Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

The Gulf Unique Area

hikinghuntingtrappingcross-country skiingsnowshoeingice climbingparkingicon key

Gulf Unique Area locator map

The Gulf Unique Area is named for the steep rocky gorge, or "gulf", cut by ice age flooding. The area is especially popular for hiking and bird watching. There are more than three miles of marked hiking trails teeming with wildlife which makes it an attractive destination for non-motorized recreation. The proximity to Canada is demonstrated at the end of the trail, at the US/Canada border.

Featured Activities



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

The Gulf Unique Area has more than 3 miles of marked hiking trails which feature the US/Canada border and the gulf. The primary trail, red marker trail, is 2.9 miles long and ends at the Canadian border. Parking for this trail is at the designated DEC lot. The trail intersects and follows the Gulf Right-of-Way Road for approximately 500 feet - look for the red markers where the road splits and turns right (north) toward the gulf. Hikers can also walk the Gulf Right-of-Way Road. The Gulf Right-of-Way Road crosses private property - please stay on the route at all times.

Hunting & Trapping


Wildlife Management Unit: 5C

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 are allowed during appropriate seasons. The main game species found on the property are 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. A gated section of the road can be used for motorized access by permit to the property during hunting season.

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.

Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are permitted on both the red marker trail and the Gulf Right-of-Way Road, however neither route is maintained for either purpose. The Gulf Right-of-Way Road crosses private property - please stay on the route at all times.


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. More than 50 species of mammals and hundreds of species of birds inhibit or pass through northern Clinton County at one time of the year or another.

Accessible Features

Accessible route with permit

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

The Gulf Right-of-Way Road is a MAPPWD road accessible by ATV for people with disabilities. A permit is required through the Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities (MAPPWD)


  • Rock Road Parking Area (44.985579°N, 73773521°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 The Unique Gulf Area 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

Nearby State Lands, Facilities, Amenities & Other Information

State Lands and Facilities

Where to Find Nearby Amenities

  • Gas, food and other supplies as well as lodging and dining opportunities may be found in the nearby community of Malone.

Clinton County Tourism Webpage (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.

  • PDF Help
  • For help with PDFs on this page, please call 518-897-1200.
  • Contact for this Page
  • Lands and Forests
    Region 5 Sub Office
    PO Box 296, 1115 State Route 86
    Ray Brook, NY 12977-1200
    Send us an email
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to Region 5