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Crary Mills State Forest

Crary Mill State Forest Locator Map

hikingprimitive campinghuntingtrappingcross-country skiingsnowshoeingicon key

The 587-acre Crary Mills State Forest consists of 3 parcels which were purchased in 1962 and 1963 for the purposes of reforestation, wildlife management, timber production, recreation, and watershed protection. The topography is variable with upland areas supporting a mixture of northern hardwood, hemlock and white pine forests.

Featured Activities



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

There are two short trails. Hiking is also permitted throughout this forest.


primitave camping

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

There are no designated campsites; but 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: 6C

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

Hunting and trapping are permitted on the property in accordance with all game regulations, unless otherwise posted.

Cross-Country Skiing & Snowshoeing

cross-country skiing

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

Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are allowed on trails and in Crary Mills forest. No trails are groomed.

40 inch diameter bur oak
40 inch diameter Bur Oak


There are two short access trails located on the Leary and Parmenter roads in the town of Potsdam. The property does provide large undeveloped areas well suited for hunting, hiking, and nature viewing.

  • Leary Road Access (44.593277°N, 75.046905°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Parmenter Road Access (44.599336°N, 75.026093°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 Crary Mills 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 and horseback riding are allowed within the property but there are no designated trails or maintained areas for these activities.

Follow the NYS firewood regulation to protect the forests you love from invasive pests and diseases.

Planning and Management

a white pine plantation after thinning
A white pine plantation after thinning

DEC is developing a unit management plan (UMP) which will describe the management activities for these lands. Crary Mills is one of 13 State Forests and one Conservation Easement combined into the area called St. Lawrence Foothills Management Unit. In addition to management objectives, the UMP will contain 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


Pine and spruce plantations were established on what were formerly farm fields and pastures. Flatter ground supports open wetlands and shrub swamps, which gradually transition to swamp hardwoods and white cedar in seasonal flooded areas.

Much of the area is former agricultural land which has reverted to forest. Open fields were planted with a variety of species including white and Scotch pines, white spruce, larch, and an experimental planting of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta). A total of over 199,000 trees were planted on 210 acres of this state forest between 1963 and 1972.

Several plantations on this state forest underwent a first improvement thinning in 2008 which removed diseased and malformed trees and reduced overcrowding. The long term goal of our forest management is to produce forests which are healthy, vigorous, and sustainable for the future.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

State Lands and Facilities

Where to Find Nearby Amenities

  • Lodging, dining, gas, and food and other supplies may be found in the nearby communities of Potsdam, Canton and Hannawa Falls.

St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce (leaves DEC website) and Franklin 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.