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Dry Brook Ridge Wild Forest

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Dry Brook Ridge Wild Forest locator map

The 8,900-acre Dry Brook Ridge Wild Forest is located in the western part of the Catskill Forest Preserve. The area is characterized as rugged, mountainous land, most of which is moderate to steep in grade. The highest elevation in the unit is located on the Dry Brook Ridge (3,460 feet).

Featured Activities



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

One of the primary trailheads in the unit provides access to the Dry Brook Ridge trail, and lies just outside of the hamlet of Margaretville on South Side Road. Additional trails in the unit include the Huckleberry Loop Trail off of Huckleberry Brook Road, and the German Hollow Trail, accessed from Chris Long Road.

Dry Brook Ridge Trail (13.6 miles, blue markers) starts at the North End of the Dry Brook Ridge Parking Lot, located off of South Side Road.

The trail starts on an old logging road uphill. The summit of Pakatakan Mountain (2,500 feet) is at 1.8 miles. At 2.65 miles is the junction of yellow-blazed German Hollow Trail. At 3.5 miles is the junction of red blazed Huckleberry Loop. Continue straight following the blue markers to stay on Dry Brook Ridge. At 5 miles, the trail skirts Dry Brook Ridge with fine views to the west. The summit of Dry Brook Ridge is 3,460 feet.

At 9.9 miles, the trail reaches the Parking Area at Millbrook Road. From there the trail continues on to private property (please respect the private property) before returning back onto the Balsam Lake Mountain Wild Forest.

At 11.75 miles, you reach the first junction with the red-blazed Balsam Lake Mountain Trail. At 12.7 miles you find the second junction to Balsam Lake Mountain Trail. About a mile further is the summit of this mountain. The trail ends at 13.6 miles at the Balsam Lake Mountain Parking Area in the Balsam Lake Mountain Wild Forest.

German Hollow Trail (1.7 miles, yellow markers) begins at the German Hollow Trailhead on Chris Long Road and extends to mile 2.65 of the Dry Brook Ridge Trail.

Huckleberry Loop Trail (10.5 miles, red and blue markers) is a semi-circle, connecting at two ends with the Dry Brook Ridge Trail. The trailhead is accessed from the Huckleberry Brook Road Parking Area.

Starting eastward, the trail accessed 1,450 feet and 2.7 miles to the intersection with the Dry Brook Trail. Then follows the Dry Brook Ridge Trail (blue markers) for 2.5 miles where it again intersects the Huckleberry Brook Trail at 4.2 miles. It turns south, descending 1.2 miles to Ploutz Road. Cross the road and the trail continues descent, crossing a stream and beginning its climb up Huckleberry Brook Ridge. The trail meanders west along a ridge for 5.5 miles, then it heads north and descends to Huckleberry Brook Road at 9.8 miles. Turn right and walk 0.7 miles to the parking area.


primitive camping
Lean-to icon

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

Dry Brook Ridge Wild Forest features the Pakatakan lean-to located along the Dry Brook Ridge Trail just past the German Hollow Trail.

At large backcountry 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. Campsites must be below 3,500 feet in elevation.



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

Biking is allowed on the trails in the Dry Brook Ridge Wild Forest except where posted. However, no trails in this wild forest are maintained for biking.

Hunting & Trapping


Wildlife Management Unit: 3A

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 in Dry Brook Ridge Wild Forest during appropriate seasons. The main game species and furbearers found on the property include deer, bear, beaver, bobcat, coyote, and fisher.

Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing

cross-country skiing
snow shoeing

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

Dry Brook Ridge Wild Forest is open to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. There are no groomed or maintained trails, however cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are permitted on all hiking trails.


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

The Catskills are home to an abundance of wildlife. With both larger mammals (including deer, bear, and bobcat) as well as smaller mammals (including porcupine and fisher) the Catskills have several unique habitats. In addition to the many mammals found in the Catskills, hundreds of species of birds can also be found in the Catskills.


  • Huckleberry Brook Road Parking Lot (Storage Bld.) is located on Huckleberry Brook Road, 1.6 miles southeast of its intersection with Southside Road. (42.113023°N, 74.651552°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Huckleberry Brook Road Parking Lot is located on Huckleberry Brook Spur Road, 0.8 miles southeast of its intersection with Southside Road. (42.115484°N, 74.664127°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Dry Brook Ridge Trail Parking Lot (North End) is located on South Side Spur Road. (42.146802°N, 74.647144°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Dry Brook Ridge Trail Parking Lot (Millbrook Road) is located off of Millbrook Road. (42.071502°N, 74.573876°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Hill Road Parking Lot is located on Hill Road, 1.3 miles east of its intersection with Huckleberry Brook Spur Road. (42.116612°N, 74.64861°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Ploutz Road Parking Lot is located on Ploutz Road, 1.2 miles north from its intersection with Millbrook Road. (42.093871°N, 74.620445°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • German Hollow Trailhead Parking Area is located at the end of Chris Long Road. Parking is on private property - per easement with local landowner. Please respect the area. (42.141558°N, 74.613485°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Barkbaoom Road Parking Lot is located on Barkaboom Road, 3.7 miles south east from its intersection with B W S Road No. 9. (42.065536°N, 74.72844°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website)
  • Deerlick Road Parking Lot (42.081456°N, 74.736516°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 in the Catskills to enjoy the outdoors responsibly; minimize impact on the natural resources and avoid conflicts with other backcountry users.

All users of Dry Brook Ridge Wild 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 1988 Dry Brook Ridge Wild Forest Unit Management Plan (UMP) (PDF). 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

  • Lodging and dining opportunities, as well as gas, food and other supplies can be found in the communities of Andes, Margaretville, Roxbury, Fleischmans and Pine Hill.

Catskill Regional Tourism Office (leaves DEC website) and Delaware County Tourism Office (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.