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Flat Rock State Forest

hikingprimitive campingbikinghuntingtrappingSnowmobilingcross-country skiingsnowshoeinghorseback ridingdirectionsicon key

Flat Rock State Forest locator map

Located on the Altona flat rock sandstone pavement, Flat Rock State Forest consists of several separate parcels within a rare jack pine sandstone pavement barrens habitat. The largest parcel has multiple-use trails and a snowmobile trail. Much of the property is largely undeveloped and well suited for hiking, hunting and nature viewing.

Flat Rock State Forest features 1.4 miles of forest haul roads as well as 2 miles of snowmobile trails, which are open to other uses. There is an access point and a place to park off of the Military Turnpike. A parking area is also located at the end of Pedobo Road off Rock Road. Although public access is allowed, there are no maintained trails on the smaller parcels of Flat Rock State Forest.

Featured Activities



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

Flat Rock State Forest features 1.4 miles of forest haul roads open to hiking and other non-motorized recreation. The property also features hiking on the 2 miles of snowmobile trails.


primitive camping

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

There are no designated camp sites on this property. Primitive camping is allowed. Camping must be at least 150 feet from a water body, road, or trail. Camping for more than three nights or in a group of ten or more requires a permit from a Forest Ranger.



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

The 1.4 miles of forest haul roads and the 2 miles of snowmobile trails are open to cyclists.

Hunting & Trapping


Wildlife Management Unit: 5A

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 during appropriate seasons. The main game species found on the property include whitetail deer, black bear, ruffed grouse, wild turkey, snowshoe hare, coyote, and waterfowl. The main furbearers found on the property include fisher, beaver, mink, muskrat, raccoon, and otter.



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

Flat Rock State Forest features 2 miles of snowmobile trails marked S80 and S87A. The trail system joins up with the corridor trail system at the junction of Pedobo Road and Flat Rock Road.

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 and regulations.

Flat Rock State Forest is open for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. There are no maintained or groomed trails, however, the 1.4 miles of forest haul roads are open to cross-country skiers and snowshoers.


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

The Northern Clinton County contains large tracts of wildlife habitat with some boreal, log, and other unique habitats. Many birds (Peregrine Falcon, Wood Duck, Yellow Warbler) and mammals (Black Bear, White Tail Deer) are commonly found here. Over 50 species of mammals and hundreds of species of birds inhibit or pass through the Northern Clinton County at one time of the year or another.

The jack pine sandstone barrens in Flat Rock State Forest are totally different from the surrounding northern hardwood forests, and are considered a globally rare community type.

Jack pine, Pinus banksiana, is a boreal forest species, which grows on dry sandy and rocky sites and is dependent on periodic fires for regeneration, much like its southern counterpart, pitch pine.

Horseback Riding

horseback riding

General information on horseback riding includes safety tips and rules and regulations.

The 1.4 miles of forest haul roads are open to horseback riding and other non-motorized recreation. Proof of current negative Coggins certificate is required for all horses and out-of-state horse owners are required to produce a 30-day health certificate.


  • Pedobo Road Parking Area is located at the end of Pedobo Road off of Rock Rd (44.848265°N, 73.648910°W) Google Maps (leaves the 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 Flat Rock 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 is developing a management plan which will describe the management activities for these lands. 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


The formation of the Flat Rock areas in Clinton County happened about 13,000 years ago during the last glacial retreat. Glacial meltwater accumulated along the retreating ice margin in areas where landforms created natural dams, becoming huge lakes. Glacial Lake Iroquois, which covered parts of Ontario and northern New York, broke through near Covey Hill at the Canadian border and the resultant explosive outburst flood ripped a deep channel into the hard, tough Potsdam sandstone at the lake outlet. Today this area is known as The Gulf and can be seen at The Gulf Unique Area. As the floodwater raced southeast toward the Lake Champlain lowlands, it stripped and scoured the soil from upland areas, notably along drainage divides, leaving exposed bedrock pavements. Chunks of rock up to 10 feet in diameter were plucked up and hurled onto Cobblestone Hill on the eastern boundary of the Altona Flat Rock area.

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

State Lands and Facilities

Where to Find Nearby Amenities

  • Gas, food and other supplies as well as lodgining and dining opportunities can be found in the nearby community of Plattsburgh.

North Country 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.

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    Ray Brook, NY 12977-1200
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