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Saint Francis Woodlands

Saint Francis Woodlands locator map

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Saint Francis Woodlands encompasses a beautiful and diverse 25 acres of peaceful wooded property on Staten Island. Popular activities include wildlife and nature viewing, bird watching, and nature photography, as well as hiking through the pleasant maze of Greenbelt Trails.

Featured Activities



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

Trail around Priory Pond

As part of the Staten Island Greenbelt (leaves DEC website), one of the largest urban nature preserves in the United States, St. Francis Woodlands provides visitors with three trails-all less than a half mile long-for exploring its forested hills and upland swamp habitats. In addition, Saint Francis is located near the Robert Moses era Richmond County Parkway, which is adjacent to this property.


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

Peacefully observing or photographing nature is a favored pastime in the woodlands. A small dam at the main stream's beginning allows visitors an opportunity to catch a glimpse of many small reptiles and amphibians.


Fishing Icon

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

At Priory Pond, cast a line for panfish or brown bullhead catfish.


From the Staten Island Expressway, exit for Todt Hill Road. The parking lot for St. Francis Woodlands is located on Helena Road, just off of Todt Hill Road. There is no parking on Todt Hill Road. Priory Pond is located inside St. Mary's facility (500 Todt Hill Road) however, there is no public parking.

  • Saint Francis parking lot: (40.596264°N, 74.113502°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.

Parking area

All users of Saint Francis Woodlands 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.

For your safety and protection of the resource, the following regulations are in place:

  • Most state properties are carry in-carry out facilities, meaning there are no trash cans and you must take your trash out with you when you leave.
  • Unauthorized cutting of live trees or new trail building is prohibited.
  • No hunting is allowed on any Region 2 DEC properties.
  • Fishing is allowed in compliance with State regulations.
  • No camping is allowed.
  • Keep pets under control and on leash while other forest users are around.
  • Unauthorized use of off-road motorized vehicles is prohibited. This includes cars, trucks, ATVs, and motorcycles.

***Stay Safe - Bring a Friend When Visiting the Property***

Illegal activities are strictly prohibited on state property.

Planning and Management

DEC is developing a unit management plan (UMP) 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 & 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

  • Gas, food and other supplies as well as dining and lodging can be found in the nearby community of Staten Island.

Staten Island Tourism (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.