacent land owners and stay on the trail.


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


From Massena: Head south on State Route 420 for 7 miles, take a right onto Mahoney Road. Continue on Mahoney Road until the T-intersection with County Route 49. Take a right onto County Route 49 and continue for .55 mile and take a left onto Cook Road. Proceed 1.2 miles and the pull-off area will be on the right.

  • Cook Road pull-off area (44.791676°N, 74.889022°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 Knapp Station 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

Mountain biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and horseback riding are all permitted on the property; however, there are no currently maintained trails for these activities.

Planning and Management

DEC manages these lands in accordance with the management activities described in the St. Lawrence Flatlands Unit Management Plan (PDF, 17MB). 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


Open Wetland in Knapps Station State Forest
Open wetland in Knapp Station State Forest

Many of the properties purchased by the state in the 1930s and early 1940s were exhausted farmland with little tree cover. The first priorities after the establishment of a state forest were to reforest the land, prevent soil erosion, and minimize the threat of wildfires. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) played an active role in the early protection and development of this forest. Crews from Camp S-95 in Brasher Falls and S-134 in Canton/Pierrepont accomplished the following tasks on Knapp Station State Forest between 1936 and 1941:

  • Planted over 620,000 trees on 605 acres, with the major species being white pine, white spruce and red pine. Other less common species planted include white cedar, Jack pine, American elm and basswood.
  • Cleared and maintained 2.4 miles of fireline.
  • Constructed 5 waterholes for fire control.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

State Lands and Facilities

Where to Find Nearby Amenities

  • Gas, lodging, dining opportunities, food and other supplies can be found in the nearby communities of Brasher Falls, Winthrop, Norwood, Norfolk and Massena.

St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce (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.